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2003 Writers and Readers Festival “the best yet”

NEWS RELEASE 6th JUNE 2003


2003 Auckland Writers and Readers Festival
“the best yet”


The fourth Auckland Writers and Readers Festival has been hailed as “the best yet” with an increased audience base and a record number of ticket sales.

Results from the festival’s survey show attendees from Keri Keri to Dunedin, with 22% of festival goers coming from out of Auckland, as opposed to 15% in 2001.

Over 7,300 tickets were sold at the festival, which was held from May 15th-18th at the Hyatt Regency, and had 46 events with 16 international authors and over 80 New Zealand participants.

“We’re delighted by these numbers,” says festival co-creative director Stephanie Johnson. “This is a new record for us – it’s 10% up on the 2001 festival, which was also up on the previous year. It just keeps getting better and better,” she says.

Co-creative director Peter Wells says the festival organisers have had tremendous feedback from the international and local authors, as well as from festival goers.

“Many of them saying how much they enjoyed participating in the festival. One of them – British travel writer and historian William Dalrymple, whose sessions were sellouts - offered to do another one. So we had an extra event to offer festival goers, which was fantastic.”

Comments in the festival survey included: “Outstanding behind the scenes logistics, excellent variety of genres and guests.” “A wonderful, stimulating, thoughtful festival. Thank you to all concerned. The best “Arts” fixture in Auckland – congratulations!”
“Overall a terrific content and atmosphere.”

Five of the sessions were sellouts, with another five close to selling out. Among those featuring at the sellout sessions were William Dalrymple, US novelist Jonathan Franzen, Jordanian writer Norma Khouri, British author Linda Grant and Australian poet Les Murray.

Festival organisers say work has already commenced on planning the 2005 event. This year’s Auckland Writers and Readers Festival gold and silver sponsors are the NZ Herald, Lion Foundation, Buddle Findlay, Delmaine Fine Foods, Creative New Zealand and the Hyatt Regency Auckland.
-ends-

Issued on behalf of the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival by Professional Public Relations

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