Wild Writers Festival 2016

It seems like every year around this time* I’ve got a choice to make. I could spend the first Saturday in November writing furiously (but with a touch of grace). Or I could attend the Wild Writers Festival and learn from the pros just how difficult it is to write and (worse) publish. Few of them, I think, will mention the challenging distraction of the best Canadian writers festival within walking distance of one’s house.

It’s not procrastination if you are gaining valuable insights into the art and craft of writing. Right?

This year, The New Quarterly has brought together such luminaries as Michael Crummey, Carrie Snyder, Madeleine Thien, Michael Helm, Guy Gavriel Kay, and Rosemary Sullivan. As per usual, there is a Friday night gala event, a Sunday brunch event, and a Saturday night speakeasy. But for me, the heart of the festival is on Saturday when a raft of small-enrolment workshops are offered (for a small fee) as well as a series of panel discussions (free) on everything from small press publishing to the art of dialogue or writing a thriller. There is something there worthy of distracting almost any writer from a hard-won full day of writing.

Maybe I’ll see you there.

* Well, every year since 2012.

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