A dynamic collaborative organisation has formed to make a tangible difference to the literary landscape of Aotearoa, supported by seed funding from Creative New Zealand (CNZ).
During its initial year, the Coalition will be a collaborative venture beneath the umbrella of the Auckland Writers Festival. Other significant founding organisations include the Booksellers Association, the Society of Authors, the Publishers Association, Tautai Pacific Arts Trust, the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, the Michael King Writers Centre and the Academy of New Zealand Literature.
The Coalition for Books has a clear mandate: to complement the work of existing organisations, identify gaps in activities and develop initiatives that serve authors, publishers, booksellers and festivals. Through strategic activity and by mobilising the literary sector, it will enhance the visibility, sales and overall opportunities for New Zealand books and their writers.
Interim Chair Melanie Laville-Moore says, “A year in the making, the Coalition for Books feels like a watershed moment. It’s the very first time that so many representatives from across the literary sector have come to the same table to initiate important change. The potential to enable greater success for all of our organisations is huge. We’re immensely grateful to Creative New Zealand for believing in our vision and allowing us the opportunity to put plans into action.”
Auckland Writers Festival Director Anne O’Brien says the Coalition is a critical step in enhancing the health of the sector in challenging times. “The Festival shares the Coalition’s kaupapa of supporting and strengthening engagement for and with New Zealand writers and readers, and looks forward to working with sector colleagues to make a real difference to this country’s literary well-being.”
The inaugural meeting of the Coalition for Books will be held later this month during the Booksellers Association Conference to be held in Auckland. A new incorporated society will be established immediately afterwards.