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Events & Exhibitions

Readers and Writers Festival – Akaroa


Akaroa Community Arts Council has launched its inaugural Readers and Writers Festival to be held at the Gaiety Theatre in Akaroa over the weekend of the 10th and 11th of June.

The festival – in association with the NZ Society of Authors – has some of Aotearoa’s finest writers attending and promises to be a weekend of all things local and literary.

Organiser Marie Conolly says the festival came out of successful workshops held in the Peninsula town in 2021 and 2022.

“We had Owen Marshall and Carl Nixon here doing workshops and it really grew out of that,” says Marie. “We only really began work on it this year and started putting a programme in place that would suit readers and writers both.”

And it’s looking pretty impressive with the likes of Owen Marshall, Fiona Farrell, Victor Rodger, Gavin Bishop, and  Vanda Symon amongst others on the bill.

The festival has local writers attending and will also launch ‘Fantabulous Fables’ a book the Akaroa Community Arts Council is publishing.

“The book came out of Owen Marshall’s workshop he did here in 2021,” says Marie. “In the workshop participants were encouraged to write short stories based on fairy tales and nursery rhymes and what emerged was spectacular. We have a local artist who has illustrated it and the stories are located in Akaroa surrounds.”

Marie says the variety of authors attending will be a huge drawcard for attendees.

“For me personally, I’m very keen to see Gavin Bishop and Vanda Symon – simply because I’m working on a children’s book and have also finished a crime manuscript myself, so to have these two writers at the festival is brilliant for me. But all the writers that will be present are wonderful – so I can’t choose just one session!”

Earlybird cost for registration is $170 for the weekend (There are no individual sessions) and Earlybird tickets close on April 2.


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