Sunday, January 28, 2018

Auckland Writers Festival - 15-20 May 2018


15 - 20 May 2018
Happy New Year! Here in the Festival office, we are hard at work on the final stages of the 2018 programme: confirming writers, wrestling with event timetables, editing bios and booking travel from all over the world. We can't wait to share it all with you when we launch the programme to the public on Wednesday 14 March. Tickets will be on sale from 9am Friday 16 March with early release to Patrons on 13 March and Friends on 15 March. If you don't already receive a print programme by post, please add your contact details on our sign up page and we will make sure you are added to the list. Any subsequent Festival announcements or updates will be made by email or social media so please make sure you don't miss out.        


There is a very limited number of tickets still available for our Nigella Lawson event on Wednesday 7 February, so get in quick if you don't want to miss this exclusive Auckland event. Nigella started work as a book reviewer and restaurant critic, going on to become the deputy literary editor of The Sunday Times before embarking on a career as a freelance journalist. She has now become one of the world’s most loved food writers and broadcasters and is the author of numerous award-winning books including How to EatHow to Be a Domestic GoddessNigella Bites and most recently At My Table. The session will be chaired by award-winning New Zealand writer Paula Morris, and together they discuss food, its culture and history, as well as Nigella’s varied writing career.
Book online via 
Ticketmaster or call 0800 111 999
Patrons & Friends $33.50, General Admission $37.50, Students $18.75.


We offer huge congratulations to Festival trustee (and Deputy Chair) Nicola Legat, who has been recognised in the 2018 New Year Honours as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the publishing industry. During her impressive career, Nicola has worked as a senior writer for North & South and Editor of Metro. She was publishing director at Random House New Zealand, overseeing the publication of some 100 New Zealand books a year. Nicola is now the publisher for Massey University Press, Te Papa Press and the Poetry NZ journal. She has also held several senior governance roles in the New Zealand arts sector including 10 years on the Auckland Writers Festival Board and three years as Chair of the New Zealand Book Awards Trust.


In December, we farewelled long-serving Board member Carole Beu, who has retired as a trustee after 16 years. Carole has been on the Festival Board since the Trust was formed and has made a significant contribution, she will be greatly missed. However, we are pleased to announce the appointment of a new trustee, Tony Moores, to replace Carole. Tony has broad publishing and bookseller experience, is a Board member (and past Chair) of Booksellers NZ, and is the owner of bookstores. In addition, Anna Connell will be co-opted onto the Board (in an ex-officio capacity). Anna is a digital creative strategist and columnist, with significant experience in marketing, brand and communications and for many years she was the Development & Partnerships Manager at Auckland Theatre Company.


Critically acclaimed Scots writer, journalist and founding editor of the Scottish Review of Books Alan Taylor has been announced as the international judge who will assist the local panel in selecting the winner of the $50,000 Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize in the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. Taylor and his wife, author and literary editor Rosemary Goring, will be in New Zealand in May as guests of the Auckland Writers Festival, with their visit supported by Festival Platinum Partner Heartland Bank. Taylor brings considerable experience to the judging table; he was a member of the Booker Prize’s management committee and a judge of the prize in 1994. His own books include The Assassin’s Cloak: An Anthology of the World’s Best Diarists, Glasgow: An Autobiography and Appointment in Arezzo: A Friendship with Muriel Spark. The Acorn Foundation Fiction Prize and other winners of the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards will be announced at the Festival event on 15 May.


An annual AWF Friend membership is just $100 per person, and includes: an  invitation to our March programme launch, priority booking ahead of public ticket sales, access to a dedicated booking line with no transaction fees, reserved seating at all ticketed events and special offers and discounts all year round. Numbers are strictly limited, so don't miss out, further details available online.


Our volunteers are an essential part of each Festival’s success. While there are no particular skills or work experience required for you to become a volunteer, a love of literature and books is a good start. If you are enthusiastic, generous, reliable, friendly, motivated, tactful and available for 3 or more shifts (of 4-5 hours) from 15-20 May and would like to be considered, please email and register your interest.


Auckland Arts Festival is just around the corner, running from 8-25 March and we’re excited! We have a double pass to give away to each of these fabulous AAF events.

April, 1984. 13:00. Comrade 6079, Winston Smith, thinks a thought, starts a diary, and falls in love. But Big Brother is always watching. One of the 20th century’s greatest has its New Zealand premiere at Auckland Arts Festival. Set in a world where an invasive government keeps a malevolently watchful eye on its citizens, this radical and much-lauded staging explores surveillance, identity and why George Orwell’s vision of the future is as relevant now as ever. Seen by more than 500,000 people, this stage adaptation of Orwell’s dystopian classic has enjoyed three hugely successful West End seasons and is a current hit on Broadway. This Headlong, Nottingham Playhouse and Almeida Theatre production of 1984 is presented by Auckland Arts Festival and GWB Entertainment in association with Auckland Theatre Company and State Theatre Company South Australia. Enter here *

The Far Side of the Moon 
To see a show from Canada's visionary director Robert Lepage is to experience pure theatrical magic. Recognised internationally as his masterpiece work, The Far Side of the Moon is a spellbinding, funny and technically exquisite exploration of inner and outer space. Publicly the race to the moon is consuming Americans and Russians, while privately two estranged brothers are brought together by their mother's death. Don’t miss this visually stunning production with compelling storytelling, ingenious effects and an atmospheric score from composer Laurie Anderson. Enter here *

Bless The Child 
A searing new work from acclaimed New Zealand playwright Hone Kouka that's part compelling urban thriller, part unflinching social commentary. Eight lives and three worlds collide in this urgent, thought-provoking play; a story of life and death and good vs. bad. After a child is found dead, a hotshot lawyer is dragged into the case to defend the demonised mother. As the whānau closes ranks, the question of who killed the baby - and whose prejudice is exposed - is brought provocatively to the surface. Directed by Mīria George and presented by Tawata Productions, this passionately realised play confronts the hard truths of our shared humanity. Enter here *

* The winners will be drawn on Thursday 1 February and contacted by email. The winner can select an event date of choice provided there is ticket availability and excludes opening nights.

For details on the 50+ shows and events in Auckland Arts Festival visit


When ‘Lady’ Sandra Abbott discovers that her husband of forty years is having an affair with her best friend, she seeks refuge in London with her estranged, older sister Bif. The two could not be more different – Sandra is a fish out of water next to her outspoken, free-spirited sibling. But different is just what Sandra needs. As the sisters begin to reconnect, Sandra lets Bif drag her along to a dance class, where gradually she starts finding her feet... and romance. Featuring star-studded cast Finding Your Feet is a hilarious and heart-warming comedy proving that it’s never too late to start again. We have 5 double passes to give away: email to enter the draw by Wed 31 January.


The Party is a sharply funny satire of modern politics and the upper-middle class from acclaimed British director Sally Potter. Featuring a stellar ensemble cast headed by Kristin Scott Thomas, Patricia Clarkson and Timothy Spall who shine in the most comedic roles of their career. The film is a comedy wrapped around a tragedy, in which a celebratory gathering of friends goes violently wrong in a very short space of time. Love, friendships and political convictions are soon called into question in this hilarious comedy of tragic proportions. We have 5 double passes to give away: email to enter the draw by Wed 31 January.


Who was at our sellout #awf14 event with our Booker winner Eleanor Catton?
Flashback to when The Luminaries took out the 2013 Man Booker Prize and catapulted its author into stardom. Eleanor Catton discusses writing, storytelling and literary success with broadcaster John Campbell. 
View it now
We have loaded a selection of videos and podcasts to our Look, Listen & Learn page so you can enjoy the magic at home. Revisit your favourite writer's sessions, or catch up on the events you missed. There's something for everyone! Podcasts are also available on itunes so you can download and listen on the go. 



No comments: