Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Writers Week Wellington NZ 2014

On Sunday last (9th March)  I went to David Hill’s writing seminar held at the ever-generous Children’s Bookshop at Kilbirnie. David is such a magnificent teacher and in the two hours we spent with him my iPad almost ran out of battery power due to all the notes I was tapping in it.

David gives his full attention to a student at the seminar
 Image Barbara Murison
It was a beautiful day so I spent some time after the seminar in the sun at Island Bay (too far to go back to Waikanae) just down the road from the bookshop but not just idling in the sun although that was tempting. I had an assessment with me and was inspired by the previous two hours to continue with the report.

6pm and several of the people who had been on the course arrived as well as about 200 writers, overseas and local, illustrators, editors as we celebrated the launch of Mary McAllum’s new book Dappled Annie and the Tigrish and applauded Kate de Goldi as she gave a speech of praise and thanks to Gecko Press who were behind the function. I was really delighted to be able to spend some time talking to Ulf Stark (Can you whistle Johanna?) 

                                                                                                             Kate de Goldi
Image Barbara Murison

A quick sleep, then back to Wellington for the NZ Book Council Lecture given by Eleanor Catton who in spite of only having 40 minutes sleep the night before and who had only put the finishing touches to her lecture half an hour before she was due to give it, was a lucid and confident speaker. 

Her lecture ended, we had about 20 minutes to get from the Embassy Theatre at Courtenay Place to the City Gallery to be present in the not-one-seat-left auditorium as Gavin Bishop gave his ‘state of the nation’ Janet Frame lecture.   It was one of those wonderful times where you felt the 40 minutes allocated was far too short and you could have gone on listening all evening. It was particularly warming for the many children’s illustrators (Adele Jackson, Fifi Colston amongst them) in the audience as Gavin spoke about the pleasures and problems so close to their hearts.

A group organized by the Wellington Children’s Book Association later went across the road to the Felix  Café where, over what I thought was a particularly  good meal, we were able to explore the ideas raised (and many others) in more detail.

And a word of praise to Kathryn Carmody, Programme Manager Writers Week  2014 – you did a superb job!


Now, it’s back to the computer where I will try to get some sort of routine into my life again. Since I moved up here to Waikanae (very pleasant it is too) 3 months ago, I have been planning routines – now is the time to live them.

Image of Kathryn Carmody - acknowledgements to Booksellers NZ

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