Victoria Festival of Authors expands, more free events planned

All things writing are in the mix between Sept. 25 to Oct. 1

Literary aficionados and casual readers unite! The third annual Victoria Festival of Authors is back from Sept. 25 to Oct. 1.

Take in various readings from your favourite (or soon-to-be favourite) fiction, non-fiction and poetry authors; listen to their inspirations at discussion panels, or even bolster your writing skills with the diverse workshops and master classes put on in downtown Victoria that week.

“This year we’ve added a lot of free events as well, so that people can get a taste of the festival to see if it’s something that appeals to them,” says Laura Trunkey, the festival’s co-artistic director.

“We have three afternoon readings by three authors each that will be free. Our kick-off event for the festival is always an event featuring all the finalists for the [City of Victoria] Butler Book Prize, Victoria’s book prize, and that is a free event as well.”

The festival will once again include music and other entertainment such as the literature and cocktail night. Events are planned at the Central and James Bay libraries, Intrepid Theatre and other venues or “salons,” with the intention of making the festival “walkable,” Trunkey says.

The panels, she adds, will see the mingling of established fiction authors like Son of a Trickster creator Eden Robinson and local emerging talents like Erin Fisher, which can be a delight to see.

“[We do that] just to give those emerging authors a chance to have conversations with authors who may be, or are literary icons for them,” Trunkey notes.

Admission for festival events ranges from free to $250 for a day-long poetry workshop. Securing some additional funding helped provide more free events, and the hope is that these will attract newcomers.

Many local writers and others committed to Victoria’s literary scene attend, Trunkey says, but organizers want to open it up and draw people that maybe haven’t gone to a literary festival before.

“It’s such a great event, we really think it’s a very accessible event and it’s a really great way to celebrate the literary community that Victoria is,” she says. “There’s so many writers and readers that live in the city and we really want to celebrate them.” For more information, visit victoriafestivalofauthors.ca

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