Writer Wednesday: Vancouver International Writer’s Festival (in which insanity descends upon Granville Island for a week in October)

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Well, I’ve now been on hiatus for two weeks, instead of one, and I figure it’s about time I get back to this blog.

So for today’s Writer Wednesday I’m going to be talking about the Vancouver International Writer’s Festival, happening October 18th-23rd.

VIWF is something that my mother has been volunteering for for the past several years. Now that I have no school this semester (yay!) I’ve signed up to volunteer as well. VIWF is held on Granville Island and has 69 events over the 6 days that it’s held. It’s the largest literary festival in Canada. Writers from across the country and the world come to talk about their works, the writing process, the topics their writing covers, and much more. There are parties, get-togethers, and even a writing contest. They also have a bunch of morning events that are ideal for school groups — reaching out to youth about writing, reading, literacy, and the world of words.

This week-long event is a fantastic opportunity for networking. Granville Island is literally crawling with writers, pens in hand, insane glints in eyes. (All writers are insane. We admit this happily.) It’s also a fantastic opportunity to see your favourite writers speak: a few years ago mom scored us tickets to see Ursula K. LeGuin talk. She was amazing (as expected). I was hoping to see Michael Moore this year (there’s a special pre-festival event for part of his book tour) but the tickets are already sold out. Mom’s excited about Russell Banks coming and reading from his new book.

I’m hoping that next year I’ll be invited to the festival, as a debut author in British Columbia. I just need to prod my publishing company to submit my name for review.

If you’re in the area, you should definitely consider coming to the festival. It’s not too late to apply to be a volunteer, too — deadline is Sept. 26th for new volunteers — so that’s also an option. It’s an event you don’t want to miss.

Have you ever been to a writer’s festival, as a writer or a reader? What was it like? If you haven’t been, do you think you’d ever go to one? Why or why not?

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