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Book Council News
On Friday 8th of May children across Otago and Southland will be rising early to reach the Dunedin City Library in time to take part in the New Zealand Book Council’s Speed Date an Author programme. The event will run from 9.30am to 1.00pm, and feature creative writing workshops from four of New Zealand’s top children’s authors, poets and rising illustrators.
Each writer will present four fast-paced sessions of thirty minutes each to rotating groups of school children. The sessions are intended to give the young writers and illustrators a boost by developing their skills, and perhaps more importantly, by encouraging them to find their unique voices through the intensive tuition they receive.
The event, a well-established feature of the Dunedin City Library, is this year being organised as part of the Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival. In the past the event has proved enormously popular, with students and teachers travelling from as far afield as Palmerston and Queenstown to attend. This year is no exception; Dunedin schools will be joined by children from Balclutha and the Catlins, as well as students from the far-flung Barton Rural School near Timaru.
It will be the first time the workshops have been designed to include upper-primary and intermediate pupils, as well as early secondary school students, and the writers have been selected to represent the age group.
Two highly acclaimed children’s authors will be present. Kyle Mewburn is a staple of contemporary New Zealand children’s literature, and current president of the New Zealand Society of Authors. His many stories, such as Kiss! Kiss! Yuk! Yuk! and Old Huhu, have won numerous accolades at the NZ Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, and many children will be familiar with his books. Alongside him will be professional story-teller Tanya Batt, who will undertake her own epic journey from Waiheke Island to be part of the sessions. Her enigmatic and energetic presence is set to be a stand-out for the students.
Not confined solely to children’s literature, the event will also feature poet and 2015 Robert Burns Fellow, Louise Wallace. The young poet has received considerable praise for her two collections of poetry, Since June and Enough. Also in attendance is Spencer Hall, a talented and self-published comic book author, sculptor, and radio host. He is the co-founder of the Dunedin Comic Collective, a zine imprint dedicated to showcasing upcoming local comic artists in the Otago region.
The sessions are expected to be extremely rewarding for the writers and illustrators involved, and will give them the opportunity to connect with the next generation of talent. It is hoped that the students who attend are left inspired, motivated, and most importantly, ready to write.
For more information or interviews:
Programmes Manager, New Zealand Book Council
Phone: (04) 801 5546 / 0212712333
The New Zealand Book Council is enhancing its support of the country’s reading and writing culture with a new monthly podcast.
Talking Books will dissect both the latest releases and enduring classics, with input from New Zealand’s top writers, journalists, academics and newsmakers. With a primary focus on New Zealand writing and writers, the podcasts will provide an important addition to the national arts discussion.
'At a time when support for the literary arts in New Zealand is in flux, it’s vital we find new ways to spread the word about the joy of reading and promote New Zealand writers,' said Book Council Chief Executive Catriona Ferguson.
'Our series of podcasts provides an opportunity to hear smart people talking about great books – and will hopefully foster not only a new listening habit, but encourage more diverse reading habits as well.'
The first edition of Talking Books – available on the Booknotes Unbound website and coming soon to iTunes – is hosted by novelist Catherine Robertson, and features writer Rachel O’Neill, author Pip Adam and book critic Guy Somerset. Catherine and her guests explore the unlikely links between two hot New Zealand releases, The Chimes by Anna Smaill and Five Minutes Alone by Paul Cleave.
The second edition of the podcast will focus on this year’s nominated Great Kiwi Classic, Janet Frame’s debut novel Owls Do Cry. Novelist Paula Morris will lead a spirited debate on the book’s claim to classic status with poet Selina Tusitala Marsh and reviewer, editor and poet Iain Sharp.
Talking Books will be uploaded monthly to the Booknotes Unbound website: http://booknotes-unbound.org.nz/ The Book Council is grateful to Copyright Licensing New Zealand for its support in making this new podcast series possible through the CLNZ Contestable Fund.
Listen to Talking Books podcast #1: http://bit.ly/1GHkBhj
The Ngaio Marsh Award, in association with the New Zealand Book Council, invites booklovers to a thrilling event featuring three talented local writers.
Crime fiction has evolved from puzzling whodunits to the modern social novel. But how do writers balance insights into issues – like the corruption that speckles human history – with delivering page-turning entertainment?
Ben Atkins, Dinah Holman, and Ben Sanders discuss how they explore real-life themes via fictional tales, the life of an author, and why they love crime fiction. Craig Sisterson directs traffic and provides spoiler warnings.
WHEN: Wednesday, 6 May 2015
WHERE: Takapuna Library, 9 The Strand
WHEN: 6pm for light refreshments, 6.30pm panel discussion
Entry: $5 public, $3 for Friends of the Library
RSVP: Helen Woodhouse, (09) 890 4903 or email@example.com
Ben Atkins’ Drowning City has been hailed as an “extraordinary debut” (North & South) and “thoughtful, evocative, unsettling” (The Dominion Post).
Dinah Holman’s A History of Crime: The Southern Double-Cross is an “ingenious first novel” delving into Victorian-era New Zealand (Radio NZ)
Ben Sanders is a #1 New Zealand fiction bestseller whose upcoming thriller, American Blood, has been optioned for film adaptation by Warner Bros.
NZ Book Council Talking Books podcast #1
Listen to Catherine Robertson, Rachel O’Neill, Pip Adam and Guy Somerset discuss Anna Smaill's The Chimes and Paul Cleave's Five Minutes Alone.
The Hiding Places: An interview with Catherine Robertson
We ask Catherine Robertson about her fourth novel The Hiding Places, which launches her writing into new and darker territory.
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