Every year (since 1982) my small town has played host to the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts. It’s the longest-running writers festival featuring solely Canadian writers. It’s a wonderful weekend in August that celebrates Canadian writers and brings readers together. It’s an intimate and thought-provoking few days and one of the highlights of my year.
Last year I decided I was going to attempt to read at least one book from each of the featured authors. I decided this at the beginning of May, which gave me approximately three months to read 21 authors. In the end, I didn’t quite make it but I read the majority of them and it gave me a new appreciation for the whole event.
This year, I’m trying it again but planning ahead a little. The finalized event list isn’t released until May but they do announce the authors as they are confirmed. Before Christmas, I’d heard rumours of at least three featured writers.
The list so far is:
Harold R. Johnson
That means I can already cross three authors off the list. I read Alix Ohlin’s Dual Citizens last spring and I’ve previously read Beggar’s Garden and If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie. I didn’t finish his most recent novel Greenwood but I might circle back to it, if I have time. Cherie Dimaline was one of the rumoured authors in December so I immediately got to reading The Marrow Thieves which was on my TBR anyway.
I’m excited to see Harold R. Johnson on the list as he was recently put on my radar by Anne’s review of Clifford. I’ve also heard great things about Sarah Leavitt’s graphic novel Agnes, Murderess. Iona Whishaw and Ivan Coyote are both authors I probably wouldn’t have chosen on my own but that’s something I love about doing this challenge – I end up enjoying books I never would have picked for myself.
Have you read any of these authors? Is there a Writers Fest near you?