Coast Salish art book gets civic boost

Susan Point (right), beside Vancouver poet laureate Christie Charles, reacts to news that a book on her art, written by Robert D. Watt, has won the 2019 City of Vancouver Book Award. FULL STORY

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2019 Whistler Writers Festival lineup

August 12th, 2019

Featured authors at the Whistler Writers Festival (October 17 – 20, 2019) have been announced. They include: Cherie Dimaline, Andrew Pyper, Lorna Crozier, Michael Crummey, Deborah Ellis, Eve Joseph, Richard Van Camp, Jim Brown, Omar El Akkad, Emma Donoghue, Maude Barlow, Shilpi Somaya Gowda, Harold R. Johnson and more. In total, more than 70 authors, publishers and guest presenters are attending.

The Whistler Writers Festival gives attendees a rare opportunity to meet and talk with authors. From Q&A sessions during and after readings, to round-table masterclass workshops, face-to-face pitching sessions, and even an opportunity to walk to Lost Lake with authors, most events at the four-day festival have been developed to encourage conversation.

“The high-caliber of writers we have selected for this year’s festival have all tackled topical, thought-provoking material, and we are delighted to bring them to our festival and hear the in-depth dialogue that ensues,” said Stella Harvey, Artistic Director of the Whistler Writers Festival. “We have an incredibly diverse slate of authors this year – from myriad backgrounds – many of whom are acclaimed award-winners, international bestsellers, investigative journalists, global activists, leading Indigenous writers, Order of Canada recipients and renowned poets. We are looking forward to another fantastic festival of literary discussion and readings in the mountains.”

Headliner details:

  • Cherie Dimaline – Breakout Métis author of famed YA novel The Marrow Thieves, which shot to the top of bestseller lists in 2017 and won the Governor General’s Award, the Kirkus Prize, the Burt Award and was a fan favourite of the 2018 edition of CBC’s Canada Reads. Dimaline’s latest novel is Empire of Wild.
  • Andrew Pyper – Prize-winning author of The Homecoming and eight previous novels, including The Demonologist, which won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Hardcover Novel. The Killing Circle was a New York Times Best Crime Novel of the Year. Four of Pyper’s novels are in active development for feature films.
  • Lorna Crozier – Leading poet who has authored seventeen books of poetry, including God of Shadows (longlisted for the Raymond Souster Award) and Inventing the Hawk (winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry). An Officer of the Order of Canada, Crozier is also a Professor Emerita at the University of Victoria and has received five honorary doctorates for her contributions to Canadian Literature.
  • Michael Crummey – Canadian poet and historical fiction writer, whose collection of work includes River Thieves (finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize), The Wreckage (finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize), Galore (winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize) and Sweetland (finalist for the Governor General’s Award). Michael will launch his new novel, The Innocents, at the festival.
  • Deborah Ellis – Highly acclaimed author of more than two dozen books, including bestseller The Breadwinner, published in 25 languages. Ellis is an Order of Canada recipient and winner of the Governor General’s Award, the Middle East Book Award, the Peter Pan Prize, the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award and more. Deborah’s latest YA book is My Story Starts Here: Voices of Young Offenders.
  • Eve Joseph – Poet and nonfiction author whose most recent poetry book Quarrels won the 2019 Griffin Poetry Prize. Her other poetry books, The Startled Heart and The Secret Signature of Things, were both nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Award, and her book In the Slender Margin was one of the top 100 picks of the year by The Globe and Mail.
  • Richard Van Camp – Internationally renowned storyteller, best-selling author and member of the Dogrib (TłĮchǫ) Dene Nation. Van Camp is the author of dozens of books, including The Lesser Blessed, a Canadian classic that has been adapted into a feature film. His latest short story collection is Moccasin Square Gardens.
  • Jim Brown – CBC Radio host of The 180 and regular guest host on The Current, As It Happens, q and The Sunday Edition. His first documentary, Radiant City, won a Genie Award and was named one of the ten best films of the year at the Toronto International Film Festival. Brown’s current book is The Golden Boy of Crime: The Almost Certainly True Story of Norman “Red” Ryan.
  • Omar El Akkad – Award-winning journalist and author whose dispatches include the NATO-led war in Afghanistan, military trials at Guantànamo Bay and Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Missouri. He has received Canada’s National Newspaper Award, the Goff Penny Memorial Prize for Young Canadian Journalists, and more. His book American War was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and was a finalist for CBC’s Canada Reads.
  • Emma Donoghue – Renowned novelist, screenwriter and playwright whose novel Room won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange Prizes. Her script for the film was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Her last novel The Wonder was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Donoghue’s current novel is Akin.
  • Maude Barlow – International bestselling author of 19 books, including Whose Water Is It, Anyway?: Taking Water Protection into Public Hands. She holds leadership positions with Council of Canadians, Food and Water Watch, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and the World Future Council. She also helped lead the campaign to have water recognized as a human right by the United Nations.
  • Shilpi Somaya Gowda – Novelist whose books Secret Daughter and The Golden Son became international bestsellers, selling over one million copies worldwide. Secret Daughter also was translated into over 30 languages and shortlisted for the South African Boeke Literary Prize and longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her third novel, The Shape of Family, releases in October 2019.
  • Harold R. Johnson – Author of Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (And Yours), which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award and examines the problem with alcohol consumption among Canadian First Nations based on Johnson’s work as a Crown prosecutor in northern Saskatchewan. His newest book is Peace and Good Order: The Case for Indigenous Justice in Canada.

The list of confirmed guest presenters also includes: Leslie Anthony, Feet Banks, Brandon Barrett, Yvonne Blomer, Heige S. Boehm, Wakefield Brewster, Andrea Carlson, Lynn Coady, Megan Gail Coles, Eileen Cook, Amber Cowie, Lauren Elise Daniel, Kilmeny Jane Denny, Lynn Duncan, Eufemia Fantetti, Mona Fertig (publisher at Mother Tongue), Genevieve Graham, Robyn Harding, Lynn Henry (publisher at Penguin Random House), Cornelia Hoogland, Nazanine Hozar, Linda Kenyon, Katherine Koller, Grant Lawrence, Sara Leach, Marsha Lederman, Shelley A. Leedahl, Rachel Letofsky (literary agent at CookeMcDermid), D. A. Lockhart, Christina Loucas, Mary MacDonald, Lee Maracle, Anna Maxymiw, Cecily Nicholson, Kit Pearson, Ira Pettle, Steven Price, Linda Quennec, Bill Richardson, Emma Sakamoto (publisher at Groundwood Books), Anakana Schofield, Joel Scott, Paul Seesequasis, Lorimer Shenher, Sarah St. Pierre (publisher at Simon & Schuster), Marissa Stapley, Jason Stefanik, Kelly S. Thompson, Caroline Van Hemert, Barbora Vaneckova, Stephen Vogler, James Walt, K. Jane Watt, Shannon Webb-Campbell, Brad Wilson (publisher at HarperCollins), Andrew Wooldridge (publisher at Orca), Rebecca Wood Barrett and Tim Wynne-Jones.

Festival director and author Harvey will also launch her third novel Finding Callidora at the festival.

Tickets for the festival are on sale now. View the program and buy tickets at www.whistlerwritersfest.com.

To purchase festival passes and event-only tickets and to learn more about the Whistler Writers Festival, visit www.whistlerwritersfest.com.

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