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Literature Live

Storylines received funding in 2008 to develop a series of short videos featuring interviews with New Zealand authors and illustrators – published as Literature Live.

Literature Live is a series of ten videos that explore the creative process with some of New Zealand’s most highly acclaimed authors and illustrators. With formats varying from interview to following the subjects into schools, the videos offer insights into what makes a great writer or illustrator. Common themes of where they get their ideas, how they became writers and how they work reveal that writing and illustrating books for young New Zealanders is as much a matter of hard graft as inspiration, and that the writer’s own experiences are a big part of their writing.

These videos contribute to the key competencies of Thinking, and Using Language, Symbols and Texts. They are ideal for the English learning area at all levels, covering many Indicators. 

Download versions of these videos are available to e-cast education members.   

View only versions are also available on the e-cast site 

Videos available are:
  • Jennifer Beck and Lindy Fisher explore the collaborative process of working together as author and illustrator. 

  • Gavin Bishop reflects on the integration of words and pictures in his books, and the process he follows in creating his own works. 

  • Kate De Goldi’s love of language is a key to her success as a writer. She talks about how she started writing, how her picture books are created, the challenges in writing picture books, the differences between writing novels and picture books, character development, and the importance of the rhythm and sounds of the words. The importance of reading as a forerunner to her writing. 

  • Author Melanie Drewery visits a school to talk about her books and how her own experiences influence her writing. She answers questions from the class and reads from one of her books. 

  • Tessa Duder creates her stories from the characters who inhabit them, rather than the other way round. She talks about how her books come to life, in the context of her best selling works Night Race to Kawau and the Alex series. 

  • Brian Falkner explores the correlation between reading and writing, the stories he writes, and how he works. He discusses character development, the use of real settings and organisations, the extent to which his books are interrelated, the barriers writers face, and researching his books. 

  • David Hill offers a formula of structured work days, discipline and hard work as his recipe for achieving his dream of making a living from his writing. He consciously uses humour to help get his message across. 

  • Vicky Jones talks to Jon Bridges about how and why she became a writer, including the people who influenced her. She talks about character-building, plot development – and how easy (and how hard) she finds it to write her books, and the challenges of creating fantasy words; the relationship with her editor; and how her books are published in New Zealand and overseas. 

  • Kâterina Mataira talks to her grandson Rawhitiroa Bosch about her work and the importance of books and reading. Entirely in te reo. 

  • Marcia Stenson talks about her approach to researching and writing history as story, as well as discovering and relating the stories behind the facts. She likes to bring history alive in a fun and interesting way.


Storylines Trust Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki and Friends of Storylines Te Pou o Te Whare Waituhi Tamariki together form New Zealand’s only national organisation working year-round to promote New Zealand children’s and young adult literature through activities that include a major national Story Tour to schools, early childhood centres and communities, and awards for writers, illustrators and those who work in the area of New Zealand children’s literature



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