The Kamloops Writers Festival is no more — at least that’s not what it will be called when it returns this year.
Words Alive Kamloops is the new name for the festival, which organizer Lindsay Curry said was chosen because in addition to the traditional workshops for writers, the event will also focus on readers.
“So we are rebranding and expanding,” Curry said in a news release.
The event will begin on Friday, Oct. 19, with the Kamloops Word Walk, a series of free family-friendly all-ages events held at multiple locations, including the Kamloops Museum and Archives, Kamloops Library and North Kamloops Library, with other venues still to be announced.
On Friday evening, five guest authors will take part in a panel discussion at Hotel 540, 540 Victoria St., from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Authors include Sam Wiebe, Corinna Chong, Tariq Hussain, Kerry Gilbert and Dennis Staginnus.
Wiebe’s titles include crime novels Invisible Dead, Cut You Down and Last of the Independents, which won him an Arthur Ellis Award for best unpublished first novel in 2012. He’s also won the Kobo emerging writers prize, was shortlisted for both the City of Vancouver Book Award and Shamus Award and was the 2016 Vancouver Library writer-in-residence.
Chong teaches English and fine arts at Okanagan College in Kelowna. She’s also the co-editor of Ryga: A Journal of Provocations there and has been published in magazines across Canada. Belinda’s Rings was her first novel, published in 2013.
As a Juno nominated songwriter and recording artist in Vancouver, Hussain brings a different style of writing to the festival. He’s got five full-length albums under his belt and his latest due out this year. He also teaches songwriting at the University of British Columbia in its creative writing program.
Gilbert is a poet from the Okanagan who published her first book of poetry in 2005. She followed it with another in 2016, Tight Wire. Her latest suite of poems can be found in the verse manuscript Little Red, which will be published in the spring.
Staginnus writes middle grade and young adult fantasy and sci-fi. His published works include The Eye of Odin, The Emerald Dagger and the series The Raiders of Folklore, which he successfully crowdfunded in 2017.
Saturday’s events include lunch and three workshop sessions, held from 9 a.m. to
10:30 a.m., 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Workshop topics include creating convincing dialogue, narrative in poetry, grammar, narrative structure and crowdfunding creative work.
That evening, a free music and readings event will be held at 7 p.m. with the location still to be announced.
On Sunday, workshop sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and cover the same topics as Saturday’s workshops plus a panel discussion called Stories from Self-Publishing at 1:30 p.m.
A full festival pass costs $200 after Sept. 30 or $160 before. A one-day pass is $120 and a panel pass is $10. For more information and to register, go online to wordsalivekamloops.com.