Renewal will be in the air Oct. 18-20, when the 12th annual Whistler Readers and Writers Festival rolls into the mountain resort.
"We heard from a lot of people that they felt renewed after last year's festival," says Stella Harvey, festival organizer and founder of the Whistler Writers Group, otherwise known as The Vicious Circle. "There are new elements to this year's festival, based - as always - on feedback from participants."
This year that means three new reading events comprising poets, crime and mystery writers, and a main-stage reading featuring Giller prizewinning author Will Ferguson in conversation with best-selling author Jian Ghomeshi. Ghomeshi, a CBC Radio favourite, also hosts a Sunday brunch discussion with awardwinning authors Lisa Moore, Richard Wagamese, Jane Silcott, Meg Tilly, Genni Gunn and Whistler's own Sue Oakey-Baker.
"We're always growing to meet the needs of our audience and we have a mix of seasoned writers and new, emerging writers in poetry and crime and mystery," says Harvey. Saturday afternoon's Crimes of Fiction event will feature authors William Deverell, William Spano, E.R. Brown and Ian Hamilton.
Also Saturday afternoon is Comes a Time: Past, Present and Future, a poetry reading and panel discussion with Evelyn Lau, Elizabeth Bachinski, Michael Crummey and Rona Shaffran.
The festival is on course for record ticket sales of 400-plus this year, according to Harvey. Participants can look forward to a familiar mix of intimate fireside chats, readings, workshops and panel discussions. "Intimacy is a great strength of the festival, judging by feedback from guests and authors," says Harvey, who hosted the first festival in her living room with 20 people! The Vicious Circle has since grown to about 150 members.
The Fairmont Chateau Whistler will again be the venue for most of the festival, including an opening night jazz and books gala, hosted by local writer, Stephen Vogler.
For more information about the 12th annual Whistler Readers and Writers Festival, and Fairmont Chateau Whistler's Book and Bed Festival rate, visit theviciouscircle.ca/pages/festival-2013.
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