Featherston Booktown patron Joy Cowley takes a children’s workshop. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV


A highlight of Featherston Booktown, which concluded on Sunday, was the announcement of the establishment of a residency open to all New Zealand writers and people who work in the arts, like festival directors and programmers.

It is a gift from Peter and Mary Biggs, chair and operations manager of the event.

The residency includes a month’s accommodation at the couple’s Cook’s Loft guesthouse and a weekly stipend for living expenses. It will be advertised later in the year, with the first recipient announced at next year’s Featherston Booktown.

Peter Biggs declared this year’s event a success, with the more than 60 events either sold out or close to selling out.

“We’re thrilled with how this year’s Featherston Booktown has gone,” he said. “The line-up of presenters has been well received, and the 16 booksellers involved did a roaring trade.”

The Featherston community had also benefited with all shops busy and accommodation providers full-up, he said.

“There’s been a good feeling in the community.”

Biggs praised Booktown’s volunteers.

“They’ve done an extraordinary job,” he said.

The event officially began on Friday evening, before hitting stride throughout Saturday and Sunday, and many who attended took in multiple events.