Vol. 9 No. 20


An Evening with Louise Penny

New York Times bestselling author, Louise Penny is back with her latest Chief Inspector Gamache book, A Long Way Home. Details: http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/louisepenny.

Wednesday, September 3 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=...

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/louisepenny) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

An Evening with David Mitchell

Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell talks to Hal Wake, the Vancouver Writers Fest's Artistic Director, and reads from his new novel, The Bone Clocks.

Saturday, September 27 at 7:30pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=...

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/davidmitchell) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Bruce Cockburn

Legendary Canadian singer and songwriter Bruce Cockburn talks about his long-awaited memoir, Rumours of Glory.

Monday, November 10 at 7:30 pm
St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=...

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/brucecockburn) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.

Alan Doyle

Alan Doyle, singer-songwriter and front man of the Canadian band Great Big Sea, talks about his new memoir, Where I Belong.

Thursday, November 13 at 7:30 pm
Waterfront Theatre (1412 Cartwright Street, Granville Island)
Purchase tickets online: http://vancouvertix.artsclub.com/tickets/reserve.aspx?performanceNumber=...

Click here (http://www.writersfest.bc.ca/events/alandoyle) for event details and to find out more about our special offer for bookclubs.


The jury for the 2014 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction has been announced. Two authors from last years Vancouver Writers Fest are on the jury: Charles Foran and Priscila Uppal!

The shortlist for the CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize has been revealed. Check it out, here:


Una LaMarche's Like No Other is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet, set in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. This time around, Juliet is Hasidic and Romeo is a "lanky West Indian nerd!"

For younger children, here are three new books that feature children struggling with displacement and new surroundings.


Nadine Gordimer, the great South African writer and activist, has died. Though she did not originally choose apartheid as her subject, "she found it impossible to dig deeply into South African life without striking repression. And once the Afrikaner nationalists came to power in 1948, the scaffolds of the apartheid system began to rise around her and could not be ignored."

In happier news, it's Wole Soyinka's 80th birthday! The author of two novels, dozens of plays, eight books of poetry and a handful of memoirs, he was also the first African to win the Nobel Prize. Check out this link for some wonderful video interviews and readings featuring the Nigerian poet!

Is grammar overrated? Stephen Fry thinks so! In this kinetic type video, he and lexicographic researcher Ammon Shea make the argument that "relaxed usage isn't stupider, and actually has the potential to be literally impactful."

S. Bear Bergman, an author and activist who appears occasionally onstage with Ivan Coyote, is launching a children's bookclub that aims to tackle LGBTQ themes. Called the "Flamingo Rampant Book Club," there is a campaign underway to raise money for the club (which will go towards paying writers, artists, graphic designers and more.)

As advances are being made in the realm of LGBTQ children's literature, there's still a stark truth out there: school libraries are suffering all round. Scores of authors in the UK, including children's laureate Malorie Blackman and former poet laureate Andrew Motion, are pressing the government to take urgent action.

And if the libraries shut down, well...there's always Dungeons and Dragons! According to Junot Díaz, "for nerds like us, D&D hit like an extra horizon." The game functioned as "a sort of storytelling apprenticeship." Díaz, Sherman Alexie, Stephen Colbert, George R.R. Martin and Cory Doctorow are just some of many authors who were influenced by the role-playing game.

Who's sitting next to you on public transit? If you live in New York, chances are that they might be a 'zine' maker! A zine-making event, called the MTA Zine Residency, has taken over the New York subway and ferry system.

Have you ever had a literary hangover? Here's a chance to "share your rude awakening from fictional reveries" after a heavy bout of reading, and the worst mornings after the book before!

Or if sports are more your thing, perhaps you'll enjoy reading about these World Cup squads, as imagined by readers of The Guardian, formed out of their favourite writers! Would you support a team that has Albert Camus has its goalie and Will Self at centre forward?

Is resistance to Amazon futile in the publishing world? This is the question that The New York Times is asking, in relation to the Hachette-Amazon struggle that's been all over the news these past weeks. According to the Times, Amazon is a "friendly giant as long as it's fed!"


Nadine Gordimer's career lasted more than six decades. Here are some of its highlights: five must-read books.

In Catherine Lacey's moving first novel, Nobody Is Ever Missing, a woman buys herself a ticket from New York to New Zealand and vanishes without a word to anyone, including her husband.  There, she lives "out of a backpack, sleep in sheds, and beg rides from strangers" so that she might become a "human non sequitur—senseless and misplaced."

Emily Gould's novel, Friendship, has caused quite a storm...not so much because of the novel's qualities, but rather, its author's past. She discusses the novel, its characters, her work at Gawker, social media backlash, and what makes a good 'internet writer,' here:

Second Time Around may be the name of Patricia Webb's 2014 CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize-nominated work (she's a finalist in the competition), but it's also, quite literally, a second coming.  After being long-listed for the CBC Poetry Prize In 1998, she disappeared from the writing community entirely.

Jennifer Clark is another finalist for CBC's Creative Nonfiction Prize. She's interviewed about "what she learned from her stint as a shepherd and the person she's written thousands of stories for," here.

The CBC has also produced a list of the "100 novels that make you proud to be Canadian." How many have you read? You can see the list, and take a quiz, here:

David Mitchell is writing a short story on Twitter. Called The Right Sort, it is the tale of a boy and his mother's valium pills.


Author reads from her new book Abroad. Thursday, July 17 at 7:00pm. Book Warehouse, 4118 Main Street, Vancouver. More information at 604-879-7737.

Features Dennis E. Bolen and Renee Saklikar with open mic. Thursday, July 24 at 7:00pm. The Cottage Bistro, 4468 Main Street, Vancouver. Sign up for
open mic at 7pm. Suggested donation at the door: $5. More information at www.pandorascollective.com.

John Barton participates in an evening of poetry readings as part of the launch of Steve Noyes' poetry book, small data. John will be reading from his new poetry collection, Polari. Friday, July 25 at 7:30pm, free. Serious Coffee, 230 Cook Street, Victoria.

Author Robert W. Mackay shares personal photos, memories and insights into the Canadian Cavalry Brigade of which his father was a member. Wednesday, July 30 at 7:00pm, free. Alice MacKay room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

Readings by the Thursdays Writing Collective and guest author Clint Burnham. Thursday, July 31 at7:00pm, free. Mount Pleasant branch, VPL, 1 Kingsway, Vancouver. More information at thursdayswritingcollective.ca.


Vancouver author reads from her new kidsbook The Indigo Queen. Sunday, August 10 at 2:00pm, free. Please RSVP to http://eepurl.com/XSBz9. Seating is limited! Y'S Books, 4307 Main Street at 27th, Vancouver. More information at ysbookstore.blogspot.ca.

R.J. Harlick, author of the wilderness-based Meg Harris mystery series, will be discussing and reading from her latest book. Various dates and locations between August 12 and August 16. For more information, visit vpl.ca.

32nd annual festival featuring established literary stars and exciting, new voices. August 14-17, 2014. Complete details at writersfestival.ca.

Fantasy author reads from his swashbuckling adventure novel Traitor's Blade and gives a talk on the use of swordplay in fantasy and historical literature. Thursday, September 4 at 7:00pm, free. Peter Kaye room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia St. More information at vpl.ca.

An evening of poetry with three award-winning B.C. poets: Garry Gottfriedson, Pamela Porter and Henry Rappaport—all with new collections to showcase. Wednesday, September 10 at 7:00pm, free. Alma VanDusen room, lower level, Central Library, 350 W. Georgia. More information at vpl.ca.

Diane Tucker reads from her new poetry collection, Bonsai Love. Tuesday, September 16 at 7:30pm, free. la Fontana Caffe, 101-3701 East Hastings Street, Burnaby. More information at burnabywritersnews.blogspot.ca.