The Writers’ Festival here welcomes a stellar line-up of writers on Sept. 19 from noon until 6pm. A wide range of genres is represented – novelists, poets, explorers, historians, children’s and young adult, science-fiction, crime, and mystery.
The 2010 line-up includes:
– Linden MacIntyre,: 2009 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner and co-host of the Fifth Estate;
– Linwood Barclay, former Toronto Star columnist and mystery writer;
– Joy Fielding: New York Times best-selling and award-winning author;
– Wade Davis: noted Canadian anthropologist, ethnobotanist, author, and explorer;
– Dionne Brand: Poet Laureate of Toronto, activist, educator, and poe;
– Cordelia Strube: short-listed for the 2010 Trillium book award; and
– Daniel Heath Justice: Aboriginal writer and educator.
The family-friendly festival takes place outdoors in a relaxed setting on the Eramosa River. Villagers open up their properties, providing settings for readers to hear their favourite authors and discover new ones.
The festival kicks off on Sept. 17, with a gala opening featuring the Dave McMurdo Jazz Sextet and literary performances by Leon Rooke, Nicholas Ruddock and Matthew Dryden and the Patchwork.
On Sept. 18 there are two events: A comedy writing seminar in Eden Mills led by Andrew Clark of the Humber School of Comedy Writing, and a discussion at the Atrium, University of Guelph with author Wade Davis.
The writing seminar, Laugh Lines: Writing Comedy for Page and Screen, runs 10am to 3pm (with a catered lunch and reception included). Led by Clark, the line-up for this year’s seminar includes satirist Linwood Barclay, agents and editors Derek Finkle and Glenn Cockburn, and TV writing guru Lorne Frohman. Whether keen to learn the business of being funny or merely interested in a laugh, this seminar is a must.
In Conversation with Wade Davis, the award-winning ethnographer, anthropologist, ethnobotanist, filmmaker, photographer, and 2009 Massy lecturer begins at 2pm. A native of British Columbia, Davis has been described as "a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet, and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity."
Bound to be thought-provoking, that event is being held at the Atrium on the University of Guelph campus.
The main event is on Sept. 19.
There are several activities of special interest to families.
The children’s program will entertain through books, open their minds to possibilities, and stir emotions. It includes music, lively readings and magic shows. Marthe Jocelyn, Jo Ellen Bogart, and Patricia Storms are among the authors reading at that site.
The young adult sets expose teens to the joys of reading in an informal, teen-friendly environment. Shane Peacock, Richard Scarsbrook, R.J. Anderson, and Erin Bow are among the featured authors.
Other Sunday festival events include the popular Poetry Slam, presided over this year by award-winning Guelph poet Alexandra Oliver. She will keep order in her own inimitable style, with the audience playing judge and juror.
At The Fringe, a juried event, listen to yet-to-be published writers read their works. Over the years, several Fringe readers have gone on to be published.
Two book launches take place at 12:15pm at the Food Court.
The first is Our Earth: How Kids are Saving the Planet, by Janet Wilson, an Eden Mills writer and illustrator who launches her latest book.
She tells the stories of young activists around the world who have launched projects to promote environmental protection. Wilson’s most recent book, One Peace, profiles the heroism of young peace activists around the world and was listed among the Smithsonian Magazine’s top 24 books for young people in 2008.
The other launch is, So, You Want to Go Carbon Neutral? It Takes a Village. Based on the first two years of the Eden Mills Going Carbon Neutral project, this handbook provides a detailed outline of the achievements and steps taken in the village to reduce and neutralize carbon emissions.
Told simply by Linda Sword with entertaining illustrations by Eden Mills artist Linda Hendry, it is a unique guide available to communities who want to go carbon neutral and don’t want to re-invent the process.
For a complete list and biographies of the authors reading at the Festival, directions to Eden Mills, and schedule of events, visit www.edenmillswritersfestival.ca.