Writers can hone their talents over Labour Weekend with workshops for novels, short stories, children (8-13) and screenwriting. Tutors include Tauranga-born Tim Balme (Brokenwood, 800 Words), University of Waikato lecturer Tracey Slaughter (Deleted scenes for lovers), author Kate de Goldi (The 10pm question) and Catherine Robertson (Gabriel’s Bay).

The spotlight turns on speakers from November 2-3 and among those sharing their stories are financial writer Mary Holm, climate scientist James Renwick, former politician Marilyn Waring (still the youngest MP ever elected in New Zealand), Rocky Horror creator Richard O’Brien and parenting author Emily Writes.

Earlybird tickets are $18 per session (until 13 September) and student tickets are only $5. Day passes are available to be able to attend all sessions on your chosen day.

See the full schedule below.


10am: The Political Years - Marilyn Waring in conversation with Chloe Swarbrick.

12pm: Mess, Magic & Mothering - Parenting writers Emily Writes (Rants in the Dark) and Renee Liang (When we Remember to Breathe) talk with Tracey Slaughter.

1:30pm: Headlands - Traversing the Badlands of anxiety and depression is a daily reality for more people than we ever know. Sharing their stories with Renee Liang are Naomi Arnold, Lee Murray and Victor Rodger.

3pm: Standing Up - Our panel members have all had the courage to be themselves in public life. Chloe Swarbrick, Richard O'Brien and and Rachel Stewart talk to Tracey Slaughter and share their experiences.


9am: Money Talks - Rich Enough? Mary Holm discusses her book which takes readers through eight steps to get their money sorted.

10am: The Hunters - Debbie Stewart and Rachel Stewart discuss New Zealand's extraordinary birds of prey and the challenges they face.

11:30am: Start Listening - Time to start listening to the other side of the story. Talking about the impacts of being 'different' are Brannavan Gnanalingam, Renee Liang and Victor Rodger, chatting to Scott Campbell.

1pm: Money talks - Smashed Avocado - Mary Holm talks to Rosie Dawson-Hewes about how millennials can get savvy with their money.

2:30pm: Getting Louder - Our panellists will each state their position, then engage in frank discussion about what, if anything can be done at a global, national, local and personal level for humans to survive climate change. Panellists include Scott Campbell, Dr James Renwick, Chloe Swarbrick, Rod Oram, Namouta Poutasi and Rachel Stewart.