The third annual Victoria Writers Festival happens November 6-8 in Oak Bay.
The three-day festival presents over thirty talented authors in various events.
The exciting mix includes youth performances, children’s activities, writing workshops, the Carol Shields Lecture, panel discussions and three gala evening readings.
See details and purchase tickets at victoriawritersfestival.org
Artistic Director Sara Cassidy is an avid reader and published author. She recalls the joys of attending Victoria’s former International Literary Arts Festival. “Reading and writing are insular activities,” she says. “Having a live audience opens up the conversation.”
The director promises many new voices at the festival, voices that are “lively, confident and insightful” and should be heard. Dynamic young poets, as well as emerging and established authors, will delight audiences.
This year the Carol Shields Lecture is delivered by Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, member of Alderville First Nation. Her latest book, Islands of Decolonial Love, uses the power of poetic prose to address heartache and offer hope.
The Carol Shields Lecture honours the incisive wit and astute social commentary of the talented author who died in 2003.
Workshops and panels offer a creative elixir.
Workshops include Writing the Body: Yoga and Creative Writing, offered by Roseanne Harvey.
Panel discussions include fascinating topics such as Writing the Unsayable and The Queer Sentence.
Grit Lit: Writing the Rural is hosted by Jack Knox from the Times Colonist.
Panel hosts are skilled at getting authors to share anecdotes and experiences.
Sara Cassidy gathered a strong working team to launch the third festival.
She envisions the Victoria Writers Festival as a vital community event, involving many people and partners.
To further the goal, the director is actively seeking board members to form a non-profit society.
Interested parties can contact Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Darrell Dennis has over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry in North America.
Dennis will read from Peace Pipe Dreams: The Truth about Lies about Indians (Douglas & MacIntyre 2014).
On September 16, Dennis spoke with Shelagh Rogers, host of CBC’s The Next Chapter about Peace Pipe Dreams.
“The book should be in the hands of every Canadian,” she commented.
Interview podcast listen here:
Darrell Dennis on "Peace Pipe Dreams" Listen 53:59
Early work with The Second City company spawned his career as a stand-up comic and comedic troupe founder.
Dennis is also a prolific writer for radio, television, screen and the internet. "For me, writing came out of my frustrations with being type-cast and labelled,” he says. Hosting Revision Quest (a CBC TV series) became his way of dealing with these mis-conceptions. He is now in Toronto, filming more episodes of the popular series.
The author reads at the gala evening event The World Before Us
with novelists Lee Henderson, Nancy Lee, and Aislinn Hunter.
Maureen Sawa, CEO of the Greater Victoria Public Library, hosts the event. Dennis discusses comedic timing on the panel, Words Aloud: Writing for a Live Audience, with Kevin Kerr and librettist David James Brock. He looks forward to being part of the literary world, sharing stories, and speaking his written words. "I don’t get back to BC enough,” he says, “and I have an aunt living in Victoria.” www.darrelldennis.com
Julie Paul reads from her new collection of short stories The Pull of the Moon.
While reading in public, Paul strives to pace herself, so the audience has time to absorb the images and content. "I am gaining skills and confidence with each new appearance,” she says.
The author shares a panel devoted to the short story,
with Bill Gaston, Doretta Lau and D.D. Miller, hosted by John Gould.
Julie Paul, along with John Gould, were key organizers of the first two festivals. "We wanted to connect with like-minded community and share the vitality of live readings," she says.
The author, writing instructor and massage therapist has taken many courses during her 25 year career. She belongs to two writing groups and shares a daily word prompt with a colleague: an exercise called Writeamins.
“I am inspired by people I meet and snippets of conversation,” she says.
Paul gathers material for her stories by staying attentive and observant. But finding the time and space to write them down can be a challenge.
Bill Gaston is an award-winning writer who has published six short collections and seven novels.
He teaches creative writing at the University of Victoria.
The author reads from his latest collection of short stories Juliet Was a Surprise.
Gaston praises the line-up of writers at the upcoming Victoria Writers Festival, and looks forward to sharing time with friends. Public reading can be stressful, he admits, as you are presenting your new baby to the world.
There are always doubts.
”I try to offer up some stark realities in my stories,” he says, “and take the action in unexpected ways.”
"I write a lot, whether I'm inspired or not," says Gaston. "The muse comes more often if you have a routine."
He tells his students, don’t think of writing as something special or precious, just sit down and begin.
Sooner or later the magic will happen: the unimpeded flow of ideas and imagery that comes with a roll.
Jane Silcott’s collection of personal essays Everything Rustles was a finalist in the 2014 BC Book Prizes. The writer, editor and teacher is “very surprised, thrilled and humbled” by the favourable response.
Included in Everything Rustles is Silcott’s creative non-fiction essay on menopause titled Threshold which was also a finalist for a National Magazine Award. Another award-winning story The Goddess of Light and Dark takes an intimate look at women's health. Silcott enjoys public readings, calling them "personal adventures that offer new insights into my work.”
The busy author is endlessly inspired by writing festivals and readings. She savours sitting in a room full of people, sharing the emotions of a literary performance. Much to her delight, she often “discovers” writers at panels and workshops. She looks forward to sharing Writing the Unsayable with panel guests Eve Joseph and poet Karen Enns. janesilcott.ca
The Victoria Writers Festival unfolds Thursday Nov 6 to Saturday Nov 8.
Venue: Oak Bay United Church, 1355 Mitchell St, Victoria.
Web Design, Content and Selected Photos:
Kate Cino previewed arts events
for 18 years at Boulevard magazine.
She has a History in Art degree and
Public Relations certificate from the University of Victoria.
For ten years, Kate operated an art & framing shop.
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