Wellington’s 2014 Arts Festival has been in full swing since early February, with a brilliant array of fringe acts, theatre and Shakespeare performances on islands, in the botanic gardens and probably in many corners of Wellington that I’m not aware of. As a veteran of Edinburgh’s prestigious fringe festival, it’s great to experience Arts events without the manic promotion fever: every time I think of it, I remember the desperate plying of flyers at every step. Wellington proves, once again, that its chilled attitude will weather all events and just makes everything, well, that bit cooler.
And so we’re approaching Writer’s Week (Friday 7th to Wednesday 12th March) that will feature some brilliant speakers and events that will suit the tastes of every bibliophile out there. Man Booker Prize winner, and generally awesome kiwi author, Elizabeth Catton will be reading extracts of her work under the stars at Carter Observatory. She will be discussing the role of ‘change’ in fiction at a New Zealand Book Council Lecture, as well as joining a panel debate about the role of the editor in fiction.
Other lecture highlights include political cartoonist and cult legend, Alison Bechdel, the author of Schindler’s List, Tony Birch, and Eat, Pray, Love icon, Elizabeth Gilbert. Along with great personalities in attendance, there’s a vast array of topics, in and out of literature, that are being discussed, from digital publishing, translation and religion in the 21st Century, to comics, design and financial crime. Ideas for holistic approaches to reading are also on offer: learn how to become more discerning about what you read from New Zealand literary expert, Graham Beattie, or have an ‘immersive reading experience’ at The Quiet Volume.
As far as brain food goes, the range and intelligence of the line up at the Wellington Writer’s Week definitely promises a feast. I’ll be covering highlights from the week and rounding up books to look out for from attendees over the next few months.
For the full line-up and ticket information visit: http://festival.co.nz/writers-week/