New Zealand Young Writers Festival 2021

The New Zealand Young Writers Festival celebrates the cutting edge of contemporary literary practice in Ōtepoti, with performances, workshops, conversations, markets, social events and more. The festival is funded by Dunedin City Council and Otago Community Trust. This live-recorded podcast is brought to you by Otago Access Radio and supported by Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature.

Getting Our Feet Wet: Storytelling for Sea-level Rise

In the face of rising sea levels, how do we engage our writing practice with the world around us? In this episode researcher Zoë Heine will be joined by Hana Pera Aoake, Jordan Hamel, Robyn Maree Pickens and Kerry Lane to discuss their practice. This event was sponsored by Auckland University Press.


This NZYWF marks two whirlwind years since the launch of the Ōtepoti Writers Lab – making it high time for a birthday party! In this episode, join the celebration in a showcase extravaganza of writing in different formats, from prose to performance poetry and beyond. This event was sponsored by Ōtepoti Writers Lab.

Authentic and Accessible

What is ‘accessible’ theatre? How do we make work which is genuinely ‘authentic’? In this episode, playwright Dan Goodwin takes us through the ins and outs of writing mental health and disability theatre, deconstructing what it means to weave accessibility into narrative and ground our stories in the communities they emerge from.

Under the Glass: A Starling Celebration

In this episode, join Starling magazine editor Louise Wallace in conversation with Erin Gourley and Molly Crighton, two writers who undertook Starling micro-residencies in the Otago Museum during the festival. This event was sponsored by Starling Magazine and the Otago Museum.

Playing with the Trouble: Writing Gender and the Body

How does society place limitations on the way we live in our bodies? How might we resist and refuse this through writing? In this episode, Emma Barnes, Whina Pomana, Hana Pera Aoake, and Kerry Lane share their work and discuss writing, fluidity, gender, and bodies. This event was sponsored by Auckland University Press.

Otago Poetry Slam

In this episode, join a lively night of quick wits and even quicker verses as 12 contestants battle it out to become the 2021 Otago Poetry Slam Champion. MC’d by National Poetry Slam Champion Jordan Hamel. This event was sponsored by Morning Magpie and Motif Poetry.

Content Warning – mentions of suicide, self-harm, physical and emotional abuse, eating disorders and trauma

Hear Us Say with Ranisha on Youth Zone

Every Second Wednesday @ 4pm

Hear Us Say with Ranisha challenges individuals to think about their values and beliefs. We ask questions like ‘What is privilege?’ to ‘What is the line between funny and offensive?’.
Fortnightly Wednesdays at 4 PM on OAR FM’s Youth Zone.

Fletcher’s World on Youth Zone


Every Second Wednesday @ 4pm

Listen as Fletcher brings you music, chat, and segments like you’ve never heard before and a new show will be added every fortnight on the OAR FM website and on the Youth Zone app.

Dear Younger Me on Youth Zone

Every Second Tuesday @ 4pm

Everybody has something that they wish they could say to their younger self. What would you say to yours?

On Dear Younger Me we will be having conversations with people from an array of communities and contexts about what they with they could say to their younger self.

Things I Fished out of a Creek on Youth Zone

Every Second Friday @ 4pm

Opening with things you can find in creeks, before delving into all sorts of creative endeavours.

This show features interviews and discussion about all things fun or great!

Fortnightly, fortdayly, broadcast from a pillow fort. (No involvement from actual pillow forts).

Unique Ōtepoti

In this series, we will hear from young local performers as they explore how they express their cultural identities through creative performance – from traditional songs to original compositions.

This series has been made possible with the support from the Dunedin City Council Creative Communities Scheme and New Zealand on Air.

1 – Hermione Hai
2 – Keira Wallace
3 – Soana Pole
4 – Thanuja Luxmanan
5 – Poppy Mitchell