Radio New Zealand: Writers and Readers Festivals

This page lists items from RNZ that are identified as "Writers and Readers Festivals". RNZ didn't start regularly putting both its audio and news content online until 2008. From 2002-2007 written news items (particularly from RNZ International) were placed online. You can access these items, plus the vast audio collecton from the mid-2000s onwards by using the day schedule pages. You can access items prior to 2002 on the historic page.

28/02/2007: World War II in fiction and non-fiction
The final programme in the coverage of the Press Christchurch Writers' Festival session brings together four writers who have taken very different approaches towards representing the Second World War: Patrica Grace, Markus Zusak, Julian Novitz, and Alison Parr. Is fiction or non-fiction better at capturing the immediacy and intensity of armed conflict? The session's chaired by Alan Marriott. [more]

28/02/2007: Writing for Young Adults
Chaired by Kate de Goldi, this session brings together the celebrated New Zealand writer Margaret Mahy and Australian writer Marcus Zusak, discussing a wide range of issues about writing for older children and young adults. Margaret Mahy is undoubtedly one of the world's leading and most gifted writers of the difficult genre of books for young adults. In this panel discussion recorded at the Press Christchurch Writers' Festival in September 2006 she talks about issues which affect her work as a writer with Australian author Markus Zusak. His books for children and young adults have been published and critically-acclaimed worldwide. His latest work and first adult novel, The Book Thief was shortlisted for four literary awards and won the 2006 Kathleen Mitchell Award. [more]

28/02/2007: The rise of historical fiction
This session brings together the New Zealand writers Rachael King, and Philip Temple, and British writer Emma Darwin to talk about why we can't get enough of historical fiction. Barbara Larson from the New Zealand publication house Longacre Press is in the chair. [more]

28/02/2007: A Novel way to make a living
Chair Owen Marshall brings together a group of writers to discuss how they make their living from writing long-form fiction. The panellists discussing the business of writing novels are Emily Perkins, Stuart McLean, Paula Morris, and Glen Duncan. [more]

28/02/2007: Telling True Stories
If writing fiction is the art of the possible, then writing non-fiction can be seen as the seen as the art of the probable There seems to be an almost insatiable demand for our non-fiction to be served up in an enticing and satisfying way and Ken Haley, journalist and author of Emails From the Edge, along with Anna Funder and Christopher Kremmer, are all Australian authors who consider the issues involved with the practice of their craft. In the chair is Christopher Moore, arts editor of the Christchurch Press. [more]

08/07/2007: Bad Dads in Meltdown
Chaired by Festival co-director Peter Wells, this lively session includes extensive reading by three very different authors whose autobiographical work provides different perspectives on growing up with fathers who behaved abusively and damagingly towards their families. Intriguingly, the theme of post-colonial experience is common to The Wah-Wah Diaries by Richard E Grant, Heartland by Neil Cross, and Deep Beyond the Reef by Owen Scott. [more]

15/07/2007: Demon Seed and Damaged Babies
Nightmare childhoods and damaged lives are laid bare in the very different work of Lionel Shriver, author of the award-winning 'We Need to Talk About Kevin'; and Paul Broks, whose study of neuropsychology 'Into the Silent Land' was a surprise bestseller. Despite their different approaches to storytelling, both writers find a lot of common territory, in a conversation moderated by psychiatrist Dr Jan Reeves. [more]

22/07/2007: The Art of Translation
The international publishing scene depends on translation, as it opens books to new markets and audiences. Three writers who have an intimate knowledge of translation consider the complexities and challenges of the process, which at its best involves a high level of collaboration between translator and author. The panel features the award-winning Andreï Makine, born in the USSR, but now based in France, Linda Olsson from Sweden and France's Pierre Furlan, who has translated both Elizabeth Knox and Alan Duff into French. Local translator Jean Anderson is in the chair. [more]

29/07/2007: Writing about Visual Art
Linda Tyler chairs a wide-ranging session in which Hamish Keith, NewZealand's most senior writer on art, Justin Paton, one of the most lucid of our younger generation of critics and curators, and Matthew Collings, a leading artist and critic from the UK, consider the practice of their craft. From the paintings and writings of Colin McCahon to the media coverage of the Cool Britannia generation, this conversation provides fresh insight into what makes good (and bad) art description, commentary and criticism. [more]

05/08/2007: Non-fiction in New Zealand
A panel discussion tracing the extraordinary growth in popularity of locally-produced non-fiction. Two publishers (Peter Dowling from Reed, and Mary Varnham from Awa Press) and an expert in creative non-fiction (Harry Ricketts) map out the salient features of this rapidly-unfolding literary territory. Graeme Hunt is in the chair. [more]

12/08/2007: Travel Writing
"Haven't they got anything better to do?" is the ironic subtitle of this encounter between a group of very different travel writers. Travel stories from the USA are recounted by Jo and Gareth Morgan ('Backblocks America'); bicycling in South America in Eleanor Meecham's 'Llamas & Empanadas'; and travelling in Tibet in Ian Robinson's alarmingly-titled 'You Must Die Once'. TV cameraman Geoff Mackley chases bad weather all over the world in 'Extreme Danger' and Pico Iyer reflects on the relationship between travel and globalisation in 'Sun after Dark'. Graham Reid controls this international traffic in a busy and entertaining session. [more]

12/05/2008: The Cost of Iraq
According to the Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, the war in Iraq will become the world's first three trillion dollar war. He joins cartoonist Garry Trudeau, novelist and journalist James Meek and theatre director Nigel Jamieson, to discuss the true costs of Iraq with John Campbell. A long-time critic of the war, Stiglitz has very recently published The Three Trillion Dollar War. Trudeau, in his celebrated comic Doonesbury, has taken up the task of not only berating the Bush administration, but acknowledging the costs paid by American men and women in uniform. Meek covered the war in Afghanistan, has written indictments of Guantanamo Bay and more recently published We Are Now Beginning Our Descent, a novel that deals with the aftermath of 9/11. Jamieson has brought the plight of David Hicks and other Guantanamo detainees to life in the theatre work Honour Bound. Chair: John Campbell - Panellists: Joseph Stiglitz, Garry Trudeau, James Meek, Nigel Jamieson. [more]

12/05/2008: Writing 9/11
"After a couple of hours at their desks, on September 12, 2001, all the writers on earth were reluctantly considering a change of occupation" (Martin Amis). In this programme three very different fiction writers talk about their 9/11 stories. Patrick McGrath, a British expatriate and long-time resident of New York, tells three stories of the city in Ghost Town: Tales of Manhattan Then and Now, each of which explores the revolutionary violence that has shaped a nation. The British journalist and war correspondent James Meek negotiates the fury and impotence of those covering the war in We Are Now Beginning Our Descent. Mohsin Hamid was resident in New York when the planes hit. The main character in his novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist whispers a love story from a café in Lahore. Together these three writers talk to Paul Diamond about how 9/11 has changed the world and the literary landscape, and explain why it is they felt compelled to tell 9/11 stories. Chair: Paul Diamond. Panelists: Patrick McGrath, James Meek, Mohsin Hamid. [more]

12/05/2008: The Big Questions
What is the difference between a story and a scientific explanation? How do the two fit together, and how can we use both in our attempt to make sense of the world? These are the big questions preoccupying award-winning novelist and teacher Bernard Beckett in Falling for Science. Zoologist and filmmaker Lloyd Spencer Davis repeatedly asks "What the hell am I doing here?" - in the scientific, religious and personal senses - in Looking for Darwin, an account of his globetrotting journey in search of his hero. Palaeontologist Hamish Campbell has spent many years searching for explanations for New Zealand's unique physical and geological past and he offers a different theory of what might have happened in In Search of Ancient New Zealand. Three men with a passion for science reflect on life after Darwin and explore the usefulness and the limits of scientific stories in unravelling life's mysteries and meaning with one of New Zealand's most enquiring minds, Kim Hill. Chair: Kim Hill - Panellists: Bernard Beckett, Lloyd Spencer Davis and Hamish Campbell. [more]

12/05/2008: Don't Mention the War
"Two World Wars and one World Cup," chant English football supporters at their German counterparts. On the pitch and elsewhere, the repercussions of World War II continue. In this programme three award-winning novelists - one English, one German, one New Zealander - discuss how the war has affected them, their writing and their respective countries. In the novels of Ian McEwan, including Black Dogs and Atonement, the conflict's legacy is frequently brought to bear on relationships, pressuring them into unexpected shapes and spaces. For Uwe Timm the spectre of Nazism casts a lingering pall over his family and his country. In My Brother's Shadow, based around the diary of his brother who was a soldier in the Waffen SS, attempts to understand his nation's commitment to duty, honour and obedience. These themes are echoed in The Invention of Curried Sausage, a delightful love story, and Midsummer Night, a macabre quest through post-reunification Berlin. For CK Stead the war is in part an absence as well as a presence. In Talking About O'Dwyer he examines the legacy of the Battle of Crete, and in The Secret Life of Modernism he explores young Antipodeans' post-war experiences in London. Chaired by Kate Camp. Chair: Kate Camp - Panellists: Ian McEwan, Uwe Timm, CK Stead. [more]

08/06/2008: Timelords
Part five of the Writers and Readers week discussions. Panellists Patricia Grace, David Mitchell and Alexis Wright take part in a discussion chaired by Jane Stafford. Patricia Grace, winner of the 2007 Neustadt International Prize, once wrote "there's a way the older people have of telling a story, a way where the beginning is not the beginning, the end is not the end." Her writing demonstrates that a story need not proceed in a straight line. David Mitchell's 'Cloud Atlas' opens with what purports to be the Pacific journal of a gentleman traveller in the age of exploration, but its ambition to explode time results in a tale that ripples out through a series of textual wormholes. Writing 'Carpentaria', Alexis Wright challenged herself to escape linear time and embrace all times. In this epic novel she says, "Time is represented by the resilience of ancient beliefs overlaying the inherited colonial experience." [more]

12/10/2008: Aucklandness
Auckland as a location and an imaginative idea is explored by writers Stephanie Johnson, Derek Hansen and Paula Morris, with Paula Green in the chair. Stephanie Johnson's work explores the city of her birth, from 19th-century Parnell in Belief to 1960s Manukau in Music from a Distant Room. Derek Hansen brings to life the landscape of 1950s Ponsonby in Remember Me. Paula Morris explores contemporary Maori, Polynesian, and Asian Auckland in Queen of Beauty and Hibiscus Coast. Paula Green is in the chair. [more]

19/10/2008: I Must Go Down to the Sea Again
In this second of a series of panel discussions recorded in May, Joan Druett, Mary McCallum, and Barbara Else talk with Graham Beattie about how the ocean around New Zealand connects some very different historical books. Joan Druett is one of our most widely published authors, as novelist and maritime historian. Joan's most recent book Island of the Lost is an account of an 1864 shipwreck on the bleak Auckland Islands. Newcomer Mary McCallum's atmospheric novel The Blue is set in 1938 in Tory Channel and centres on Lilian, a whaler's wife, whose life is both threatened and sustained by the sea. Novelist Barbara Else completes the panel. Her castaway adventure Wild Latitudes rollicks through the brave new world of 19th-century New Zealand. Graham Beattie is in the chair. [more]

06/11/2008: Pavlova with Everything
Is there a New Zealand cuisine or have we been swept away into a miasma of 'Asian-Pacific fusion'? Food writers Helen Leach, Alexa Johnston and Ray McVinnie discuss with Lauraine Jacobs the state of New Zealand cuisine past and present. Helen Leach's The Pavlova Story looks at the development of this national dish in New Zealand kitchens. Chef and food writer Ray McVinnie joins Helen and Alexa Johnston (Ladies, A Plate) to take an affectionate look at favourite dishes which have graced our tables past and present. Lauraine Jacobs is in the chair. [more]

06/11/2008: Travel Writing
Travel was once seen as a rite of passage for New Zealanders, but today's decision to get on an aeroplane is not so simple. Graeme Lay, Lloyd Spencer Davis and Thomas Kohnstamm explore areas in common to their very different approaches towards travel writing. Kapka Kassabova is in the chair. Graeme Lay's Inside the Cannibal Pot is a new kind of travel book which explores how and why we travel. Lloyd Spencer Davis's Looking for Darwin describes a journey both 'through the heart and mind' and some of the most beautiful and isolated places in the world. After four years in perpetual motion, American travel writer Thomas Kohnstamm published Do Travel Writers Go To Hell? A Swashbuckling Tale of High Adventures, Questionable Ethics and Professional Hedonism. The panel discussion is chaired by Kapka Kassabova. [more]

11/08/2009: New Yorkers
"Every fact in the New Yorker is checked. Every fact. Every name, every place, every price, every noun, every adjective… (even) the cartoons are checked." In a good-humoured and lively session, New Yorker staff Hendrik Hertzberg, James Surowiecki, Judith Thurman talk with Rhonda Sherman about the history of the leading USA magazine. They share anecdotes and reminiscences, exploring how the 85-year-old institution has changed in recent years. The difficulty of being positive, how President Obama is being covered, and the role of the magazine as a sophisticated guide to politics and culture is discussed. The issue of duration is also analysed, given the New Yorker tradition of very long-form stories. The writers also share their favourite piece of reading in the New Yorker. [more]

11/08/2009: The Michael King Memorial Lecture – Judith Thurman on biography
"Some glittering, eventful lives are in fact, repetitive and depressing… It's the drama of individuation which gives a biography its suspense, and cuts through the trivia of life to its vital mystery." Judith Thurman presents the Michael King Memorial Lecture, talking about some of her deep experience as a biographer of figures as diverse as Colette and Isak Dinesen - who was the subject of the award-winning movie Out of Africa. The difference between capturing the lives of a woman who was largely uncharted by biography, and one who lived in the glare of the public eye, the subject of many biographical works, is explored with humour and insight. Thurman also walks the audience through the intriguing process of her writing and rewriting the opening to an essay on tofu. "I don't know how to write. I'm not being disingenuous when I say that. What I do know is what good writing is and when I'm not doing it." [more]

07/09/2009: Nicky Pellegrino and Sarah-Kate Lynch
"When you've been fired and made redundant, you tend to lose faith in the people who employ you. And you think that you might like to employ yourself for a while, because you can guarantee that you won't fire, or make yourself redundant. And you can guarantee to give yourself more holidays, and have whatever chair you like." This breezy, informative session features two popular New Zealand writers talking about the business of writing with humour, irony and self-deprecation. The audience reaction is vocal and delighted, as the conversation takes flight. Jim Mora acts as the ringmaster for a very lively hour. [more]

07/09/2009: Sam Mahon and Greg McGee
"Although this is not the truth, it's actual." Beginning with readings from the self-described "odd men out" of New Zealand literature, this session traces Greg McGee's writing of a tv miniseries on Erebus story, and Sam Mahon's new manuscript about a funeral. Their conversation entertainingly surveys the literary, political, and arts scene in New Zealand, The author David Geary is in the chair. [more]

07/09/2009: International authors on the next 100 Years
"I'm wondering if… we will have a more balanced hedonism, a more balanced understanding of pleasure, of the art of living. I would hope that… economists might begin to envisage more sustainable, but less dynamically growing economies that privilege values other than economic strength, because we know these are the things we like living for - the pleasures of life, love and art, and creativity. " Sean Plunket chairs an industrial-strength panel of leading international authors considering different visions of the future: Hendrick Hertzberg, Mohammed Kanif, Richard Holloway, Marcus Chown, James Surowiecki, and George Friedman. The stimulating discussion ranges widely, from economics, science, technology and theology to international culture. [more]

02/05/2010: Simon Schama
One of the UK's leading historians discusses his craft, and explores why he uses television as a key means of communication to a wide audience. In the chair is Sean Plunket. [more]

09/05/2010: Richard Dawkins
This outspoken atheist and evolutionary biologist sets out his criticism of creationism and intelligent design. Bernard Beckett chairs. [more]

16/05/2010: Simon Schama and Margo Lanagan
Simon Schama and Margo Lanagan reflect on their different approaches to narrative and history, in a session chaired by Lydia Wevers. [more]

23/05/2010: Once Upon a Time
Margo Lanagan and Neil Gaiman discuss their approaches towards creating literature for young adult readers. In the chair is Kate De Goldi. [more]

30/05/2010: Collecting Worlds
Kamila Shamsie and Ilija Trojanow explore from their positions on the margins of their adopted cultures what it means to write for, and about, a globalised world. John Newton is in the chair. [more]

06/06/2010: Publishing in the 21st Century
Sam Elworthy, Laurie Chittenden, Michael Heyward and Derek Johns consider whether the future of the book in a digital, technological, future. Noel Murphy chairs. [more]

22/08/2010: Religion: what is it good for?
Three panellists discuss their divergent views on the global and regional rise of religion and its impact on every-day lives, particularly on the vulnerable residents in war-torn parts of the world including the Middle East. Adrian Wooldridge (Schumpeter columnist for The Economist), Michael Otterman (Erasing Iraq) and Antony Loewenstein (My Israel Question) consider the issues in this lively session chaired by Sean Plunket. [more]

29/08/2010: Michael Otterman: Erasing Iraq
In conversation with Sean Plunket, journalist and human rights"consultant"Michael Otterman explores the recent history of Iraq. Highly critical of what the USA has achieved since George W. Bush's proclamation of the end of hostilities in Iraq and the 'Mission Accomplished' message given seven years ago, Otterman focuses on the one million Iraqi dead, five million refugees, and what he considers the decimation of an entire culture and way of life. He argues that western governments and the mainstream media continue to ignore or play down the human costs of the war on Iraqi citizens who have provided many of the interviews featured in his book. [more]

05/09/2010: Thomas Keneally and Anne Salmond
Two master storytellers with very different backgrounds talk with Kim Hill about the origins of their success, their shared passion for history, the joys of discovery, and the satisfaction that comes with bringing forgotten stories back to life. Anne Salmond is one of New Zealand's most pre-eminent historians, and her recent publication, the acclaimed Aphrodite's Island (2009), is the first to take her off-shore to Tahiti. Thomas Keneally is a well-known and prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction. His fascination for the people on the margins of history has seen him embark on a three-volume history of Australia, the first of which was published in 2009, Australians: Origins to Eureka. [more]

12/09/2010: Jill Dawson and Elizabeth Smither
Jill Dawson has published six novels and also writes poetry. Her latest novel, The Great Lover, captures the allure of poet Rupert Brooke and his intriguing relationships, in the euphoric period before the First World War, in Cambridge and later in Tahiti. Elizabeth Smither is an award-winning poet who has just published her fifth novel, Lola. With the wisdom and wry humour of maturity, it explores love and death, music and friendship and is set in Australia and New Zealand. Carole Beu is in the chair. [more]

19/09/2010: Antony Loewenstein: My Israel Question
With Treasa Dunworth in the chair, Antony Loewenstein examines the prospects of the Middle East peace process in the new geo-political context, and alternative suggestions on how to tackle the crisis, mapping out where hope lies for a resolution. Antony Loewenstein's bestseller, My Israel Question, generated a storm of controversy, critical praise and robust public debate when it was first published in 2006. A third, fully updated and expanded edition of his forensic discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict came out in 2009. [more]

26/09/2010: What good are the arts?
Three lively commentators on the arts Sarah Thornton, Denis Dutton and John Carey discuss its complexities, contradictions, and enduring attractions with Linda Tyler. John Carey's controversial book What Good Are the Arts? (2005) tackled a number of questions designed to agitate art-lovers:"What is a work of art? Is 'high art' superior? Can science help? Do the arts make us better? Can art be a religion?". Denis Dutton's The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure and Human Evolution asks why we dedicate so much time, effort and resources to art when it seemingly does nothing to increase our chances of survival, and goes on to set out what Darwinian aesthetics can bring to our understanding of art. Despite having thrown herself into the vortex of the contemporary art world in the course of researching Seven Days in the Art World, Sarah Thornton continues to be fascinated by artists and amused by the world that supports them. [more]

19/06/2011: A.A. Gill, food and restaurant critic
Feared by some in the food trade for the ferocity of his judgments, the writer A.A. Gill is a TV and restaurant critic for the UK's Sunday Times. His witty, acerbic and honest conversation with chef, and television presenter, Al Brown about food, travel, and life, is one of the highlights of the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival. [more]

26/06/2011: Madhur Jaffrey on a life devoted to Indian food
Born in Delhi, Madhur Jaffrey was is an actress and cookbook writer who is regarded by many as a world authority on Indian food. She talks with Alexa Johnston about her astonishing life, her family, and her dedication to demystifying Indian cooking. [more]

03/07/2011: Goodbye Sarajevo
Now living in Auckland, sisters Hana Schofield and Atka Reid were caught up in 1992 in the middle of the civil war which tore Yugoslavia apart. Then aged twelve, Hana boards one of the last UN evacuation buses to flee the besieged city of Sarajevo. Her 21-year-old sister Atka stays behind to look after their five younger siblings. Atka's daily life is punctuated by sniper and mortar attacks and desperate food shortages as she and the family struggle to survive. The authors of Goodbye Sarajevo talk with Lynn Freeman about the events which brought them and their family to New Zealand. [more]

10/07/2011: Barbara Strauch on the secrets of the brain
Science Editor at The New York Times, Barbara Strauch has written books on the human brain in teenage and middle age years, and how research is expanding our knowledge of its development and function. She discusses her discoveries with Kim Hill. [more]

17/07/2011: Michael King Memorial Lecture: on science and doubt
There's no denying "doubt" is crucial to science and drives it forward, but it also makes science, and scientists, vulnerable to misrepresentation, according to Naomi Oreskes, Professor of History and Science Studies at the University of California, San Diego. She explores this theme in the 2011 Michael King Memorial Lecture. [more]

10/02/2012: Sebastian Barry
Distinguished Irish author Sebastian Barry discusses his work with Jan Cronin. [more]

17/02/2012: Caroline Moorehead
Caroline Moorehead discusses with Carole Beu her book 'A Train in Winter', which tells the story of 230 women of the French Resistance sent to Auschwitz. [more]

24/02/2012: Broken Britain
A panel discussion on the theme "Broken Britain". Robyn Congreve is chairing the session, which features UK writers Stella Rimington, AD Miller and Geoff Dyer. [more]

29/04/2012: Germaine Greer - Shakespeare's Wife
A lively exploration of the life of Shakespeare's wife by the noted writer and social critic Germaine Greer, recorded at the 2012 NZ International Arts Festival. Linda Hardy is in the chair. [more]

29/04/2012: Germaine Greer - Shakespeare's Wife
A lively exploration of the life of Shakespeare's wife by the noted writer and social critic Germaine Greer, recorded at the 2012 NZ International Arts Festival. Linda Hardy is in the chair. [more]

10/06/2012: Where were you in 72?
Three leading feminists - Germaine Greer, Sandra Coney and Marilyn Waring - examine how the place of women has changed in the last 40 years. [more]

17/06/2012: The life and times of Germaine Greer
A personal conversation with a major literary figure of the last 40 years about her upbringing, and how she came to write some of the influential books she has created. [more]

24/06/2012: Examining Place
Denise Mina writes about the gritty streets of Glasgow and Ron Rash the remote Appalachian Mountains. They explore how location infuses their very different work. [more]

01/07/2012: New Zealand Crime
Three of New Zealand's most prominent crime writers - Paul Cleave, Vanda Symon and Paul Thomas - discuss how their stories are affected by their distinctly New Zealand setting. [more]

15/07/2012: Roddy Doyle
Brian Edwards chairs a lively session at the 2012 Auckland Writers and Readers Festival with one of Ireland's best-known contemporary authors. [more]

16/12/2012: 2012 Auckland Writers and Readers Festival - Maurice Gee WEB
One of New Zealand's best-known contemporary authors looks back with publisher Geoff Walker over a life devoted to fiction. [more]

16/12/2012: Maurice Gee
One of New Zealand's best-known contemporary authors looks back with publisher Geoff Walker over a life devoted to fiction. [more]

23/12/2012: Chandran Nair - Consumptionomics
Chandran Nair from Hong Kong explores his theory of Consumptionomics, in this year's Michael King Memorial Lecture. Nevil Gibson from the NBR is in the chair. [more]

10/02/2013: 2012 Auckland Writers and Readers Festival: Sebastian Barry
Distinguished Irish author Sebastian Barry discusses his work with Jan Cronin. [more]

17/02/2013: 2012 Auckland Writers and Readers Festival: Caroline Moorehead
Caroline Moorehead discusses with Carole Beu her books Human Cargo and A Train in Winter, which tells the story of 230 women of the French Resistance sent to Auschwitz. [more]

24/02/2013: 2012 Auckland Writers and Readers Festival: Broken Britain
Broken Britain is discussed by UK authors Stella Rimington, AD Miller and Geoff Dyer; with Robyn Congreve in the chair. [more]

14/07/2013: The Big Chill
In conversation with Ed Butler, Chris Turney, Rebecca Priestley and Veronika Meduna explore their different perspectives on writing about Antarctica. [more]

14/07/2013: Antarctic Non-fiction
In conversation with Ed Baker, Chris Turney, Rebecca Priestley and Veronika Meduna explore their different perspectives on writing about Antarctica. [more]

21/07/2013: An Hour with Chris Turney
Antarctic writer Chris Turney talks to Veronika Meduna about some of the less well-known aspects of Antarctic exploration. [more]

28/07/2013: An Hour with Chris Cleave
The UK novelist Chris Cleave talks about his fiction with Kate de Goldi. [more]

04/08/2013: My Mother, My Self
Ruth Todd explores the use of family history with Miriam Frank and Mireille Juchau. [more]

11/08/2013: An Hour with John Boyne
John Boyne, the writer of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, talks to Lynn Freeman. [more]

20/07/2014: Diarmaid MacCulloch on having faith
In a very wide-ranging conversation Diarmaid MacCulloch talks with Peter Biggs about religious belief in the modern world. As well as authoring a number of award-winning books- including Reformation, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2004 and 'A History of Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years' - Diarmaid MacCulloch has presented three BBC television series, is Professor of History of the Church at the University of Oxford, a Church of England deacon, a British Academy Fellow and, in 2012, was knighted for services to scholarship. [more]

27/07/2014: Margaret MacMillan on the First World War
The eminent historian Professor Margaret MacMillan explores the origins of the First World War, and the contemporary parallels to what happened a century ago. With Kate Hunter in the chair, this session was recorded at the 2014 NZ Festival's Writers and Readers Week. [more]

10/08/2014: Christopher Pugsley on military history
Military historian Christopher Pugsley talks with John McCrystal about his career, the business of writing about the First World War, and it contemporary resonances. [more]

22/03/2015: 2014 Margaret Mahy Memorial Lecture by Elizabeth Knox
An intensely personal memoir by one of the country's leading writers of fantasy, exploring the roots of her interest in alternative reality, and intertwining her own story, and that of her family into a remarkable account of a writer and her times. [more]

29/03/2015: Luke Harding at the 2014 Word Christchurch Festival
The UK journalist discusses the extraordinary story of Edward Snowden, and considers the action of spy agencies and their mass surveillance of populations the world over. Harding's interaction with the spies was sometimes sobering, sometimes absurd. [more]

02/04/2015: Freedom of speech at the 2014 Word Christchurch Festival
Journalists Luke Harding, Nicky Hager and Richard King discuss freedom of speech in an era of big data, mass surveillance and the unauthorised release of information on a scale never before seen. The Press Editor Joanna Norris is in the chair. [more]

05/04/2015: Meg Wolitzer at the 2014 Word Christchurch Festival
Meg Wolitzer, a leading USA novelist, talks about her extensive career with Kate De Goldi, focusing on a recent highly-awarded novel The Interestings. [more]

12/04/2015: Tough Stuff at the 2014 Word Christchurch Festival
Rebecca Macfie, Lloyd Jones and Gaylene Preston discuss dealing creatively with tough stuff through non-fiction, family memoir, and television drama at the 2014 Christchurch Word Writers and Readers Festival. Finlay Macdonald is in the chair. [more]

19/06/2015: Questions of Faith
Two deep thinkers - Lloyd Geering  and Sarah Sentilles - discuss faith, fundamentalism, hope and humanity with Kate De Goldi. [more]

19/06/2015: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: a conversation
Master these four elements and anything you cook will be delicious, says chef and best-selling author Samin Nosrat. She chats to fellow foodie and author Marianne Elliott at this year's NZ Festival Writers and Readers. [more]

29/04/2018: AC Grayling: Democracy in Crisis
British philosopher AC Grayling investigates the “least worst” system of government – and the current alternatives – in a lecture at this year's NZ Festival Writers and Readers. [more]