Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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More than 60,000 attend Auckland Writers Festival

The Auckland Writers Festival has attracted a record crowd of more than 60,000 attendees, up 20% on last year, for the five-day festival that finished on Sunday.

The festival, which celebrated its 15th year, featured more than 150 international and New Zealand guests. Festival director Anne O’Brien said the ticket sales were a sign of the health of New Zealand’s books and writing culture. ‘More people came to more sessions and there were thousands of new faces. This has been the most astonishing five days,’ said O’Brien.

Among the highlights was Haruki Murakami’s only Southern Hemisphere festival appearance, with attendees travelling from the US and Australia for the sold-out event. ‘One audience member said Murakami’s session was “life changing” and another said it was “unrivalled in its inspiration”,’ said O’Brien.

Other popular guests were actor and writer Alan Cumming, who attracted more than 2200 attendees; children’s book authors David Walliams and Dav Pilkey; and Arthur C Clarke-award winning author Emily St John Mandel.



Category: Local news