Writers and readers alike will gather on the Saanich Peninsula in April for the annual Sidney Literary Festival at the Mary Winspear Centre and Shoal Centre. Sidney LitFest/Facebook

Edugyan leads stellar group at 2019 Sidney LitFest

Authors making a splash are on the roster for the annual seaside literary festival

By Felicia Santarossa

Monday Magazine contributor

With a two-time Giller Prize winner launching things with Victoria’s first poet laureate, the Sidney Literary Festival is opening with a bang on April 11.

Esi Edugyan, who captured her second Giller last fall for her novel Washington Black – it was also shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize – opens the festival having a conversation about writing and all things literary with Carla Funk at the Shoal Centre (7 p.m.).

The soft-spoken Edugyan, who, in her Giller Prize acceptance speech said the second award made her 2011 win for Half Blood Blues “feel like less of a fluke,” leads a star-studded group of guest authors taking part in a weekend of readings, panels, workshops and more.

The range of writers and activities scheduled has Sidney and Peninsula Literary Festival Society president Janet Daines “terribly excited” about this year’s festival, being held at the Shoal Centre and the Mary Winspear Centre.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun and it’s going to be really interesting, she says. Thrilled to have secured Edugyan for the festival, Daines adds, “she’s a well-respected author and we’re very much looking forward to what Esi has to say about her work.”

Other notable authors sharing their experiences include Officer of the Order of Canada and Governor-General’s Award winner Lorna Crozier; Sooke writer Darryl J. McLeod, author of the acclaimed Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age; multiple Giller nominee Kathy Page and fiction writer Fred Stenson.

Saturday workshops will be led by Stenson (Writing Fiction for the Reading Brain), Funk (The Poem’s Good Bones) and Island author and writing instructor Susan Juby (Write Yourself Into Being). “All of them are very competent in providing techniques and ways to approach writing,” Daines says.

Along with listening to readings and panel discussions, festival goers can share toast and tea on Sunday during the popular Breakfast with the Authors. Five authors will do readings at the event, but other authors are invited to join attendees at their table.

Listening to successful writers talk about their work can be a “beautiful, almost magical experience,” Daines says. People can come away from the weekend entertained and engaged with the authors’ works, but also inspired to ponder the bigger questions in life.

“I think people who are interested in writing get a lot out of these kind of festivals,” she says.

Tickets for events range from $15 to $75 and can be purchased online at eventbrite.ca or at Tanners Books in Sidney. Further information can be found at sidneyliteraryfestival.ca.

– with files from Don Descoteau



editor@mondaymag.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

REVIEW – Boom + Batten: Taste and style with a view to die for, sometimes

As reviewer Allan Reid writes, the long wait is over for this waterfront gem

Blue Bridge brings Neil Simon comedy classic to the stage

Barefoot in the Park, on July 2-14, enjoyed a run on Broadway before becoming a successful film

REVIEW: Anna doesn’t quite know what it wants to be

Monday film reviewer Robert Moyes not impressed with the latest Russian femme fatale flick

Life ain’t a drag for RuPaul stars

Victoria to play host to two of Drag Race reality show’s biggest personalities

BEHIND BARS: Learning about the versatility and nuanced flavours of sake

Discover new flavours with sake sommelier Anton Ihl at E:Né Raw Food and Sake Bar

VIDEO: Tributes flow on 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death

Jackson received a fatal dose of the anesthetic propofol on June 25, 2009. He died at age 50

Many food options at the Gorge Canada Day Picnic

A multitude of food trucks on hand, but pancake breakfast among the most popular choices

Feed your hunger for Canucks hockey in Victoria this September

NHL team to host camp at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, exhibition vs. Calgary set for Sept. 16

COLUMN: Revisiting a decade ago as Victoria celebrates 20 years of Ska

4 million tourists visit Greater Victoria each year and there’s a reason we remain despite them

Rick Mercer-led comedy team in for second Just for Laughs show at UVic

Comedy company will stage two shows Nov. 16 at Farquhar Auditorium

Most Read