Book events and opportunities for writers calendar

Our calendar is full of book events and opportunities for writers organised by bookish groups throughout Aotearoa. Whether it’s a festival, book launch, award, grant, poetry reading or live storytelling event, never miss a book event or writers' opportunity in your community again!

Add your event or opportunity


Lunchtime Event - Dear Oliver by Peter Wells

Peter Wells discusses 'Dear Oliver' with Unity Books manager Tilly Lloyd

Writing Garlands of Stories

In this workshop with acclaimed Samoan writer Sia Figiel, the physical and metaphysical merge as the ancient Samoan concept of su’ifefiloi, or sewing of garlands is used to bridge oral storytelling to the act of creative writing.

Create Your Book Workshop for children!

A fun, crafty activity children will love. Free event. Booking recommended.
Register at: [email protected]

5-day Workshop with Gavin Bishop

An exceptional opportunity for an in-depth workshop with one of NZ's most successful children's authors.
All details at

Inside.Out Open Mic for Writers

Inside.Out Open Mic (est. 2012) is a popular monthly event where writers can read their work - poetry, flash, fiction, short story, creative non-fiction, performance poetry etc- at the open mic for up to 5 or 6 mins. There are excellent music guests each time, and word challenges with randomly-awarded chocolate bars and books. Simply add your name to the open mic sheet when you arrive. Everyone is welcome, to read or as audience.

Launch - Kate Duignan 'The New Ships'

Join Unity Books & Victoria University Press for the launch of Kate Duignan's new novel 'The New Ships'.

An Evening With Sia Figiel

Join internationally acclaimed Samoan writer Sia Figiel for a reading from her long awaited new novel Freelove, followed by questions and book signing.

Plant the Seed creative writing retreat with Dr Jesse Blackadder

A creative writing retreat from 11-14 May 2018 with award-winning Australian novelist Jesse Blackadder focused on transforming the essence of a fact (whether it be something in your own life, or a moment in history) into a compelling narrative.

Creative Conversations

Poet Therese Lloyd presenting her new book, The Facts, and art critic Anthony Byrt in conversation with gallery director Scott Lawrie

4th Annual Featherston Booktown 11-13 May

A Book Town is a small rural town or village, close to major cities, in which second-hand and antiquarian bookshops are concentrated. Most Book Towns have developed in villages of historic interest or of scenic beauty. Their residents set up events around books - selling them, writing, reading, illustrating, printing, making and publishing them.

Book Launch for Go Girl: A Storybook of Epic NZ Women by Barbara Else

Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival invites you to the launch of
Go Girl: A Storybook of Epic NZ Women by Barbara Else

Auckland Writers Festival 2018

Every year AWF stage over 180 public events, gathering together 200 of the world’s best writers and thinkers with over 28,000 Festival goers and up to 6,000 young people to celebrate the world of books and ideas.

2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards ceremony

A glittering ceremony to honour the finalists and announce the winners of the 2018 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.

Nelson Live Poets

The next Nelson Live Poets session will take place on Tuesday May 15th at The On Inn, 335 Trafalgar Square East, at 7 30pm. Bring a poem to share or just enjoy the show. Singer songwriters are also welcome. To take part, simply sign up on the night. Koha entry.

Burn Notice: A workshop with Terese Svoboda

Good political poems are nearly as hard to write as a love poem, but passion fuels them both. Join Terese Svoboda in this one-day workshop as part of her visit to Aotearoa.

Awards Ceremony for the inaugural Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel

The Michael Gifkins Prize for an Unpublished Novel was made possible by generous sponsorship from Ann Hatherly and Andre Gifkins, partner and son of the late Michael Gifkins, and Text Publishing. It pays tribute to the support and encouragement Michael Gifkins gave to New Zealand writers throughout his career. The award gives the winning author a $10,000 advance and a publishing contract. The competition is open to previously published authors and new writers who are New Zealand citizens or permanent residents, and is administered by the New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc).

Out of almost 200 entries, three outstanding manuscripts have been chosen for the 2018 shortlist:
When Curlews Call by H. E. Crampton (Cairns and Nelson)
Caught Between by Jeannie McLean (Auckland)
Slaughter Weight by Ruby Porter (Auckland
This event, held as part of the Auckland Writers Festival, announces the winner.

OneTree House celebration

OneTree House launched in 2017 as a new children's publisher in New Zealand, and has a programme of 43 titles for 2018.
In March they won the BOP Bologna Prize for Best Children's Publisher - Oceania. This event celebrates that success and toasts the first 9 books released and all 2018 inaugural authors.

Book Night 2018

A fun nationwide reading event for people of all ages

Deadline for National Poetry Day event registration/seeding funding applications

Final day to submit for funding or to register to hold your own Phantom Billstickers Poetry Day event. Last year’s packed programme featured nearly 120 dynamic events, workshops and competitions, featuring acclaimed poets, new voices, young writers, and poetry enthusiasts.

Bob Dylan's Birthday Open Mic with Monty Bevins at Golden Bay Live Poets

Golden Bay Live Poets is celebrating Bob Dylan's birthday at the Mussel Inn with the help of Nelson musician Monty Bevins.

Sia Figiel's FREELOVE Book Launch

Celebrate the NZ launch of Freelove (2018 revised edition) with award winning author, Sia Figiel.

Closed to Public

Alex Ross with Bianca Andrew & STROMA

Literature and music come together in this unique concert.

Blue Dragon Book Fair

The annual Blue Dragon Book Fair is a very popular fundraising event for the Blue Dragon Children's Centre in Vietnam to support its work in providing education and training for kids in crisis in Vietnam.

Turning the Page: NZSA Auckland Branch AGM workshops

The New Zealand Society of Authors Te Puni Kaituhi o Aotearoa is holding its AGM in Auckland this year, Saturday May 26 10am. The Auckland Branch is hosting this year and has prepared a series of workshops on various aspects of the writing craft for the afternoon.

The Expatriates – Martin Edmond in conversation with Jane Parkin

Martin Edmond will read from The Expatriates at Wellington City Gallery, 6pm Monday 28 May. Following the reading, Martin Edmond and editor Jane Parkin will discuss the multiple worlds of ‘home’ and ‘away’ explored in The Expatriates.

Winter Eyes Poetry Reading

A poetry reading to celebrate the release of Winter Eyes by Harry Ricketts.