Tag Archives: David Hill


Writing workshop with David Hill

New Zealand has some amazing writers’ festivals. The Auckland Writers Festival and Dunedin Writers and Readers Festival both took place in May, and The New Zealand Young Writers Festival (also in Dunedin) was in June.

But I have to admit, none of them have ever been appealing enough to make me get off my butt to organize flights, accommodation, time off work, childcare, or battle Auckland traffic to go. (Though I did go see a talk by Elizabeth Knox during Hamilton Book Month last year.)

The toilet key from
The Children's Bookshop.
Yep, that's a full-sized board book.

But last week I heard David Hill was doing a workshop at the Children’s Bookshop in Wellington. David Freaking Hill. And I got that itch to go. So I checked there were flights available (so what if they cost $350 and might end up getting fogged in?) and that my husband didn’t have plans, and I booked my place.

This was one of those times where I really felt like a writer. I must be a writer. I was going to a writing workshop. It’s right there in the title!

So, I got up super early on Sunday morning, made the husband and kids drop me at the airport (they went for pancakes afterwards), survived the flight down, didn’t burst into tears when I couldn’t find the bus (have I mentioned I have anxieties?), found the bus, made it to the Children’s Bookshop, and actually managed to talk to strangers like a rational human being (see aforementioned anxieties).

David Hill was great. He’s funny, and honest, and I really love hearing NZ writers talking about writing.

It was a small group, and I could tell everyone felt that awkwardness that you do in those situations. Not just me. And I was big and brave and put myself out there. It made me think I really should get myself to the next local NZSA meeting. Because despite my shy introvert nature, I do like other writer people.

All too soon it was over. I had ages to wait for my flight home, so I walked back to the airport (it was a beautiful day in Wellington) and then spent an hour listening to music and reading in a semi-comfortable chair in the departure lounge (which was bliss in itself–clearly I don’t get enough relaxy time.) And this time I enjoyed the flight (the empty seat next to me, the fresh spring water, the cup of tea, the biscuit, and more listening/reading time) since the anxieties were behind me.

So, big thanks to David Hill for sharing your ideas with us, and to John and Ruth from The Children’s Bookshop for hosting the event (and John’s blunt opinions on the state of publishing.)