Pemberton hosts its first Writers Festival to celebrate KidLit
On Friday and Saturday, February 18 + 19, the Pemberton & District Public Library will host its first literary festival, celebrating Youth Readers’ and Writers’. All events and workshops are free. Download the guide, here. We wrangled the Chief Librarian, Shannon Ellis, for long enough to ask her these questions!
What is the Youth Readers’ and Writers’ Festival?
The festival is a 2 day gathering of local and visiting authors who have written children’s books or youth literature. Authors will be providing readings, which are open to everyone, as well as workshops for anyone who has written, wants to write or is a closet writer. We are lucky to have 2 writer/illustrators who will be able to give insight into both aspects of youth literature.
Who is it for?
Workshops are geared towards grades 4 & up to any age. I think everyone can learn from each other, and while our authors tend to write for youth, this is not the only age they write for, and all are highly talented!
Is it part of Winterfest?
The festival is put on by the Pemberton Library, Friends of the Library and sponsors. We’ve contributed something to Winterfest for the past few years, and we organized this independently of Winterfest, but happened to get the same weekend so it’s a great fit.
Where did the idea come from?
We’ve wanted to host something like this for some time now, and with Whistler offering such a high calibre Writers Festival, we wanted to give ours a twist, so the youth angle was great. We participate in the Reading Link Challenge which we organize for grades 4&5 with the help of Ms. Benes – teacher librarian at Signal Hill, and one of the authors of a featured book – Marty Chan, is doing a tour of BC libraries. We have had several of these authors here before, and they are all great, so it got us thinking about having them all at the same time in the same place….and here we are.
Who are the feature authors?
Where is the funding support coming from?
Why a Writers Festival in Pemberton?
We’ve had many requests for further writer’s events through the library as well as great attendance at past events, so we thought this was a great opportunity and alternate activity to the deep dark winter we’re slowly emerging from.
Is this the first of many?
I’d like to think so, but it’s a pretty large amount of organizing and money, so maybe I can answer this one AFTER the events!
What is your big bluesky dream of what this event might turn into, or inspire?
I hope this can bring together aspiring young writers with seasoned ones, and that they can both extract inspiration and drive to start or keep writing.