Much to see at Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival but first vote, say organisers

There is just over a week before the Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival begins and organisers are advising festival-goers to ‘vote first’ before settling in for a weekend of literary brilliance.

Festival Chair Nic McConnell says, “As a biennial festival, we announced our dates a good year before the 2023 election date announcement.” Realising the date collision, the board decided to embrace the occasion.

The festival will be grounded in generative conversations between authors, readers and agents of the literary world. Centred in the heart of Dunedin, all festival venues will be within ticking distance of a polling booth, so voting on the day and attendance at the festival is easy.

Organiser Kitty Brown (Kāi Tahu) says,

“I encourage all audience members and festival guests to vote early before the festival to have a clear head and a clear schedule to enjoy the sessions!”

The Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival is a celebration of ideas and creativity in Aotearoa’s first City of Literature. This year the Festival brings together more than 80 authors, poets and thought leaders for a jam-packed programme that spans three days.

The Festival prioritises:

Celebration – Te Pō Whakanui i Witi Ihimaera. The Festival Gala centres the life and literary influence of a national treasure. And several celebrations feature throughout the event.

Laughter – Funny people talking about what matters to them.

Food and Foraging – Explorations of alternative food networks as the cost of living escalates.

Poetry – Challenges and cures in equal measure for an election weekend.

Te Ao Māori – An inaugural series of finely curated voices and events.

Children – Riotous workshops and story sessions at the Library.

Wisdom – Gathering, sharing and absorbing it through story.

The Dunedin Writers & Readers Festival 2023 offers many opportunities for connection, fun, reflection and cultural immersion.

View the full programme at