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Going West Festival celebrates 20 years


Working around the war related theme ”Holding the Line” The Going West Books and Writers Festival celebrates 20 years this September.

This year we have a line-up of outstanding home-grown authors, playwrights and songwriters in a packed programme of events. Stephanie Johnson who featured at the first ever Going West will be the Sir Graeme Douglas Orator this year, as part of the opening night celebrations on Friday 11 September. Features of the festival are new non-fiction by David Slack, Roger Horrocks and Geoff Chapple; new novels from Greg McGee, Stephanie Johnson and Anna Smaill and poetry by Harry Ricketts and Leilani Tamu. Rachel Barrowman will be talking about her just-published biography of Maurice Gee and biographer Lucy Treep will offer insights into the life of Maurice Shadbolt.

As always, Going West hosts New Zealand’s first and still its best, poetry slam event.
The festival has also formed a partnership with Auckland’s new Maori theatre, Te Pou at 44A Portage Road, New Lynn.

Te Pou Theatre

Te Pou will present a development season of The Great American Scream by award-winning playwright Albert Belz and the theatre work, Sister Anzac, by Geoff Allen. It will also host community Whanau Day of storytelling.  Going West organisers, in association with the Waitakere Ranges Local Board, have also announced that from 2017 they will be offering a writer in residency programme at Maurice Shadbolt’s home of some 40 years, in Titirangi. This differs from most residencies in that Shadbolt House is a family home allowing the winner to live there with his or her family.

For more information the full Going West Books and Writers Festival programme will be online at:

going west