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Dunedin’s Literary Festival In New Digs

In a sure sign of growing momentum, the Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival team has set up digs in town.

With the festival scheduled for 6-9 May, the festival team will be calling the Otago Pioneer Women’s Hall in Moray Place home for the next five months. The central location, which will also be the venue for festival workshops, means people can drop in to discuss all things literary, and following the launch of the programme, to get help purchasing tickets (or just to discuss the programme at length…).

The programme this year will feature a plethora of New Zealand literary talent, the constraints imposed by Covid-19 presenting an opportunity to revel in homegrown talent.

Festival Director Hannah Molloy says, “We’re secretly delighted to have this opportunity. There are just so many interesting, provoking, clever, challenging, inspiring writers in New Zealand; we have an entire literary ecosystem here that has all the gloss and sparkle that the wider world offers – and more.”

Almost 40 events over the four days mean full diaries for all bookish aficionados and plenty of ideas for Mother’s Day treats and entertainment. Events include a double-decker bus trip for wee ones, in-depth panel discussions, an afternoon tea party, writers in conversation with interesting hosts, workshops, a schools programme, and, the highlight, the gala showcase.

Ms Molloy says, “For tentative or first-time literary festival attendees, the showcase is a sampler, a taste of what a literary festival is all about, featuring a selection of our festival stars. We also have a range of free or entry by donation events to entice these new people into our world – we want everyone to be able to experience as much of the festival as their budget allows.”

The festival website, at, will have updates and teasers, and the programme will be available from 7pm, Tuesday 16 May. Tickets will also be available for purchase from that time.

For those who like to plan ahead, or who are racking their brains for a gift out of the ordinary, festival vouchers are available through the website as well. These are redeemable for any Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival event in a 12-month period from the date of purchase.

Key dates

Programme launch: Tuesday 16 March (invitation only event)

Tickets on public sale: Tuesday 16 March (following the launch)

Festival: 6-9 May

Gala showcase: 7.30pm, Friday 7 May

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