Books and reading change lives. Writers shape our culture. We spread the word.
Our mission is to champion the lifelong engagement of New Zealanders in reading, and to lead the promotion and nurturing of NZ writers, writing and books.
Book Council News
Join Italian historian and author Andrea di Robilant as he talks about his fascinating book Chasing the Rose: An Adventure in the Venetian Countryside in Wellington on February 26.
Andrea di Robilant will discuss his search for the identity of a mysterious old rose, a journey that took him through the Venetian Countryside and into some of the most exquisite rose gardens in Europe today.
The search to uncover the identity of the anonymous rose began when di Robilant’s description of a pink rose in his 2008 biography Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon led to an invitation to meet the doyenne of European roses, Sra. Eleonora Garlant. Could this unnamed rose possibly be the long-lost Rose Bichonne, a China rose that nineteenth-century growers cultivated but which had apparently disappeared since?
Andrea di Robilant was born in Italy and educated at Columbia University, where he specialised in international affairs. He is the author of three previous books, Venetian Navigators, A Venetian Affair and Lucia: A Venetian Life in the Age of Napoleon. He currently lives in Rome with his wife and two sons.
Andrea di Robilant in Wellington
Join Andrea di Robilant for his only Wellington appearance on Thursday 26 February at 6.30pm, Old St. Paul’s, 34 Mulgrave St. Wellington.
Tickets are $22 or $20 for HRNZI, NZRS and Book Council members. Purchase tickets online: www.bookcouncil.org.nz, or via the direct ticket link: http://bit.ly/1z7b3Fv
The event is presented by Heritage Roses New Zealand Incorporated and the New Zealand Book Council.
For further information, contact New Zealand Book Council Communications Managers, Rachel O’Neill Rachel@bookcouncil.org.nz or Catherine Cradwick CatherineC@bookcouncil.org.nz
Andrea di Robilant in Christchurch
Andrea di Robilant will also appear in Christchurch on Wednesday 25 February, 6.30pm at the Christchurch Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre. Take an optional guided tour of the Heritage Rose Garden at 4.30pm before settling in to listen to this marvellous storyteller. For further information and to book visit http://wordchristchurch.co.nz
The hunt for the Great Kiwi Classic returns in 2015 and New Zealand readers nationwide are invited to join our celebration of iconic Kiwi books by nominating their favourites.
Launched in 2014 by the New Zealand Book Council and Auckland Writers Festival, the Great Kiwi Classic initiative is an annual opportunity for readers of all ages and interests to celebrate our most treasured books and writers.
Last year Keri Hulme’s Booker Prize-winning novel The Bone People was selected as the inaugural Great Kiwi Classic after a wealth of public nominations. One year on, we are once again asking enthusiastic readers to help decide which book deserves to be crowned this year’s supreme title.
We want to hear what your most loved classic is and why. Your choice might be decades old or hot off the press, celebrated or obscure, a charming romantic romp or a piece of social commentary so searing it has ended friendships. Any book written by a Kiwi writer is in the running.
To nominate your Great Kiwi Classic and tell us why it’s the one, visit the Great Kiwi Classic Facebook page: www.facebook.com/GreatKiwiClassic, or email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nominations open Thursday 15 January and close 5pm Friday 13 February.
Throughout the campaign join us on Facebook for fresh debate, book giveaways, competitions and more. Nominate the same book you put forward last year, update your choice or join in the discussion. Follow the vote and read expert literary opinions on the New Zealand Book Council's online magazine Booknotes Unbound (http://booknotes-unbound.org.nz/).
After nominations close our panel will convene to consider nominations, with the big reveal of this year’s classic announced at the launch of the Auckland Writers Festival programme on Tuesday 17 March.
The Great Kiwi Classic 2015 will then be the subject of a lively event at the Festival in May, featuring top writers and experts in a book club style discussion where all views on the book and its claim to classic status will be entertained.
Spread the word and make your vote count in 2015. The hunt for the next Great Kiwi Classic is on!
For further information, contact New Zealand Book Council Chief Executive, Catriona Ferguson on 021 024 82637 or Catriona@bookcouncil.org.nz.
• The New Zealand Book Council and Auckland Writers Festival are running a search for the 2015 Great Kiwi Classic book.
• Nominations and comments are invited on the Great Kiwi Classic Facebook page www.facebook.com/GreatKiwiClassic or via email to email@example.com by 5pm, Friday 13 February.
• A celebration of iconic Kiwi books will take place during the hunt on Facebook and Booknotes Unbound (http://booknotes-unbound.org.nz/)
• A free panel event will be held as part of the Auckland Writers Festival in May to discuss and celebrate the selected 2015 Great Kiwi Classic.
• Great Kiwi Classic Facebook page: www.facebook.com/GreatKiwiClassic
• Great Kiwi Classic email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Auckland Writers Festival website: http://writersfestival.co.nz/
• New Zealand Book Council website: www.bookcouncil.org.nz
• Booknotes Unbound NZ literary magazine: http://booknotes-unbound.org.nz/
The New Zealand Book Council and Booktrack have teamed up with top Kiwi author Brian Falkner to pilot a new initiative for young authors to create soundtracks to e-books in the classroom.
Brian Falkner will visit Hobsonville Point Secondary School in Auckland on November 13 as part of the New Zealand Book Council’s Writers in Schools programme. He will lead students in creative writing and creating synchronised soundtracks to e-books and stories using Booktrack’s free education-focused platform, Booktrack Classroom. This auditory approach to reading is designed to inspire an immersive, more engaged experience for students. On the day, pupils will learn new writing techniques and then how to layer and mix dynamic audio effects and soundscapes that enhance written stories, bringing them to life visually, imaginatively and aurally.
Each year the New Zealand Book Council’s Writers in Schools programme connects more than 25,000 young New Zealand readers with New Zealand’s best writers in classrooms from the inner city to remote rural areas. Booktrack is a New Zealand company that has developed a revolutionary new digital platform to enable authors and readers to create synchronised, movie-style soundtracks that are automatically paced to match the story while you read.
“As New Zealand’s leading national reading charity we are dedicated to inspiring a love of reading because we know the difference it makes to young lives,” says New Zealand Book Council CEO Catriona Ferguson. “We are excited to see Brian Falkner use dynamic Booktrack technology to enthuse and extend young readers’ pleasure and skill in reading and writing.”
Booktrack has already proven it has the power to deepen reading comprehension and engagement. Recent research from the University of Auckland revealed that reading with Booktrack Classroom increased students’ reading time by 30% and comprehension by up to 17%. “It’s great to be able to team up with the New Zealand Book Council to share the Booktrack Classroom experience to engage young New Zealanders. We hope that this will help bring a whole new generation of youth back to the love of reading and creative writing,” says Booktrack CEO and co-founder Paul Cameron.
This is a pilot initiative and further Writers in Schools and Booktrack visits are planned, including an upcoming visit led by award-winning author Ted Dawe at Auckland Girls’ Grammar School on December 4.
For more information about the New Zealand Book Council and its Writers in Schools programme, please visit www.bookcouncil.org.nz. For further information about Booktrack, please visit www.booktrack.com.
For media enquiries, please contact:
CEO & co-founder, Booktrack
Phone: +64 21 321 256
Catriona Ferguson, New Zealand Book Council CEO
Phone: +64 4 801 5546
About the New Zealand Book Council
Books and reading change lives. Writers shape our culture. We spread the word.
Established in 1972, the New Zealand Book Council is the country’s leading national charity dedicated to supporting our reading and writing culture. Our mission is to champion the lifelong engagement of New Zealanders in reading, and to lead the promotion and nurturing of New Zealand writers, writing and books.
“Not only does the Book Council talk the talk, it walks the talk. I'm constantly amazed at the range of work it does for our books and writers. What would the industry do without it? One great activity it organises is for writers to go into schools. A real author in the classroom? You can't get better than that.’’ – Witi Ihimaera
Booktrack is transforming reading the way sound transformed silent film
Booktrack offers a new content creation and distribution platform that turns reading into an immersive movie-like experience. Booktrack’s patented technology lets anyone add a synchronized movie-style soundtrack to an e-book or other digital text content, with the soundtrack audio paced to each individual’s reading speed.
Funded by investors including Peter Thiel (co-founder and former CEO of PayPal), Booktrack will change the way people read, write, and publish their stories.
Writers, journalists, reviewers, editors, Ministers and MPs on their Books of the Year – and more – on our booklovers' hub, Booknotes Unbound.
On Sacred Cows & Literary Canons
Writer Jolisa Gracewood muses on the 'New Zealand literary canon' and what is a Great Kiwi Classic anyway?
Subscribe to our newsletter
Our newsletter features author insights, previews, giveaways, events, our news, and more. Read our latest newsletter here.