Steve Braunias: WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival is a mere few weeks away – it kicks off on 27 August. We’ve asked three quick questions of festival guests:

Cover of CivilisationSteve Braunias

What (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

If I have time, I really want to go the botanic gardens and see if there any little shags roosting in the tree over Kiosk Lake.

What do you think about libraries?

Libraries are pretty much the only sign in some towns of civilisation.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

In all the times I’ve  bought raffle tickets, I have never won a meat pack.

Helen Lowe: WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival

WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival is a mere few weeks away – it kicks off on 27 August. We’ve asked three quick questions of festival guests:

Helen Lowe – local speculative fiction writer

Cover of We need new namesWhat (or who) are you most looking forward to at WORD Christchurch?

I think the whole programme is really exciting for its breadth and diversity, but as both a Fantasy and YA author and reader myself I’m particularly thrilled to be compereing the Supernaturally event with Elizabeth Knox and Laini Taylor. But I read widely, and so am also very keen to get along and hear NoViolet Bulawayo talking about her Man Booker Prize shortlisted novel We Need New Names.

What do you think about libraries?

I love libraries – as I think my 2008 short story Red Earth perhaps hints. 😉 But even if I didn’t, in an age when we angst about knowledge economies and knowledge futures, libraries are vital to our society catching those waves, both in terms of nurturing literacy and facilitating access, not just to information, but accurate information.

Share a surprising fact about yourself.

Ah, there’s the rub, Facts are easy, but surprising facts… I don’t tend to think of myself as a surprising person at all, but more as ‘just an ordinary girl.’ But fortunately the man in my life galloped to the rescue with a number of (apparently!) surprising facts, of which this was my favourite: that I once spoke Swedish, and still can to the extent that after several episodes of The Bridge, my lingual ear readjusted to a significant portion of the dialogue, albeit with an almost audible–and somewhat ‘grinding’–click!

  • Helen Lowe appears at WORD Christchurch Writers and Readers Festival in:
    Supernaturally on Sunday, 31 August 1pm with  Laini Taylor and Elizabeth Knox as they talk fantasy, world-building and writing for young adults.
  • Search our catalogue for books by Helen
  • Read more Festival guest picks and WORD Christchurch posts

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Your new eBook trinity

Whoever said three is a crowd has not used our eBook resources! As of the 1st of August we have welcomed the arrival of Askews, a new British based eBook platform that intends to enthrall us all with its British based content that we have not be able to get elsewhere. To clarify our triple take on eBooks, we have:

OverDrive: Our first and largest eBook and eAudiobook collection which has a very American twang to its content;

Wheelers: As Kiwi as Billy T and just as entertaining with its New Zealand focused content;

Askews: Britannia’s eBook collection with assorted British titles, authors and publishers. Best enjoyed with a cup of tea and cucumber sandwiches while watching the polo.

Like all eBook platforms the idea is to find, download and enjoy. What is slightly different is that you cannot check in Askews eBooks early and you get to choose how many days you want to have the eBook out – as long as it is no longer than 21 days.

Have a gander at what Askews has to offer and see if you can expand your mind with the musings Gordon Ramsay or scare the stuffings out of yourself with Ruth Rendell.

Tally Ho chums!

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Te Kupu o te Wiki – The Word of the Week

Kia ora. To celebrate Te Reo Māori  we are publishing kupu (words) every week.

Kīwaha (colloquialism)

Ehara i te tī
You only live once

Kupu (word)

nau mai

Nau mai haere mai ki te Te Waipounamu!
Welcome to the South Island.


Browse our Te Reo Māori resources.

Christchurch – this week in history (11 to 17 August)

11 August 1923
Christchurch Radio Society begins regular radio transmission with station 3AC.

13 August 1974
Kurashiki (Japan), becomes a sister city.

15 August 1872
Novelist Anthony Trollope visits. Search DigitalNZ for information on his trip.

15 August 1945
V.J. (Victory over Japan) day celebrations.

Photo of VJ Day celebrations
CCL Photo Collection 22, Img02312

Some of the crowd who celebrated VJ Day (14 August 1945) shown at the corner of Strowan and Normans Roads, Bryndwr
[Aug. 1945]
Some people dressed in fancy dress to help create a carnival atmosphere.Second from the left is Jean Parr (nee Lee), third from the left is Nancy O’Dowd (nee Baird)

Anti-tour poster
The first test between the Springboks and the All Blacks took place in Christchurch at Lancaster Park on Saturday, 15 August 1981.

More photos of VJ Day in Christchurch.

15 August 1981
Massive demonstrations in Christchurch against rugby test between All Blacks and Springboks. See our collection of posters.

16 August 1868
Tsunami (“tidal wave”) in Lyttelton Harbour. Part of the harbour bottom was laid bare, then a wave swept in, damaging the “Novelty”.
Read Bank Peninsula Impact 1868 Willem de Lange and Eileen McSaveney. ‘Tsunamis – New Zealand’s tsunami history’, Te Ara – the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 9-Jul-13

16 August 1890
First inter-provincial soccer match held in Christchurch. Canterbury beat Wellington 2-0.

17 August 1903
City abattoir opens at Sockburn.

Christchurch chronology
A timeline of Christchurch events in
chronological order from pre-European times to 1989.

More August events in the Chronology.