Third annual literary symposium takes the chill off writing

Malahat Review's WordsThaw includes several local authors

Thirty-six poets, novelists, short story writers, and professors are gathering under The Malahat Review umbrella for WordsThaw. Some are loved local authors; others are from the B.C. mainland.

On the evening of Friday, March 20, they host Words on Ice, an evening reading of eight celebrated writers. Readers include Yvonne Blomer (new Victoria poet laureate), Eve Joseph, Peter Midgley, Kevin Kerr (UVic Writing prof), Fiona Tinwei Lam, Matt Rader, Arleen Paré (recent GG Poetry winner), and D.W. Wilson (UVic Writing grad). Genres include poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, and drama. Words on Ice is co-presented by Planet Earth Poetry.

They’ll be holding an after party the night of March 20 at Hillside Coffee & Tea (formerly Moka House), for more readings and libations.

During the day of Saturday, March 21, there are four panel discussions:

Natural Divide or Shape-Shifting Chic: Negotiating Creative Nonfiction’s Extremes. Panelists: Fiona Tinwei Lam, Mark Leiren-Young (Southam Lecturer at UVic), Jane Silcott. Moderator: Lynne Van Luven (UVic Writing prof).

Young Adult Fiction: All Grown Up? Panelists: Sarah Harvey, Robin Stevenson, Kirsten Andersen. Moderator: Christine Walde (UVic collections librarian).

Vanity or in the Vanguard: Self-Publishing’s Makeover. Panelists: Mary Hughes, Patrick O’Connor, Sid Tafler. Moderator: David Leach (UVic Writing dept chair).

Has It Got Better: Minority Voices or Major Talents. Panelists: Hanna Leavitt, Janet Rogers (former Victoria poet laureate), Daniel Zomparelli. Moderator: Aaron Devor (former Dean of UVic Grad Studies).

During the lunch hour on March 21, pass holders can sign up for a “Brief Encounters” blue pencil session to get useful comments on a writing sample. Six authors: Ross Crockford, Lorne Daniel, Missie Peters, Julie Paul, Matt Rader, Pamela Porter, are available to discuss journalism, CNF, poetry, spoken word, fiction, or kid’s lit.

On Sunday, March 22, acclaimed poet Phil Hall will lead a Master Class poetry workshop at the downtown Greater Victoria Public Library, 1:30-4:30pm. Hall will discuss poetry and poetics to a group of 15. Tickets are $55 or can be purchased in combination with a WordsThaw full festival pass.

A WordsThaw pass costs $35 in advance ($20 for students), or $50 ($25 students) at the door. Individual panel tickets will be available this year at the door for $18 (or $12 students).

Click here for ticket information.

This story has been updated to reflect a change in the schedule.

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