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Queenstown Writers Festival: Tickets just Released

Queenstown Writers Festival 2019 8 of 32

Queenstown Writers Festival:  Tickets just Released

Some of New Zealand’s best writers are giving their support to this year’s Queenstown Writers Festival.

Literary superstars Dame Fiona Kidman and Witi Ihimaera will be joined by cartoonist/writer Tom Scott and Ockham New Zealand Book Award winner Becky Manawatu for the four-day event, which will be held in Queenstown from 5-8 November, 2020.

Festival Chairperson Tanya Surrey says the trustees are thrilled to present their second festival after the success of the inaugural event last November and are sure the line-up will resonate with festival-goers.
“Dame Fiona and Witi Ihimaera’s works are literary taonga. Tom Scott has excelled across many genres from cartooning to playwriting and Becky Manawatu is one of our most exciting new authors.”

“It’s a privilege to be able to bring writers of this calibre to Queenstown to share their stories with local audiences.”

Despite the challenges of presenting a festival against the backdrop of COVID- 19, the trustees committed to continue with the event. Calling it a celebration of words and writing, Ms Surrey said it’s hoped the festival will cement itself in the district’s cultural calendar.

The Festival includes workshops on poetry and memoir writing alongside with sessions on crime writing, historical fiction, music with a talk by Shayne Carter and the launch of Emma Timmis’ children’s book, The Girl Who Ran Across Africa.

Another programme highlight will be ‘Say it with Flowers’, where local poets will perform with poet and performer Steve Thomas and Poet Laureate, David Eggleton. This year has also seen the introduction of a short story competition which attracted over 100 entries in three categories. The Festival will take place across three venues – Sherwood, Queenstown Contemporary Gallery and Yonder.

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Author Information
Tom Scott is one of New Zealand’s leading writers and illustrators. Famous for his weekly column and cartoon on politics in the 1970s and 1980s, he has won numerous awards. He also co-wrote the script for the film Footrot Flats: The Dog’s Tale with Murray Ball. His play The Daylight Atheist, about his father, has been a critical and commercial success. Tom’s most recent book Searching for Charlie explores the life of decorated war hero, Charles Upham, VC.

Witi Ihimaera was born in Gisborne of Maori descent. He is a novelist, short fiction writer, playwright, filmmaker and editor. Witi Ihimaera was the first Maori to publish a novel published. Witi’s memoirs, Maori Boy and Native Son have been published in recent years. Navigating the Stars, his latest book, non-fiction, comes out this year.

Dame Fiona Kidman is one of New Zealand’s most celebrated writers, having written over 30 books, including novels, short stories and poetry, and more than 60 television, film and radio scripts. She was created a Dame (DNZM) in 1998 in recognition of her contribution to literature. Her latest book “All The Way to Summer” was published in 2020 to mark her 80th birthday.

Becky Manawatu (Ngāi Tahu/Pākehā) is a West Coast writer, living in Waimangaroa. Her first novel, Auē, won the Jann Medicott Acorn Prize for Fiction and the Hubert Church Prize for a best first book of fiction at the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards in this year.