About Us

OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

The Auckland Writers Festival is closely monitoring the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) situation and heeding all official advice from the Ministry of Health, which does not currently suggest altering arrangements for public events. As such, planning for the 2020 Festival is proceeding as usual.


The following Frequently Asked Questions will be reviewed and updated as new information is available.

What is the Auckland Writers Festival doing to reduce risk to attendees during the Festival?

The Auckland Writers Festival is in contact with Auckland Live, who manage the venues where the Festival takes place, and is being updated on what extra precautionary measures they are taking, such as additional hand sanitisers and disinfecting areas within each venue that many people use.

Auckland Live is following New Zealand Ministry of Health guidelines.

If an outbreak occurs, will the Festival still go on?

Should an outbreak occur, we will prioritise the health of our writers, participants, audience, volunteers and staff by implementing and communicating appropriate changes as recommended by the Ministry of Health to ensure a safe environment.

How does the Auckland Writers Festival plan to notify ticketholders regarding any programme changes that may occur due to the coronavirus?

In the event of a change or cancellation of scheduled sessions, the Auckland Writers Festival will notify Patrons and Friends of the Festival by email.

Additionally, we will include updates on the Auckland Writers Festival website and on our Facebook and Twitter accounts with any changes or cancellations.

In the event of a cancellation tickets will be refunded via Ticketmaster.

What will the Auckland Writers Festival do if a guest writer is unable to attend?

In the event that a guest writer is unable to perform due to restricted air travel or illness, the Festival will do its best to notify the ticket buyer of the cancellation. The Festival has over 200 individual writers as part of its programme. With such a large number of artists involved each year, cancellations to the programme do occur from time to time and the Festival has well managed processes for dealing with adjustments which we will follow.

Standard refund policies will apply. Ticket buyers should contact Ticketmaster for a refund of the ticket price.

What are the dates of the 2020 Auckland Writers Festival?

The 2020 Auckland Writers Festival will run from Monday 12 May to Sunday 17 May.
Note we have two early events on 22 April and 8 May.

The 2020 Schools Programme will take place from Tuesday 12 May to Thursday 14 May.

Where can I view the 2020 Festival Programme?

You can view the 2019 programme online or as an ebook.

When do 2020 Tickets Go On Sale?

2020 Festival tickets will be on sale via Ticketmaster from 9:00am Friday 13 March.

AWF Patrons have priority booking from Tuesday 10 March and Friends from Thursday 12 March.

How do I book tickets?

By internet: Ticketmaster

By phone: 0800 111 999

In person: Aotea Centre Box Office, or at any Ticketmaster outlet

By fax: (09) 357 3359

By post:
Auckland Writers Festival Bookings
Ticketmaster NZ
PO Box 106 443
Auckland 1143

Patrons and Friends of the Festival have a priority booking line number (09) 951 2525.
Please provide you Friend Number or Patron details with booking.

Do I need to buy tickets to attend the Festival?

The Auckland Writers Festival consists of a combination of ticketed and free events. Please consult individual event listings or descriptions to check whether you need to buy tickets for each event.

All tickets will be sold via Ticketmaster. Ticketed events do sell out, so it is recommended that you purchase your tickets well in advance.

If you are planning on purchasing tickets to multiple events, you can create a Shopping List. However, if you are wishing to purchase multiple tickets for General Events, it may be worth investigating our Concession Passes, available as a Five Ticket Concession Pass or Ten Ticket Concession Pass, which save you up to $5 per General Event ticket. See "What is a Concession Pass?" below for more info.

How much are tickets for General Events?

General Event tickets can be purchased individually or as part of a Concession Pass. Individual prices are as follows:

General - $25
Earlybird - $20 (available until 9am on 13 May 2019)

These prices are inclusive of GST, but will incur service fees from Ticketmaster.

Student discounts and concession passes are also available (see below).

Special Events have varied ticket prices, as noted in their event listings.

Workshops are $55 unless otherwise stated. Concession Passes, student prices and earlybird discounts are not eligible for Workshops.

What is a Concession Pass?

Concession passes are an alternative to purchasing multiple General Event tickets, and save you up to $5 per General Event ticket. They can be purchased as either a Take 10 or Take 5 Pass, depending on the amount of tickets you would like to buy.

Take 5 Concession Pass
$85 before 9am on 13 May

or $110 after 9am on 13 May

Take 10 Concession Pass
$160 before 9am on 13 May
or $210 after 9am on 13 May

Concession passes are perfect for individuals wishing to attend multiple events, or for a couple, group of friends or Book Clubs who want to attend one or more event/s together.

There is no limit to how many concession passes you may buy.

Concession Passes can be purchased through Ticketmaster, as linked above. Once you purchase a pass, you will be sent a print-at-home ticket, the barcode number printed on the ticket is your unique password to book.
Event tickets are subject to availability, so we advise you to redeem your Concession Passes early.

Concession Passes can only be used for General Events, and are not applicable for Workshops or Special Events.

If you have further questions or queries about Concession Passes, please contact Ticketmaster.

Are there any free events at the Festival?

Yes! We offer over 30% of our programme to the public as free, un-ticketed events. Admission to Free Events is on a first come, first served basis. Bookings are not taken for these events.

You are encouraged to arrive early as Free Events are extremely popular and seats are limited. Queues can start to form as early as 45 minutes prior to the event starting!

Will there be door sales?

Yes, tickets can be purchased at the Ticketmaster box office right up until the session commences. However, all door sales are subject to availability. We suggest you book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment. We also strongly recommend you arrive well in advance of event start times if you choose to purchase door sale tickets.

How are tickets delivered?

Ticketmaster will post your tickets to you, unless you specifically ask for your tickets to be couriered. Posted tickets are not replaceable if lost. Tickets cannot be posted less than 7 days or couriered less than 3 days prior to the start of the Festival; if purchased after these dates, you must collect your tickets from the Ticketmaster Box Office at the Aotea Centre.

How do I book if I am a Patron or a Friend?

Patrons and Friends can access dedicated Ticketmaster booking lines, (open 9-5 Monday-Friday):

Patrons: (09) 970 9745
Friends: (09) 951 2525
or email [email protected] and quote your Patron details or Friend membership number.

For any queries, please contact the Festival Office on (09) 376 8074 or [email protected]

What are the service fees?

Ticketmaster service fees (per transaction) are as follows:

Online: $5.00
Phone and post: $11.00
Courier Fee: $5.50 standard
In-person at Box Office and retail outlets: $1.50 per ticket

Please visit the Ticketmaster FAQs for more information about service fees.

Are there any events for children?

Yes, we have a day of special events for children on Sunday 17 May. These events will be held in the Town Hall (Concert Chamber and Supper Room) and are free.

Where does the Festival take place?

Main Festival Venue:

Aotea Centre, 50 Mayoral Drive, Auckland CBD.

  • Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre
  • Waitakere Room
  • Hunua Room
  • Waihoritiu Room
  • Limelight
  • Herald Theatre
  • Heartland Festival Room (situated in Aotea Square)

Please specify when purchasing tickets if you have wheelchair requirements.

The Kiri Te Kanawa Theatre has an induction loop system.

Café and parking available at Aotea Centre and other nearby locations.

Other Festival Venues:

Auckland Town Hall
Queen Street. Parking available at Aotea Centre and other nearby locations.

SkyCity Theatre
Corner Victoria and Federal Streets

Can I volunteer at the Festival?

Yes! Each year the Auckland Writers Festival recruits a team of approximately 140 volunteers, without whom the event would not be possible. Find out more about Volunteering.

How can I become a Patron or a Friend of the Festival?

Visit our Support Us page to find out more about becoming a Festival Friend or Patron.

For further inquiries, please contact Tessa Yeoman on (09) 376 8074, ext 3, or email [email protected].

Can I present my work at the Festival or recommend an author for the event?

Invitations are issued at the discretion of the Artistic Director, who designs the programme well ahead of each Festival. (the programme is closed mid-February each year).

Each year the Festival receives many unsolicited submissions from authors wishing to speak at the event or people putting forward an idea for the program. We welcome these suggestions, but due to the large volume we are not able to respond to every submission or return materials sent for consideration.

Do you run professional development events for writers?

The Festival runs workshops for writers of all levels. We offer a discount to writers who are full New Zealand Society of Authors members.

For writers seeking ongoing assistance and advice contact the New Zealand Society of Authors or the Publishers Association of New Zealand.

Can you put me in touch with an author on the programme?

We are not able to pass on contact details for or messages to authors attending the Auckland Writers Festival – please contact the writers’ publisher or agent. If you have a media enquiry, please contact:

Siobhan Waterhouse, Mr Fahrenheit Publicity
[email protected]
+64 22 126 4149

Are there discounts for students?

Yes. Students get a 50% discount on General Event tickets and discounted ticket prices for some Special Events, subject to availability.
Please note this is 50% discount on the Full Price event ticket, not Earlybird price.

There are no student discounts for Workshops.

Student ID and proof of eligibility may be required. Service fees apply.

How do I get to the Festival?

For information on bus, ferry and train services in Auckland City, visit the Auckland Transport website or telephone them on (09) 366 6400. Parking is also available near all of the Festival locations (see above).

Will there be a help desk at the Festival?

Yes. The Festival Information Desk will be located on Level 2 of the Aotea Centre, outside the stalls entrance to the ASB Theatre. Lost property, information about the programme, venue and other general information will be available here.

Is seating allocated at the Festival?

Seating for all events is General Admission to assist in speedy turnarounds between session. If you have tickets for the ASB Theatre please check which level you are seated on Stalls / Circle / Balcony.
Patrons and Friends have reserved seats at the front of each level at each session.

How long do the events last?

The majority of events last one hour. Some special events and workshops are 90 minutes to 2 hours long, and family events are less than an hour. End times for each event will be detailed on their online event listing and in the program.

Can I buy books at the Festival?

The Festival has its own dedicated bookstalls at the Aotea Centre (on the lower, middle and upper levels) and at all other Festival venues. Run jointly by the owners of Auckland’s popular The Women’s Bookshop and Unity Books, audience members will be able to purchase books by authors appearing in the Festival at these bookstalls.

Can I get my books signed at the Festival?

Yes. Book signings will take place immediately following most events, unless otherwise advised.

Will any Festival events be recorded?

There will be film and sound recordings of each of the sessions for archival and publicity purposes. These will be made available on the Festival website. It is possible that audience members’ images will be included from time to time in the filming. Should you wish not to be filmed, please advise an usher. No flash photography or recording by attendees is permitted.

Click here to view a collection of videos and podcasts from past festivals.

What provisions will be in place at the Festival for those with disabilities?

All of our locations are accessible by wheelchair. Please specify when purchasing tickets whether you have wheelchair requirements.

The ASB Theatre has an induction loop system for those with hearing impairments.

Where is the Patrons' Lounge?

Exclusive to our Patrons, this lounge is situated in the Circle Bar at the Aotea Centre, overlooking the square.
It is the perfect place to relax or meet other members between Festival sessions, and to enjoy complimentary wine, coffee, light refreshments and newspapers.

Where can I collect my Patrons' Pack?

Patrons’ packs including tickets, lanyards and wristbands can be collected from the Festival Information Desk at the Aotea Centre from Tuesday 15 May.

Where can I enquire about lost property?

All lost property from the Festival will be passed on to Auckland Live. If you lost something at the venue, please email [email protected] and tell them:

  • What did you lose?
  • Where did you lose it?
  • When did you lose it?
  • What event were you attending?
  • Anything else that might help us find your property

If you have questions unanswered by this FAQ page, please Contact Us.

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