Thursday, February 26, 2009

Words on Wheels to roll through the Southern heartland

Five writers, six days, one very windy road. The New Zealand Book Council’s annual Words on Wheels tour will visit the Selwyn, Mackenzie Country and Central Otago regions this March.

Considered the highlight of the Book Council’s calendar, five leading New Zealand writers are selected each year to tour for six days, presenting a series of free public events as they travel. The writers appear at a variety of venues including libraries, schools, the occasional town hall, and this year will also follow the Selwyn mobile library.

Book Council Chief Executive Noel Murphy says that a key role of the Book Council is to promote a love of reading and writing by connecting writers with readers across New Zealand, and to inspire other writers in their home towns.

Last year the Words on Wheels tour visited Hawke’s Bay and East Coast. Mr. Murphy says, ‘Every year, Words on Wheels tours a different region and we’re delighted to be visiting the South Island in 2009. The tour always generates a lot of energy and enthusiasm in the communities we visit.’

Selwyn District Council Libraries Manager Glen Walker says, ‘We’re absolutely thrilled to have the Words on Wheels tour coming to Selwyn. It’s a fantastic opportunity for this well read but very widely spread district to meet and listen to some of New Zealand’s favourite writers. The Selwyn Library network issues hundreds of thousands of books each year and people across Selwyn, from the outskirts of Christchurch to the heights of Arthur’s Pass are ardent readers. The area has produced several well known authors too, so people here know the value of literature and storytelling, information and entertainment.

The Words on Wheels 2009 writers are novelist Vanda Symon (pic right); script writer David Geary; teen fiction writer Anna Mackenzie; poet Janet Charman; and non-fiction writer and columnist Steve Braunias (pic left).

The tour will begin on Monday 2 March in Christchurch and will finish in Wanaka on Saturday 7 March, with the writers giving up to three free talks each day. The tour is supported by Creative New Zealand and other generous sponsors.

The Words on Wheels 2009 tour itinerary:
Monday 2 March
2.00pm (free public event)
Christchurch Central Library, Gloucester Street, Christchurch

7.00pm (free public event)
Darfield Public Library, McMillan Street, Darfield

Tuesday 3 March
Travelling with the Selwyn Mobile Library to Tai Tapu Village

2.00pm Travelling with the Selwyn Mobile Library to West Melton Primary School

7.00pm (fundraising event for the Methven Heritage Project)
Mount Hutt Memorial Hall, Methven

Wednesday 4 March
2.00pm (free public event)
Geraldine District Library

5.30pm (free public event)
Mackenzie Community Library, Fairlie

Thursday 5 March
9.00am (school only event)
Twizel Area School, Twizel

Friday 6 March
9.30am (school only event)
Mt Aspiring College, Plantation Road, Wanaka

2.00pm (school only event)
Cromwell College, Barry Avenue, Cromwell

7.00pm (free public event)
Golden Gate Hotel, Cromwell

Saturday 7 March

1.00pm (free public event)Paper Plus Queenstown

7.00pm (invitation dinner)
Private venue, Wanaka

For more information visit
For any information on the Words on Wheels 2009 Tour or writers, please contact:
Sarah Hughes, Education Manager, New Zealand Book Council
04 499 1569

Kathryn Carmody, Freelance Book Publicist
04 385 7070 or 027 287 7963

Biographical information on the touring writers can also be found on the New Zealand Book Council website:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excuse me - the southern Heartland includes both North Otago & South Westland. And Rakiura.
I'd even put in a plug for places like Waimate...

But then, Northern Berloody Bureaucrats dont really understand anything South. Even when they've got Southern...advisors...