The Readings

A literary links list full of things we think you might like to check out.


Has owning a bookshop ever been a dream of yours? Here are a few for sale that could make your dream a reality. The Bookshelf in Waikanae is a book, gift and lotto shop whose current owners are retiring. Marsden Books in Karori is an integral part of its community, serving as both a bookshop and a NZ Post agent. And the Springvale Bookshop (also a NZ Post agent) in Whanganui is also for sale.

The shortlist for the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults is out. You can find it here.

The 2020 Eisner Award nominations have also been announced. You can find them here.

And we have one more shortlist to share with you, this time for the 2020 International Booker Prize.

A new collection, Saltwater Love, “create[s] a place for all Indigenous people to send written work that engages with love in its myriad forms and promotes care for one another and the land”. You can read the first issue here.

The following Writers and Publishers were recognised in this year’s Queens Birthday Honours:

To be Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM)

Dr Tessa Duder: For services to literature.
Elizabeth Knox: For services to literature.

To be Officers of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM)

Dr Brian Turner: For services to literature and poetry.
David Ling: For services to the publishing industry.

To be Members of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM)

Tusiata Avia: For services to poetry and the arts.
Donald Long: For services to literature and education, particularly Pacific language education.
Cilla McQueen: For services as a poet.

You can find a full honours list here.

The Readings

A literary links list full of things we think you might like to check out.


Exciting news from WORD Christchurch this week, as they announced a grass roots festival to take place from 30 October – 1 November. The festival will have a focus on New Zealand, and particularly Christchurch, writers and readers.

And continuing on the theme of exciting festival news, VERB Wellington have announced the dates for their annual festival, which will be taking place from 6 – 8 November. Spring is shaping up to be an exciting and busy season for the New Zealand literary community!

The Auckland Writers Festival Winter Series just keeps giving! Episode Five livestreams on Sunday 31 May at 9am, and features Richard Ford (USA), food writer and broadcaster Yasmin Khan (England), and Aotearoa New Zealand debut author and intensive care nurse Amy McDaid, hosted as always by Paula Morris.

The Australian Book Industry Awards for 2020 have been announced. You’ll find the list of winners here.

Also announced are the longlists for the Australian Booksellers Association’s 2020 Booksellers’ Choice Book of the Year Awards.

Some of our member booksellers have been featuring in the news lately. Here’s a great piece on Renee Rowland and The Twizel Bookshop.

And The Twizel Bookshop appeared alongside Time Out Book Store and Unity Books Auckland , in an article in The Guardian about New Zealand’s post-Covid books boom.

The Readings

A literary links list full of things we think you might like to check out.


Did you tune in for the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards this week? There’s a great write up here.

The Auckland Writers Festival Winter Series continues Sunday 17th May at 9am with a session featuring Chanel Miller (USA), recent Acorn Prize for Fiction winner Becky Manawatu, and Robert Macfarlane (England). Tune in online for what is sure to be fantastic conversation.

Wellington’s City Gallery took it’s Book Club online, with Pip Adam leading Rosabel Tan, Megan Dunn and John Summers in discussions about pandemic themed works, including Stephen Soderbergh’s Contagion, The Plague by Albert Camus, ‘You Treat Us Like We’re the Virus,’ an article by Vanessa Crofskey for The Pantograph Punch, Arundhati Roy’s Financial Times article ‘The Pandemic is a Portal,’ ‘The American Exception,’ by Zadie Smith for The New Yorker, ‘Man reads The Plague during the Plague,’ by John Summers for Newsroom, and Sam Brooks’ piece for The Spinoff, ‘The Highs, the Lows and the WTFs of One World: Together at Home.’

Kei Te Pai Press have launched their first journal centered around the concept of Te Korekore.

Premiering on Sunday 17th May on TVNZ is the adaptation of Eleanor Catton’s Man Booker Award winning The Luminaries. We’re sure many of New Zealand’s literature lovers will be crowding around their TV sets to re-enter the world of 19th Centtury Hokitika and Catton’s spellbinding story.


The Readings

A literary links list full of things we think you might like to check out.


Verb Wellington have launched the Verb Community, a membership community with sliding payment options, set up to support and nurture creativity and community. If you value arts (and who doesn’t?) and want to see artists and writers paid to create content, sign up and contribute. The gorgeous image above was commissioned for the Verb Community from Jessica Thompson Carr, aka Māori Mermaid.

Tupuranga Journal has launched it’s first issue, full of incredible writing by Indigenous and POC writers from Te Moana-nui-a-Kiwa.

Paula Green invited New Zealand Booksellers (and even a couple of us here at Booksellers NZ!) to contribute to a list of comfort books over on Poetry Shelf. It’s a beautifully varied list, and a great source if you’re after a steady and calming to read, as so many of us are right now.

Don’t forget that you can attend the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards this year, right from the comfort of your own living room! All you have to do is tune in via Facebook or YouTube at 6pm on Tuesday May 12. See you there!

The Auckland Writers Festival are hosting an online 2020 Winter Series at 9am on Sundays. To tune in to the livestreams head to their Facebook or YouTube pages. And if 9am on a Sunday is a little early for you, the sessions will be uploaded to the AWF website. The next session on Sunday 10 May features Philippe Sands, Ian Wedde and Lisa Taddeo in conversation with Paula Morris.

The Pantograph Punch has had a redesign, and it’s looking gorgeous. Check out the lush new look, and the reasoning behind it, here.



The Readings

Kia ora, and welcome to The Readings, a literary links list full of things we think you might like to check out.

garage project

Our friends at ReadNZ have launched two fantastic new projects. Blokes vs. Books promotes kiwi men as readers. It sees playwright Victor Rodger in conversation with brewers, pizza barons, politicians, Shortland Street actors and more about the role books and reading have played in their lives.

And for younger members of your household, there’s the Stay Home Book Club, a reading challenge where kids aged between 5 and 14 sign up to a team and earn points by logging the books they’ve read or listened to. Booksellers Tokens are up for grabs as prizes.

The Ockham New Zealand Book Awards were scheduled to take place on Tuesday 12 May. Good news: they still will! The format for this year’s ceremony will be a little different than usual, with the announcements being made online rather than in Auckland. A YouTube channel has been set up for the occasion, and you can subscribe now. The channel is also hosting a series of finalist author readings in the weeks leading up to the winners’ announcements.

Poets Sinead Overbye and Jordan Hamel have created Stasis Journal: an online literary journal for these static times. Their kaupapa is to provide a paid platform for all kinds of writing, digital and visual art that is being produced during the current rāhui. Submissions are open, and new work will be published every weekday.

Oscen Magazine are hosting The Unlockdown: a free 3-day mini online festival where you can “unlock” your creativity and join engaging conversations. The festival runs from 18-20 April, and features a range of creative happenings that participants can take part in.

The Pantograph Punch have also been hosting an online festival on their instagram page. The next session takes place at 2pm on Saturday 18 April, and features comedians Rose Matafeo and Alice Snedden.

If you want excellent creative prompts each day, look no further than Satellites’ Lockdown Advent Calendar. Each day of lockdown they share a creative exercise as well as a piece of writing from a different creative. has a collection of fresh new writing by some of Aotearoa’s most talented scribes, in it’s Notes from Self-Isolation series.

If you enjoy the work of Sarah Laing, you’ll love The COVID-19 Diaries; sketches of daily life during a pandemic that the writer and illustrator is posting on her blog, Let Me Be Frank.

We know the readers of New Zealand are dearly missing browsing the new release shelves at their local bookshop. The brilliant gang at Victoria University Press have come up with a nifty – and generous – solution to your cravings. They’ve put together a sampler featuring extracts from their newest published books, and plenty of pieces from as yet unreleased titles. You can access The VUP Home Reader for free here.

Small press Bitter Melon, run by Nina Mingya Powles, has been publishing Stay Home Diary: an online archive of diary entries by Asian writers, artists & zinemakers.

And don’t forget, even though their doors may be closed, your local bookshop are still there for you. Check out their social media pages and you’ll find an online community of creative booklovers, getting inventive with how to share their love of literature in these strange days.

Happy reading!