Our Voice, Our Choice, is the theme of this year’s campaign and it’s about communities getting involved and showcasing New Zealand literature on their own terms. In its fourth year, NZBM will be involving celebrities, schools, libraries, lovers of books and all things Kiwi to encourage local communities to first select a favourite New Zealand book and then create activities around that one book sometime during the month of October. Pick a Kiwi book, create activity based on it. It’s that simple.
Over 50 communities have already signed up through their designated Book Activist and will be picking their New Zealand book over the coming month. Five celebrities will also add their voices – picking their five favourite New Zealand books in categories from history to DIY.
There are a few big changes to the campaign. The first is that NZBM will be partnering with TVNZ and to do this, it’s had to move from September to October. It means that throughout October, there will be NZ writers and readers from across the country featured on TVNZ 6 and TVNZ online, promoting NZ literature.
The second big change is that there will be no Six Pack in 2009. The competition is on hold pending funding. However, the good news is that there will be a new public choice category in the Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition – where the public picks the winner – and that winner, as well as the open and youth section winners of the Sunday Star Times Short Story Competition will be announced in New Zealand Book Month.
“New Zealand Book Month 2009 is about taking the essence of our purpose home. Book Activists across the country are signed up and ready to bring their favourite Kiwi reads to their communities,” says Michele Powles, NZBM Director. “Already there is talk of art shows, dinner parties, speakers, school plays, author visits and so on – each community will be creating events to showcase their selected Kiwi read. Celebrities will be choosing their favourite reads and all this activity will be featured on Television and in Newspapers.”