A novel idea

Members of the Queenstown Writers and Readers Festival Charitable Trust, from left, Bethany Rogers, Emma Lange, Hamish McDonald, Tanya Surrey, and Chris Fitzpatrick

Bibliophiles, rejoice.

The written word, in all its many forms, will be at the heart of a new festival making its debut in Queenstown in November.

The Queenstown Writers Festival is the brainchild of a group of resort book-lovers, led by local lawyer Tanya Surrey.

The idea first came about around 18 months ago, she says.

“We thought it would be a valuable addition to the cultural calendar.”

This year’s event will be a pilot, with the hope of expanding it into an annual festival. There’ll be a mix of workshops and speakers, including poet Liz Breslin, author Maxine Alterio, and children’s author Jane Bloomfield.

“The idea is to showcase New Zealand writers, and give the Queenstown community an opportunity to hear these people talk about their life and work.

“We want to inspire aspiring writers.”

They’re also hoping to have a poetry evening, she says. The full programme will go live, and tickets will go on sale, at the end of this month.

The festival is at the Sherwood and Altitude Brewing, on November 9 and 10.