Saturday, April 14, 2007

North Shore Writers' Festival, 2007

News from the Local Writing Front --

A Stellar Line-up of Authors at the North Shore Writers Festival

Back for its eighth spectacular year, 2007’s North Shore Writers Festival will bring some of Canada’s finest literary stars to our local libraries. The Festival runs April 20th – 28th at the North Vancouver District Public Library, North Vancouver City Library, and the West Vancouver Memorial Library. From stories of adventure to comedy to spoken word, there is truly something for everyone at this wonderful Festival.

Festival headliner is extreme explorer Colin Angus, who in 2006 became the first person to circumnavigate the globe entirely by human power. Over three continents, two oceans and 17 countries, Angus walked, rowed, skied and cycled a total of 43,000 kilometres during his two year expedition. During his fascinating presentation he will chat about his adventures and screen Beyond the Horizon, a film recording his remarkable journey around the world in an effort to promote environmental awareness. He and his partner Julie Wafaei, who accompanied him on part of his journey, will appear at the Kay Meek Centre (1700 Mathers Ave., West Vancouver) on Friday, April 20th at 7:30pm.

Want to tickle your funny bone? Girls Night Out, featuring Susan Juby, Wendy French, and Robyn Harding, is the event for you. Juby, raised in Smithers, Harding, born in Quesnel and Vancouver-born French all write – with some sugar but more spice – of such popular girl topics as overcoming a happy childhood, surviving adolescence, the challenges of kids, husbands and animals, and not being Margaret Atwood. Come find out where novels such as Alice I Think, The Secret Desires of a Soccer Mom and sMothering originated. These three hilarious authors will chat at the West Vancouver Memorial Library on Monday, April 23rd at 7:30pm.

Those interested in the environment and BC history will be fascinated by acclaimed journalist and author John Vaillant’s talk. Vaillant’s study The Golden Spruce: A True Story of Myth, Madness and Greed, a gripping narrative of beauty, mystery and destruction, began as a New Yorker article and won a Governor General’s award for non-fiction. Don’t miss Vaillant’s appearance at the North Vancouver City Library on Tuesday, April 24th at 7:30pm.

What’s the recipe for a perfect literary evening? Mix books with delicious food, of course! Mother-daughter team Dolly Watts and Annie Watts, former proprietors of Vancouver’s Liliget Feast House, have recently authored Where People Feast: An Indigenous People’s Cookbook. This sumptuous book is the culmination of a life sharing the food traditions of the Git’ksan people. Join the authors, sample their cooking and hear their stories on Wednesday, April 25th at 7:30pm at the West Vancouver Memorial Library.

Another wonderful mother-daughter team at the Festival this year is Blanche Howard and Allison Howard. Join the Howards as they launch A Memoir of Friendship, a collection of letters between Blanche and the late, great Carol Shields. Share in the celebration at the North Vancouver City Library on Thursday, April 26th at 7:30pm.

For something a little different, come to Words Out Loud, featuring spoken word artist Ivan E. Coyote and poet Kate Braid. Coyote is to CanLit what k.d. lang is to country music: a beautifully odd fixture. She performs her warm, witty stories with verve and honesty. Braid, carpenter and poet, came to writing with a desire to honour the ordinary. Her work honours the lives of those who build, fix, organize, and prevail. April is National Poetry month – celebrate by listening to these two fabulous wordsmiths on Friday, April 27th at 7:30pm at the Capilano Branch Library.

Local writers, young and old, experienced and emerging, will give listeners a taste of some hot-off-the-press writing at The Writers Next Door: A Reception. Come, listen and chat on Sunday April 22nd at 2:00pm at the Capilano Branch Library.

Aspiring writers will have an opportunity to meet with Maggie de Vries, this year’s writer-in-residence.
A versatile writer, editor and teacher, de Vries is accomplished in both children’s and adult publishing. Her memoir Missing Sarah was nominated for a Governor General’s Award, and her Tale of a Great White Fish is shortlisted for a BC Book Prize this year. She will be available to meet with writers on Saturday April 21st from 10:00am – 4:00pm at the Parkgate Branch Library; Sunday, April 22nd from 10:00am – 4:00pm at the North Vancouver City Library; and Saturday, April 28th from 10:00am – 12:00pm at the West Vancouver Memorial Library. Writers can book a free half-hour one-on-one mentoring session by calling 604-987-4471.

Returning to the Festival for its second great year is the Short Short Story contest, open to all North Shore residents. Deadline is April 10th! Winners will be announced at the Writers Next Door event.

All events are free; seats available on a first-come, first-served basis. For more details and a complete schedule of events, please visit or pick up a flyer at any North Shore Public Library.

That's it for now. I'm off to help a friend celebrate a milestone!


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