The inaugural Ruapehu Writers Festival opens tomorrow.

The festival is planned as a friendly event where readers and writers will have time to get together and talk about books and the writing process.

As well as readings, talks and panel discussions there will also be a fiction and a poetry writing workshop.

Everyone is welcome to attend the festival, where there will be many free events where people can just turn up.

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The programme includes a gala opening at the Matterhorn, Powderhorn Chateau tomorrow night,

On Friday, at the Turoa Room, Powderhorn Chateau, there will be a workshop in fiction writing, a poetry panel, and a fiction panel that includes Emily Perkins. On Saturday, there will be children's poetry, comic poetry, editors' talking about structure and performance poetry.

Sunday will feature workshop events on essays and place, poets who cycle, fiction and biography.

Many well known New Zealand writers will feature over the three days, including Fiona Kidman, Elizabeth Knox, Vivienne Plumb, Fiona Farrell and Harry Ricketts,

Also included is a waterfall walk from 11am to the Waitonga Falls, Ohakune Mountain Rd, which is a free event with a free shuttle to and from the Powderhorn Chateau, where people can feel free to talk with the writers. More information at ruapehuwritersfestival.nz