Just over one month to go before the annual North Shore Writer’s Festival takes off at the District of North Vancouver’s beautiful Lynn Valley Branch. As you may know, the North Shore Writers Festival is a celebration of Canadian authors brought to you by your North Shore public libraries – North Vancouver City, North Vancouver District and West Vancouver Memorial – as well as by the North Shore News.
The festival kicks off on Friday, April 15th with a highly competitive Literary Trivia contest, hosted by the hilarious, “gregarious and encyclopedic” Grant Lawrence. If you are interested in joining this fierce battle of literary wits please email firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP to secure your spot!
Then on Saturday April 16th we have a variety of activities to delight the literary-inclined including an information session on “How to Become a Successful Indie Author” hosted local author and Amazon bestselling author of five novels Martin Crosbie. In addition, the festival will also feature a local-author book fair, Literary Fortune Teller, and a Writer-Reader Reception.
However, when all is said and done what I’m looking forward to most is la pièce de résistance: this year’s incredible line-up of author readings! In the past we’ve had authors such as John Valliant, Elizabeth Hay and Lawrence Hill share and discuss their craft, and this year is no exception. This year we are grateful to have award-winning cartoonist Lynn Johnston, poet and performer Jordan Abel, and author Camilla Gibb join us. For more on the schedule, click here.
In celebration of this biblio-extravaganza, I’ve put together a little wrap-up about each of our guest speakers and their selected works. Stop by the library and pick up a copy of their books today!
Known best for her beloved series ‘For Better Or For Worse”, the brilliant newspaper comic strip which chronicles the domestic lives of the Patterson family in real-time, Lynn Johnston will speak about her career and retirement adventures here on the North Shore. Growing up, I remember my mum giggling over the Saturday paper, then cutting and pasting various strips to the fridge in delight. Of course I was always most interested in the various adventures of Farley, the family dog.
I first heard about Jordan Abel’s work when he was highlighted as one of CBC’s “Writers to Watch in 2015.” As a Nisga’a writer and poet from Vancouver who created some truly innovative and genius work examining historical texts about indigenous life, and then re-working and thereby re-contextualizing their meaning. His latest work , ‘Un/inhabited’ draws from 91 Western novels that total over 10,000 pages of source text and explores “the public domain as a discoverable and inhabitable body of land.” For more about Abel’s work and process, check out his interview with Event Magazine here.
Known best for her four acclaimed novels, including the bestseller ‘Sweetness in the Belly’ Camilla joins memoirist JJ Lee in a conversation titled “The Art of Turning Personal Stories into Universal Truths” where they will discuss writing life, and her motivations for writing her critically acclaimed new memoir ‘This is Happy’ (currently on my nightstand….stay tuned!). Having completed an undergrad degree in Creative Non-Fiction, I’ve always been a huge fan of memoirs and have heard nothing but good reviews about this poignant, devastating and yet ultimately uplifting book. For more about Camilla’s story, check out this interview she did with the Globe and Mail last year.
Happy reading and I hope to see you at the Festival!!