• Geneviève Grenier

Unique StoryFest 2020 format welcomes Canadian authors from near and far


PHOTO BY KENT WONG (left)

HarperCollins/UBC Best New Fiction Award-winner Michelle Good will take part in this year’s StoryFest Literary Festival in Hudson, participating via Zoom from her home in British Columbia.

PHOTO BY GREG SMOLONSKI (right)

Margaret MacMillan, author of the recently released War: How Conflict Shaped Us will also be addressing attendees all the way from England.

Virtual festival permits Margaret MacMillan to participate from England, and Michelle Good and Annabel Lyon from B.C.

Against pandemic odds, Hudson’s Greenwood’s StoryFest has reinvented itself – the 19th edition will be a virtual online experience with authors from across Canada and as far away as England joining us via Zoom this autumn.

StoryFest 2020 begins October 1 at 7 p.m. with Joan Thomas, the winner of the Governor General’s Award for Fiction for her novel Five Wives who will be joining us from Winnipeg.

Then October 8 at 7 p.m., writer Annabel Lyon will be online from New Westminster, B.C. The author of The Golden Mean, a Rogers Writer’s Trust Fiction Award winner, will discuss her latest novel, Consent, about twins whose lives are further entangled by tragedy.

Margaret MacMillan, an emeritus professor of International History at the University of Oxford, will be our third guest October 15 at 2 p.m. She will discuss her new book War: How Conflict Shaped Us. Readers might also be familiar with her earlier books, Paris: 1919: Six Months that Changed the World, as well as The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914.

StoryFest next turns its attention to the world of art with Emily Urquhart as our guest October 22 at 7 p.m. A creative non-fiction instructor at Wilfrid Laurier University, she has just published The Age of Creativity: Art, Memory, My Father and Me. The memoir is about her father – world renowned artist Tony Urquhart.

On October 29 at 7 p.m. StoryFest welcomes Michelle Good, a writer of Cree ancestry who has worked with Indigenous communities and organizations for three decades, pursuing this work as a newly graduated lawyer in her early 40s. Her novel Five Little Indians garnered the HarperCollins/UBC Best New Fiction Award. Her poems have been featured in the 2016 and 2017 editions of The Best Canadian Poetry in Canada.

Tommy Schnurmacher, a local name familiar to many from his work at both CJAD Radio and The Gazette, will be StoryFest 2020’s guest November 1 at 2 p.m. He will talk about his latest and very personal book, Makeup Tips from Auschwitz: How Vanity Saved my Mother’s Life.

As is custom, a Writers Workshop will be offered for a limited number of participants. Playwright Michaela Di Cesare will lead three workshops on the theme of Autobiographical Storytelling October 17 (Monologue), October 24 (Characters and Dialogue), October 31 (Navigating Legal and Personal). Each workshop takes place from 10 a.m. until noon. The workshops are $50 each, or $125 for all three.

Events take place at the indicated Eastern Standard Time. Reservations for all events are required in advance, beginning September 1, 2020 and can be made online at www.greenwoodstoryfest.com. Although there is no cost for these live author Zoom events that will include audience questions, donations to the Greenwood Centre for Living History would be appreciated and can be made at the time of reservation. The events were made possible through our generous partners even though fundraising activities are difficult to pursue at this time.

More details about each of the writers and all of the events can be found at www.greenwoodstoryfest.com.

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