Helen Rickerby has just posted a slide show from the Ruapehu Writers Festival. And this:
‘We’re still on a high from the fabulous experience that was the inaugural Ruapehu Writers Festival in Ohakune last weekend. We were pretty sure it would be a fun and worthwhile event, but it exceeded our expectations in every way. Several participants, including Elizabeth Knox and Paula Green, said it was the best festival they’ve ever been to!
From the opening event on Thursday, which was opened with a karakia by Hune Rapana of local iwi Ngati Rangi and was MCed by Johnny Greene, Head of English at Ruapehu College, we started to suspect we were in for something special. As those of you who were there will know, on Friday, as more and more people arrived, we enjoyed session after session of articulate and brilliant ideas and readings. By Friday afternoon, the room we used for most sessions had reached its capacity of 80–100, and the spill-over people were lounging in the hallway or sitting on the deck, listening through the open French doors. Also through open doors we could hear the bubbling of a stream across the road, and a couple of times a day the speakers needed to pause for a few moments while a train went past on the nearby Main Trunk Line.’
For the rest of the piece and the slide show see here.
I am very excited to head off in the morning to this festival. Writers are coming from far and wide to touch base with Ohakune readers. It seems like no other festival with children doing a horse ride with Stacy Gregg, a waterfall walk, a bunch of writers doing the crossing on Monday (ah if only!), festival lecture by Elizabeth Knox, truck loads of poets and fiction writers, non fiction as well. Martin Edmond for a start.
Some writers are going as readers.
Not too late to plan a weekend by the mountain!
Loads of hard work by the organisers getting a festival off the ground for the first time.
So thanks! So good to see such a bustle of literary activity outside the main centres and universities.
Message from Victoria University:
We are planning a Ruapehu Writers Festival for 17-20th March. It’ll be the first of its kind in the Ruapehu area. The inspiration behind it came from wanting to take literary festivals out of the metropolitan areas and into small town New Zealand. Our rural towns, mountains, rivers and landscapes have inspired some remarkable writing and we want these words to be heard in the places that inspired them. We also want to inspire a new generation of readers and writers.
But we need your support to make this idea happen. We’re launching a fundraising campaign today to raise the funding we need to get the festival off the ground. We have secured some funding from Creative NZ and we’ll raise some income from selling tickets, but we still need another $7,000 to make the festival happen. So we’re asking our community and supporters to get on board and donate any amount you can, big or small, through our Boosted website here. You can read more about the festival there too.
Please help us make the festival a huge success – every donation, big or small, will make a huge difference. Your donations will be tax deductible as the website is run through the Arts Foundation so you’ll get a receipt.
And please help us spread the word by sharing on social media and telling your friends and family, and of course buy your tickets to come along too! You can buy tickets here.
Development Manager – Faculties of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education
Phone: 04 463 6479