Kamloops’ writers festival back with a fresh name

The Kamloops Society for the Written Arts revamps the successful writers festival

The Kamloops Society for the Written Arts is at it again with their annual writers’ festival with a new name and wider focus. Formerly known as the Kamloops Writers Festival, Words Alive Kamloops is set to offer a wider variety of workshops for readers and writers alike.

Words Alive Kamloops is one of the only events in Kamloops that provides a place for readers and writers to meet on common ground.

“Without writers we don’t have readers, without readers we don’t have writers,” said JP Baker of the Kamloops Society for the Written Arts.

This year, Words Alive Kamloops has added more workshops for attendees to take part in. Newly added, the festival will now offer workshops in songwriting with Vancouver based Juno-nominated songwriter and recording artist Tariq Hussain.

Words Alive 2018 will welcome the writing expertise of Sam Weibe, Corrina Chong, Dennis Staginnus, Tariq Hussain and Kerry Gilbert. The festival will also offer grammar workshops facilitated by educator and writer Matthew Stranach and writer, editor and consultant JP Baker.

This year, the Kamloops Society for the Written Arts has added an increase in the emphasis on the readers. The festival has always pushed the idea that this festival is a huge learning tool for readers, just as much as their writing counter-parts.

The festival’s workshops will include Dynamic Characters and Convincing Dialogue with Sam Weibe, First Line to Last Chord with Tariq Hussain and Crowdfunding Your Creative Work with Dennis Staginnus.

While this weekend event is by ticket, festival planners are working their hardest to provide as much to the public for free as possible. Words Alive Kamloops will be hosting a Music and Readings Night at the Smorgasbord on Saturday night. Anyone is welcome to join to hear live readings from the festival’s authors and live music from Tariq Hussain. There will also be a variety of community events all over town on the Friday afternoon.

The event is a great opportunity for students and there are ways to hack the price! Words Alive Kamloops has volunteer opportunities for students who wish to help out in exchange for a free day at the festival. If you are interested, you can contact info@kswa.ca for a time that works best for you.

For the second year, the festival will be awarding the Richard Wagamese Memorial Award to honour the memory of beloved author Richard Wagamese, who graced the stage of the 2016 Kamloops Writers Festival. The award provides one full festival pass to Words Alive Kamloops for an aspiring Indigenous author.

“The works of Richard Wagamese have a universality with Indigenous creators that can only be explained by the nuanced emotional effects of a shared history. Being a recipient of the bursary award in his name symbolized a tangible foothold in my own creative journey. The experience helped me find healing and reassurance as an emerging writer and the lessons I learned helped not only grow my skills but also myself,” said Geraldine Jules, recipient of the 2017 Richard Wagamese Memorial Bursary.

Words Alive Kamloops runs Oct. 19 to 21 at the Hotel 540. Festival passes are available online at wordsalivekamloops.com.