The Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival was held in Ōtepoti Dunedin, our UNESCO City of Literature.

In this podcast series, we share recordings from these sessions with you.

This Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival podcast was brought to you with funding from Copyright Licensing New Zealand and the expertise of OAR FM. The festival also offers thanks to our major funders: Creative NZ, the Dunedin City Council, and the Otago Community Trust.

Crossing Genres

From paranormal romance to crime thrillers, The New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh will talk to Kirby-Jane Hallum about how and why she has crossed genres, and her three most recent releases: Alpha NightArchangel’s Sun, and Quiet in Her Bones.  

NZ Crime - What's Going On?

Jared Savage and Steve Braunias will tackle some of the big questions about crime in Aotearoa and what they have learned in the process of writing about it. With Rob Kidd.  

Navigating the Stars - ​Māori Creation Myths

“Step through the gateway now to stories that are as relevant today as they ever were,” invites master storyteller Witi Ihimaera.  

He will talk with Jacinta Ruru about his latest book, Navigating the Stars: Māori Creation Myths, in which he traces the history of Māori people through their creation myths, bringing them to the twenty-first century.  

Things OK with You?

Lynn Freeman sits down with Vincent O’Sullivan to talk about his recent work, including his new collection of poems Things OK with you? and of course the biographical portrait, Ralph Hotere: The Dark is Light Enough

The Books that Made Me

Rose CarlyleNalini Singh, and Kyle Mewburn will read an excerpt from a significant childhood story and talk about the shaping effect it has had on their adulthood. Hosted by Bridget Schaumann

Women, Past & Present

What Do They Have to Tell Us About the Future?

Vanda SymonSteff GreenHG Parry, and Angela Wanhalla will talk about women who’ve come before and those who are here now, and the footprints they’ve laid for our future. Hosted by Majella Cullinane

Rocketing to Fame

Becky Manawatu‘s debut novel, Auē, garnered critical acclaim and announced her as a compelling new voice in New Zealand fiction, winning the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction and the Hubert Church Prize for Fiction at the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards.   

Kiran Dass described Auē as “a beautifully pitched and nuanced hopeful story about the power of love, friendship and family”. Becky is the Robert Burns Fellow for 2021 and hopes to use the opportunity for both personal and professional growth, as she works on a sequel (of sorts) to Auē.  

Lynn Freeman will quiz Becky about how her meteoric rise to literary fame has affected her approach to writing and life. 

Ngā Kete Mātauranga

​Māori Scholars at the Research Interface

Co-editor of Ngā Kete Mātauranga: Māori Scholars at the Research Interface, Jacinta Ruru describes this beautiful and transformative book as “an opportunity to provide New Zealanders with an insight into how Mātauranga is positively influencing the Western-dominated disciplines of knowledge in the research sector”.
In these pages, Māori academics share what being Māori has meant for them in their work. Jacinta, in conversation with the Te Kai a te Rangatira editors, will speak to the process of creating the book and the influence of Mātauranga on the academic sector. 

Walking the Heartland

In Map for the Heart: Ida Valley EssaysJillian Sullivan’s gentle essays about her wanderings and wonderings in the vast Ida Valley are an exploration of the physical place, and how it connects us to our community.  
She and Liz Breslin will discuss how place and space affect the heart.  

Politics of Poetry

For centuries, poetry has played an important role in both recording cultural events and reflecting the mood of the people.  
David EggletonJessica Thompson Carr, and Fiona Farrell will share perspectives on the politics inherent in poetry. Chaired by Emma Neale, they will examine the way poetry enables debate, and how it can subvert and challenge societal views to effect change.  

Escaping the Humdrum

One of the joys of reading is being transported into the wilds of both your own and someone else’s imagination. 

HG Parry and Gareth Ward will discuss crafting stories that take us into fantasy worlds far from the mundane, with Bronwyn Wylie-Gibb.

Rivers, Riptides & Roads

From sprawling braided riverbeds to exhilarating surf breaks, Aotearoa is both an angler’s paradise and a surfer’s dream. Dougal Rillstone and Derek Morrison will sit down with fellow explorer Bruce Ansley to talk about their sense of self in remote and wild places. 


Activating Allies

Rebecca Kiddle and Amanda Thomas, contributing writers for Imagining Decolonisation, will discuss why decolonisation is beneficial to everyone, and who is, and who should be, doing the mahi.  ​

The Historical Novel: Germany

My neighbour gave me a stack of old calendars, and so, in the absence of any other paper, I’ll write to you on the backs of all the vanished years.” 

With her latest novel Remote Sympathy, award-winning bestseller Catherine Chidgey tells an engrossing and unsettling tale of a Nazi Germany labour camp from the perspectives of three wilfully oblivious characters. In conversation with Lynn Freeman.  

The Wilder Years

Selected Poems

The current Poet Laureate, David Eggleton, will dive into his new book, The Wilder Years: Selected Poems, with fellow poet Victor Billot.

Writing Romance in the 21st Century

Chair Susan Sims and authors Nalini SinghSteff Green, and Jayne Castel will unpick why romance writing matters in 2021, and discuss the ongoing appeal of romance novels and what success looks like to writers of this billion-dollar genre. 

Girl in the Mirror

Rose Carlyle, who shot to literary fame with her debut novel, The Girl in the Mirror, will talk to Phillippa Duffy about what happens to a story when a book is snapped up by Hollywood. ​

Placing Fantasy Inside the Real World

Elizabeth Knox, acclaimed author of many novels, including The Vintner’s Luck and, most recently, The Absolute Book, will unpick the meanings and implications, the whys and wherefores, of placing a ‘fantasy’ world inside the ‘real’ world, with HG Parry.

Magical Rights

HG Parry is an emerging author who writes complex and engaging fantasy novels.

​She will explain to Lynn Freeman the imaginative thought processes that led her, in her most recent series, to reinvent the French Revolution. 

Mapping Dunedin's Stories

Cityscapes and their surroundings have an intimate connection to the literary imagination, inscribing a sense of place and identity that persists through time. 
Frank GordonRoger HickinDavid Ciccoricco, and Nicola Cummins will discuss the varied ways they have mapped our city’s stories.