Six local writers showcased in new Queenstown Writers Festival event

by Lauren Pattemore - Oct 10, 2023

Six local writers have been invited to talk about the concept of arriving in the upcoming Queenstown Writers Festival, as part of a new 'Sampler Session', not included in previous renditions of the festival.

The festival is asking the wordsmiths to share a moment from their writing that considers the theme, whether it be a physical arrival or a more introspective one drawing on the idea of shedding of the old and anticipation of the new. 

Organisers reckon the theme is befitting of a town - and a nation - to which many of us are arrivals.

This year is meant to be the off-year for the usually bi-annual festival, but organisers decided to host a smaller event after plenty of demand for one was expressed in the community.

The sampler session is already proving popular amongst festival-goers, which is exciting for festival chair Tanya Surrey, who is looking forward to the local writers sharing their work with an audience.

Among those who have received a call-up to participate in the session is founding festival trustee Bethany Rogers, who last year published her first short story collection, Kaleidoscopes in the Dark.

Then there's Franciska Soares, a Kiwi author with Portuguese and Indian heritage, whose most recent novel was published in July, titled A Smatter of Minutes.

And Jane Shearer, a trained geologist and professional non-fiction writer, who this year released her first fiction novel, Broken is Beautiful.

Documentary filmmaker Peta Carey, who worked on Crux series Deep South, will also take the stage. In recent years, she's transitioned to non-fiction, publishing three books and writing regularly for publications such as North and South.

Sumi Hahn, who finished her novel The Meramid from Jeju in Queenstown, rounds off the six authors to speak in the sampler. Ms Hahn started the novel in Seattle, having spent several years researching for it in Korea. She has also worked as a restaurant critic in New Orleans.

The session is set for Sunday, November 12, from 4pm until 5.30pm, at Te Atamira. 

Entry is by kōha but attendees are asked to register prior to the event.

Other writers presenting workshops and conversations as part of the festival include Gaylene Preston, Barbara Else, Cristina Sanders, Megan Nicol Reed and Michael Bennett.

More information is available on the festival website at or on its Facebook page, with early-bird ticket pricing available until Saturday (October 14).

Read more: Queenstown Writers Festival back with in-between year treat

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