Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The word is out... about Ailsa Kay

Join us on Sunday, May 26, 2013 (1 to 4 P.M.) at the Elora Centre for the Arts, 75 Melville Street, Elora for a relaxing yet thought-provoking afternoon of readings by Sonia Day, Terry Fallis, Carrie Snyder, Andrew Westoll, Ailsa Kay and Robert Rotenberg.
     For $20.00 (includes Reception) you get to enjoy readings by six of Canada's finest authors; a Q&A session; a "Schmooze-fest" replete with wine & appetizers… and BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS (Get them signed by the author[s].) courtesy of Roxanne's Reflections.

     Welcome home, Ailsa!
     Ailsa Kay and Amy Appleford were the driving forces behind the committee of the Elora Arts Council that started the Elora Writers' Festival (Words by the Water) back in 1994. That first festival was an ambitious confection of formal readings at the Gorge Cinema, along with more casual and intimate events at cafes and outdoor locales in and around the village.

"Ailsa Kay's new novel (Under Budapest) came out of her life-changing visit to Hungary ('I fell in love with Budapest when I lived there in 2004. I return as often as I can, which is not as often as I would like.').
     She has taught writing at college and university where she has learned from her students to laugh a lot, swear occasionally, and always risk that leap of faith ('I teach and I love to teach. I don’t know what this says about me.').
     Kay’s short fiction has appeared in literary journals such as Exile and The New Quarterly. After twenty years in Toronto, she recently returned to her hometown of Fergus, Ontario."
— (from Fictionista! and Ailsa

     Under Budapest, her first novel, will be published in April by Goose Lane Editions.

Find out more about Ailsa Kay here…

And pre-order Ailsa's book Under Budapest here…


  1. Thanks for the welcome!

    Amy Appleford and I started the festival together in 1994. I don't remember why we decided we could do it. Probably we were bored--small tourist town, working retail. I remember we first called Leon Rooke, one of the organizers of the Eden Mills Festival, and asked, "How do you do it?" He was friendly, gave us some basic suggestions--contact the Ontario Arts Council for funding, make sure you pay the authors--and agreed to read at our first event. And there we were. On our way.

    Other writers that year included Susan Swan, Russell Smith, Clifton Joseph. Every year, we made it a priority to include at least a couple of writers who'd published only in literary journals. One of our journal writers was Michael Crummey--still one of my favourites.

    I'm not quite sure how we pulled it off. Every year, I was starstruck and regularly too tongue-tied to make conversation. Russell Smith asked me if I was an editor. I blushed, stuttered that I worked retail, actually. We nearly killed Douglas Cooper--dramatic fender-bender in Guelph. I gave Susan Swan the wrong directions. Jean Little got a sunburn. I got a sunburn. Our parents hosted the after-parties. Seriously. My mom met Dionne Brand.

    I loved doing the festival. Once a year,our small community plays host to this event, where writers and readers get to meet. I'm still pretty starstruck, and so looking forward to the day.