News & Updates




Friday 8th March 2024 – The Auckland Writers FestivalWaituhi O Tāmaki, is thrilled to announce the first nine headliners coming to the 2024 Festival, ahead of the full programme announcement next week.

The full festival programme, to be revealed publicly at midday on Wednesday 13th March, includes over 200 writers, including some of the most well-known literary superstars and global thinkers – many coming to NZ for the first time – to appear in a rich and diverse programme bursting with Aotearoa New Zealand’s literary stars and fresh voices. All events will be live in Auckland.

The festival is a rare chance to spend an hour with the people behind the books we all know and love, and this year’s lineup includes award-winning authors, journalists, slam poets, activists, sports stars, actors, politicians and more, as they share the inspiration behind their work, their personal creative journeys, and their take on global issues. These conversations bring the world to Aotearoa’s doorstep – they are entertaining, enlightening, stimulating, and often emotional – there’s genuinely no other experience in New Zealand quite like it.

The Auckland Writers Festival has an outstanding global reputation – it is the biggest festival of its kind (per capita) in the Southern Hemisphere – and brings audiences from all over the country, and the world, to Tāmaki Makaurau in May. It’s one of Aotearoa’s most beloved, and attended, cultural experiences.

The full programme will be released on Wednesday 13th March at midday. Tickets are on sale at 9am on Friday 15th March 2024.
The Auckland Writers Festival runs over one week in May (14 – 19) at the Aotea Centre and surrounding venues.

For all media enquiries, including author interviews, or interview with new Artistic Director Lyndsey Fineran, contact Jo Bennett @ JBPR: 021 024 47871.


Ann Patchett
(USA) – Ann is one of the world’s most acclaimed, prize-winning novelists and non-fiction writers. She is one of Time magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People in the World’ and is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and Harper’s Magazine. She also famously owns and runs indie bookstore ‘Parnassus Books’ in Nashville. Her most recent novel Tom Lake was an instant New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. Her novel The Dutch House was longlisted for the 2020 Women's Prize, and in 2002 she won the Orange Prize for Fiction with Bel Canto, a prize she has also twice been shortlisted for with her novels The Magician’s Assistant in 1998 and State of Wonder in 2012. LATEST BOOK: Tom Lake

Peter Frankopan (UK) – Peter is Professor of Global History at Oxford University and considered one of the best literary historians in the world – The Times (UK) has described him as 'a literary star', while the BBC has named him a 'rock star don.’ His bestselling book The Silk Roads: A New History of the World was named one of the 'Books of the Decade' by the Sunday Times. His latest book, The Earth Transformed: An Untold History which charts how our environment (including climate change) shapes civilisation, went straight to the top of the bestseller charts in the UK and across the world. The Earth Transformed was Book of the Year in the Financial Times, Guardian, The Independent, BBC History, The New Yorker and The NZ Herald. LATEST BOOK: The Earth Transformed: An Untold History

Celeste Ng (USA) – Celeste is the internationally bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You, Little Fires Everywhere and Our Missing Hearts. Her writing has received numerous awards and Little Fires Everywhere was adapted into a hit-television series produced and starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington. LATEST BOOK: Our Missing Hearts

Dan Carter (AOTEAROA) – Dan is widely regarded as the best rugby player in the world. During his twenty-year career he broke several world records and scored the winning points in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final, earning him his third World Rugby Player of the Year Award and a second consecutive World Cup win for New Zealand. He is the most-capped All Black Fly Half and the highest point scorer in Super Rugby history. In 2021, Dan was invited to become the first ever Leader in Practice at the Oxford Foundry, the entrepreneurship institute founded at the university by Apple CEO Tim Cook. His book The Art of Winning is a unique and inspiring deep dive into leadership, strength and resilience. LATEST BOOK: The Art of Winning

Anna Funder (AUS) – Anna is a globally celebrated novelist and non-fiction writer. Formerly an international human rights lawyer, Anna won the Baillie Gifford Prize for best non-fiction for Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall. Her latest book Wifedom: Mrs Orwell’s Invisible Life, about the life of novelist George Orwell’s wife, has been hailed as a ‘masterpiece’ and a ‘spellbinding achievement’. It was an instant New York Times bestseller and listed as a ‘Best Book of the Year’ by the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Economist, The Times, and LitHub, among others. Anna’s novel All That I Am won the Miles Franklin Prize and spent over a year on the bestseller lists. LATEST BOOK: Wifedom: Mrs Orwell’s Invisible Life

Abraham Verghese (USA) – Abraham is an American physician, professor, and an acclaimed author. His most recent novel, The Covenant of Water, was selected for Oprah’s Book Club, was in TIME magazine’s ‘Must Read Books of 2023’ and has spent six months on the New York Times bestseller list. His 2009 novel, Cutting for Stone, sold more than 1.5 million copies in the US, was translated into more than twenty languages, and is currently being adapted into a film by Oprah’s production. Abraham was awarded the National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2016, has received five honorary degrees. He practices medicine in Stanford, California. Watch his TEDtalk here. LATEST BOOK: The Covenant of Water

Patricia Grace (Ngāti Toa, Ngāti Raukawa and Te Āti Awa) (AOTEAROA)
– Patricia is one of Aotearoa’s most prominent and celebrated fiction authors and a figurehead of modern NZ literature. Her collection of short stories Waiariki was the first published book by a Māori woman in New Zealand, and she has since published six novels and seven short story collections, as well as books for children and a work of non-fiction. She won the New Zealand Book Award for Fiction for Potiki and was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2001 with Dogside Story, which also won the 2001 Kiriyama Pacific Rim Fiction Prize. In 2005 her novel Tu won the Deutz Medal for Fiction and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards First Prize for Fiction. She received the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2008. Her memoir, From the Centre: A Writer’s Life published to widespread acclaim in 2021 and her latest book Bird Child was a number one bestseller in New Zealand. LATEST BOOK: Bird Child

Viet Thanh Nguyen (USA) – Viet Thanh is a Vietnamese American Professor and Pulitzer Prize award-winning author for his novel The Sympathizer, which has sold over a million copies. It’s now a major HBO adaptation starring Sandra Oh and Robert Downey Jnr. He is also a columnist for The New York Times on immigration, refugees, politics and culture. His other books are the sequel to The Sympathizer, The Committed; a short story collection, The Refugees; Nothing Ever Dies: Vietnam and the Memory of War (a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and the National Book Critics Circle Award in General Nonfiction); and Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America. His latest book A Man of Two Faces is part-memoir, part polemic.
LATEST BOOK: A Man of Two Faces: a Memoir, a History, a Memorial *

Tusiata Avia (AOTEAROA) – Tusiata’s poetry has been hailed in New Zealand and abroad as ‘revolutionary’ and her work has won multiple awards, including the 2013 Janet Frame Literary Trust Award, an Ockham NZ Book Award, the 2023 Prime Ministers Award for Literary Achievement in Poetry and in 2020 she was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to the arts and poetry. Her five lauded poetry collections, including Fale Aitu and The Savage Coloniser, have been released to wide critical acclaim, and her collection Wild Dogs Under my Skirt was adapted into a six-part play most recently running off-Broadway in New York City. Her latest book Big Fat Brown Bitch was written partly in response to the very public backlash her poem The Savage Coloniser brought, which saw her subject to harassment and death threats. These poems combine Avia’s caustic wit, sharp eye and controlled fury to create a collection that critics have hailed as “a masterpiece of radical self-acceptance” and one that sees her “emerge… triumphant” over the controversy of recent years. Don’t miss Avia as she joins Victor Rodger in conversation about the craft and creation of her powerful poetry, and performs from her new collection. LATEST BOOK: Big Fat Brown Bitch

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