Friday 5 April, 6pm

The Ngaio Marsh Awards, in association with Dunedin Public Libraries, invites local booklovers to a thrilling event featuring four talented Otago authors.

Three-time Ngaios finalist and Traitors NZ star 'Darth Vanda' Symon will chair fellow 2024 Ngaios entrants Kura Carpenter and Paul Knowles, along with past Ngaios winner and University of Otago Professor Liam McIlvanney, in a criminally good conversation about the art and craft of storytelling, how to create memorable characters, the importance of setting and weaving in real-life issues, and what drew each of them to crime and mystery writing.

WHEN: Friday 5 April 2024
WHERE: 4th Floor, Dunedin City Library, Moray Place
WHEN: 6pm

ENTRY: free, but please RSVP to Dunedin City Library or by phone (03) 474 3690 or email

Kura Carpenter is a Dunedin author and graphic designer. Her Wyld Enchantment Woods cosy mystery series continues her passion for blending fantasy and mystery in her writing. Kura's debut, THE KINGFISHER'S DEBT was an urban fantasy crime novel that was nominated for Best Novel at the Sir Julius Vogel Awards in 2019, and won Kura the Best New Talent Award.

Liam McIlvanney is the Stuart Professor of Scottish Studies chair at the University of Otago, where he has taught Scottish literature, culture and history, Irish-Scottish literary connections, and crime fiction over the past decade-plus. His first book, BURNS THE RADICAL won the Saltire Prize, and his crime novels have won both the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best Novel and the Scottish Crime Novel of the Year, named the McIlvanney Prize for Liam's father William.

Paul Knowles is a Dunedin author who published his first historical mystery, THE TRIALS OF KAHU MILLER, last year. That book is a series of stories about a young Māori man who returns to Dunedin in the 1950s to train as a detective - until the NZ government sets ups its own intelligence agency - after working as a translator for British Intelligence during and after the Second World War. He's given cold and coroners cases to keep him occupied.

Vanda Symon is an internationally bestselling writer, radio host, President of the NZ Society of Authors, and Associate Dean at the University of Otago's Centre for Pacific Health. Her Sam Shephard mysteries have been shortlisted multiples times for the Ngaios, the CWA Daggers in the UK, and the Barry Awards in USA.