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Top New Zealand writers inspire students in Christchurch

Top New Zealand writers inspire students in Christchurch

Imagine spending four hours picking the brains of some of New Zealand’s best poets, authors, illustrators, journalists and playwrights to inspire and develop your own writing skills.

This is what the New Zealand Book Council offers students all over the country through their hugely successful Speed Date an Author programme. For the last five years it has been one of their most successful education programmes, touring six regions every year. Each event features five writers, and up to 20 schools and 90 students.

On Thursday 17th September, Christchurch City Libraries will be hosting their third Speed Date event at the South Library and Learning Centre. Speed Date an Author has a strong community focus, and is an opportunity for local authors to shine as they share ideas and form links with the next generation of readers and writers.

Christchurch is blessed with some of New Zealand’s finest writers and illustrators. This year the event will showcase poet and playwright Bernadette Hall, graphic artist Spencer Hall, screenwriter Kathleen Gallagher, and poet Jeffrey Paparoa-Holman.

Christchurch students will also have the opportunity to engage with special guest author Ella West, whose novel Night Vision won the Young Adult Fiction Children's Choice Award at the 2015 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults.

“It will be great to meet these students and see what they come up with on the day,” Ella said. “I hope they will be prepared to be challenged about how they think about writing. We’re going to bombard them with new concepts, new ways of doing things and hopefully they will leave full of ideas.”

Between 9.00am and 1.00pm the authors will deliver fast-paced sessions, 25 minutes long, to five rotating groups of students, followed by a prize-giving. The sessions are intended to develop the skills of the young writers, and to encourage them to find their unique voice.

Watch our Speed Date an Author clip here.


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