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