Dynamic New Zealand writers to feature at Edinburgh’s prestigious literary festival

New Zealand writers making waves at home and abroad will present their work and participate in the prestigious Edinburgh International Book Festival in August.
 
A new partnership between the festival, WORD Christchurch and Creative New Zealand has resulted in the talented line-up of New Zealand writers, all with acclaimed books, set to make an impression at the renowned literary event. 
 

The writers are award-winning and wildly popular Wellington poet Hera Lindsay Bird, critically acclaimed Auckland poet, playwright and fiction writer Courtenay Sina Meredith, and best-selling Wellington novelist, comic artist and blogger Sarah Laing. They will be accompanied by Rachael King, author and programme director of WORD Christchurch, who has worked with the festival to select the writers and curate their events.
 
Participation in the festival is part of the New Zealand at Edinburgh 2017 season which sees the return of a New Zealand season across the various Edinburgh festivals taking place in August. This follows an ambitious and successful presentation in 2014.
 
With the theme of Brave New Words, this year’s book festival programme features more than 1000 authors from 45 countries.   
 
Hera Lindsay Bird will appear with recent Ted Hughes prize-winner Hollie McNish in Poetry Superstars, and perform in a late night spoken word showcase. Courtney Sina Meredith will join a 21st Century Women panel, curated by guest selectors Roxane Gay and Jackie Kay. Meredith will also appear alongside Scottish poet and musician MacGillivray in Reshuffling the Pack.  Sarah Laing will host a reading workshop of Katherine Mansfield stories, as well as talk about her book Mansfield & Me alongside English comic creator Hannah Berry in Graphic Novels of Influential Women.

Rachael King will also appear in the children’s programme. 

'We are thrilled that the relationships developed during previous seasons have resulted in this new partnership. It will expose the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s audiences to new and talented voices from Aotearoa and provide a dynamic international networking opportunity for the writers,' said Creative New Zealand senior manager for international, Cath Cardiff. 

 
The festival expressed an interest in working with a local partner to bring New Zealand authors to its programme. This worked well with WORD Christchurch’s aspirations to engage more with international partners and to promote New Zealand literature overseas. 
 
“We are delighted to be working with WORD Christchurch this year and we are very much looking forward to welcoming some of New Zealand’s wonderful writers to the book festival in August,” said Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Nicky Barley. 
 
“It has been a pleasure to work with Edinburgh International Book Festival on programming New Zealand writers into some fantastic events that will showcase their talents and ensure maximum exposure for their work,” said Rachael King.  
 
The Edinburgh International Book Festival began in 1983 and is now a key event in the August festival season. It has grown rapidly in size and scope to become the largest and most dynamic festival of its kind in the world. In its first year the book festival hosted 30 events, now it programmes more than 800 events attracting around 220,000 visitors.
 
To support the writers to attend the festival Creative New Zealand has provided $20,000 towards airfares, accommodation and administration costs.
 
ENDS