Last year Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris released the successful Annual, a quality publication based on the young readers' annuals of bygone days but filled with contemporary content from New Zealand contributors.

This year, as part of the Whanganui Literary Festival, they are launching Annual 2.
"We have one contributor who is Whanganui born and bred and we were looking at the possibility of an event around the Annual and featuring Gavin [Mouldey]. We made contact with Lesley at Paige's Book Gallery and she suggested we have the launch there. One of our aims with the Annual has been to be as broad in every aspect of it so it feels representative of all parts of New Zealand. So having a launch not in a city centre seemed a good idea," says Susan.

Both women have local connections and Kate's husband Bruce Foster is from Whanganui.

"The next day [at Gonville Library] we will be talking at some length, and with pictures, of the development of the Annual, the idea, right from the beginning, and how it's gone over the last three years. What our kaupapa is, if you like," says Kate.


Kate and Susan have been friends for more than 20 years but their collaboration started in earnest three years ago.
"The idea started in November, 2014 and we started work at that point. Although we are colleagues in a sense in that we are both involved in children's literature, and, in Susan's case, educational publishing for children," says Kate. "We actually did work together a little bit when I was editing the Book Council's magazine and Susan was writing reviews of children's books."

Both women are incredibly busy and they say it took lots of coffee and Panadol to continue their daily schedule as well as both Annuals.

"Susan has a demanding job as editor of the School Journal and she also has two young children." says Kate. "It meant a huge amount of work outside of other work, lots of evenings together and sometimes we averaged seven phone calls a day.
"Lots of chaperoning kids to the pool and sitting on the edge, glaring at kids who splash my laptop," says Susan.

Kate remembers the old British annuals vividly, usually at Christmas.
"It was certainly an enjoyable part of my young reading life."
Susan is a bit younger but does remember them.
"They were kind of everywhere, but I was never given copies. But when Kate first presented the idea of doing an Annual I knew what she was talking about. The School Journal is a miscellany so I was open to what can be achieved by offering all different forms to kids."

Fifty-two writers and artists contributed to Annual 2 and it contains a song by Bic Runga.
Kate and Susan hope to continue the series and for it to become self-funding.

Annual 2 is launched tonight (Wednesday, October 4) at Sarjeant Gallery at 5.30pm. Admission is free and no booking is required. Tomorrow Kate and Susan will be at Gonville Library at 1pm for a talk. Admission is free and bookings are not required.