If there’s one activity that’s COVID-19 friendly, it’s curling up on the couch with a good book. But book lovers also like to discover new authors, and authors love reaching new audiences.
The 2020 Fraser Valley Literary Festival will do just that. Presented online, the third annual festival will bring 13 Canadian writers together to share their words and wisdom.
UFV associate professor Andrea MacPherson, who teaches creative writing and is a published writer herself, is one of the event organizers.
“The Fraser Valley Literary Festival has proven to be an extremely popular, dynamic event for both UFV students and the wider community,” MacPherson said. “It brings together people from the Fraser Valley with the thriving B.C. writing community, creating a space for all things writing and reading related. We’re thrilled that we were able to transform the festival into an online event this year, and that we’ll be able to continue celebrating writers (and readers!) in the Fraser Valley.”
The event will kick off with a Friday keynote on Nov. 20, featuring three authors: Amanda Leduc, David A Robertson and Andrea Warner. These writers will present pre-recorded sessions that will be available to view on the Fraser Valley Literary Festival Facebook page for 24 hours.
Amanda Leduc is from British Columbia and lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where she serves as the Communications and Development Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and stories. Her experience of growing up and living with cerebral palsy influenced her new book Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space. Her first novel, The Miracles of Ordinary Men, was published in 2013. Her new novel, The Centaur’s Wife, will be released in spring 2021.
David A. Robertson of Winnipeg is the winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Beatrice Mosionier Indigenous Writer of the Year Award, and the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. His books include When We Were Alone; Will I See; and the YA novel Strangers. Through his writings about Canada’s Indigenous peoples, Robertson educates as well as entertains, reflecting Indigenous cultures, histories, and communities while illuminating many contemporary issues. David A. Robertson is a member of Norway House Cree Nation.
Andrea Warner of Vancouver writes about music, pop culture, and art. She is the author of Buffy Sainte-Marie: The Authorized Biography, and We Oughta Know (How Four Women Ruled the ’90s and Changed Canadian Music). She is the co-host of the Pop This podcast, and a panelist on CBC’s Pop Chat.
Following the Friday event keynote, the festival will continue with a live webinar on Sat, Nov. 21. Panelists include the keynote speakers and Juliane Okot Bitek, Cicely Belle Blain, Selina Boan, Jillian Christmas, Tin Lorica, David Ly, Casey Plett, Waubgeshig Rice, Mallory Tater and Sam Wiebe.
Saturday, Nov. 21 schedule:
12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Panel 1: Landscapes of Horror
Moderator: David A. Robertson
Panelists: Selina Boan, Juliane Okot Bitek, Tin Lorica, and Sam Wiebe
1:45 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Panel 2: Unsaid: Silence, Language, and the Unspoken
Moderator: Andrea Warner
Panelists: Cicely Belle Blain, Waubgeshig Rice, Casey Plett
3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Panel 3: Unrequited Love & All Its Forms
Moderator: Amanda Leduc
Panelists: Jillian Christmas, David Ly, Mallory Tater
Admission to the Fraser Valley Literary Festival is free and the public is welcome to attend. Register at the following link:
The Fraser Valley Literary Festival is presented by the University of the Fraser Valley College of Arts, with the support of the BC Arts Council.