New hybrid format for 2020 NZ Young Writers Festival

By NZYWF | Posted: Tuesday September 15, 2020

· New programme format which blends in-person experiences with live-streaming

· Unique exploration of ekphrasis, the vivid verbal description of visual art, in childhood

· Topical discussions on genre and the media with writers Verity Johnson and Sam Brooks

· Line up of award-winning poets leading panels, performances, and workshops


Full Programme: click here
Images: click here


The New Zealand Young Writers Festival celebrates its sixth birthday this month with an innovative hybrid programme that combines live streamed and in-person events hosted in Dunedin, UNESCO City of Literature.

From 24-27 September, the free-to-attend festival will include a packed programme delving into poetry, plays and personal essays; comedy and culture; social media and ekphrasis.

Producer Gareth McMillan said the exciting new blended format offers the chance for the festival to reach even more young writers around the country and the world.

“We’re aiming to awhi all those digital natives out there that can’t make it to Dunedin in person. Hosting events online gives all the amazing young writers throughout Aotearoa the opportunity to engage with our super talented presenters, pātai, or contribute to the kōrero.”

What did all those monsters you drew as a child mean? In Juvenalia: Visions From Our Youth, writer, performer and theatre-maker Freya Daly-Sadgrove will lead a unique journey through our childhood memories in an ekphrastic exploration of art and artist.

Poetry features strongly in this year’s line up with National Slam Champion, poet and toast enthusiast Jordan Hamel leading a workshop on performance poetry. He will also join NZYWF writer in residence Rebecca Hawkes and poet essa may ranapiri, who was longlisted in the Ockham Awards 2020, and author Erik Kennedy, in a panel discussion of climate-conscious poetry. On Saturday night, festival attendees of all ages will have the chance to spit their own verses in the Otago Poetry Slam, MCd by Hamel.

Award-winning playwright Nathan Joe will be joined by some of the most exciting voices in the theatre world to talk about what it means to be a playwright in Aotearoa, before leading a workshop on how to fail in order to succeed.

The popularity of personal essays, and how to make them powerful, will be explored in a workshop led by Dominion Post columnist feature writer Verity Johnson, whileplaywright and culture editor for the Spinoff, Sam Brooks introduces audiences to navigating the modern media landscape.

Learn how to generate ideas with award-winning comedy writers Abby and Rosie Howells and discover the power of words in expressing identity with readings from writers who whakapapa Pasifika and Māori curated by writer, artist and Pantograph Punch editor Faith Wilson and poet essa may ranapiri.

Dunedin Zinefest offers the chance to discover creations from local poets, illustrators, artists, designers and zinesters – and the opportunity to get creative on your own zine – and writers aged 15-35 can try their hand at Flash Fiction with a 24-hour writing competition starting with a prompt to be announced the Festival Opening and online.

Registration required for workshops. Register here: www.youngwritersfest.nz/register


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