The Whistler Writers Festival Talks About Risk

The Whistler Writers Festival Talks About Risk

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” T.S Eliot

The Whistler Writers Festival is in its 16th year. This grass-roots festival started in the founder’s living room and now spans Whistler with its base at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler and spin-off events happening at the Whistler Public Library, Maury Young Arts Centre, and Summit Lodge. What makes this festival unique is the range of events offered in an incredibly small group, intimate setting. There are workshops for those looking to hone their writing skills, reading events for those looking for the inside scoop on their favourite authors and genres, and events that incorporate comedy, food, and music.
This year’s festival theme is RISK. Founder and organizer, Stella Harvey risks her sanity every year by putting on this event. She pulls together authors who risk putting pen to paper, budding writers who risk their fragile confidence each time they push themselves to the next level, and readers who risk their precious time devouring, or discarding, the outcome.
Feel like taking a risk yourself? Here are just a few of the incredible events on offer this October 12 – 15, for a full schedule and to purchase tickets visit the event website.


 Comedy Quickies
October 12, 2017| 8 – 10 p.m.| Maury Young Arts Centre | $22

Part writing-contest, part irreverent variety show, Comedy Quickies features bite-sized sketch, stand-up, songs and monologues in a competition to see who can make us laugh the most. Cash and prizes are awarded for Best Comedy Writing, and the People’s Choice award for Best Act—chosen by you!

Canada’s Best Independent Authors of 2017
October 12, 2017| 6 – 7:30 p.m.| Whistler Public Library | FREE

Accomplished writers are increasingly turning to independent publishing as a financially and creatively satisfying alternative to the traditional model. Meet some of the best independent authors in the country as finalists for the Whistler Independent Book Awards, and hear them read from books nominated in fiction and non-fiction categories. Winners will be announced at Friday night’s Literary Cabaret.


Publishers Roundtable Discussion
October 13, 2017| 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.| Fairmont Chateau Whistler | $22

We invite seven Canadian publishers Lynn Henry (Penguin Random House), Karen Haughian (Signature Editions), Taryn Boyd (Touchwood), Vici Johnstone (Caitlin Press), Don Gorman (Rocky Mountain Books), Suzanne Sutherland (Harper Collins) and Anita Chong (McClelland & Stewart) to review the state of the industry, and give sage advice on how to get your book published.

Literary Cabaret
October 13, 2017 | 8p.m. | Maury Young Arts Centre | $22

Local musicians provide a vibrant and improvisational accompaniment to guest authors as they read and perform from their masterworks. Featuring authors David Chariandy, Leanne Dunic, Terry Fallis, Steven Heighton, Helen Humphreys, Grant Lawrence, Mark Leiren-Young, Suzette Mayr, Sandra Ridley, and Terry Watada. The winners of the Fiction and Non-Fiction categories of the Whistler Independent Book Awards will also be announced.

This year’s Literary Cabaret features four talented musicians from Vancouver, Whistler, and the Sea-to-Sky. Vancouver’s Geeta Das takes on the role of musical director along with trumpet, saxophone, and percussion. Pemberton’s Rosalind Steel on grand piano and electric keys. And from Whistler, Rajan Das on upright bass, and Dean Feser on percussion.

Crime Writer’s Lunch
October 14, 2017| 1 – 2:15 p.m.| Fairmont Chateau Whistler | $32 includes lunch

Feet Banks steals us away through the deceptive twists and turns of the crime, mystery and thriller genres. Join us for stories that explore: true crime through a literary lens; a desperate search for a vulnerable daughter given up for adoption; a woman’s fears for her sanity, and then her life, when she learns her doppelganger has appeared in a local park; the anguish of a codebreaker hiding an outlaw past; and a search undertaken by two women from different worlds when their loved ones go missing in Uganda.
The Places Children’s and YA Literature Dares to Go
October 14, 2017 | 11 a.m. 12:15 p.m.| Whistler Public Library | FREE
Publishing trends are leaning towards diverse voices, fresh setups, and unique people, places and events. How do you create a voice that mesmerizes, or find inventive ways of telling a story? Award-winning authors Cary Fagan (Mort Ziff Is Not Dead), Drew Hayden Taylor (Take Us to Your Chief), Sara Leach (Slug Days), and Susin Nielsen (Optimists Die First) will read from their work and discuss the shifting landscape of YA & Children’s Literature with moderator and acclaimed author Caroline Adderson (A Simple Case of Angels).

When Reality Looks Like Fiction, How do you Write Your Way to the Truth?
October 14, 2017| 8 p.m.| Fairmont Chateau Whistler | $22 includes a glass of wine.

The festival’s gala reading event sees Grant Lawrence lead a conversation about why authors choose fiction or non-fiction to tell a particular story. And, in the case of our guest authors, a particular kind of story, for example: existential threats to humanity, the threat to global order, or the future of the health of our planet? In times of suppression and avoidance, how do fiction and non-fiction authors find creative ways to keep facts and truth on the front burner—and is there a difference in their ability to do so?


Doug Saunders in Conversation
October 15, 2017 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.| Fairmont Chateau Whistler | $40 includes brunch

Join us for a delicious brunch and indulge your literary cravings during a conversation between moderator Doug Saunders (Maximum Canada: Why 35 Million Canadians Aren’t Enough), and Barbara Gowdy (Little Sister), Monia Mazigh (Hope Has Two Daughters), Frances Itani (That’s My Baby), Michael Harris (Solitude) and Lee Maracle (My Conversations with Canadians).


by Guest Blogger: Dee Raffo

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