2023 Festival Team

We have a dedicated team who meet regularly to develop the programme and run Festival events. 

Joan Rosier-Jones
Chair
Joan is a novelist, playwright and non-fiction writer. She is a Past-president and was later President of Honour for the NZ Society of Authors, for whom she currently does manuscript assessments. She is also a creative writing tutor and mentor for emerging writers. She delights in sharing her joy of writing with her students and others. She Initiated the Whanganui Literary Festival in 2006, and has been involved ever since in a variety of ways. She is very pleased to be Chair of the Whanganui Literary Festival Trust for this, its tenth bi-ennial festival.
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Linda Johnstone
Deputy Chair
Linda became involved with the WLFT in 2019, then became a Trustee for the 2021 Festival which was postponed, then cancelled in 2022, by coordinating the Fringe events and supporting the committee in a variety of other areas in preparation for the main Festival. She is once again the Fringe Festival Coordinator. (On the left here with Kat Schroyens.)
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Margaret Samuels
Publicity
Margaret Samuels has been in publishing and bookselling most of her working life. She’s worked with books and writers in schools, universities, bookshops, academic publishing companies, multi-national publishers and in book information. ​Authors she’s had the privilege to plan and implement sales and marketing campaigns for include Margaret Mahy, John Grisham, Anita Shreve, Michael Parkinson, Barbara Ewing, Stephen King, Michael Robotham, Patricia Cornwell, Ron Palenski, Joan Metge and CK Stead. She currently works as a free-lance publicist.
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Mary Anne Sleyer
Treasurer
I have been a book lover since I discovered Enid Blyton's books when I was very young. Historical novels become my next best loved books. Obviously the breadth of my reading material has developed greatly over the years, especially when challenged as a member of a book group. My working life included many years as an office administrator and accounts clerk. This experience puts me in good stead to attend to the Treasurer’s duties on our WLF committee. In my middle years, I studied at Massey University and gained a B. Ed. I worked as a secondary school teacher through to my retirement in 2019. My knowledge and appreciation of books has been useful and informed me as a teacher particularly at secondary school level. Now, in my retirement, I am able to indulge this love of reading further and being part of the Whanganui Literary Festival has provided another dimension to that pursuit.
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Kat Schroyens
Facebook Manager
Belgian-born language teacher Kat Schroyens moved to New Zealand in 2009. Kat is an avid reader from young age onwards and is very passionate about early literacy and also about promoting reading, not only for young children but for all ages. After 28 years of language teaching, both in Belgium and New Zealand, Kat has made a career change from Education to Libraries. This change enabled her to follow her passion for books and reading even more and for the past 12 years she has been a librarian. Starting out with Auckland Libraries and since then having moved to Whanganui District Library, where she is managing the community library in Gonville and where she is also the Outreach Librarian, a capacity in which she builds bridges with a variety of Whanganui-based organisations. As part of the Whanganui Literary Trust, she is looking forward to help shape future Literary Festival.(On the right with Linda Johnstone
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Clive Aim
Assistant treasurer/Press liaison
Clive Aim’s career has covered secondary teaching and local government policy. He has been involved in governance with a number of not-for-profit organisations. He joined the Whanganui Literary Festival committee in 2019 and is currently a Trustee on the Communications and Finance sub-committees.
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