Peter Wells founded the samesame but different LGBTQIA+ Writers Festival in 2015, having already co-created the Auckland Writers Festival in 1999.
An award-winning author and film-maker, Peter consistently broken barriers in both publishing (his collection of short stories, Dangerous Desires, was the first gay-themed book to be published in New Zealand under the author’s own name) and film (Jewel’s Darl showed transgender characters in a sympathetic light as early as 1986).
His subsequent writing career embraced both fiction and New Zealand history, and he received many accolades for his work in both areas.
In 2018 Unity Books gave Peter Wells a $20,000 award for his ‘body of work but also his long-spansocial justice activism … His strong sense of social justice combined with his literary achievements has nourished, sustained and encouraged readers in Aotearoa.’
On being told he had cancer in 2017, he chronicled his experience of living with the disease in a series of Facebook posts which he later turned into his last book, Hello Darkness, published shortly before his death in 2019.