Writers & Readers Festival features NZ’s top talent

By ODT | Posted: Wednesday May 5, 2021

Curating a festival during a global pandemic would be tough for anyone, but it is a challenge Hannah Molloy has embraced.

Tomorrow marks the beginning of the Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival, the first with Ms Molloy at the helm.

Literary buffs will be able to check out workshops and presentations featuring a host of New Zealand’s top writing talent, including Witi Ihimaera, Becky Manawatu, Catherine Chidgey, and Steve Braunias.

Topics went from true crime capers to historical fiction.

Ms Molloy said excited guests already had their bags packed, jerseys included.

Two events had already sold out, despite Dunedin’s reputation for people buying tickets at the last minute.

She expected all of the workshops to sell out by the time they came around.

This year’s festival featured an entirely New Zealand line-up, something Ms Molloy was very happy about.

"It was a real privilege for me, for my first festival, to be curating it from just New Zealand writers.

"It’s an incredible range of people and different genres of writing."

The festival will begin tomorrow night with a school programme, "Nga Kete Matauranga Maori Scholars at the Research Interface", and a gala showcase examining the issue of "What Does The Future Hold?"

It will run until Sunday, when author Elizabeth Knox will speak on the topic of "Placing Fantasy Inside the Real World".


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