Enticing literary lineup for festival
A record 14 sessions and a new concession card are features of the readers and writers festival in October. Naomi Arnold reports:
Fans of books and authors will have a variety to choose from at the Page and Blackmore Readers and Writers Festival during the Nelson Arts Festival in October.
The festival is a popular adjunct to the arts festival, with authors, media and publishing types holding forth in the Founders Park Granary over three successive weekends, as well as a poetry session at Woollaston Estates.
With 60 New Zealand authors away from New Zealand at the Frankfurt Book Fair this October, co-ordinator Jacquetta Bell says the programme is much more varied than usual.
New this year is the introduction of a Readers and Writers concession card. A one-off payment of $60 gets you into all sessions or admits a book club to one event.
An all-time high of 14 sessions makes up the programme.
The first session on October 13 sees lawyer turned writer Peter Graham discussing his book So Brilliantly Clever, which was a finalist in the 2012 New Zealand Post Book Awards. It revisits the crime, the trial, and the fate of teenage murderers Juliet Hulme and Pauline Parker, as well as delving into their present-day lives.
Later that day, broadcaster, entertainer, and author Max Cryer will hold forth on the origins of popular everyday terms such as "flat stick", "G-string", "draw a line in the sand", "dishy", and "bulldozer", drawing from his new book Curious English Words and Phrases.
Another change to this year's festival is the inclusion of two versions of the perennially popular Thinking Brunch. The first is on October 14. It will discuss the place of print in our future lives, with a variety of panellists from the writing and publishing worlds. A session with raunchy romance writer Leigh Marsden follows. This former speech therapist from Geraldine is the author of Scarlet - the most sexually explicit book her publisher, Penguin, has ever had on their local list - as well as Crush, her latest release.
The following Saturday, October 20, sees North Canterbury author Jane Buxton discussing her children's book Harry's Hair and Other Stories, in a kid-friendly session with all tickets $5. Afterward, Owen Marshall will speak about his latest work The Larnachs, a blend of fiction and historical fact which details a passionate love scandal that rocked Dunedin in the late 19th century. Science broadcaster Veronika Meduna will discuss the science of Antarctica in an illustrated session with Gillian Wratt, former chief executive of Cawthron Institute and Antarctica New Zealand.
Sunday sees the second incarnation of The Thinking Brunch, in which a range of panellists will discuss the dire state of our environment. Gardening writer Lynda Hallinan will follow, sharing a year of her gardening exploits detailed in new country gardening book Back to the Land.
The following Monday sees a shift to Woollaston Estates for Poetry in the Vineyard, with Christchurch writer Fiona Farrell discussing her new work The Broken Book, which emerged from the aftermath of the earthquakes.
Friday, October 26, sees cartoonists Matt Lawrey and Peter Lole discussing their internationally successful cartoon The Little Things, which began in Nelson and will be released as a book this month.
The next morning sees Kiwi icons Jools and Lynda Topp performing songs and stories from their second children's book and CD, Do Your Ears Hang Low, a follow-up from last October's There's a Hole in My Bucket. Denniston Rose and Skylark author Jenny Pattrick discusses historic fiction in the next session, and the entire festival is rounded off by writer Bruce Ansley and photographer Peter Bush, whose book A Fabled Land - Mesopotamia Station details the Prouting family's 150-year history of Mid-Canterbury station life.
FREE PASSES FOR READERS
Win with The Nelson Mail. One reader will win a concession pass to all 14 shows, and a pack of books including Curious English Words and Phrases by Max Cryer; Crush, by Leigh Marsden; So Brilliantly Clever, by Peter Graham; and Collecting Cooper, by Paul Cleave.
Nine other winners will receive a double pass to one of Leigh Marsden, Veronika Meduna, Peter Graham, Bruce Ansley and Peter Bush, Owen Marshall, Max Cryer, Fiona Farrell, Jenny Pattrick, or Lynda Hallinan's sessions.
To enter, write your name, address, daytime phone number and preferred session on the back of an envelope and post to Readers and Writers Festival Giveaway, Nelson Mail, PO Box 244, Nelson, to reach us by 5pm August 27.
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