Marlborough Book Festival 'True Stories Told Live' pre-event sells out

Award-winning author and playwright Greg McGee.

Award-winning author and playwright Greg McGee.

An event where five well-known New Zealand authors share stories about their lives has sold out, book festival organisers say. 

Marlborough Book Festival organiser Sonia O'Regan said there were no tickets left to the "True Stories Told Live" talk, where authors linked a random topic into events in their own lives.  

"True Stories" featured book festival authors Kate De Goldi, Charlotte Grimshaw and Greg McGee, as well as children's authors and illustrators Gavin Bishop and Donovan Bixley. 

They were the same authors in the "Words on Wheels" event, which would travel to Marlborough Girls' College the day before the book festival. 

* Marlborough Book Festival brings storytellers together 
Witi Ihimaera, Charlotte Grimshaw and Bill Manhire on board for the Marlborough Book Festival
Crowds captivated at Marlborough Book Festival 

"Words on Wheels" was organised by the New Zealand Book Council, and "True Stories Told Live" was organised by the festival and Boathouse Theatre in conjunction with the book council. 

"Words on Wheel" allowed children from around the district to meet the authors.

It was good to be able to have a similar event open to the general public, O'Regan said. 

O'Regan said the authors would speak off the cuff about a topic for 10 minutes. 

The event was based on a storytelling podcast called "The Moth", O'Regan said.  

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"The Moth" featured stories which were true and told live. 

It was exciting to think the book festival was only two weeks away, O'Regan said. 

"It's all ready to go," she said. 

Tickets to hear Witi Ihimaera had sold out and other book festival talks, such as talks from Kate De Goldi and journalist Steve Braunias, were also selling quickly, O'Regan said.

There was still room for the "Antarctica Panel" where Steve Braunias, poet Bill Manhire and photographer Jane Ussher would be interviewed by journalist Mike White about their experiences in Antarctica. 

She would recommend the "Antarctica Panel" to anyone with teenage children, because she thought it would be fascinating for them, O'Regan said. 

O'Regan said there was a good balance of themes in the book festival, and there were talks which would appeal to people who did not consider themselves "bookish". 

Author Rachael King wrote about collections, and one of her books focused on a character who collected tattoos. 

"I know there are lots of people in Marlborough fascinated by tattoos," O'Regan said. 

The "Wild New Zealand" talk would appeal to people who were "quite outdoorsy", she said. 

Kate De Goldi was also interesting not only as an author, but as a literary advocate. 

There were still tickets on sale for the "Coastal Collaborators Cruise" with author Bruce Ansley and photographer Jane Ussher. 

A talk from Marlborough vets Peter Jerram and Pete Anderson would be "hilarious", O'Regan said. 

 - The Marlborough Express


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