Friday, 8 November - Sunday, 10 November.
Illustrators and writers of children's and young adults' books, gathering in Dunedin for a national hui, WILD Imaginings.
WILD Imaginings is the 2019 New Zealand hui for established and aspiring children’s writers and illustrators. Fifi Colston, the 2019 Otago College of Education Creative New Zealand Children’s Writer in Residence, explains that, 20 years ago, "getting together at a hui, with seasoned writers and illustrators, inspired me to take this part of my career further, and seriously. I was new to the children's book publishing world and unsure of my abilities, but the advice and encouragement from others was gold." Writer Barbara Else agrees: "the New Zealand children’s writing community is collegial and generous, always talking. A gathering in Dunedin will create a lot of talk about our city and what it provides."
Why WILD Imaginings? Of course children’s books are the products of writers and illustrators’ imaginations, they inspire children's wild imaginings. And WILD stands for Writers and Illustrators Love Dunedin!
Dunedin-based writer of YA novels Rachel Stedman says, "our diverse arts scene and heritage buildings will make this a vibrant hui, full of great learning opportunities for both newcomers and experienced writers and illustrators." Raymond Huber, a local writer for children, further explains, "writing is usually a solitary craft, so it’s essential to meet with other writers. You realise you’re not the only one who procrastinates, or gets a lot of rejections – the mutual empathy is great. That’s why I always look forward to these hui. And the big bonus is that it’s in Dunedin for the first time. It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet and learn from our talented children’s/YA writing and illustrating community."
Fifi says, "I loved being in Dunedin as the Writer in Residence and I can't wait to come back for WILD Imaginings in November!" Fifi, Barbara, Rachel and Raymond will be joined at WILD Imaginings by writers, illustrators and publishers of children's books from around New Zealand. Ranging from picture books for babies, through to books for young adults, presenters will discuss their craft in panel discussions, keynotes and workshops. The hui programme includes an opening reception and dinner, with plenty of opportunities to socialise. The full programme is available:
https://www.storylines.org.nz/ Registrations for the hui are via Storylines.
Some hui sessions are open to the public for a koha. Check Facebook for more information. Also open to the public, Saturday 9 and Sunday 10, November, is an Exhibitors' Marketplace at the Octagon Club (9 The Octagon). The hui runs concurrently with the Ignition Children's Book Festival.