The Auckland Writers Festival is excited to announce the following inspiring writers for the 2018 Schools Programme: CHRIS RIDDELL, ANNE SALMOND, GAVIN BISHOP, SELINA TUSITALA MARSH and ALEX WHEATLE with more outstanding writers to be confirmed when the full programme is released on 7 February.
CHRIS RIDDELL (UK)
The 2015-2017 UK Children's Laureate Chris Riddell is a prize-winning writer and illustrator as well as a political cartoonist. His acclaimed children’s books have garnered major awards, including the Costa Children’s Book Award in 2013 for Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse, and he has earned the rare accolade of winning the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal three times. Riddell has also illustrated books for other writers including Paul Stewart, Frances Hardinge and Neil Gaiman, and has left his indelible mark on new editions of Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark and Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver.
ANNE SALMOND (NZ)
Dame Anne Salmond is one of this country's leading historians and public intellectuals, with a keen interest in inspiring all generations of New Zealanders to think about our past, present and future as a country, particularly in the areas of Maori-Pakeha relations, conservation and the environment. Her latest book, Tears of Rangi: Experiments across Worlds, looks at early encounters between Māori and Europeans and uses them to set out a vision for the future.
GAVIN BISHOP (NZ)
Since publishing his first picture book, Mrs McGinty and the Bizarre Plant, in 1981, children’s book author and illustrator Gavin Bishop (Ngāti Mahuta (Tainui) and Ngāti Pukeko, Ngāti Awa) has won numerous national and international awards for his work, as well as for his illustrations for other prominent authors including Margaret Mahy and Joy Cowley. Bishop was recognised for his contribution to children’s literature through the establishment in 2009 of The Storylines Gavin Bishop Award and was awarded an ONZM in 2013. With sumptuous, detailed illustrations his latest book, Aotearoa: The New Zealand Story, navigates a rich journey through defining moments in our history.
SELINA TUSITALA MARSH (NZ)
Poet, teacher and performer Selina Tusitala Marsh, who wrote and performed a poem for the Queen in 2016, is New Zealand’s current Poet Laureate. She has described the role as a "wonderful opportunity to extend the poetic page and stage to this nation's multi-coloured, multi-hued voices”. Having written and published her first poem at the age of twelve she continues to be a strong advocate for Pasifika poetry and literature and the force behind the online hub Pasifika Poetry. Marsh’s first book, Fast Talking PI won the Best First Book Award for Poetry at the 2010 New Zealand Book Awards and she has just published her third collection, Tightrope.
ALEX WHEATLE (UK)
Guardian Fiction Prize winner Alex Wheatle spent most of his childhood in a Surrey children’s home and started writing lyrics and performing as a DJ in his teen years. His early poetry gained him the moniker of the Brixton Bard and he received an MBE for services to Literature in 2008. Set in his invented Crongton his three novels, Liccle Bit, Crongton Knights and Straight Outta Crongton, explore the struggles of pursuing dreams while living on a council estate, through writing which has been praised as “poetic, rhythmic and unique, remaking the English language with tremendous verve”.