2017 Whistler Writers Festival was a huge success

Whistler at its best – a fresh winter snow

Whistler rarely disappoints its guests and last weekend of the Whistler Writers Festival was no exception as a dusting of snow brightened our first morning. The action-packed four days attracted literary giants and neophytes to share their knowledge and the pure joy of writing and reading literature. Such luminaries as Frances Itani, JJ Lee, David Chariandy, Terry Fallis and Lee Maracle – to name just a very few – generously entertained and informed us.

A series of comedy quickies lightened Thursday evening while the Friday literary cabaret linked distinctive musical scores to powerful readings of the authors’ own work. The cabaret was definitely a highlight.

The stage is set for the Literary Cabaret and announcement of the winners of the Whistler Independent Book Awards

An unanticipated treat was the talented group of artists from Mountain Galleries at the Fairmont who painted in the hallway for a future charity auction. We could watch and discuss the progress of their work with them during the Festival, broadening the artistic scene.

Of course, we weren’t there just for the fun of it. The work part included workshops and panels about publishing, engagement of the audience, and the craft of writing: memoir, fiction and non-fiction, and words put to music – in other words song writing. If crime tickled your fancy, you could lunch while learning crime writers’ secrets.

Distinguished literary panel: Louis Druehl – winner of the manuscript contest, Margo Bates, Miji Campbell, Shelley O’Callaghan, and dynamo and crowd (and my) favourite, JJ Lee

Congratulations to the organizers of the festival and its always-smiling, busy coordinator Stella Harvey for a highly successful event. If you haven’t been to the festival, you are missing a great opportunity. Until next year!

Whistler Writers Festival

The Whistler Writers Festival promises to be a whirlwind of literary enthusiasm. Some of Canada’s best-loved authors will tempt us with their stories and share their insights. At the Saturday lunch, authors with a penchant for crime (between the covers only), will share dark secrets.

As special features, some authors will have dates with publishers in hope that a golden ring will soon follow. And the highlight for some, on … drum roll … Friday the 13th, will be the announcement of the winners of the Whistler Independent Book Awards. Sun Dogs is one of the finalists!

Venues are the Maury Young Arts Centre, Fairmont Chateau Whistler, and Whistler Public Library. For more information, click here.

Whistler Writers Festival

I am thrilled to be attending the Whistler Writers Festival from October 12th to 15th. It promises to be a whirlwind of literary enthusiasm with touches of comedy and music as well as lively cabarets and salons of the literary variety. Some of Canada’s best-loved authors, including David Chariandy, Leanne Dunic, Terry Fallis, Steven Heighton, Helen Humphreys, Grant Lawrence, Suzette Mayr, Sandra Ridley, Mark Leiren-Young, Terry Watada, Barbara Gowdy, Monia Mazigh, Frances Itani, Michael Harris and Lee Maracle will tempt us with their stories and share their insights. At the Saturday lunch, John MacLachlan Gray, Sheena Kamal, Michael Redhill, Alisa Smith and Jenny D. Williams, all authors with a penchant for crime (between the covers only), will share dark secrets.

Some authors will have dates with publishers in hope that a golden ring will soon follow. And the highlight for some, on … drum roll … Friday the 13th, will be the announcement of the winners of the Whistler Independent Book Awards. Wish them all luck!!!

Finalists for the 2017 WIBAs in Fiction and Non-fiction

The fiction finalists are:

Annie Daylon for Of Sea and Seed: The Kerrigan Chronicles, Book 1
R.L. Prendergast for The Confessions of Socrates
Farida Somjee for The Beggar’s Dance

The non-fiction finalists are:

Monique Layton for Notes from Elsewhere: Travel and Other Matters
Patricia Sandberg for Sun Dogs and Yellowcake: Gunnar Mines—A Canadian Story
Paul Shore for Uncorked: My Year in Provence

(Full disclosure: In case you are puzzled, the above scene is not Whistler but is the closest I could get to a winter photo on short notice!)