“There’s something about being read to that goes much deeper than—just reading the words off the page,” she said. “Does that make any sense?” I nodded, because it did make sense. I was chatting with one of our audience members and I took her words to heart—our audience is a very thoughtful crowd. She had tapped into something that is fundamental to the success of Writers’ Festivals everywhere—and especially the Elora Writers’ Festival.
Being read to, say, on a warm, late spring afternoon by some of the most entertaining writers in the country, then plied with wine and appetizers and gentle jazz; then joining the authors in a relaxing yet stimulating few hours of dining and more drinking—a sumptuous meal provided by Frabert’s of Fergus—all of it garnished with rollicking conversation… it must have something going for it.
The Elora Writers’ Festival has been celebrating fine Canadian writing in this way since 1994. In the past eighteen years the festival has presented authors (novelists, poets, biographers, journalists, screenwriters and playwrights) such as Alison Pick, Thomas King, Nino Ricci, Di Brandt, Andrew Pyper, Johanne Skibsrud, Linwood Barclay, Louise Penny, Paul Quarrington, Bonnie Burnard, Leon Rooke, Susan Coyne and Linden MacIntyre. Award winners and losers, veterans and novices—all of them with wonderful stories to tell.
The Elora Writers’ Festival’s 19th season will again feature six outstanding Canadian authors reading from their works. The Festival will return once more to the Aboyne Hall of the Wellington County Museum, on Sunday, May 27, 2011, 1 - 4 p.m. with dinner to follow. Tickets for the Readings are: $15 in advance, $17.50 at the door, and $70 for the Readings and Dinner with the authors. All tickets are available from Roxanne’s Reflections Book and Card Shop, Fergus (519-843-4391).
The exciting 2012 Festival lineup includes a 2011 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award winner, a Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award winner (two years in a row), two CBC Literary Contest winners, an acclaimed scriptwriter turned novelist and a historian who has turned our Canadian past into the stuff of bestsellers.
ERIN BOW was born in Des Moines and raised in Omaha. She began her professional life as a particle physicist, working briefly at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), before trading science in for writing. She began as a poet and has published two volumes of poetry and a memoir. Ghost Maps is a biography in verse about a man who survived the Battle of the Bulge. Seal up the Thunder is a collection stories drawn from untold Bible stories. Her poetry won a CBC Literary Award.
Erin has a lifelong love of fantasy and science fiction novels, and now writes them for young adults: her debut novel Plain Kate was shortlisted for The Canadian Library Association book of the year, the Sunburst Award for literature of the fantastic, and the Rocky Mountain Book award. It won one of Canada’s top prizes, the 2011 TD Canadian Children's Literary Award. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario with her husband, novelist James Bow, and their two children.
"Erin Bow is a published poet [...] and it comes through in her prose, which on occasion is nearly elegaic."
— Ariel Kroon, Blog404
Read more about Erin Bow here...
ROBERT HOUGH knew he wanted to become a writer back in high school. After graduating from Queen's University Hough worked briefly in advertising before becoming a journalist. He has written for such magazines as Toronto Life and Saturday Night. Hough's first novel,The Final Confession of Mabel Stark (2001), was originally intended to be merely a biography about a ribald 1920s lion tamer for Ringling Brothers Circus. Along with his subsequent novels, The Stowaway (2004) and The Culprits (2007), it has garnered accolades and awards from around the world. His most recent book Dr. Brinkley's Tower was published in February.
"Hough is a master storyteller, and he works here with a practised hand [...] "
— Steven Hayward, The Globe and Mail
"[...] this exuberant, freshly detailed story [The Stowaway] of globalized love and disorder is a bravura performance, one part literary ventriloquism and one part ripping narrative.”
— The Globe and Mail
KEN McGOOGAN is the author of four Canadian bestsellers about the search for the Northwest Passage, all of which have been published internationally. His awards include the Pierre Berton Award for History, the Writers’ Trust of Canada Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize and the Canadian Authors’ Association History Award.
"How the Scots Invented Canada provides a pleasurable way to get to know many of the most colourful men and women in our history. [...] and your name doesn’t have to begin with Mc or Mac to savour this book."
— The Globe and Mail
"Part epic adventure, part romance, and part true-crime thriller, Coppermine is a character-driven story set in 1917 in the extremes of Canada's far north and the boom town of Edmonton."
— Penguin Books
"[...] his scriptwriting craft show[s] in sure pacing and brisk scenes ending with snap! crackle! pop! buttons."
— Andrew Pyper, The Globe and Mail
HOWARD SHRIER was born and raised in Montreal. His critically acclaimed first novel, Buffalo Jump (introducing PI Jonah Geller) won the Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. The sequel, High Chicago, won the Arthur Ellis for Best Novel of 2009, making Howard the first author in the history of the awards to win both back to back. Both books have been optioned for television.
"The third Jonah Geller novel [Boston Cream] is the best so far. Shrier has a great eye for location and a good ear for dialogue. Add those to solid characters and an intriguing plot and you have a winning combination for any mystery lover."
— Margaret Cannon, The Globe and Mail
CAROLYN SMART was born in England. She has lived in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Toronto, and for the last 25 years near Kingston. She is the author of five collections of poetry and a memoir. Her recent collection of poetry, Hooked - Seven Poems (Brick Books, 2009) has become a performance piece.
She is the founder of the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, and teaches Contemporary Canadian Poetry and Creative Writing at Queen's University.
"[...] Hooked expresses the heart of darkness with an astonishing concision and acuity [... Smart] writes with a clarity and compassion that is powerfully
— Anne Michaels
The EWF Writing Contest
The ninth annual Elora Writers’ Festival Writing Competition welcomes entries in its prose and poetry categories. Enter a short story (1500 words maximum) or poem (75 lines maximum) by April 27, 2012.
The contest is divided into four age categories: Category 1 (20 and older); Category 2 (15-19); Category 3 (12-14); and Category 4 (11 and under).
Cash prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place in each category. The winners will be announced on the Festival blogsite on Saturday, May 26 at noon, and prizes will be presented to any winners attending the Elora Writers’ Festival on Sunday, May 27, 2012. Attendance at the Elora Writers’ Festival is not required in order to win a prize.
The deadline for submission is Friday, April 27, 2012, and adult (Category 1) submissions should include a $15 entry fee (cheques can be made out to the Elora Writers’ Festival).
Contact Contest Chair Jean Mills at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For links to the contest flyer and answers to Frequently Asked Questions go here...
Come prepared... buy and read all the books mentioned in this article here...