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PledgeMe success Explore! Aotearoa launches at Children’s Bookshop



In a first for local favourites the Kennett Brothers, Explore! Aotearoa by Bronwen Wall, a creative non-fiction book for ages 10+, was launched at the Children’s Bookshop.

The publishers and author dressed up as historical figures from the book including Thomas Brunner and his tramping pack (played by Miro), Peter Graham and Freda Du Faur (mountaineers), Kelly Tarlton (diver) and Kieran Mckay (caver).

Kimberly Andrews signed prints of her beautiful illustrations, Bronwen Wall spoke about the writing process and Jonathan Kennett described how Explore! was brought into the world.

Project managers Helena Loy and Margot Sorensen expressed their gratitude for the support of the Kennett Brothers and their tutors Helen Heath, Marie Hodgkinson and Odessa Owens while they worked on one of the most complex books of the year.

Helena, who was also on the marketing and publicity team, especially thanked the donors of the book’s successful PledgeMe campaign – which doubled its original target amount.

Special thanks went to Ruth McIntyre and the late John McIntyre for their long-standing advice and support of the book.

Photos © Kennett Brothers, Helena Loy, Robert Peckyno

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Owen Marshall on short stories: yay or neigh?


Early in November, the New Zealand Book Council held its annual lecture at the Wellington Club.

This year’s lecture, titled The Pony Club, was presented by award-winning short story writer and novelist, Owen Marshall. Marshall thanked the Whitireia Publishing students for their hard work producing the book and assisting in organising the event.

Owen Marshall spoke passionately about the perceived novice status of the short story writer in comparison to the more capable novelist. Following the lecture, Marshall sat down with John Allen, CEO of the New Zealand Racing Board and Chair of Be Accessible, for a one-on-one interview.

Jo Cribb, CEO of the New Zealand Book Council, then launched their new fundraising campaign for 2018, 80 More. Drinks, nibbles and book signing rounded off the lively evening.

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Alternative facts under the spotlight at LitCrawl



On Saturday 11 November, LitCrawl returned to take over the streets and Whitireia’s 4th Floor literary online journal was launched at Double Denim HQ.

With the fun theme of ‘Alternative Facts’, the launch was filled with many laughs and lots of mischief.

Johanna Knox, editor of the journal, launched the 2017 edition with her thoughts on ‘fake news’, thanked the readers who spoke at the event (Wesley Hollis, Jackson Nieuwland, Nicola Easthope and Helen Vivienne Fletcher), as well as Mary-Jane Duffy (head of the Whitireia Creative Writing Programme) and the Whitireia Publishing student team who produced the journal.

Photos © Robert Peckyno

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A double launch at the Playmarket Accolades


Director Murray Lynch dually launched Performing Dramaturgy, a non-fiction work by Fiona Graham about the multidisciplinary role of dramaturgy in performing arts, along with Dawn Raids, a play written by Oscar Kightley about the controversial raids on alleged Pacific Island overstayers in the mid-70s.

Entertaining scenes from Dawn Raids were performed, along with scenes from Tiggy Tiggy Touch Wood, a play by the 2017 Playmarket Award winner, Renée.

Travelling from London, Fiona Graham attended the launch and spoke about the long but ultimately satisfying journey Performing Dramaturgy took her on over twenty years.

Mark McEntyre, Mishelle Muagututi’a and Erolia Ifopo (all part of the legendary first production by Pacific Underground 20 years ago) spoke on behalf of Oscar.

The twelve Whitireia students who worked on the two publications were presented with their very own copies of the books and were thanked for all their hard work – by being gifted with chocolate!

Photos © Philip Merry, Playmarket New Zealand

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