Writers confirmed for 2016:

BOOBS: Women Explore What It Means to Have Breasts

Boobs is a collection of essays, stories and poems by established and emerging Canadian writers who claim the conversation about breasts and take it well beyond the standard imagery seen on magazine covers and movie posters.

Lorna Crozier will host this event. Her poem, News Flash from the Fashion Magazines, opens the anthology.

Ruth Daniell is a contributor to and the editor of Boobs. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. Her poems and stories have appeared in a wide range of literary journals.

Rebecca Hendry is a Sunshine Coast resident and the author of Grace River. Her work has appeared in a number of literary journals and she was one of the Festival's early New Voices.

Janine Alyson Young's debut collection of short stories, Hideout Hotel, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award. She too is a Sunshine Coast resident and has an MFA from UBC.

George Elliott Clarke

Prolific poet, playwright and fiction writer George Elliott Clarke is Canada's new Parliamentary Poet Laureate. His latest novel is The Motorcyclist: “This ribald, raw, road-movie of a novel is an object lesson in how to combine the political with the personal.” (Quill & Quire)

Lorna Crozier and Ian McAllister

The Wild in You: Voices from the Forest and the Sea is a collaboration between an outstanding wildlife photographer and one of North America's most decorated poets. The writer's words and the photographer's images are exquisite and could easily stand alone: the sum of those parts is stunning.

Charles Demers

If you need a little laughter with your literature, Charles is your guy. He is often found being funny on CBC Radio's The Debaters, or Just for Laughs on CBC TV, but he is also very funny in print. His latest book is The Horrors: An A to Z of Funny Thoughts on Awful Things.

Marina Endicott

Marina Endicott, author of four critically acclaimed novels, returns to the Festival in 2016. Her latest book, Close to Hugh, was on the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist. “Delightful, tragic, gloriously elegiac and riddled with puns—Close to Hugh is just like life, only so much more beautiful for being art.” (Lynn Coady)

Shilpi Somaya Gowda

Excellent writing; a compelling story; well-developed characters and irresistible readability are what made Shilpi Somaya Gowda's debut novel, Secret Daughter, a million seller that had reviewers scrambling for superlatives and a film company quickly snapping up the screen rights. Her latest, The Golden Son, is on the same fast-track.

Lawrence Hill

Lawrence Hill is the author of 10 books including the multiple award-winning bestseller, The Book of Negroes. The television adaptation of that book attracted both high viewership and high praise. His latest novel is The Illegal, a timely work that concerns the plight of an undocumented African refugee.

Lawrence Hill will deliver the 2016 Bruce Hutchison Memorial Lecture. He will also appear in a second event to discuss the process of adapting a novel for the screen in an onstage conversation with award-winning novelist and screenwriter, Ian Weir.

Guy Gavriel Kay

He is one of the world's best writers of fantasy. The third of his 12 novels, A Song for Arbonne, debuted at #1 nationally. Every one of his novels since has been a bestseller. His latest is River of Stars, and a new one, Children of Earth and Sky, is due early 2016.

Theresa Kishkan

Theresa Kishkan is the author of 10 books and three chapbooks. Her latest is Patrin, a novella about a young woman who travels to Czechoslovakia to trace her Roma history. Longer than a short story and shorter than a novel, the novella form will be the focus of a new imprint that Kishkan is developing.

The Meter's Running IV

This year's poetry event will feature three Aboriginal poets/spoken word artists:

Janet Rogers is a Mohawk writer, former Poet Laureate of Victoria and current writer-in-residence at UNBC. Her work takes a variety of forms and includes three books of poetry, performance poetry and video poetry. She hosts several radio programs and has produced three award-winning poetry CDs.

Jordan Abel is a young Nisga'a writer armed with an MFA from UBC. He has edited poetry magazines, taught poetry at SFU and been widely published. He won the 2013 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize for his debut collection, Place of Scraps. There is much more to come from this gifted young poet.

Spoken word artist Ronnie Dean Harris (Ostwelve) is a member of the Sto:lo Nation. He has roots in hip-hop, is a multi-media artist and played a principal role in the television series, Moccasin Flats.

Zarqa Nawaz

She is the creator of the mega-hit sitcom, Little Mosque on the Prairie, which ran for over 90 episodes and debunked many of the myths and misconceptions about Muslims. Now she has written Laughing All the Way to the Mosque, a humorously poignant memoir about growing up as a Muslim woman in Canada.

New Voices

The annual New Voices event features writers of first books.

Karim Alrawi was born in Alexandria, Egypt. As a playwright, he was subject to censorship and arrest by Egyptian state security officers. His first novel, Book of Sands, won the inaugural Harper Collins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction.

Carol Daniels is a journalist who became Canada's first Aboriginal woman to anchor a national newscast (CBC Newsworld). Her first novel, Bearskin Diary, gives voice to the children who were removed from their families during the Sixties Scoop.

Sheryl MacKay of CBC Radio's North by Northwest returns to the Festival as host of New Voices.

Michael Pond and Maureen Palmer

Psychotherapist Michael Pond had a successful career helping people with addictions. He recounts how he lost his practice, his home and his family in Wasted: An Alcoholic Therapist's Fight for Recovery in a Flawed Treatment System. The book was co-written with his partner, Maureen Palmer.

Bill Richardson

Author and broadcaster Bill Richardson has written eight books for adults and children and collaborated with Veda Hille on the musical, Do You Want What I Have Got? A Craigslist Contata. His latest book is The First Little Bastard to Call Me Gramps: Poems of the Late Middle Ages.

Anakana Schofield

She is on a rapid rise to literary stardom with two critically-acclaimed, award-magnet novels to her name. Malarkey was the first, and the latest is Scotiabank Giller Prize finalist Martin John, a boundary-pushing novel in which the titular protagonist, to understate it somewhat, is very interesting.

Kinnie Starr

Kinnie Starr is an award-winning and internationally renowned singer, producer, songwriter, musician, poet, artist, teacher and mentor.
The Royal BC Museum recognized Starr, who is of mixed European and Mohawk heritage, as one of BC's cultural icons.
Kinnie Starr will close the 2016 Festival of the Written Arts on Sunday, August 14.

Madeleine Thien

Her multiple prize-winning second novel, Dogs at the Perimeter, is set in Cambodia and concerns the horrific genocide perpetrated by Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge in the late 1970s on an already war-ruined country. Her forthcoming novel, Do Not Say We Have Nothing, is about Chinese students studying Western classical music in 1960s Shanghai.

Mark Winston

He is a scientist who studies bees. He has written a rivetingly readable book called Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, winner of the Governor General's Award for Non-fiction. Bees are fascinating creatures, but the book is also “a powerful and lyrical meditation on humanity.” (Governor General's Awards Jury).

Caroline Woodward

Caroline Woodward is the author of fiction, poetry and children's books and a former bookseller. Light Years: Memoir of a Modern Lighthouse Keeper is about choosing adventure over security to become a lighthouse keeper on BC's coast.

Alissa York

She is four novels, a short story collection and a bunch of awards into what will no doubt be a very long and fruitful writing career. Her second novel, Effigy, a work of historical fiction, was a Scotiabank Giller Prize nominee. The fourth, coming in April, is The Naturalist, set in Philadelphia in the time of Darwin.

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