This year’s eight authors for the Words on the Water Writers’ Festival March 27-28, 2020.

Meet the 2020 Words on the Water authors

Eight authors for spring literary festival all have different backgrounds

Eight fresh faces will take the stage as guest authors at this year’s Words on the Water Campbell River Writers’ Festival.

The authors all have different writing styles. Some have awards to their name. They all call Canada home.

RELATED: Words on the Water returns for 19th year

2020 Words on the Water authors

Patrick Friesen

Where’s home?: Victoria, B.C.

Their works: His writing experience spans across genres including poetry and plays. Blasphemer’s Wheel, won the Manitoba Book of the Year Prize in 1996; A Broken Bowl was a 1997 Governor-General’s Award finalist; in 2012, he received the ReLit Award for Poetry for Jumping in the Asylum.

Fun facts:Friesen tours on a regular basis. He gives readings and offers workshops across the country.

John MacLachlan Gray

Where’s home?:Vancouver, B.C.

Their works:MacLachlan Gray has written across styles and genres. His acclaimed work includes Billy Bishop Goes to War, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. His mystery-thriller series includes: A Gift For The Little Master, The Fiend in Human, White Stone Day and Not Quite Dead. His latest novel, The White Angel, was published in 2017.

Fun facts: An officer of the Order of Canada.

Brian Harvey

Where’s home? Nanaimo, B.C.

Their works: Sea Trial, published in 2019, is a memoir that marries Harvey’s circumnavigation of Vancouver Island by boat with details from his father’s malpractice suit. The book was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction. The End of the River was his first full-length book for a general audience and was released in 2008. Harvey has also written a handful of mystery novels including Beethoven’s Teeth and Tokyo Girl as well as the thriller Gone Grizzly.

Fun facts: It took Harvey two months to circumnavigate Vancouver Island by boat. He never saw Cape Scott – it was too foggy.

Naomi K. Lewis

Where’s home? Calgary, Alta., sometimes Kelowna, B.C.

Their works: Lewis retraces the journey of her grandfather’s escape from Nazi-occupied Netherlands in her memoir, Tiny Lights for Travellers. The book was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction. She co-edited the anthology Shy with Rona Altrows. Lewis’ first book under her name (she’s also an accomplished ghost-writer) was Cricket in a Fist. I Know Who You Remind Me Of is a collection of her short stories. Lewis’ journalistic work has appeared in Canadian publications including Swerve and Alberta Views.

Fun facts: Her website lists Breakdown; One Heart, Five Habits; Dysfunction: Canada After KXL; and In Case of Fire as titles she has ghost-written.

Lenore Newman

Where’s home? Vancouver, B.C., but she was born in Sechelt, B.C.

Their works: Newman explores Canadian cuisine in her first book, Speaking in Cod Tongues: A Canadian Culinary Journey. Her second book, Lost Feast: Culinary Extinction and the Future of Food was released in 2019.

Fun facts: Newman has authored more than 40 academic papers and reports within her area of research. She holds a Canada Research Chair in Food Security and Environment at the University of the Fraser Valley.

Eden Robinson

Where’s home? Kitimat, B.C.

Their works: Robinson’s first novel, Monkey Beach, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literacy Award for fiction in 2000. Robinson recently released the second book in her Trickster trilogy, Trickster Drift.

Fun facts: Monkey Beach is being adapted into a film and a TV series based off her Trickster trilogy is in the works. Robinson is also this year’s Haig-Brown Writer in Residence, so you’ll be seeing more of her around town.

Joan Thomas

Where’s home? Winnipeg, Man.

Their works: Thomas’ latest novel, Five Wives, won the 2019 Governor General’s Award for Fiction. Her other three works: Reading by Lightning, Curiousity and Opening Sky, are all award-winners as well.

Fun facts: She will visit your book club in-person or over Skype.

Ian Weir

Where’s home? Langley, B.C.

Their works: Weir’s first full-length play, The Idler, premiered in Vancouver is 1987 and won a Jessie Award for Best New Play. He went on the write more than a dozen plays. In the world of TV, he created and was executive producer for the CBC series Arctic Air. He’s also been involved with Dragon Boys and Edgemont and has written more than 150 episodes for other Canadian and American series. Weir’s novels include Daniel O’Thunder, Will Starling and The Death and Life of Strother Purcell.

Fun facts: In the world of the CFL, Weir is a BC lions fan, however when it comes to hockey, you’ll find him rooting for the Toronto Maple Leafs.


@marissatiel
marissa.tiel@campbellrivermirror.com

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