Discover your next great read when Canada’s top authors visit Eden Mills
Gloria Nye is embarrassed by the memory. It was years ago, a rainy Sunday in September, the rain an uncommon occurrence for a literary festival that has seen almost exclusively sunny days over its 30 year history. She was volunteering at the gate, taking tickets, when a small figure hurried by. Gloria stopped her. "Do you have your ticket?" she asked. The woman looked up from under her hood, smiled and graciously explained that she was one of the authors reading. Gloria mumbled her apologies. She was looking at Margaret Atwood.
Such is the calibre and accessibility of authors attending the beloved annual festival in Eden Mills, an idyllic village of 350 just outside of Guelph. Ever since Leon Rooke invited friends to read aloud on the steps of the Eden Mills General Store thirty years ago, the festival has been hosting top writers from across the country; a veritable who’s who of established and emerging Canadian writers, including the winners of Canada’s major literary prizes, rising literary stars and other popular favourites.
The Eden Mills Writers’ Festival has a special spot on the calendars of book lovers for good reason—there’s no better place to discover a great new read. And this 30th year is no different, as more than 40 authors make their way to Eden Mills. On Sunday September 9th, booklovers will be treated to readings by Esi Edugyan, recently included on the Man-Booker Prize long-list for her new novel Washington Black, Rawi Hage, winner of the 2008 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Giller Prize winner Madeleine Thien and Sheila Heti, the much-talked about author of Motherhood. Iain Reid, whose first novel is currently being adapted for Netflix, reads from his new novel Foe, already optioned for film by Anonymous Content. Festival favourite and Guelph resident Thomas King returns to read from the third book in his Thumps Dreadfulwater series and three Canada Reads finalists (Omar El Akkad, Sharon Bala and Craig Davidson) bring their worthy reads to Eden Mills. 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize winner Billy-Ray Belcourt shares work from his collection This Wound is a World and Kim Thúy, recently nominated for the 2018 New Prize in Literature, reads from her novel Vi. CBC listeners have the chance to hear Dr. Brian Goldman of White Coat, Black Art read from The Power of Kindness: Why Empathy is Essential in Everyday Life and music fans will delight in the literary talents of Dave Bidini and Tom Wilson. We’re thrilled to have Amy Stuart reading from her new novel Still Water, the follow-up to instant bestseller Still Mine, and Uzma Jalaluddin reading from Ayesha at Last, a fresh take on Pride and Prejudice just acquired by Pascal Pictures. Waubgeshig Rice’s tremendous novel Moon of the Crusted Snow has its advanced release at the EMWF, and we welcome Claudia Dey and her luminous new novel Heartbreaker. Kate Harris, who grew up in Ballinafad, Ontario and has been named one of Canada’s top modern-day explorers, returns home to read from her celebrated travelogue Land of Lost Borders. Francophones can enjoy authors Julie Demers, David Goudreault and Mauricio Segura reading in both French and English and children of all ages will be charmed by poet Dennis Lee. And that’s not all. Over 40 authors will be in attendance, reading from books of all genres, for all ages.
In addition to Festival Sunday, the 30th anniversary schedule of events includes a sold-out talk by Canadian icon Jann Arden at the University of Guelph on Saturday September 8th, in addition to workshops for aspiring writers led by prolific authors Craig Davidson and Sheila Heti. On Friday September 7th, the festival opens with a 30th anniversary celebration in Eden Mills featuring Gary Barwin, author of Yiddish for Pirates and Patricia Oliver, author of The Gynesaurs along with musicians Doris Folkens and Shane Cook.
When: On September 9th, 2018