Adventure Writing School

Adventure Writing School

We have two Adventure Writing School course this year. A half day with Laurence Fearnley and a full day with Derek Grzelewski. Bookings are open now.

Half Day Adventure Writing School:

Laurence Fearnley
Laurence Fearnley


You’ve had a great outdoor wilderness adventure but now your writing feels a bit flat and lifeless? Join award winning novelist and non-fiction writer Laurence Fearnley for a two-hour writing workshop and explore ways in which sight, sound, touch, smell and taste can add richness and detail to your work. No previous writing or publishing experience is required but this is a hands-on writing workshop so bring paper and pen.

Saturday July 8 at 9:00am to noon. $45 Adults, $35 Youth. Limited Numbers. Not included in the Film Festival Pass.

Laurence Fearnley is an award-winning novelist and non-fiction writer; she will be delivering a writing workshop at the festival this year. Her storylines weave together insight into the human condition with our spiritual connection to the land. A Kiwi voice is prominent, as the tales of New Zealand history and spirit unfold. Laurence’s love of adventure shines through her stunning literary back catalogue. Her novels have been staged from Central Otago, Fairlie, Mount Cook, Southland and in general rural small town New Zealand.

Laurence has been awarded the NZ Post Fiction Award for her novel The Hut Builder. The novel was also shortlisted for the international 2010 Boardman Tasker Prize for mountain writing. Edwin + Matilda (2007) was runner-up in the fiction category of the 2008 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Her novel, Room, was shortlisted for the Montana Book Awards in 2001. Laurence has also completed a Robert Burns Fellowship at the University of Otago. In 2003 she became an Antarctic Arts Fellow in the Artists to Antarctica programme.




Full Day Adventure Writing School:


Derek Grzelewski

So you’ve had your high adventures, survived to tell your tales and now you want to write them up, perhaps for a magazine article, a book or as a film script. Don’t hammer out reams of prose just yet, come to our full day Adventure Writing School first. “Stories are like jokes: you can ruin a good one by telling it badly,” says the School tutor Derek Grzelewski. “We all can write but story-telling requires an entirely different set of skills, and these are universal, regardless of what medium you’re are working with.” Sharpen your writing pen and unleash your creativity in the relaxed informal space of this unique school. Learn about narrative structures, suspense and pace, what to tell and what to withhold and when, how to read as a writer, and how to make your stories compelling, satisfying, unputdownable. Whether you are a never-ever or a published pro you will get a lot out of this time with one of the most experienced adventure writers in the industry. Above all, you will be shown directly how to make your pursuit of creative writing into an adventure itself, a lifelong climb towards excellence where each step is as important as any goal and achievement you bag along the way.

About Derek:
For the past 25 years Wanaka local Derek Grzelewski has been a writer and photographer for top-end magazines like New Zealand Geographic, Australian Geographic, Smithsonian and GEO. He has completed over a hundred major assignments on adventure travel, extreme outdoor pursuits and natural history, and his books THE TROUT DIARIES and THE TROUT BOHEMIA, both about fly fishing in New Zealand, are international bestsellers, considered among the finest in their genre. His best non-fishing stories have been collected into two books GOING TO EXTREMES and THE SMALLEST CONTINENT, both of which were launched at the past NZ Mountain Film festivals.

Sunday July 9 at 9:00am to 3:00pm. $59 Adults, $39 Youth. Limited Numbers. Not included in the Film Festival Pass.