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UK Literary Sensation, Anthony Horowitz Headlines Festival’s Schools’ Programme

UK Literary Sensation, Anthony Horowitz Headlines Festival’s Schools’ Programme

Globally-celebrated British author of Alex Rider fame, Anthony Horowitz, award-winning US young adult novelist Laurie Halse Anderson, best-selling Australian writer and national treasure Morris Gleitzman, internationally-acclaimed NZ singer/songwriter Hollie Fullbrook (aka TINY RUINS), multi-award winning NZ young adult author Bernard Beckett and leading light of local spoken word poetry Grace Taylor are among the stellar line-up of writers taking part in the Auckland Writers Festival Schools’ Programme, on May 13th and 14th this year at the Aotea Centre.

Now in its seventh year, the schools’ programme sees students from all over Auckland filling the Centre’s auditorium to capacity to hear some of the world’s biggest children’s and teenage literary stars.

Auckland Writers Festival associate director Eleanor Congreve developed this year’s schools programme and says she hopes it demonstrates the festival’s unswerving commitment to inspiring young writers and readers.

“The Festival is delighted to offer two exciting days of presentations, workshops and discussions by leading local and international youth writers. Encouraging a life-long love of reading by introducing writers to young readers is an important part of the Festival’s mission,” says Ms Congreve.

The 2015 schools’ programme is made possible due to a generous donation from The Freemasons Foundation. Festival director Anne O’Brien says the partnership is a great fit.

“I am delighted to welcome The Freemasons Foundation into our partnership stable. Their generous support demonstrates the organisation’s active and ongoing work for the benefit of young people,” says Ms O’Brien.

David Mace, Chairman of the Freemasons Foundation says The Freemasons are privileged to be partnering the Auckland Writers Festival Schools Programme and Family Day for 2015.

“The work of the Freemasons Foundation is focused wherever we can see a direct and lasting benefit to the community – from cutting edge Medical Research in association with the University of Auckland, the Emerging and Resident Artists of NZ Opera, and now to supporting young, emerging writing talent,” says Mr Mace.

Anthony Horowitz’s not-so-secret mission is to pass on the joy of reading to others. This master storyteller joins us for a lively discussion about why he’s inspired by James Bond, the role of fantasy and suspense in his stories and how it’s possible to go from disliking school to a writing career that spans books, films and television.

Morris Gleitzman will lead a lively session during which he will tell us what happens when he meets a character in his imagination and how he draws inspiration from their bravery, wit, silliness and smarts.

Students will be blown away by Laurie Halse Anderson’s humour and honesty in her spirited session called ‘The Impossible Knife of Memory’.

The driving force behind the Rising Voices Youth Poetry Movement and a founder of the South Auckland Poets Collective, Grace Taylor will inspire students with poetry and performance.

Hollie Fullbrook (aka Tiny Ruins) joins us during a brief break from recording and touring to share some of her music live and to talk about the craft of song-writing.

Master of the experimental novel, Bernard Beckett hopes that his session will get ‘sort of rowdy’! Join him for a debate that will challenge and inspire.

Other schools’ programme featured writers are British stand-up comedian, classicist and novelist Natalie Haynes; NZ Post Book Awards finalist Philippa Werry; author of a stunning sci-fi debut Rachael Craw; award-winning designer and cult comics creator Ant Sang; teacher, animator and graphic artist Zak Waipara and playwright and novelist Whiti Hereaka.

Tickets – which are only open for purchase via schools – are now available. The events – which cater for students from Year 5 to Year 13 – have sold out in previous years, so schools are encouraged to book early.

For a full schools’ programme please go to To make enquiries, email and for bookings go to or call Ticketmaster on 09 970 9745.

Day attendance (entry to four sessions) is just $12 per student and must be booked through schools. Workshops, which offer highly motivated students a rare opportunity to learn from, and be inspired by, leading writers, are $15 per workshop per student. Schools needing financial transport assistance can apply to the Festival’s Transport Fund.

The Auckland Writers Festival Schools’ Programme is made possible with the generous support of its Gold Partner: The Freemasons Foundation, Grant Partners: ASB Community Trust and Creative New Zealand and Donor Partners: Penguin Random House New Zealand, Walker Books and Warwick.


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