Come along and hear our authors Karen McMillan and Melinda Szymanik. Their books cover fiction, non-fiction, fantasy action adventure, picture books, short stories and novels. This event is supported by Books For Kids with books for sale and signing. 

14 AUGUST 10:00-11:30AM

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Karen has a long backlist of non-fiction writing, with titles as diverse as Love in Aotearoa and Feast or Famine: A New Zealand Guide to Understanding Eating Disorders. She has also been a regular guest book reviewer on several media, including National Radio shows Lately, with Karen Hay and Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan. Since April 2017, she has been the Director of NZ Booklovers – an online hub that supports other authors with reviews, interviews, articles and promotions. In 2018 NZ Booklovers launched their inaugural annual Book Awards for fiction, lifestyle books and children’s books.

When she is not helping other writers by reviewing and promoting their books, Karen also writes historical fiction for adults and the Elastic Island series, five fantasy action-adventures set in the South Pacific, for children aged 6-12, with the sixth book due to be published in 2022. The first in the series, Elastic Island Adventures: Jewel Lagoon, is currently in early development to be made into an animated feature film. 

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Melinda writes picture books, short stories and novels for children and young adults. Her second picture book, The Were-Nana, won the New Zealand Post Children’s Choice Award in 2009, was a Storylines Notable Book in the same year, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Sakura Medal. A Winter's Day in 1939, her fourth novel, also a Storylines Notable Book (2014), and shortlisted for the Junior Fiction Award at the 2014 New Zealand Post Children’s Book
Awards, won Librarian's Choice at the 2014 LIANZA Awards.
Melinda's picture book Fuzzy Doodle, was a finalist for the Picture Book and Russell Clark Awards at the 2017 NZ Book Awards for Children and Young Adults, a 2017 Storylines Notable Book and was a 2017 White Raven Selection. Her 
short stories have appeared in trade and educational publications in New
Zealand and Australia.
She has studied both adult’s and children’s literature at university level. She regularly does ‘writers in schools’ visits, was the 2014 University of Otago College of Education Creative New Zealand Children’s Writer in Residence, and was a judge for the New Zealand Book Awards for
Children and Young Adults in 2016. She writes book reviews for The Sapling and Kids Books NZ and provides mentoring through the NZSA’s Mentoring Scheme. Melinda has appeared at writers' festivals across New Zealand, regularly teaches 
creative writing workshops for adults and children, blogs on writing and is one of 10 New Zealand writers who run an innovative online writing experiment for children called FABO Story.