Kamloops Writers Festival opens doors to readers and writers

Kamloops Writers Festival (2016)

Kamloops will welcome back the annual Kamloops Writers Festival, held Nov. 3 to 5 at the DoubleTree Hotel in downtown Kamloops. Invited authors include Alix Hawley; TRU faculty member Karen Hofmann; local artist, writer, filmmaker and musician Chris Bose as well as TRU alumni Patrick Blennerhassett.

This three-day festival is jam-packed with workshops and panel discussions. The four authors will read from their most recent book releases and share key scenes with the audience.

This year the festival aims for a conversational feel to shift away from the conference vibe that these events often give off.

On Friday evening, the event opens with “In Conversation With…,” a panel discussion with the authors. Moderated by TRU’s Alicia Ashcroft, the audience will hear about their writing process and the books themselves. An open question session afterwards offers the audience an opportunity to get the answers they need.

While many may find the Kamloops Writers Festival intimidating, event organizer JP Baker insists that this is an event for writers and readers alike. The festival holds both entertainment and education value for the general public.

“I highly recommend new writers to go and get connected,” Baker said.

Attendees will get the chance to mix and mingle with the panel of authors and learn a thing or two about the craft. “Beginner” writers are encouraged to come and partake in this great learning opportunity.

“I myself wish I went to a writers festival 20 years ago. I think that I would have been so far ahead from where I am now,” Baker expressed.

With many different workshops available there is something to interest everyone. Hawley is set to speak about the craft of researching for writing. Bose will host a “wild and fantastic” workshop, according to Baker, and Blennerhassett will speak to the art of marketing your work.

The festival also established the Richard Wagamese Memorial Bursary in honour of this beloved author who graced the stage at last year’s Kamloops Writers Festival. The bursary is awarded to an aspiring Indigenous writer. The 2017 recipient was Geraldine Jules, a TRU student and aspiring poet and screenplay writer.

Tickets can be purchased online for the entire three-day event or for separate events at the Kamloops Writers Festival website.