Word Christchurch, Ōtautahi’s festival of books, storytelling and ideas, is back again from August 31 to September 4. We have a huge programme, with performances, panels, workshops, and masterclasses – there’s something for everyone!
This year, I was lucky enough to be selected as the UC Student Guest Programmer, which means, with the amazing support and mentorship of the WORD Christchurch team, I’ve had the opportunity to conceive and deliver an event in this year’s festival.
I knew I wanted my event to showcase the beautiful, funny, strong, and clever work of wāhine Māori writers in Aotearoa – from there, I had to come up with a concept, invite writers on as guests (scary!), and decide on how best to promote it. I’ve also been able to get a look behind the scenes to learn how a festival works – from coming up with the big ideas to nailing down the details – and met some wonderful people who have been nothing but helpful and kind the whole way through. We were also able to make this a part of PACE, so it counts towards my degree.
Next steps for me are promoting my event, Mana Wāhine: Influence and Craft, and the wider festival at large to students (ahem, hence this blog post), and helping during the festival itself – you might even see me with a headset and walkie-talkie, hopefully looking like I know what I’m doing.
Come along to WORD! There are heaps of free events (including mine, yay!) with so many opportunities to learn and listen to some fantastic people.
My Top 3 picks for the festival (besides mine, of course) are:
- Keri Hulme: He Kōtuku Rereka Tahi
- Nuku: 100 Kickass Indigenous Women
- The Faraway Near: Ottessa Moshfegh
See you at WORD 2022!