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Wanaka Gets New Mountain Book Event

Wanaka Gets New Mountain Book Event.

New to Wanaka for 2016 is the book and literature event being held in both Wanaka and Queenstown. The event includes a literature competition, workshops, storytelling, poetry, speakers and author readings. The goal of the new shows are to offer a variety of formats to make adventure, mountain and expedition stories accessible to a range of new audiences. The event complements the well attended and much loved Film Festival content and offers both the adventurers and the audience different ways to be involved with the Festival.

The Mountain Book competition invited authors to enter their work to win prize money. Writers were able to submit their work within three categories: Adventure Travel, Mountain/Adventure Fiction and Poetry and, Mountain and Adventure Literature and 20 books were received from authors and their publishers. Content included an amazing variety of topics, genre, adventure and locations. Many of the stories enter the remotest parts of back-andbeyond and retell some nail biting situations through vivid imagery and clever language. Like the film category, the books take the audience along on wonderful journeys, full of adventure.

Chief judge Darlene Thomson wrote: “A sign of a good book is one that brings emotion to the reader. All of the competition books did this in one way or another. It was a pleasure and a privilege to be the judge of the competition and I thank all the authors and publishers for entering their books. In the end the 3 books that were chosen as category winners were ones that I either just couldn't put down or had to keep picking up. I feel that each winning book will appeal to a wide audience, not just to experts in the particular adventure field.

As a reader I like a font and a layout that makes reading a pleasure rather than those that make it a task to endure. The 3 selected books all met that criteria. In all cases the front and back covers were engaging and cried out to be picked up. Once opened they did not disappoint.”

The winning entries were:
Adventure Travel winner - Fiordland and Beyond- A circumnavigation of the south island of NZ by kayak- by Max Grant Mountain and Adventure Literature, Non-Fiction winner- Adventure at heart – Nathan Fa'avae Adventure Guides, Travel and Poetry winner- Canyoning in NZ by Daniel Clearwater One of these three will be awarded the Grand Prize on July 1st during the opening night.

The Mountain Book event also gives literature enthusiasts the opportunity to hear from 35 different speakers and authors, attend workshops and enjoy the new format of small intimate shows. Book Festival speakers include: Craig Potton, Brando Yelavich a.k.a ‘Wildboy’, Stuart Fleming, Daniel Clearwater, Kyle Mewburn, Derek Grezelewski, Lydia Brady, Lyn McKinnon, Mal Law, Paul Caffyn, Danny Knudson, Laurence Fearnley and many more.

Professional blogger Liz Carlson ‘Young Adventuress’, will talk on why blogging is for everyone. American born Carlson will share stories from travel blogging through 40 countries, over 6 years. Learn how to develop a blog, how to manage an online community and get paid to travel the world. Carlson will offer some personal anecdotes on how blogging can open doors you never thought possible.

Join TV celebrity game chef Angelo Georgalli for an hour of open-air, mountain styled cooking. Live with knives, heat and real food, sourced from natural, healthy environments. With a Greek, Italian and English background, Angelo has mastered the ability to mix different culinary styles with using wild New Zealand ingredients. The Game Chef takes a back to basics approach, showcasing organic produce and seasonal cooking at its best.

The new event will also include the popular session from 2015 called Words and Wine; this involves a panel of authors reading excerpts from their books while the audience enjoys a glass of local Rippon Pinot and a roaring fire.

Also returning after rave reviews in 2015 is a session called Old Fashioned Story Telling where mountaineers and adventurers present informal relaxed renditions of some of their favourite expedition tales. These easy-going formats, with no fancy technology, presented at dusk, with the backdrop Lake Wanaka behind, make for the perfect conditions for magical story telling.

The book and literature event will be held at the Rippon Hall in Wanaka (July 2 & 3), and also at Memorial Hall in Queenstown (July 9). Discounted tickets are on sale now at The NZ Mountain Film Festival will run from the 1st to the 9th of July in Wanaka, Cromwell and Queenstown. Tickets are on sale now online at and you can grab a programme at Paper Plus in Wanaka from next week.


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