Preview: Wild Writers Literary Festival

Literary Brunches, Baseball Themed Speakeasies and Writing Masterclasses

Waterloo based Canlit magazine The New Quarterly presents the sixth edition of its Wild Writers Festival that toasts “the savage and free and its expression in poetry, the short story and everything in between.” Best-selling authors like Kathleen Winter, award-winning writers like Alison Pick and Katherine Humphries and other literary minds will take part in a variety of events ranging from writer workshops to literary brunches. For full schedule and ticket options, check out Wild Writers’ official website.


Nov 3: Friday Night Showcase

Acclaimed authors Alison Pick and Kathleen Winter join CBC’s Craig Norris in conversation. Winner of the 2002 Brownwen Wallace Award for most promising writer in Canada under 35, Pick has penned six books including the Man Booker Prize nominated novel, Far to Go, and her latest work, Strangers With the Same Dream. Winter has been shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award and Charles Taylor nonfiction prizes for novels such as the bestselling, Annabel, and her Arctic memoir, Boundless. Her latest novel, Lost in September, was published last month. Winners of The New Quaterly’s writing contests (Shannon Blake, Susan Olding and Fiona Tinwei Lam) will also participate.
Nov 3, 7pm, $10-15. CIGI Campus Auditorium, 67 Erb Street W, Waterloo. Tickets.


Nov 4: Young Creators Masterclass

In this workshop for writers aged 13 to 17 years old, Carrie Snyder will dish on imaginative techniques that will help young writers pen fiction. A creative writing teacher at University of Waterloo, Snyder has written three books for adults and two for children, including this year’s Jammie Day. Participants just need to bring a pen and notebook.
Nov 4, 9.30am-12.30pm, $35-40. CIGI Campus Auditorium, 67 Erb Street W, Waterloo. Tickets.


Nov 4: First Word, First Sentence, First Paragraph with Robert Rotenberg

With several bestselling thriller mysteries to his name, Rotenberg leads this Writer’s Master’s Class that’s all about that crucial first sentence and paragraph. Participants can bring a first page or paragraph sample of their work with the Old City Hall and Stray Bullets writer providing advice.
Nov 4, 9.30am-10.50am, $20-25. CIGI Campus, 67 Erb Street W, Waterloo. Tickets.


Nov 4: The Shape Shifters – Writing in Multiple Genres

The New Quarterly’s Guest Editor Anna Ling Kaye is joined by acclaimed authors Evelyn Lau, Pasha Malla, Amanda Leduc and Fiona Tinwei Lam for a discussion of writing across mediums like fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction. Lau has grown for the 18 year old behind the memoir Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid to a Poet Laureate of Vancouver. She’s released 12 books, including seven volumes of poetry like last year’s Tumour. Toronto based author Malla has won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, the Trillium Book Award, the Arthur Ellis Award for crime fiction and several National Magazine Awards. A frequent contributor to The Globe and Mail, The Walrus and The New Yorker, Malla has been shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize and longlisted for the Giller Prize. His fifth book, Fugue States, was released this summer to strong reviews.

With stories and essays published across North America and the UK, Leduc’s latest book, The Centaur’s Wife, will be released next year. Based in Hamilton, she is also the Communications and Development Coordinator for The Festival of Literacy Diversity. Lam has been a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Prize for her poetry book, Intimate Distances. She also pens children’s books, nonfiction and fiction, while also contributing to The Tyee. She’s currently co-editing the anthology Love Me True: Writers of the Ups and Downs, Ins and Outs of Marriage that will be published next year.
Nov 4, 11.10am-12.30pm, free with registration. CIGI Campus, Room 1-42, 67 Erb Street W, Waterloo. Tickets.


Nov 4: Poetry Masterclass – Recklessness and Revision in Poetry with Chris Banks

Waterloo based poet Chris Banks leads this workshop that explores “the twin forces of recklessness and revision and how they pull in opposite direction.” The Jack Chalmers Award winner will lead participants through exercises that will help them silence their inner editor and take their writing in surprising ways. With three acclaimed poetry collections to his name, Banks’ upcoming book, The Cloud Versus Grand Unification Theory will be published this year by ECW Press.
Nov 4, 1.30-4.30pm, $35-40. CIGI Campus Auditorium, 67 Erb Street W, Waterloo. Tickets.


Nov 4: Saturday Night Speakeasy – Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Award-winning novelist Stacey May Fowles, who penned the bestselling Baseball Life Advice: Loving the Game that Saved Me, celebrates the game with local baseball institution Bill Pegg. A former member of q’s sports panel, Fowles has written about sports for The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Deadspin and Hazlitt. Pegg has been a fixture in Waterloo Region’s baseball scene for years. He’s currently President of the Kitchener Senior Panthers of the Inter-County Baseball League (IBL) and the business manager/coach of the Junior Panthers. Bruce Johnstone will MC and Shannon Lyon will perform a live set.
Nov 4, 7pm, $15-20. Nick & Nat’s Uptown 21, 21 King Street N, Waterloo. Tickets.


Nov 5: The Literary Brunch

Award-winning authors Helen Humphreys, Karen Connelly and Wayne Johnston are the guests in this morning panel. Based in Kingston, Humphreys has forged a stellar literary career that continues in her latest acclaimed work, The Ghost Orchard: The Hidden History of the Apple in North America. Connelly has crafted an eclectic career that stretches across mediums. She’s penned poetry, such as Come Cold River that recounts her experiences growing up poor in Alberta. She lived among dissidents, guerillas and refugees on the Thai-Burma border for her Governor General’s Award non-fiction work, Burmese Lessons. Her novels like The Lizard Cage have been compared to Orwell by the New York Times Book Review.

Johnston has written several national bestselling novels like The Divine Ryans, A World Elswewhere and The Navigator of New York. He’s also penned the Charles Taylor Prize-winning memoir, Baltimore’s Mansion, and his novel The Colony of Unrequited Dreams is being developed for TV after a successful stage adaptation. Panel begins at 10am.
Nov 5, 9am, $38-45. Rhapsody Barrel Bar, 179 King Street W, Kitchener. Tickets.