The Denman Island Readers and Writers Festival is returning to its traditional format after improvising in 2020 and 2021.
At this year’s festival, audiences can once again mingle with some of 2022’s most intriguing writers, at cozy venues in downtown Denman.
The festival takes place from July 15 to 17.
The Denman Island Readers and Writers Festival was started in 2003 by two women from Denman Island Community School. Paddy O’Connell and Nora Wright might not have done it if they had known how much work it would be. But they also believe they got it right from the start. The basic ingredients haven’t changed much since then (except during COVID). It is still organized and delivered by a dedicated and hardworking committee of island volunteers. It always includes a mix of readings of fiction, non-fiction and poetry from far-flung and more local writers, lively moderated dialogues between guest authors, stimulating writing workshops and delicious refreshments. Visiting luminaries are always staying with local hosts. It is always in July.
I understood well. This festival has attracted award-winning writers, bright lights from British Columbia and Canadian letters since its inception. A laid-back and friendly event, the festival has a high reputation in the writers’ community.
The authors meet avid readers in a relaxed atmosphere over a meal or a drink, chances they don’t often get at larger events like Vancouver or Toronto.
“There is a natural intimacy at the Denman Island Readers and Writers Festival,” said Jack Hodgins, a prominent Comox Valley writer. “Readers, writers, booksellers, artists, artisans and local residents mingle, indoors and out, sometimes informally over meals, but more often in lively, well-planned sessions with guest writers. .. one gets the feeling that the entire population of Denman is playing host to this series of popular events, usually involving the local with a mixture of the new, the famous and the revered…”
Similar feedback is received from festival audiences.
The list of guest writers this year? Angie Abdou, Cedar Bowers, Libby Davies, Michael Christie, Dr Brian Goldman, Kate Harris, Peggy Herring, Anosh Irani, Mark Jacard and Jónina Kirton. A few local writers of all ages will also read short works. Don’t underestimate these local scribes: Emily St. John Mandel got her start on Denman.
Writer and teacher Angie Abdou will lead the intensive week-long “Writing Week” this year, while a limited number of places are available in half-day writing workshops: “Real Character ” with Anosh Irani, “Writing the Sacred” with Jonina Kirton, and a dialogue with Libby Davies on “How to work for change”.
Check it out at: https://denmanislandwritersfestival.com/ (where you can see some of the writers who have come over the past few years). So mark it in your calendar: July 15-17.
Comox Valley Festival