It struck me at the CHCH Earthquake Event readings how few opportunities there are for writers and readers to interact in Auckland. The festivals now are mostly filled with international guests, and a lot of events around journalism, sports writing, magazines.
It was interesting to hear people read from and talk about their projects, some of which were non-fiction insights into areas of NZ life that are rarely explored. It was also a great opportunity for writers who hadn't read in public to 'road test' their stories.
I'm thinking we wait too much for other people to organize festivals on a large scale, when we could be doing more frequent events on a smaller scale, and not wait until one of us has a new book out.
The folk festival/poetry live model is a good one. Flaxroots events to connect the work, its creator, and the audience.