Monday, May 29, 2017

Festival 2017 Wrap-up: Another great day!

It always starts out the same - a room full of empty chairs, a podium, a microphone. Posters of book covers and author photos. A few committee members scurrying around on last-minute tasks...

Anticipation. You can just feel it in the air.


And the next thing you know...

MC Roxanne Beale

Brad Smith, Andrew Westoll, Mary Ann Mulhern,
 Rio Youers and Adrienne Kress

...we're off!

Festival 2017 was another afternoon of eclectic, entertaining, though-provoking stories and readings from five uniquely talented authors.

Brad Smith

Kicking things off, Brad Smith read from his latest country-noir thriller, Hearts of Stone, and he left the audience wanting more.

Mary Ann Mulhern
Mary Ann Mulhern read from her collection, How We Fare, poems about the challenges of how we react to - and deal with - the tragedies and triumphs encountered in the news.

Andrew Westoll
Andrew Westoll shared the amazing story of encountering an online video from the jungle - featuring himself! - and read from his novel, The Jungle Under the Mountain.

Time for a break! The intermission brought delicious snacks (thanks, Fountainhead in Fergus!), and refreshments (where would we be without Wellington Brewery?), as well as opportunities for shopping at the bookstore, mingling with the authors and enjoying a sunny respite in the Victorian Garden just steps from Aboyne Hall.

Let's let EWF Writing Contest judges (and Kidlit authors) Lisa Dalrymple and Kira Vermond show us the way:

Checking out the offerings at the mini Roxanne's Reflections...
Yes, it's hard to resist the lure of a new book. Or a few new books...!

A gathering of writers...

Lisa, Kira and author Adrienne Kress had a chance to swap insider writing tips with the first-prize winner of the Youth category in EWF's annual writing contest. Sunshine, beverages, a quartet of writers. Does it get any better?

Well, actually, yes it does! At the start of the second half, prizes were presented to some of the writing contest winners in attendance. And then it was back to the action. Oh yes. There was action!

Adrienne Kress
Kids' author (and actress) Adrienne Kress kept things, um, moving as she read from her latest book, The Explorers.

Rio Youers
And local Elora author Rio Youers read from Westlake Soul, taking us inside the head of a wheelchair-bound surfing dude with a super-psyche - and we bought in, completely! He followed that up with a sweet moment from his latest novel, The Forgotten Girl.

But we weren't done yet. Time to put the authors on the hot seat for an interactive Question & Answer session.

Authors on the hot seat!

Dave Beynon
Chief Inquisitor Dave Beynon (of the EWF Organizing Committee) prompted our five authors to talk about the writing process, the joys (and horrors) and seeing your work on film, and why it's necessary to "kill your darlings."

Rio Youers, Brad Smith, Mary Ann Mulhern,
Andrew Westoll and Adrienne Kress
So as Festival 2017 came to an end, we wrapped things up with a moment captured in the Victorian Garden: our five Canadian authors and their books.

The Organizing Committee saw everyone out the door and got to work packing up the book shop, the chairs, the food, the posters...

And as another successful Festival became a memory, someone was heard to say:

"Hey, about next year. I was thinking..."

Stay tuned! We'll have news about Festival 2018 soon!

We couldn't do this without the ongoing support of our wonderful sponsors:

Wellington Brewery
Centre Wellington Community Foundation
Roxanne's Reflections Book & Card Shop
Community Resource Centre of North & Centre Wellington
The Elora Arts Council
The Writers' Union of Canada
Little Tree Garden Market
The Wellington Advertiser
The Grand 101.1
Centre Wellington Tourism
Wellington Country Museum & Archives


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