Verb Festival is an annual festival in Wellington that celebrates Aotearoa's writers alongside international guests.
This year, the festival will take place between 6 - 10 November. Verb Festival features the famous LitCrawl on Saturday 9 November: 25 events in 3.5 hours in 25 venues.
We whipped around our book-loving office to ask, What's your pick from the festival this year?
Read NZ Te Pou Muramura communications manager Melissa is excited that our Friday Twitter ritual, RāmereShorts, will be part of LitCrawl this year. Rāmere Shorts Live will involve a bar, random words, collaborative poetry writing and prizes - what's not to love? We hope you can join us.
As a lifelong library devotee, Melissa also likes the look of For the Love of the Library, a free event where three librarians discuss, with author Elizabeth Knox, what they value most about their work, their workplace and how they see Aotearoa's libraries of the future.
Read NZ CEO Jo Cribb has been eyeing up What is Happening to the Humanities?, a discussion between authors Selina Tusitala Marsh and Mandy Hager, Associate Professor Sarah Ross and RNZ's Lynn Freeman.
Jo says with a laugh: "As a proud holder of a BA... and an MA, I feel invested in this event!"
Read NZ corporate services manager Tanya Prince is keen to attend LitCrawl itself.
"I love the actual LitCrawl being held this year on Saturday 9 November. It is a great romp through the literary world. My picks for Saturday night would be: Bad Diaries Salon: Crush (in phase 1), Pūrākau (phase 2), and Lie down and listen (phase 3).
Read NZ's programmes manager Kathryn Carmody is hoping to attend Drone by Forward-shortlisted Scottish poet Harry Josephine Giles, described as the 'astonishing culmination of five years of work.'
"It’s described as multimedia gig theatre that’s mixed new every night and that sounds like it’s going to be a LOT of fun to watch," Kathryn says.
Booksellers' Tiffany Matsis has her eye on a special, literary high tea, but has unfortunately discovered a calendar clash.
"Ever since the programme launched, I’ve been eyeing up Going to Custard: High Tea with Catherine Robertson and Danielle Hawkins. Frankly, you had me at “custard.” I adore Catherine’s books and, although I have only read one of Danielle’s so far, it was similarly funny and endearing. Two gorgeous, witty, smart women plus high tea – it’s a match made in heaven.
"Unfortunately I am taking my kids to Auckland that weekend for the Shawn Mendez concert; I am absolutely kicking myself at the timing and already suffering major FOMO."
Booksellers CEO Lincoln Gould says:
"I really like the look of the opening gala event Verb Festival Gala Night: The Essential Struggle, as it will set the tone for the whole programme theme and it looks like a great line-up of speakers."
On the other side of the desk, Booksellers' Gemma Browne has found it hard to choose her favourite events.
In LitCrawl, after much agonising, I’ve decided on The Savage Eye in Phase 1, Literary Periods in Phase 2, and Dead Ladies Show in Phase 3. I was in a competing event for last year’s Lit-Sync For Your Life, so I’m looking forward to catching that this year.
"I’m also excited about the Verb Festival Opening Night in Public Trust Hall, partly because I’ve always wanted to see inside that building. And Growing Up Wāhine Māori……and Food, Memory & Poetry with Nina Mingya Powles……and Writing Place & Displacement with D. Nandi Odhiambo…….and the Newtown Sunday Stroll……….okay, I’ll stop there."
Val McDermid has been publishing acclaimed crime fiction for over 30 years. Her work has been translated into 40 different languages and sold over 16 million copies worldwide. Val McDermid: Queen of Crime is a VERB programme highlight. Val will join RNZ’s Noelle McCarthy for a discussion about her latest books: the beautiful My Scotland, an ode to the Scotland in her stories and what those places mean to her, and the rather more bloody, How the Dead Speak.
Follow us on social media to win a copy of Val's latest book, How the Dead Speak, and be well prepared for the event!