WORD Christchurch Festival sounds amazing!

So the new WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival sounds like it’s going to be AMAZING. Kristin Hersh! Ruth Reichl! NoViolet Bulawayo!

I’d definitely suggest you get along! Check out today’s media release:

New Look Festival Returns Bigger Than Ever to Brighten Up Christchurch’s Inner City

The WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival today launches its most ambitious programme yet, with more than 100 writers, thinkers, commentators and performers from New Zealand and around the world appearing in 68 events in the heart of the city.
World-renowned food writer Ruth Reichl, indie musician and memoirist Kristin Hersh and Luke Harding – foreign correspondent for the Guardian and author of books on Edward Snowden and Julian Assanges WikiLeaks – are among the line-up of writers taking part in WORD Christchurch, formerly known as the Christchurch Writers’ Festival, which runs from 27 to 31 August at the brand-new Rydges Hotel on Latimer Square, the nearby Transitional Cathedral and at The Physics Room in the Old Post Office building.
They are joined by a rich and varied group of novelists and spoken word performers, including our very own Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton, the multi-million-copy bestselling British author of The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield, two-time US National Poetry Slam champion Anis Mojgani, acclaimed New York novelist Meg Wolitzer and Man Booker Prize shortlisted Zimbabwean novelist NoViolet Bulawayo.
WORD Christchurch Literary Director, award-winning novelist Rachael King, says the programme has something for everyone.
“Were thrilled to be launching the most varied programme in the festivals 17-year history. Its both international in its scope and intensely local, with sessions that are very relevant to Christchurch audiences, including the Cardboard Cathedral book launch, featuring architect Shigeru Ban himself, a panel based around the Christchurch recovery and visiting US expert Reed Kroloff on rebuilding broken cities. We also have a panel on writing tough stories, featuring Gaylene Preston, creator of Hope & Wire, the TV drama about the earthquakes.
“We have introduced a fringe programme, where a less mainstream audience will find entertaining and stimulating events, such as a panel on the power of superhero comics, experimental poetry, local songwriters discussing their craft, and a theremin performance,” says Ms King.
Another new addition to the festival is the Saturday free family events at Rydges Latimer, with international and New Zealand childrens writers, giving Christchurch kids the chance to get up close to their favourite writers.
Ms King says it was important to the events ethos to hold the festival in the heart of Christchurch.
“We want to remind Cantabrians and visitors that the inner city can be a great place to be, and to capture the unique character of Christchurch in its transitional state.”
Tickets to all events are on sale now from dashtickets.co.nz. The full programme can be viewed at www.wordchristchurch.co.nz
WORD Christchurch logo

Special events snapshot

Taste morsels of the weekend literary feast to come and be entertained, delighted and moved as seven of the festival’s international writers speak, read, sing and perform on the topic of brightness in the opening event, The Stars Are Out Tonight. Friday 28 August, 7.30pm, Transitional Cathedral, hosted by John Campbell.
WORD is proud to launch Shigeru Ban: Cardboard Cathedral in the Transitional Cathedral, with Ban himself in conversation with author Andrew Barrie. It tells the story of the buildings remarkable design and construction and outlines the world-famous, award-winning architects concerns about post-disaster responses and the role architecture can play in re-establishing a community. Wednesday 27 August, 7.30pm.
Join adept and articulate MC Joe Bennett for The Great New Zealand Crime Debate as he chairs a raucous night of argument and repartee while a stellar line-up of debaters, including Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel and writers Steve Braunias and Meg Wolitzer, argues the moot, ‘Crime doesn’t pay’. The debate is followed by presentation of the 2014 Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Crime Novel. Saturday 30 August, 8pm, Rydges Latimer.
WORD Christchurch presents a Schools Programme this year, with three sessions at St Margarets College, where children from all over Christchurch will travel to see a selection of international and local writers of novels and poetry, including an award-winning illustrator and a comics artist. Free event for all schools, book via admin@wordchristchurch.co.nz.
Australian philosopher Damon Young explores one of literatures most intimate relationships, that between writers and their gardens, at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens. Saturday 30 August, 10am, Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre.
New Zealand writer Elizabeth Knox, winner of the recent New Zealand Post Award for Young Adult Fiction, presents the inaugural Margaret Mahy Lecture, entitled ‘An Unreal House Filled with Real StormsSunday 31 August, 10am, Rydges Latimer.

Two superb Ngāi Tahu storytellers, Tā Tipene ORegan and Tahu Pōtiki, with chair Paulette Tamati-Elliffe, recount gripping and memorable tribal stories from creation myths to tūpuna tales, and contemporary stories from Kaikoura to Rakiura and from Hokitika to Horomaka in rero Pūrākau – Ngāi Tahu StorytellingSunday 31 August, 11.30am, Rydges Latimer.

WORD Christchurch Writers & Readers Festival warmly thanks its major funders The Press, Christchurch City Council, Creative New Zealand and Canterbury Community Trust; festival and session sponsors Duncan Cotterill, PwC, Te Runanga o Ngāi Tahu, New Zealand Institute of Architects, Beca, All Right?, Foodstuffs, Academy Funeral Services, Hawkesby & Co, Harcourts Gold, Heritage Management Services and Publica; our festival patrons and supporters, partners and supporting publishers.

It’s important to support minority interests… like rugby

Yet again it amazes me how when it comes to hugely popular and privately-supported sports event the public purse can always be relied upon to somehow find that extra $1,000,000 or so, but when it comes to hugely popular and privately-supported cultural events the public purse can’t find $30,000.

When sport is a success we fall over ourselves trying to give it money but when culture is a success we tell it to stand on its own two feet.

Seriously, it’s hard to believe that the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival only got $50,000 to start with. After all, it’s only the equivalent of 5 second rate All Black wedding photos sold to Women’s Day.

Some days I think this is the better option:


Words on a Small Island: Waiheke Book Festival 2011


Friday 4 – Sunday 6 November

Words on a Small Island The Waiheke Book Festival 2011


From outrageous red-head Peta Mathias with her new book Beat till Stiff, to legend Lloyd Jones in conversation with Finlay Macdonald. From Laurence Fearnley, winner of the 2011 New Zealand fiction award for The Hut Builder to acclaimed artist Euan Macleod with Gregory O’Brien and much more.

The Waiheke Book Festival utilises a variety of Waiheke’s intimate venues to match a wonderful mix of art, literature and entertainment.

Festival Highlights:

  • Friday Gala Art Gallery opening with acclaimed painter Euan Macleod, winner of three major Australian art prizes  &  his biographer and fellow artist  Gregory O’Brien, plus Warwick Broadhead at his best!
  • Saturday  Artworks Theatre – eminent writer Lloyd Jones,  2011  NZ fiction  winner Laurence Fearnley & master poet Jenny Bornholdt
  • Deck Chair readings at The Owhanake Barn – an enchanting relaxing afternoon of readings plus wine, strawberries  & the Waiheke French crepe  trailer will be there too!
  • Sunday Lunch with Peta Mathias plus Michael Smythe and his new book New Zealand by Design at Mudbrick Vineyard Restaurant
  • High Tea & Bubbles at The Boatshed with antiquarian rare books expert Anah Dunsheath, more literary words and seriously good finger food,  the nautical chic of Waiheke’s  designer hotel !

Catch the ferry to Waiheke for Words on a Small Island the Waiheke Book Festival, welcome the start of summer and make a weekend of it.

Earlybird bookings open now. visit www.WaihekeBookFestival.co.nz

Readers and Writers Festival

Auckland Readers and Writers Festival 2011The Auckland Readers and Writer’s Festival opens today!

It’s our annual festival of bookie goodness. There’s heaps of free events, so you’ve got no excuse not to head out and catch a few.

Are you heading along, oh bookish-Aucklanders on the internet? Which events are you planning on seeing? Tell us in the comments!


Cassandra Clare to Tour NZ in 2011

Cassandra ClareNew York Times best-selling author CASSANDRA CLARE will be touring NEW ZEALAND in May 2011!


Cassandra Clare – author of the best-selling series The Mortal Instruments – will be visiting the cities of Auckland and Wellington between the dates of 12-27 May 2011 and will be a guest author at Auckland Readers & Writers Festival.

Kiwi readers have rushed to embrace her books: City of Bones, City of Ashes and City of Glass, causing each release to break in to the top ten best-seller lists nationally. Cassandra’s legions of fans will be gearing up for the greatly-anticipated release of the fourth book in the sequence – CITY OF FALLEN ANGELS, which will be released shortly before her tour.

“I’m so excited to be heading to NZ in 2011!” enthuses Cassandra. “First off, I’ve never been there and I’ve always wanted to go. Secondly, I get the best fan mail from my New Zealand readers! They’re so articulate, thoughtful and enthusiastic about books! I’m literally counting the days till I’m on my way!”

Hollywood studios are also in negotiations to greenlight a movie series of The Mortal Instruments which is already hotly tipped to rival the phenomenon of the Harry Potter and Twilight movie franchises.

The cover of Book 4 City of Fallen Angels will be revealed to the world in December 2010.





By Cassandra Clare

Publishing worldwide 5 April 2011

Walker Books Australia


For further festival information and bookings please go to: