New Writing Programme Launches in Whaingaroa: A Year-Long Celebration of Literature


Aaron caught up with Jacqueline Anderson from the Old School Arts Centre this morning to learn about the Whaingaroa Writers World programme which is set to include a comprehensive series of events and promises to be a haven for writers, readers, and anyone passionate about the literary world.

The programme, set to kick off this week, boasts an array of offerings including workshops, seminars, writing events, and book sales featuring works by local authors. Jacqueline says that what sets this programme apart is its inclusivity, catering to all levels of expertise and enthusiasm within the writing community. Aaron was also surprised to learn that this event is not a one-off but part of a year-long programme of events.

The inspiration for this year's programme stemmed from last year's impromptu pop-up book shop, which showcased local authors. It emerged purely by chance when the Old School staff, faced with an empty exhibition room for a period, brainstormed a last-minute idea. With just a week to organise, the book shop was an unexpected hit that exceeded expectations.

Ann Neville, steering the programme on behalf of the Raglan Community Arts Council, brings a wealth of experience and a profound love for the written word. Jacqueline Anderson, serving as the Event Coordinator, stands alongside Anne to ensure the programme runs smoothly.

The writers programme’s inaugural workshop is set for later this week. With a pool of over 30 talented writers, bloggers, illustrators, and publicists within the community, attendees will have the opportunity to glean insights and skills from local experts.

The first series of events include presentations by local authors Ann Neville, Steve Horne, Kate Evans and Lance King. Each author will offer their own unique perspectives on writing, from the creative process to the intricacies of publication.

One of the programme's highlights, scheduled for February 22nd (tomorrow), features Lance King leading a discussion on parenting in the digital age post-Covid. Drawing from his extensive experience, King will provide valuable insights into nurturing resilient and engaged children in today's rapidly evolving world. You can listen to our chat with Lance King at this link.

 Steve Horne takes the spotlight on Friday, February 23rd, sharing his journey as a writer and offering invaluable advice on navigating the publishing industry. Steve's success as an author, evidenced by the reprint of his book 'The Trouble with Twins,' promises to inspire aspiring writers. Look out for our interview with Steve, scheduled for 8.30am Thursday, 22 February.


For younger writers, a two-session workshop on writing and illustrating their own book will be held on February 24th and 25th. Led by Ann Neville, this workshop aims to instil essential writing techniques while fostering individual creativity.

The programme culminates on March 1st with the launch of Kate Evans' latest book, 'Feijoa: A Story of Plants, People, Obsession and Belonging.' Evans, a prominent nature writer and journalist, invites the community to celebrate her newest literary endeavour.  Look out for our interview with Kate, scheduled for 9.30am Thursday, 29 February.


Throughout the year-long programme, the Old School Arts Centre Taiwhanga Whakaatu Toi Gallery will also serve as a hub for literary enthusiasts, offering a curated selection of books by local authors for sale. Looking ahead, the programme organisers tease future workshops covering diverse topics such as publishing, writing for children, fiction, nonfiction, poetry and more.

The Whaingaroa Writers World programme stands as a testament to the vibrant literary landscape of Whaingaroa, made possible through the generous support of the Raglan Community Board and Waikato District Council Creative Communities Scheme.

For further queries and if you would like to be involved with the 2024 writing programme, contact Ann Neville or Jacqueline Event Coordinator They are also hosting a hui for 6.30pm Tuesday 5th March at the Raglan Old School to discuss future events – all are welcome to attend.