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Artistic Direction Of Auckland Writers And Readers Festival

Artistic Direction Of Auckland Writers And Readers Festival

It is with great regret that I have to advise you that, after ten years with the festival, Artistic Director Jill Rawnsley has resigned to spend more time with her family.

Jill’s decision to leave was difficult " she has invested her expertise over many years in helping to shape the event as New Zealand’s pre"eminent festival of words and ideas. In her time at the Festival, Jill introduced many permanent fixtures in the programme such as the Schools Programme and writing workshops that will leave a lasting legacy. Jill has developed a vast number of committed stakeholders and industry colleagues and she leaves a strong network of local and international contacts and a solid list of potential artists.

Trustee Stephanie Johnson, who co"founded the Festival with Peter Wells and has a wealth of experience in programming, will be acting Artistic Director for an interim period, supported by a Programming Sub"Committee. Stephanie will step down from the Board during this interim period.

Sheffield Consulting is assisting the Board with recruitment, and they anticipate that the role will be highly sought"after. I will write to advise you once a replacement Artistic Director is appointed.

I’m sure you would wish to join me in thanking Jill for her tremendous contribution to enriching the cultural life of Auckland, and in wishing her well for the future.

We would also like share with you the news that the Festival has appointed its new Communications and Business Development Manager, Scott Ashton. With a strong communications background as well as extensive fundraising and development experience, Scott's impressive career has seen him as National Business Development Manager " Food Services for Spotless Services, as the Auckland War Memorial Museum's Commercial Manager, and as the Sponsorship Manager for Montana Wines (including serving on the management committee of the Montana NZ Book Awards). Scott attended King's College and holds a Bachelor of Arts (English and German) from the University of Auckland. He has a great passion for literature and the arts, and will be responsible for a lot of our communications, including the Festival’s e"zine.

Yours sincerely

Sarah Sandley


Chair of the Auckland Writers & Readers Festival Charitable Trust

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