Sunday, May 18, 2008

Auckland Writers' Festival.

I got back yesterday from a fantastic few days in Auckland for the festival. I would have liked to have stayed for longer, but I arrived late Thursday afternoon and left first thing on Sunday morning, and in that time managed to get to eight sessions and three parties and not a dud amongst them. Huge congratulations to Jill and Shona, Peter and Stephanie for the whole thing which was probably the best yet.

One of the things I love about the Auckland festival is the fact that there is usually more than one thing going on at once, and the half hour between sessions gives you ample time to buy books, get them signed, or mill around and catch up with people you haven't seen for a while.

While everything was great for me, highlights include Sarah Hall (smart, articulate, interesting), Junot Diaz (I only caught him on the opening night but he read brilliantly), Hermione Lee, Paula Morris, Luke Davies (a definite highlight of highlights: engaging, funny, honest)... oh heck now I've started I actually want to just about list them all. Special mentions to chairpersons Carole Beu, Graham Beattie and Kate Camp. I appreciate that chairing is a tough job (see my comments on Beattie's blog).

I came home with a nasty cold (thanks Paula!) so this report isn't as detailed as I had planned. Feel free to ask my any questions if you didn't get to it. I'm off to nurse my snuffles.


Mary McCallum said...

Hi Rachael -- I think I might have caught Paula Morris' cold too. Nice to spot you in the big smoke and especially to see you second row back at Let's Go Down to the Sea Again panel. I've posted a rundown on the highs and lows of the festival on my blog too. The highlight... a private chat with Anne Enright in front of the hotel... Ciao.

Rachael King said...

I found your panel fascinating, Mary, great job to all four of you. Yes, private chats with authors are always a bonus, had a few myself, and all friendly and interested.

When I came to your session it reminded me that last year someone came up to me afterwards and suggested I should be more careful when I cross my legs on the stage! I was relieved to see all the panellists wearing trousers...

PJKM said...

I see I'm blamed for everyone's illnesses!

Yesterday I was in Wellington, spreading my germs in another city, bringing the government to its knees, etc.

Ran into your brother, BTW: he's probably sick now as well.