Sunday, March 4, 2018

10 Things You Need to Know about Festival 2018 - UPDATED

See this group of people? That’s us, your Elora Writers Festival organizing committee, hard at work preparing for Festival 2018 – and that includes our annual writing contest (deadline in March), and our fourth annual literary escape from winter, Books & Beer (in February).

Working hard! Or perhaps Francis and Jean are arguing while Dave and Roxanne
enjoy the show? In any case, we are a fun, hard-working committee, and
we love supporting authors and their work!
(Photo taken at The Red Door Café)

We invite you into our planning session! Come on in and sit down. There’s a lot going on, but in brief, let us share with you ten things you need to know:

1. Festival 2018 will take place on Sunday, May 6, 1-4 p.m. in Aboyne Hall at the Wellington County Museum & Archives. Tickets ($25) are available online from the Fergus Grand Theatre here: Or drop in at the theatre box office, 244 St. Andrew St. W. in Fergus. You can also reserve by calling Festival headquarters (aka Roxanne Beale) at 519-831-4391, or email

2. Our Festival 2018 authors are award-winners, award-nominees, multi-talented and literary-genre-bending, and you get to hang out with them during the afternoon. There will be books, there will be snacks, there will be beer from our wonderful sponsor, Wellington Brewery, and there will be these five fantastic authors, too… (read on).

The room is ready for our five Festival 2018 authors (l-r): Kathy Stinson,
Drew Hayden Taylor, Kate Blair, Linden MacIntyre and Michelle Winters

3. Kathy Stinson writes books for kids of all ages. One of her standout picture books is The Man With the Violin, which tells the story of classical violinist Joshua Bell’s subway experiment, in which he played his violin at a busy Washington, D.C., subway station and the crowds mostly passed him by – except for the children, who wanted to stop and listen.

4. Drew Hayden Taylor used his background growing up in the Curve Lake First Nation to become an award-winning playwright, author, columnist, film maker and lecturer. His most recent collection, Take Us To Your Chief, is (in his words) “a collection of archetypal science-fiction stories reinvented with a contemporary First Nations outlook”. Yup. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg…

5. Kate Blair writes for Young Adult readers, and calls herself a “speculative fiction geek, ex-pat, ex-clown and ex-museum curator.” She grew up on a tiny island in the UK and moved to Canada in 2008. Her latest novel is Tangled Planet. She’s on Twitter as @curledupkate and recently tweeted this about a visit “home”:

You're a real Canadian now, Kate. #talkingabouttheweather

6. Linden MacIntyre is a past Giller-prize winner, a veteran broadcast journalist with a pile of Gemini awards, and a returnee to our festival, this time with his latest novel, The Only Café, in which he draws on his journalistic background to tell the story of a man trying to find out what led to the death of his father.

7. Michelle Winters is a multi-talented artist – a painter as well as a writer – and her novel, I Am a Truck, was on the short list for the 2017 Giller Prize. Originally from Saint John, New Brunswick, she now lives in Toronto, where she works as a translator. Check out some of her paintings, here: Michelle Winters, Paintings

8. Terry Fallis was our featured author at the fourth annual Books & Beer, held on Tuesday, February 27, 7-9 p.m., at The Red Door Café, a warm and welcoming space at the back of The Fountainhead Health Store in Fergus overlooking the Grand River. What can we say about Terry? He was awesome! Here's a look back at a memorable evening - and thanks, Terry, for supporting our festival! Books & Beer IV: Books, Beer - and Laughs!

9. Festival 2018 is a wonderful event, of course, but one of the highlights of the day is the announcement and presentation of awards to winners of our annual writing contest. The March 2nd deadline has come and gone, and the judges are busy choosing this year's winners.

10. One final thought: Festival 2018 is going to be fantastic. It always is. Plan to be there!

Questions? Looking for more information? Please feel free to email us at