Past Event3 May - 26 Jul 2020

Auckland Writers Festival Winter Series

No longer available


Talks & ideas

Auckland Writers Festival is excited to announce their 2020 Winter Series.
Commenced at 9am on Sunday 3 May and running live once a week for 13 weeks, three writers including at least two from the 2020 programme will chat with series host Paula Morris, read from their work, and answer audience questions. 

Episode 13: 9 am, Sunday 26 July 
Featuring: Ann Patchett, Colin Thubron, Maggie O'Farrel and Rose Lu. Full bios below.


Tune every Sunday from 9 am as each episode is streamed live and free-to-view via:
Auckland Live's Facebook
Auckland Writers Festival’s YouTube

All episodes will be available for later viewing via the Auckland Writers Festival website. 

About: AWF - 2020 Winter Series

Featuring a star-studded writer line-up which includes Bernardine Evaristo, Ann Patchett, Neil Gaiman, Barbara Ewing, Richard Ford, Elizabeth Knox, Robert Macfarlane, Philippe Sands, Lisa Taddeo, Alan Bollard, Chanel Miller, Freya Daly Sadgrove, Simon Armitage, Maggie O’Farrell, Deborah Eisenberg, Wallace Shawn, Caroline Barron, Amy McDaid, Anthony Byrt and more.

This series provides an opportunity to champion New Zealand and international books that were to feature at the now-cancelled May Festival, which viewers will be able to purchase through a bookseller link. Look out for a few special surprises too.

Episode 13

The Online Winter Series finale features prize-winning writer and one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people, ANN PATCHETT with 'The Dutch House', travel writer and one of Britain’s finest wordsmiths, COLIN THUBRON on 'Night of Fire', acclaimed Irish-British novelist MAGGIE O'FARRELL with historical fiction 'Hamnet' and NZ's ROSE LU with essay collection 'All Who Live On Islands'.​



EPISODE 1: 9:00 AM SUNDAY 3 MAY - Barbara Ewing, Alan Bollard & Bernardine Evaristo

BARBARA EWING (AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND) Writer and actress Barbara Ewing trained at RADA and has starred on stage and screen including in the award-winning series Brass. She is the author of nine novels, published in 12 languages, including the Orange Prize-longlisted A Dangerous Vine, and the memoir One Minute Crying Time.

ALAN BOLLARD (AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND) Alan Bollard was governor of the Reserve Bank, Treasury secretary, chair of the Commerce Commission, and executive director of the APEC Secretariat in Singapore. Currently an economics professor at Victoria University of Wellington, he is the author of several books including Economists at War.

BERNARDINE EVARISTO (ENGLAND) Bernardine Evaristo is the author of eight books exploring the African diaspora, including the Booker prize joint-winning novel, Girl, Woman, Other, and the recipient of many honours including an MBE. She is professor of creative writing at Brunel University London, and vice chair of the Royal Society of Literature.


EPISODE 2: 9:00 AM SUNDAY 10 MAY - Philippe Sands, Ian Wedde & Lisa Taddeo

PHILIPPE SANDS (France/England) Philippe Sands' latest book The Ratline is a unique glimpse into the life of a senior Nazi official and his wife before, during, and on the run after the war. Already a best seller in the UK just one week after its release, it’s been described as reading like a John le Carre thriller.His previous book East West Street: On the Origins of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide has won numerous prizes, including the 2016 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction. He is a barrister and Professor of Law at University College London.

IAN WEDDE (Aotearoa New Zealand) Ian Wedde has written 15 poetry collections, eight novels, two collections of essays, and a number of anthologies and art monographs. A former NZ Poet Laureate, he has received numerous awards, fellowships and grants, and has recently published the historical novel The Reed Warbler.

​​​​​LISA TADDEO (United States) Lisa Taddeo has an MFA in fiction and has won Pushcart Prizes for her short stories. She is the author of the non-fiction 2019 bestseller on female desire Three Women. Her debut novel, Animal, will be out next summer, with her collection of stories to follow.​​


EPISODE 3: 9:00 AM SUNDAY 17 MAY - Chanel Miller, Becky Manawatu and Robert Macfarlane

CHANEL MILLER (United States) 2019 Time Next 100 honoree and literature graduate Chanel Miller (pseudonym Emily Doe) is a writer and artist. Her New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed memoir, Know My Name sparked a nation-wide discussion in the US about the treatment of sexual assault survivors by both colleges and the court system. It was listed as a 2019 notable book by New York Times Book Review, Time and the Washington Post, and won best memoir in that year's National Book Critics Circle Awards.​​

BECKY MANAWATU (Aotearoa New Zealand) Becky Manawatu (Ngāi Tahu) is the winner of both the Jann Medlicott Acorn Prize for Fiction and the Best First Book Award Fiction at the 2020 Ockham NZ Book Awards with her debut novel Auē. The judges wrote, “Auē is a mere pounamu: raw life polished to a sheen that’s beautiful and warm but at the same time a blade with a keen edge". A journalist and writer, Becky works as a reporter for The News in Westport. Her story ‘Abalone’ was longlisted for the 2018 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

ROBERT MACFARLANE (England) Writer Robert Macfarlane is best known for his books on landscape, nature, place, people and language. Described by The Wall Street Journal as “the great nature writer, and nature poet, of this generation,” his many books include the award-winning LandmarksThe Old Ways, and The Lost Words, with several adapted for TV by the BBC. A Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, in 2017 he received The EM Forster Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Underland: A Deep Time Journey is his most recent book.


EPISODE 4: 9:00 AM SUNDAY 24 MAY - Deborah Eisenberg, Wallace Shawn and Caroline Barron

DEBORAH EISENBERG (United States) A master of the short story – with the requisite skills of observation, pacing, and economy – Deborah Eisenberg is dubbed a “chronicler of American insanity” by The New York Times. Her five collections include the recent Your Duck is My Duck. She teaches writing at New York’s Columbia University.

WALLACE SHAWN (United States) Writer and actor Wallace Shawn’s plays have been performed at New York’s Public Theater and the National Theatre in London with The Designated Mourner, The Fever and Marie and Bruce also made into films. Shawn’s many acting credits include Toy StoryThe Princess BrideManhattan and My Dinner with Andre.

CAROLINE BARRON (Aotearoa New Zealand) Caroline Barron is a writer, manuscript assessor, book reviewer, and trustee of the Michael King Writers Centre. She has a master’s in creative writing from The University of Auckland, and won a NZ Society of Authors Complete MS award for her memoir Ripiro Beach: A Memoir of Life After Near Death.


EPISODE 5: 9:00 AM SUNDAY 31 MAY - Richard Ford, Amy McDaid, Yasmin Khan

RICHARD FORD (United States) Novelist, short story writer and editor Richard Ford is the author of seven novels and several short story collections, among them The Sportswriter, Let Me Be Frank With You and Independence Day, the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the PEN Faulkner Award. In 2019 he was awarded the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction – a lifetime achievement award. The Library described him as a “luminous storyteller – one of the most eloquent writers of his generation”. He is currently a professor in the Humanities at Columbia University and his latest collection is Sorry for your Trouble.

AMY McDAID (Aotearoa New Zealand) The winner of the James Wallace Price for the first draft of her debut novel Fake Baby, Amy McDaid has a master’s of creative writing from The University of Auckland and has had work published in The Spinoff and Three Lamps Journal. She works as a neonatal intensive care nurse.

YASMIN KHAN (England) Food writer and broadcaster Yasmin Khan is the author of The Saffron Tales and ZaitounRecipes from the Palestinian Kitchen and counts Yotam Ottolenghi and Nigella Lawson as fans. Prior to her food career, she was a human rights campaigner for NGOs


EPISODE 6: 9:00 AM SUNDAY 7 JUNE - Peter Stanford, Elizabeth Knox and Olivia Hayfield

PETER STANFORD (England) Journalist Peter Stanford’s books include biographies of Pope Joan, Judas, the devil, and Martin Luther, as well as his latest Angels. He edited The Catholic Herald, regularly writes on religion and ethics for newspapers and the BBC, and is a director of the Longford Trust for prison reform.

ELIZABETH KNOX (Aotearoa New Zealand) Eizabeth Knox is the author of 13 novels, three novellas and a collection of essays. She won several NZ Book Awards for the novel Vintner’s Luck, and a Michael L Printz Honor for Dreamquake. Her latest novel is the Ockham NZ Book Awards longlisted The Absolute Book.

OLIVIA HAYFIELD (England / Aotearoa New Zealand) Writer and editor Sue Copsey’s award-winning books for children include The Ghosts of Moonlight Creek and Our Children Aotearoa. She helps run the online writing initiative for child


EPISODE 7: 9:00 AM SUNDAY 14 JUNE - Christine Fernyhough, Anthony Byrt and An Yu

CHRISTINE FERNYHOUGH (Aotearoa / New Zealand) For the last 30 years Christine Fernyhough has amassed a collection of 4000 mid-century NZ objects. Her curatorial policy is loose – toys, tableware, furniture, and ephemera have all made the cut, as have royal family merchandise and Crown Lynn ware. Mid-Century Living: The Butterfly House Collection is her book showcasing the collection, housed in her Northland bach. Philanthropist Fernyhough co-founded Books in Homes with Alan Duff, wrote the best-selling memoir The Road to Castle Hill about the high-country station she ran and set up the online catalogue of domestic objects The NZ Museum of the Everyday.

ANTHONY BYRT (Aotearoa New Zealand) Anthony Byrt is a writer and art critic. His latest book, ‘The Mirror Steamed Over’, focusses on the artists Billy Apple, David Hockney, and the writer Ann Quin. His first book ‘This Model World: Travels to the Edge of Contemporary Art’ was 2017 Ockham NZ Book Awards shortlisted.

AN YU (China) Born and raised in Beijing, An Yu left at age 18 to study at New York University, where she graduated with an MFA in creative writing. Now having returned home after stints in Paris and Hong Kong, she has produced her debut novel, ‘Braised Pork’, which she wrote in English.


EPISODE 8: 9:00 AM SUNDAY 21 JUNE - Helon Habila, Philippa Swan and Freya Daly Sadgrove

HELON HABILA (Nigeria / United States) Nigerian US-based journalist, poet, and author Helon Habila is considered one of Africa’s finest literary voices. He writes about identity, exile and the many kinds of travellers now crisscrossing Africa and Europe. Habila’s fourth, novel Travellers has it all, reviews The Guardian, “intelligence, tragedy, poetry, love, intimacy, compassion, and a serious, soulful, arms-wide engagement with one of the most acute concerns of our age – the refugee crisis”. Habila has won numerous awards including the Caine Prize, Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and Windham-Campbell Literature Prize.

PHILIPPA SWAN (Aotearoa New Zealand) Philippa Swan’s time-travelling novel The Night of All Souls blends a contemporary tale with the secrets of the 1921 Pulitzer-prizewinner Edith Wharton. Swan trained as a landscape architect and wrote the critically acclaimed non-fiction book, Life (and DeathIn A Small City Garden. She is a freelance writer for NZ Gardener and Cuisine, and has won awards for her short-stories.

FREYA DALY SADGROVE (Aotearoa New Zealand) Writer, performer and theatre maker Freya Daly Sadgrove has recently published her first poetry collection Head Girl. She has a master’s from Victoria University and her work has appeared in various publications in Aotearoa, Australia, and the US.


EPISODE 9: 9:00 AM SUNDAY 28 JUNE - Samantha Power, Cass Sunstein and Selina Tusitala Marsh

SAMANTHA POWER (Ireland / United States) Pulitzer Prize-winning author, diplomat and war correspondent Samantha Power served in the Obama administration and as US ambassador to the UN. Twice named as one of Time’s ‘100 Most Influential People’, her best-selling memoir The Education of an Idealist, is a unique blend of expert storytelling and shrewd political insight, tracing her distinctly American journey from immigrant to war correspondent to presidential cabinet official. Power began her career as a journalist. At a time of upheaval and division, Power’s memoir – named one of the best books of 2019 by The New York Times and The Economist – offers an urgent response to the question “What can one person do?”

CASS SUNSTEIN (United States) Cass Sunstein is a Harvard Law School professor and served in the Obama administration. His latest book How Change Happens, looks at how, when and why, social movements such as #metoo and nationalism suddenly take off. He co-wrote the influential Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness, a revelatory examination of how people make decisions and how governments might persuade their citizens to act in socially beneficial ways while curbing government over-reaching, and the very timely Impeachment: A Citizen’s Guide

SELINA TUSITALA MARSH (Aotearoa New Zealand) Former Poet Laureate, performer and teacher Selina Tusitala Marsh has published three collections of poetry, including the 2010 Best First Book Award winner Fast Talking PI, and the 2018 Ockham NZ Book Awards longlisted Tightrope. Her latest book is the inspirational graphic memoir Mophead which she also illustrated. It tells the true story of a New Zealand woman realising how her difference can make a difference.


EPISODE 10: 9:00 AM, SUNDAY 5 JULY - Renée, Joshua Whitehead, Ruby Mae Hinepunui Solly and Tina Makereti

Episode 10 showcases our 2020 Onāianei series curated by Tina Makereti.

RENÉE (Aotearoa New Zealand) Playwright, novelist, poet, memoirist, and blogger Renée (Ngāti Kahungunu) has documented NZ’s social history in work that includes Wednesday To Come, Setting The Table, and memoir These Two Hands. Recent book The Wild Card is her first crime novel.

JOSHUA WHITEHEAD (Canada) Joshua Whitehead is a two-spirit Canadian First Nations poet and novelist. He is the author of the poetry collection Full-Metal Indigiqueer and the novel Jonny Appleseed, which won a Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction, and is working towards a doctorate in Indigenous literatures and cultures.

RUBY MAE HINEPUNUI SOLLY (Aotearoa New Zealand) Writer and musician Ruby Mae Hinepunui Solly (Kāi Tahu) has been published in journals such as Landfall, Minarets, and Starling. Her debut book Tōku Pāpā, will be published by Victoria University Press in 2021.

HOSTED BY TINA MAKERETI (Aotearoa New Zealand) Festival 2020 Onāianei Series programmer Tina Makereti’s work includes the novel The Imaginary Lives of James Pāneke, and 2016 Commonwealth Pacific Prizewinning short story Black Milk. She co-edited Black Marks on the White Page with Witi Ihimaera and was a contributor to Pūrākau – Māori Myths Retold.

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Episode 11: 9:00AM, SUNDAY 12 JULY - Neil Gaiman, Leanne Shapton and Kolokesa Uafā Māhina-Tuai

NEIL GAIMAN (England) The award-winning Neil Gaiman is author of over 30 acclaimed books and graphic novels for adults and children, including American GodsThe Sandman series, Coraline and The Graveyard Book. The renowned storyteller’s work has been adapted for film, radio and television – including scripts for Doctor Who. Neil will be discussing his latest work, an illustrated edition of his highly acclaimed novel for adults, The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

LEANNE SHAPTON (Canada) Leanne is a writer, artist, former Olympic swimming triallist, New York Times design editor, and publisher. She is the author of the award-winning Swimming Studies, co-author of Women in Clothes and her latest offering, Guestbook: Ghost Stories, uses artefacts – ephemera, photos, architectural plans, and her own watercolours in 33 tales of guests, ghosts and other lingering presences.

KOLOKESA UAFĀ MĀHINA-TUAI (Aotearoa New Zealand) author and curator Kolokesa Uafā Māhina-Tuai, is the founder of the cultural consultancy Lagi-Maama, and coedited the encyclopaedic three-century spanning Crafting Aotearoa: A Cultural History of Making in New Zealand and the Wider Moana Oceania.

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Episode 12: 9:00AM, SUNDAY 19 JULY - Patrick Gale, Julia Ebner and Michele Leggott

This penultimate episode features award-winning English novelist PATRICK GALE with his latest, 'Take Nothing With You', Austrian terrorism and extremism researcher and author JULIA EBNER discussing 'Going Dark: The Secret Social Lives of Extremists' and NZ’s inaugural Poet Laureate MICHELE LEGGOTT on 'Mezzaluna: Selected Poems'.

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