Musings from writers

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By PHILIP CHANDLER

Tickets are now on sale for the second Queenstown Writers Festival.

Running from November 5 to 8, it’s full of literary celebrities like Dame Fiona
Kidman, Wihi Ihimaera, Tom Scott, Becky Manawatu, who won ‘best first book of fiction’ at this year’s Ockham New Zealand Book Awards, and musician/author Shayne Carter, who won the non-fiction prize at these awards.

Festival chair Tanya Surrey says an excellent turnout for last year’s inaugural event ‘‘motivated us to continue with a second festival’’.

‘‘Obviously there were concerns about whether it could go ahead in light of Covid, but we decided to proceed — we’d actually confirmed a number of these speakers before the lockdown.

‘‘We are hoping to bring audience members in from outside Queenstown and grow the audience.

‘‘We’ve been really lucky with sponsorship and funding from community grants and the council’s events fund, as well.’’

Surrey says ‘‘we’ve got more events this year, and perhaps a bigger range of genres’’.

Genres include non-fiction, fiction, poetry, children’s writing, crime fiction and historical fiction.

The only local guest writer is Emma Timmis, who’s launching her first book for children, The Girl Who Ran Across Africa.

On the first day, Creative Queenstown’s supporting a poetry session with NZ poet laureate David Eggleton, Steve Thomas, Richard Wallis and local poets.

There’ll also be workshops for memoir writing and poetry writing.

The main venues are Sherwood and Queenstown Contemporary gallery.

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