WORD Christchurch has delivered world-class festivals and events for over 25 years. We bring communities together through a love of words in all their forms. We give Christchurch audiences direct access to the best authors in New Zealand and the world, ground-breaking ideas, Ngāi Tahu stories, and opportunities for local writers to create new work. With an audience satisfaction rating of 99.4% in our festival survey, we’re confident that we succeed in that mission.
At our core we’re about stories, which means you’ll see everything from authors with new books to showcases of poetry and song, expert panels debating issues, youth and school programmes to inspire a love of reading and writing, and a wide range of one-off special events.
For five days we flood the CBD with a buzz of excited people and conversations, filling not just our venues, but the whole neighbourhood. As we emerge from a decade of rebuilding, and look towards urban revitalisation and recovery from COVID-19, we play an important role in the return of life to the city’s heart.
A typical programme comprises 75+ events spread across five days, with 150 authors as our guests. Our primary venues are The Piano, Tūranga, Christchurch Art Gallery and Little Andromeda, plus smaller venues around the city. Since the pandemic began we have introduced live-streaming for those who prefer to watch from the comfort of their own homes.
WORD Christchurch is accessible no matter how much is in your wallet. In the 2022 festival 30% of our events are free.
We love young readers and we help them flourish. Our free and low cost schools events expose students to writers that entertain and increase literacy levels while reducing barriers to participation.
WORD employs four permanent staff:
Steph Walker – Executive Director
Nic Low – Programme Director
Kiran Dass – Programme & Engagement Manager
Magda Lorenzo – Administrator & Volunteer Coordinator
For each festival, we employ contract workers to assist in the planning and presentation of the festival itself, and have a team of phenomenal volunteers who help make our events hum. If you’re interested in volunteering, email email@example.com.