Audiobooks New Zealand
For our 7th installment I got to share the mic with a woman I admire hugely, she’s a powerhouse of productivity, and she’s always got time for sending the elevator down to help other writers at all levels of their creative journeys. She is many things; public speaker, workshop facilitator, she happens to be the genius behind the Writing Room, and is primarily a screenwriter. Her credits include Fresh Eggs, The Tender Trap, Under the Vines, My Life is Murder and the Cul de Sac - to name a few.
She always wrote as a child, and went to journalism school to pursue it professionally. Figuring out pretty quickly that she preferred creative writing to current affairs, she ended up in television as a way of making a living as a writer in our wee country. She also writes short stories and theatre - the first play she wrote was based on an argument she had with Nick Ward about the fact that they had no writing work coming their way - and is a board member for The Writer’s Guild.
She began the Writing Room; a monthly session where writers from all different styles and backgrounds can come together to simply write in the presence of other writers. When she began there was nothing like this, no standard cafe or environment where all writers went to get the satisfaction and motivation from tapping keyboards. Kathryn genuinely cares about the way writers and the arts are perceived here, which is why she doesn’t mind doing behind the scenes work in advocacy with the Guild, being our lobbying voice for funding and conversations with government. The Guild also provides professional, legal and contract advice to writers.
Kathryn has had oodles of experience in entertainment, and speaks about the collaborative nature of the television and theatre industries, versus the often isolating role of novelist or memoirist. There are a lot of boxes to tick and processes to fulfil when you’re working in a large team to tell a story, but she firmly believes that the art phase, or the very early stages of developing an idea and draft, is all you - no matter what medium you’re working in. From there, theatre peeps do live, often staged readings to develop their scripts. In TV someone is always going to have to sign drafts off, give notes etc, but you know it’s finished when you feel you’ve done your absolute best - and you wouldn’t be embarrassed to show it to anyone.
At the time of our interview, she was tackling a few tweaks on her play ‘The Campervan’ which was, at that point, set for its debut at the Pumphouse Theatre with Tadpole Productions. Alas, the dreaded Rona has turned up again to foil those plans, but the show will go on! Eventually. (Links to ticketing info below.) She is continuing to develop a screenplay script that’s been a number of years in the making, and she has just completed a huuuge literary event called WriteFest, where she brought together multiple tutors for concentrated masterclasses and workshops for authors.
Her advice for young or emerging writers is;
Sign up for her workshops:
Check out Kathryn’s website, where you can also sign up for the newsletter: https://www.kathryn-burnett.com/
Follow her on socials:
Facebook @KathrynBurnett https://www.facebook.com/kathryn.burnett.77
And for tickets and further info about when to expect ‘The Campervan’
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