First of all … we miss you! We miss your calls and your visits to the office. We miss the energy that starts to build right about now. We even miss the chaos that erupts when the phone lines open and online sales go live. Tickets to the 2020 Festival should have gone on sale this week. I so look forward to this time of year and to hearing from and reconnecting with our audience and volunteers after months of planning and preparation. This is a different kind of year for all of us. We hope you are faring well, finding ways to stay connected with each other and the things you love, and reading some wonderful books.
Here’s a link to the Festival 2020 reading list. Sunshine Coasters: Bev Shaw at Talewind Books has many of these titles in her shop. The bookstore is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. If you’re not ready to venture out yet, you can order books by telephone at 604-885-2527 or online. The Festival Board and I are happy to provide free delivery. Just request it when you order your books. If you don’t live on the Sunshine Coast, independent booksellers throughout the province and across the country are finding ways to serve you. Please support them.
I thought I would share with you some of the sites I like to poke around in when I’m researching books and writers, both as a Festival producer and a curious reader.
The 49th Shelf is devoted to the promotion of Canadian books. You can browse their site and its extensive booklists, sign up for their digital newsletter, and find them on Facebook and Twitter.
Read Local BC is an initiative of the Association of Book Publishers of BC that promotes BC books and publishers and celebrates BC’s vibrant literary landscape. They’re also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
There’s a lot of great content on CBC Books for readers and writers. And while we’re at cbc.ca, you can find links to episodes of The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers and Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel. Sheryl MacKay, host of North by Northwest (weekend mornings on CBC Radio in BC) often interviews BC authors. Sheryl has also been posting reading recommendations from BC booksellers on the North by Northwest Facebook Page.
Books & Ideas, the monthly digital newsletter from the Vancouver Writers Festival, now has the Weekly Quarantine Edition. You can subscribe here.
Writing the Coast, a podcast series produced by the BC & Yukon Book Prizes, has launched its second season with an episode featuring Festival 2020 author, Michael Christie, in conversation with Megan Cole. Season one episodes are also available.
I’m looking forward to these events that are coming up very soon (all times are PDT):
Friday, May 29 at 7 p.m.: Around the Fire with Ivan Coyote and Sarah MacDougall, presented by Surrey Civic Theatres
Sunday, May 31 at 11 a.m.: Vancouver Writers Fest presents an event Celebrating Asian Canadian Writing in BC featuring Janie Chang, Lindsay Wong and David Ly. This event will be moderated by Jen Sookfong Lee.
Sunday, June 21 at 4 p.m. Indigenous Voices Awards will be announced at a virtual gala.
A final note: we’re very excited about the upcoming publication of the 10th anniversary edition of Coastal Voices, an anthology of writing by Sunshine Coast K-12 students and a joint project of the Festival of the Written Arts and School District No. 46. We’ll have copies for sale after June 15. Please contact me by email if you’d like to make arrangements to purchase one.
Our virtual office is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail at 604-885-9631.
Until the next time, best wishes from all of us to all of you. Be well.
Jane Davidson, Artistic and Executive Director