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Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival appoints new director

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

After a nationwide search, Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival has selected a new Director, appointing Hannah Molloy.

Dunedin Writers and Readers held its inaugural festival in 2014, followed by another in 2015 before moving to a biennial festival in 2017 and 2019. Hannah will be responsible for the creative direction of the Festival scheduled for May 2021.

Over four festivals, supported by pop-up literary events, Dunedin Writers and Readers has built a reputation as a literary celebration which supports Ōtepoti and New Zealand authors as well as showcasing international writing talent. Internationally acclaimed authors including Ian Rankin, John Boyne, Marcus Zusak, Stella Duffy, and Clementine Ford have attended the Festival. The Festival also hosts a popular Schools Programme introducing primary and secondary students to the joy of reading and writing.

Announcing the appointment, Dunedin Writers and Readers Board Chair Bridget Schaumann said..

We are delighted that Hannah will be coming on board as our Director. Her experience in cultural and community organisations which complement our own is invaluable, her knowledge of the arts community and involvement in various roles in the arts and funding sector in Dunedin is something that she will be able to draw on. Hannah loves literature and creative arts and we know that she will bring a fresh approach to our festival while building on the amazing work of our previous Director. The board is unanimously delighted to welcome her in her new role.

Hannah has a long history of employment and volunteering in the creative arts and not-for-profit sectors, not to mention reading. Having learned at a very young age the pleasure to be found in story-telling from her mother’s ‘Billy Bee’ tales, Hannah has used the crafting of words as the foundation of her career.

Most recently, she has been Marketing Manager at Otago Museum and previously she has held roles at Dunedin’s Fortune and Regent Theatres. Hannah has been a member of the Dunedin City Council’s Grants Subcommittee for the past triennium, was chair of Stage South Charitable Trust board in its first year, and she has been a theatre and dance reviewer for over a decade. She is also a member of the Otago Pioneer Women’s Memorial Association committee.

Hannah said, "I’m really excited about diving into this new adventure. I learned to read pretty young (about three I think) and reading for pleasure and relaxation, as well as broadening my outlook, is an essential part of my day.

"This festival is such an integral fixture on Dunedin’s creative and events calendar, and I feel really lucky that I’m going to play in it now. Dunedin is home to so much interesting and innovative creative literary talent, and being involved in celebrating that, as well as bringing talent and knowledge from around Aotearoa and the world, all while getting to talk about books I’ve read recently, is basically a dream job!

"We’re in uncertain times and likely to be for a while one way or another, so developing a programme for the next festival, with such a solid track record behind it, offers lots of room for imagination and testing ways of presenting literature. I’m looking forward to seeing what gets our audience excited and how we can find ways for them to luxuriate in books and words and ideas."

Hannah will start the role in early June.

Dunedin is New Zealand’s only UNESCO City of Literature, a book lover's paradise and home to many of the country’s much-loved authors, making it the ideal locale to celebrate literature in its many and varied forms.

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