About WORD


WORD Christchurch presents a huge variety of literary events, from our biennial festival – the largest literary event in the South Island – to one-off events with visiting and local authors. In May each year we partner with the Auckland Writers Festival for events, and in August and September on the festival off-year we present Shifting Points of View, a series of ideas-based events. We also present events during KidsFest in our non-festival year and every year we run a free schools programme showcasing the finalists in the New Zealand Children’s Book Awards.

Past guests include such luminaries as Eleanor Catton, Margaret Atwood, Ivan Coyote, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Nigella Lawson, Ian Rankin, David Mitchell, NoViolet Bulawayo, Tim Flannery, Caitlin Doughty, Alexander McCall Smith, Helen Macdonald, Michael Palin, Julia Gillard, Jung Chang, Geraldine Brooks, Jane Smiley, Ruth Reichl, Anna Smaill,  and children’s sensations David Walliams, Jeff Kinney and Andy Griffiths.

Our events bring writers, thinkers and performers together to celebrate the written word and provide a window for readers to respond to ideas. We have relationships with other organisations in Christchurch with the aim of including as many people from the community as possible to be part of our events.

Our mission is to bring the community together through its love of words in all their forms: written, spoken and sung, with an emphasis on storytelling and world-changing ideas to excite, entertain and inspire.

Prior to rebranding as WORD Christchurch in 2014, the festival was known as the Christchurch Writers Festival, which began life as Books and Beyond in 1996.

Photo: Mohamed Hassan, Doc Drumheller and Ciaran Fox, The Last Word, New Regent St, WORD Christchurch Festival 2016


Our mission: to bring the community together through its love of words in all their forms.

Contact us

Word Christchurch Festival

PO Box 29 270
Christchurch 8440

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