AfterWords literary festival celebrates writers, readers and ideas until October 2
The festival offers a mix of readings, conversations and workshops for new and professional writers, and brings together international, Canadian and Nova Scotian writers.
We asked Stephanie Domet, co-director of the AfterWords literary festival some questions about the festival:
“New this year at AfterWords is programming for young readers and writers, in English and French.
“We welcome Lawrence Hillwith his first book for young readers, Beatrice and Croc Harryplus local favorites Lauren Soloy and Briana Corr Scott.
“More, Chad Lucas runs a workshop for young writers aged 10-14, and there’s a panel for those into YA graphic novels, which will be great for readers of all ages, from around 12 to adulthood. It’s all happening at the Halifax Central Library on Saturday, October 1.
“Sunday, October 2, we give the floor to a trio of authors who write in French for young readers – Fabien Melanson, Denis M. Boucher and Nico. Denis will also lead a French language workshop for young writers on Sunday. »
You have a dynamic list of authors in your list. Were there any of those names you had to have at this year’s festival?
“Our headliner for this program is Kim Stanley Robinsonwho wrote The ministry of the future, and who is widely recognized as the best science fiction writer of our time. Stan considers himself a writer of utopian, rather than dystopian fiction, and we are deeply intrigued by this, and eager to hear what he has to say about the challenges we will face together, and how we can overcome them with imagination, empathy and creativity.”
Is there an author who is already making the buzz before the start of the festival?
“And then his editor got in touch to say, ‘Hey, there’s this big anniversary happening, is there room to celebrate it at AfterWords? And you had to say yes!
“So Lawrence Hill will be in conversation with the great Sylvia D. Hamilton to cap off a week of AfterWords, Sunday evening, October 2 at the McInnis Room.
“I also want to mention Amanda Paristhat we are lucky to have with us on Thursday September 29th. She’s a playwright and radio host, and a film and TV writer – she’s unstoppable and so talented.
“In our household, we just watched his CBC series Gem Revenge of the Black Best Friendand now we are counting the days until we can see her in person, in conversation with the local filmmaker Juanita Peters.”
Like many festivals that have grown during the pandemic, the hybrid model appears to be here to stay. Does it increase your audience?
“We’re really excited to be able to continue to offer virtual programming – it’s a way of getting a little closer to a really accessible festival. We have virtual writing workshops, some of our conversational events are virtual – with Nicole Chung and Chelene Knightthen our Engaging the Climate event with Catherine Bush, Waubgeshig rice and Kim Stanley Robinson also have a live streaming option in addition to a live in person option.
“We hope to expand this access in the years to come – whether someone is across the country or across the street but prefers to access the festival virtually for whatever reason, we want to be where they are. find our audience.”
Who is involved in the local literary community?
“We are exceptionally blessed with amazing writers in our local community, and we’re so excited to celebrate a few of them at AfterWords this year, including Alexander McLeod and Elaine McCluskey, KR Byggdin, Luke Hathaway, Anna Quonand outside of Halifax, but still in Atlantic Canada, David Hubertand Catherine Alexandra Harvey.
“In addition, we have our very first Mi’kmaq Storytellers’ Societywith shalan joudry, Therese Meuseand Raymond Sewell. Obviously, as co-executive director, I’m excited about every element of our programming, but I hope audiences will see the incredibly rich and inviting world that the writing and stories offer them.”