Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival 2021 highlights

The Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival returns to Ōtepoti this week, bringing a smorgasbord of literary talent from around New Zealand to our UNESCO City of Literature.

We’re delighted to be showcasing writers exclusively from Aotearoa. We’re celebrating the words, stories, ideas, and dreams that form the books we love and that take us inside the very interesting minds of our stellar writers.

Our guests will serve up perspectives and insights on a range of topics that will satisfy readers from all walks of life.

Tickets available from www.dunedinwritersfestival.co.nz



What Does the Future Hold? - Gala Showcase

  • David Eggleton, Jillian Sullivan, Becky Manawatu, Nalini Sigh, Derek Morrison, and Nainga Tapiata will picture the future and share their interpretation of what might come next. Hosted by Vanda Symon.
  • 7.30pm, Thursday 6 May (tickets includes a drink and nibbles on arrival)


For the lovers of romance
Crossing Genres

  • The New York Times' bestselling author Nalini Singh in conversation with Kirby-Jane Hallum about how and why she has crossed genres, and her three most recent releases: Alpha Night, Archangel’s Sun, and Quiet in Her Bones.
  • 2pm, Friday 7 May


Writing Romance in the 21st Century

  • This session will unpick why romance writing matters in 2021. Chair Susan Sims will discuss the ongoing appeal of romance novels and what success looks like to writers of this billion-dollar genre Nalini Singh, Steff Green, and Jayne Castel.
  • 4.30pm, Saturday 8 May

To provoke thought
Woman, Past & Present – What do They Have to Tell Us About the Future

  • Vanda Symon, Steff Green, Hannah Parry, and Angela Wanhalla will talk about women who’ve come before and those who are here now, and the footprints they’ve laid for our future. Hosted by Majella Cullinane.
  • 7pm, Friday 7 May

Politics of Poetry

  • David Eggleton, Jessica Thompson Carr, and Fiona Farrell will share perspectives on the politics inherent in poetry. Chaired by Emma Neale, they will examine the way poetry enables debate, and how it can subvert and challenge societal views to effect change.
  • 2.30pm, Sunday 9 May


Decolonisation – Activating Allies

  • Rebecca Kiddle and Amanda Thomas, contributing writers for Imagining Decolonisation, will discuss with Mihiata Pirini why decolonisation is beneficial to everyone, and who is, and who should be, doing the mahi.
  • 1pm, Sunday 9 May


About place
Rivers, Riptides & Roads

  • From sprawling braided riverbeds to exhilarating surf breaks, Aotearoa is both an angler's paradise and a surfer's dream. Dougal Rillstone and Derek Morrison will sit down with fellow explorer Bruce Ansley to talk about their sense of self in remote and wild places.
  • 3pm, Saturday 8 May

Placing Fantasy Inside the Real World

  • Elizabeth Knox, acclaimed author of many novels, including The Vintner’s Luck and, most recently, The Absolute Book, will unpick the meanings and implications, the whys and wherefores, of placing a ‘fantasy’ world inside the ‘real’ world, with Hannah Parry.
  • 4pm, Sunday 9 May

Plus nine free events!

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