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Man Booker Prize Winner Joins Dunedin Writers Festival

March 5 2014

Man Booker Prize Winner Joins International Guests at Dunedin Writers Festival

Man Booker prize winner Eleanor Catton will join a line-up of high profile authors including international guests Alexander McCall Smith as well as Scottish writers Janice Galloway and Professor Nigel Leask at Dunedin’s inaugural Writers and Readers Festival held May 8-11.

Tickets are now on sale through TicketDirect for the stand alone festival – which aims to build on the success of the former national writers event Wordstruck! held in Dunedin for almost 15 years.

Auckland based Catton, the winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize for her second novel, The Luminaries, will join other festival guests at the official opening on Friday evening at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and speak at an evening event held at Toitu Otago Settlers’ Museum on Saturday (May 10).

UK author Alexander McCall-Smith will also join the Dunedin Festival as a special guest of the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival (May 14-18), along with multi award-winning author Janice Galloway, whose novel The Trick is to Keep Breathing is regarded as a Scottish contemporary classic.

The line-up for the four-day event also includes Poet Laureate Vincent O’Sullivan, acclaimed poet Tusiata Avia, Burns Fellow Majella Cullinane, popular young adults writer Kate De Goldi, Elizabeth Knox, author and long-time columnist Rosemary McLeod, columnist Deborah Coddington, Labour Party MP Grant Robertson, and local writers Brian Turner, Cilla McQueen, Vanda Symon, Emma Neale, Rogelio Guedea, David Eggleton, Stuart Chair of Scottish Studies at Otago University, Liam McIlvanney and many more.

Alexandra Bligh, the chair of the organising committee behind the Festival, says she is thrilled about the lineup for the festival, including Catton, New Zealand’s recent Booker prize winner, alongside McCall-Smith, one of the world’s most prolific and popular authors.

“To have such an impressive group of national and international authors for our first Festival is a coup for the city and the many organisations and businesses that have supported us,” says Ms Bligh.

“I’m looking forward to this year’s event and am convinced festival goers will be inspired and stimulated by the events on offer.”

Supported by Creative New Zealand, Dunedin City Council, Otago University Press, the University Book Shop, and the Otago Community Trust, the Festival will include a range of multi genre events, from writer talks to film screenings, to a Story Train for kids, sponsored by the University Book Shop Children’s Room, from the city to Port Chalmers.

Tickets for writer talks and other festival events can be purchased at TicketDirect venues (including the Regent Theatre, Dunedin), Ph 0800 4 TICKET or online A booking fee applies.

For more information about the festival, go to


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