Young Writers festival returns

The New Zealand Young Writers Festival has returned to Dunedin for its fourth year, and director Gareth McMillan says it is gathering steam, and national recognition.

The festival opened yesterday and will continue until Sunday.

Mr McMillan said one highlight this year would be a visit from Winnie Dunn, Shirley Le and Phoebe Grainer of Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement.

Sweatshop is a movement devoted to empowering groups and individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds through training and employment in creative and critical writing initiatives.

In Dunedin the three would perform work and run workshops focused on empowerment through the written word.

Mr McMillan said they were "articulate and really passionate about speaking for their communities".

The festival also had a strong Pasifika component.

While the target demographic for the festival was the 15 to 35 age group, Mr McMillan said it was not exclusive to that group.

The festival, which was being podcast by Otago Access Radio, was gaining more national recognition as it went on, and was "starting to make inroads".

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