Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Our third annual Books & Beer: We laughed, we cried, we drank beer

So, let's set the scene...

It was a dark and stormy night.

No, really! It was!

Wet, freezing rain, but saw only one vehicle in ditch, so that's ok, right?
So February 7th kicked off with freezing rain warnings, school buses cancelled, scary Road Conditions maps from Environment Canada.

Did that stop us? It did not!

The third annual Books & Beer, sponsored by Roxanne's Reflections Book and Card Shop (books) and Wellington Brewery (beer) went ahead as planned, and it proved itself small but mighty, just like our Elora Writers' Festival.

Schmoozing among the books, sipping beer, ignoring the weather and
anticipating an evening with author Rio Youers

No words required. Except, maybe - "AWESOME"

And we're off! MC Dave Beynon, who really isn't as menacing as he
appears here, starts things off with a Q&A
Author Rio Youers, whose upcoming novel The Forgotten Girl will be available on June 13th, spoke to us about his writing journey, unicorns, sleeping/waking children, graphic novels and adventures with editors. We laughed (unicorns --- you had to be there). We cried (from laughter. See previous). And we drank beer.

In short, we enjoyed every minute. Take a look!

Rio read to us from two of his novels - Westlake Soul and The Forgotten Girl.

Rio reading from his novel Westlake Soul. If you don't know what love is,
you need to read this book.

Rio, his wife, Emily, and friends hanging out between readings.

We worked him hard, so yes, he needed to rehydrate.

This year's raffle prize (and thanks for buying a ticket, everyone) was a gorgeous pen and ink drawing by EWF committee member and artist/writer Francis Baker. But before we made the draw, we put Rio on the spot and had him come up with a story inspired by this work of art.

"I make up a story to tell my son every night before bed," he told us, and proceeded to quiet the room with a tale of a girl, and a red sky, and the mountains, and an umbrella to keep her safe.

Shivers. Magic.

A master storyteller at work. And that's no joke.

When the evening came to a close, Rio signed some books and chatted to audience members. We all enjoyed a few more sips of Wellington Brew and shared a few more stories.

Then we all headed out into the wet night - smiling!

Another terrific Books & Beer is in the can (did you see what I did there?) and you can be sure we'll be back next year, freezing rain or not.

Thanks Rio! Thanks Dave Beynon, EWF committee member and MC extraordinaire. Thanks Roxanne Beale for making your bookstore our home. Thanks Francis Baker for contributing your exquisite drawing to our raffle. Thanks Wellington Brewery for your continued support. Thanks everyone for coming out (especially you, Chris from Cambridge!), and be sure to stay tuned for news of Festival 2017, coming to Aboyne Hall, Wellington Country Museum and Archives, on Sunday, May 28.

Check out our authors, here: Festival 2017 Line-up: Yes We're Ready!

And don't forget our annual writing contest! Details here: Grab Your Pens and Pencils and Keyboards!

Festival 2017 authors: Brad Smith, Mary Ann Mulhern,
Adrienne Kress, Andrew Westoll and Rio Youers

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Books & Beer 3: What you need to know!

Yes, Books & Beer 3 is just a month away. (You knew that already, right?) Just in case you're still wondering what this unique winter-busting party is all about - the official release is included below. Everything you need to know, in detail. Want the highlights? Okay, here you go:

  • Elora author Rio Youers! Boom.
  • Tuesday, February 7, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Roxanne's Reflections Book & Card Shop in Fergus
  • Tickets available from the store ahead of time and at the door - but be warned: space is limited
  • Yes, you will be surrounded by books. And yes there will be beer, thanks to the ongoing and very appreciated sponsorship of Wellington Brewery. (And we'll provide some snacks too.)

Read on for the complete story. See you there!


Meet local author Rio Youers at Books and Beer event

The Elora Writers’ Festival presents an intimate evening with a local author in the festival’s third Books and Beer event.

Books and Beer 3 features Elora’s Rio Youers, author of End Times and Hollow Point.

The event runs Tuesday, Feb. 7 starting at 7 p.m. at Roxanne’s Reflections Book and Card Shop in downtown Fergus. Tickets are $15 and include an author reading, question and answer period, snacks and beer, the latter sponsored by Wellington Brewery. Tickets are available in advance or at the door — space is limited.

A British Fantasy Award nominee, Youers has had short fiction published in many notable anthologies, and his novel, Westlake Soul, was nominated for Canada’s prestigious Sunburst Award.

He has been favourably reviewed in such venues as Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and The National Post. His new novel, The Forgotten Girl, will be released by MacMillan/Thomas Dunne Books in June, 2017. He lives in Elora with his wife Emily and their children, Lily and Charlie.

Books and Beer was created in 2015 by Writers’ Festival committee member Jean Mills as a fundraiser for the festival, and featured rural noir author Brad Smith.

“It was a successful fundraiser for the 2015 Elora Writers’ Festival and brought literature and libations to a cold January evening,” committee member Dave Beynon says.

The second, 2016 event featured Fergus author J.M. Frey, whose fantasy novel The Untold Tale, the first volume in The Accidental Turn series, had just been released.

About 30 people enjoyed readings from The Untold Tale as well as a question and answer session, refreshments, and a chance to bid on a steampunk lamp by D.W. Mills — which Frey created an impromptu story about on the spot.

“The people who’ve come out to these events enjoy the intimacy of the venue and the opportunity to interact with the writers,” Beynon says. “The readings and Q and A session stimulate lively conversation among the attendees — and of course there’s beer as well.”

Books and Beer 3 also includes a book signing, time for conversation, and a raffle for an original ballpoint pen drawing by committee member and artist Francis Baker, and information about the Elora Writers’ Festival later in the year.

Held at Aboyne Hall at the Wellington County Museum and Archives on Sunday, May 28 from 1 to 5 p.m., the 2017 Elora Writers’ Festival features Youers, Andrew Westoll (The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary), poet Mary Ann Mulhern, young adult and children’s author Adrienne Kress, and mystery/thriller author Brad Smith.

For details and information, watch the festival’s blog at