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Greatness is Infectious

When three of the most acclaimed writers of a generation come together for one engaging panel - it's hard not to be inspired. Relive an important discussion for Aotearoa creatives.


Their written words have made long-lasting, generational impacts on this country - and beyond.

But getting the opportunity to hear direct from this year's Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement recipients offered an incredible insight into what motivates them, their enthusiasm for their craft and their goals and ambitions to further their own legacies.

Host John Campbell was his usual glowing, personable self and you see the genuine joy on his face getting the opportunity to speak with Tessa Duder (fiction), Jenny Bornholdt (poetry) and Sir Tīmoti Kāretu (non-fiction) about their work and inspiration. The word Campbell used to describe it summed up the views of many watching - gratitude.

As well as a message from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the pleasure of readings from each of the writers, the panel - an online event for the first time ever that offered access to the entire nation - covered off some important kaupapa and lifted the lid on what makes these exceptional creatives stand out.

Watch the video to find out what is motivating Duder to chase new career milestones at a time where most writers would be rightfully reflecting on their greatest hits.  Bornholdt speaks of the impact that writers can have outside of just being published and Kāretu lifts the lid on the challenges he faced - but refused to buckle to - as he stuck to his guns of writing and performing in te reo Māori.

You can also watch this event on Facebook.

This event was made possible by Creative New Zealand in partnership with The Big Idea, supported by Auckland Live and Unity Books Wellington.

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

26 Nov 2020

The Big Idea Editor

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