An unsolicited hymn of praise to libraries

We’ve two short audio clips from yesterday’s Francis Spufford session sponsored by Christchurch City Libraries. The author of The child that books built is a clear fan of libraries as the first clip shows.


Spufford also won over the fans:

It’s great to see these literary events happening in our city – make sure you get the most you can out of the festival!

Bookman Beattie helps us wrap up day one

For those of you who like to hear the voices behind the writing, try this audio version of our wrap up of yesterday. Our special guest was Graham “Bookman” Beattie – quite possibly New Zealand’s most prolific literary blogger who enjoys crime fiction and is looking forward to two of the sessions today – learn more by listening to our Thursday Festival wrap up.

Read also what Graham had to say about internet access in Christchurch.

Ticket sales brisk for writer events

Sales have been brisk for The Press Christchurch Writers Festival according to a volunteer at the stand.
Siegrun Koop said that sales had been brisk, and they were delighted with the location in the library. She has really enjoyed observing the huge cross-section of people and the friendliness of the library staff. Biggest sellers have been Robert Fisk (now at least one session sold out) and Xinran. The sales table will relocate to the Town Hall for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. UBS will also be selling books during the festival.

Pictured: Sebastian Hirsch and Siegrun Koop who have both operated the sales table at the central library over the last few weeks.

Warm-up for festival

Students from the Hagley Writers’ Institue will be reading at the central library today and tomorrow – from midday until 1pm.

It’s a great chance to see some new talent and hear new work from local writers. I’ve attended classes for the past 20 weeks with the people who will be reading and there will be a great range of style and something for everyone to sample.

On Wednesday it will be the turn of the School for Young Writers, who will share what they’ve been working on over winter.

Come along and join in the free fun at central library, this week at midday. It’s a great way to gear up for the other library events later in the week – Bill Nagelkerke with Francis Spufford in a session called The child that books built, and myself and Ben Hills discussing how Sardinia can produce such a large number of centenarians.

Prepare to feast Christchurch

Festival poster

The Press Christchurch Writers Festival programme has been launched with a line-up that should have readers and writers alike flocking to the ticket office.

There truly will be something for everyone – from young writers workshops to readings from emerging writers from the Hagley Writers Institute; from the journalistic giant that is Robert Fisk to local poets; from Owen Marshall to song-writing workshops; from chefs to blogs – there is huge range for all tastes and budgets. The organisers have done a great job of timetabling so that there are very few double-ups.

Christchurch City Libraries will be covering the festival on this blog, reporting from different sessions and offering written and audio interviews. From now until the start of the festival we’ll keep you up to date on what’s happening and provide background information on the visiting authors. Try using our RSS feed to keep yourself up to date.

We’ll also be talking to the some of the people behind the scenes at the festival, which has been months in the planning. It’s going to be fantastic, so grab a festival programme, and go buy your tickets!