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Nelson, B.C.’s Elephant Mountain Literary Festival celebrates the outdoors — outdoors

By Contributor
June 17th, 2020

Tickets go on sale Thursday, June 18 as Nelson B.C.’s Elephant Mountain Literary Festival presents an in-person, outdoor, pandemic-guideline-compliant reading and wine tasting featuring two local authors and two B.C. wines on Friday, July 10 at 7pm. The name of the event, which celebrates nature and outdoor writing, is Wild Grapes.

Just 45 tickets will be sold online at, with a sliding scale of $15/20/25.

The event, featuring first-time Nelson novelist Sarah Louise Butler and adventure journalist and current Whitewater Ski Hill writer-in-residence Jayme Moye, will be held on an acreage in Blewett, B.C., near Nelson.

“Celebrating outdoor writing out-of-doors is really pretty perfect,” says EMLF Executive Director Robyn Lamb, adding that those attending are asked to bring a blanket or lawn chair, and staff will be on hand to assure socially-distanced seating in accordance with health regulations.

Sarah Louise Butler and her novel The Wild Heavens, published this spring by Douglas & McIntyre, will be featured. An enthusiastic reader, birder, fisherperson, snowboarder and cross-country skier, Butler was the 2008 winner of the Kootenay Literary Competition for fiction.

The Wild Heavens plays with the connections between human and non-human inhabitants in the B.C. Interior forest and considers the ways in which foundational beliefs can be shaken. Internationally-renowned Tlicho Dene writer Richard Van Camp describes The Wild Heavens as “wonderfully crafted — each page is a catch of the breath, each chapter a crush of unfolding magic.”

Jayme Moye writes about travel, mountain sports, and pushing the limits. Her freelance work has appeared in National Geographic and Outside magazines, among others, and her writing has been published in The Best Women’s Travel Writing and Vignettes & Postcards from Paris.

She is co-author, with climber Hans Florine, of On the Nose: A Lifelong Obsession with Yosemite’s Most Iconic Climb.

Among her awards are the 2019 Banff Centre Mountaineering Article Award for Mountain Literature, and the 2019 Keith Bellows Award for Excellence in Travel Journalism. She was named the 2018 North American Travel Journalists Association’s Travel Writer of the Year. Moye teaches writing, is a frequent keynote speaker, and hosts a reading series in Nelson featuring outdoor and nature authors.

EMLF organizers hope that Wild Grapes will be the first in a series of outdoor literary events, Lamb says, “We’re very pleased to be able to bring people together in a fun, safe manner. The site is lovely, and we are so grateful to the owner for supporting us in this way.”

In addition to Wild Grapes, registration for EMLF’s Holley Rubinsky Memorial Blue Pencil Sessions is now open, with a few spots left. Two professional writer/editors—Red Deer, Alberta’s Jenna Butler and Nelson’s Verna Relkoff — are offering one-on-one online critiques of pre-submitted fiction, nonfiction or poetry.

More information and registration is available at

Photo Caption: Sarah Louise Butler and her novel The Wild Heavens, published this spring by Douglas & McIntyre, will be featured. — Photo courtesy Bobbi Barbarich

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