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!

Author: Patricia Sandberg

A former mining and securities lawyer, Patricia relied on her family’s history and interviews of over 150 people to write about the Cold War uranium mining town in Northern Canada that residents said was ‘the best place they ever lived’. She is now working on a novel. Sun Dogs and Yellowcake has won two international awards, was shortlisted for the Canadian Authors Fred Kerner award, and was finalist for Whistler Independent Book Awards 2017.

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