Samesame But Different is New Zealand’s only LGBTQIA+ literary festival.

Every February, during Auckland Pride, Samesame but Different host book launches, panel discussions, live readings, lectures and other events designed to celebrate the creativity of LGBTQIA+ writers in Aotearoa.

Many of our events are recorded for you to watch later – check out our past events on the Programmes tab on our menu.


Same Same but Different is the only festival of its kind in Aotearoa that provides a space to uphold queer literature and authors, celebrating this important artform, capturing our histories, and uplifting and encouraging the next generation of queer writers. As a respondent from our recent mid-winter online festival noted, “Queer representation is still very much lacking” in the literary world. In our small way, we hope to contribute towards changing that.

Same Same but Different is unique in delivering a place for connecting, for peer support and delivering quality local talent to audiences. It is a magical space unlike any that is held within mainstream festivals. There is something liberating and exciting about being able to discuss queer literature in a space where it is both implicitly and contextually understood; where authors don’t have to explain themselves as the audience is alongside them in their journey.

Same Same but Different strives to deliver a festival that will be of interest to our diverse LGBTQIA+ communities, covering differences in whakapapa, cultural and religious experiences, age, class, gender and sexual orientation. We aim to show the strength of our differences and allow a safe and welcoming space for all voices to be heard.


You can support Aotearoa New Zealand’s only LGBTQIA+ Writers and Readers Festival by donating here. Your support will allow us to do even more to platform talented LGBTQIA+ writers and the issues they care about. Our festival is run by an energetic group of volunteers; all of our events are free and we take pride in paying the writers that participate. We rely entirely on the generosity of our supporters to stage our festival — and welcome any new supporters who want to amplify LGBTQIA+ perspectives.


Our festival is staged in February each year during Auckland Pride. In 2020 we began recording our events so we can build a rich archive of the LGBTQIA+ talent we’ve showcased. We’ve listed our events chronologically, starting with our most recent festival, and including the winners of our annual writing prize, the Peter Wells Short Fiction Award. You’ll find video recordings of our most recent events, and we’re building an archive for audio for events prior to that.

February 2021


The 2021 Samesame but Different festival was a time for us to shake off the upheaval of 2020 and celebrate some of the creative richness that resulted from it. Our festival platformed a rich diversity of LGBTQIA+ writers who tackled topics that form the foundations of our identities.

The programme was anchored by the theme of home – a concept that took on new importance during the lockdowns of 2020. What does the idea of home mean to our LGBTQIA+ communities? Some people see home as a place of refuge and relief; for others, it may be a place from which they need to escape.

2020 Mid-winter Festival


In winter 2020, Samesame but Different created a special online winter talk series.

Two to the Power of Five: The Power of Queer Words paired up fascinating queer writers for five fantastic online conversations. The sessions were put together as part of our COVID-19 response, and were held thanks to the support of Creative NZ.

February 2020


The writers in 2020’s festival push boundaries, explore new territories and create queer and fantastical worlds. Their literary orbit includes fantasy, science fiction, sex, romance and robots. They even traverse those weird and terrifying realms from childhood to adolescence. Ranging from acclaimed New Zealand playwright Victor Rodger to Australian writer Kelly Gardiner, our programme for 2020 celebrated the writers who are unafraid to change the literary landscape and boldly go where no Queer has gone before.

February 2019


Our fourth Samesame but Different festival featured events at both the Auckland Art Gallery and the Basement Theatre, as well as AUT University. We included a queer film screening and the only LGBTQIA+ writing contest in Aotearoa. One of the pleasing aspects of this festival was the number of younger writers coming through, as seen in the ‘Break-out new talent’ session.