Saturday, September 8, 2012

Adventures in the book trade #4

To Auckland on Thursday for meetings with authors, booksellers and publishers. 

1. First appointment was at noon for a long, long lunch with poets (Kevin Ireland, Peter Bland, Bernard Brown), Buddle Findlay Sargeson fellows (Anna Taylor, Karyn Hay, Mark Broatch), a journalist (Rob O’Neill) and a Buddle Findlay partner (Michael Dineen). Michael was an investor in Quote Unquote the magazine so is officially awesome.

There was gossip, and wine.

2. Second appointment was at 4:30 upstairs at DeBrett’s with Whitcoulls and the Book Publishers’ Association.

There was gossip, and martinis.

3. Third appointment was at 5:30 at the Concert Chamber, one of my favourite Auckland rooms, for the CLNZ awards. There are two of $35,000 given every year to writers of serious non-fiction projects. The five finalists (as blogged previously here) spoke briefly about their projects – all sounded very strong and publishable – with Finlay Macdonald chairing (superb, obviously) and then the winners were announced: David Veart, author of First Catch Your Weka: A Story of New Zealand Cooking (AUP, 2008) and Digging up the Past: Archaeology for the Young and Curious (AUP, 2011), who will write about toys, and Hazel Petrie, author of Chiefs of Industry: Maori Tribal Enterprise in Early Colonial New Zealand (AUP, 2006), who will write about Maori slavery. It was as good an awards event as I have been to.

There was gossip, and wine.

4. Fourth appointment was at 8:30 in the Japanese restaurant practically next door with three of the four judges, most of the board of CLNZ (two of the three publishers and all three of the authors), our CEO and a smattering of spouses.

There was gossip, and wine.

5. Fifth appointment was the CLNZ board meeting the next morning.

There was no gossip, and no wine. Seemed wrong, somehow.

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