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Elephant Mountain Literary Festival features three renowned authors

By Contributor
September 10th, 2023

The Elephant Mountain Literary Festival is back for its 11th year with an exciting roster of interdisciplinary programming, readings and discussions by some of the country’s most renowned authors, including Ivan Coyote, one of North America’s most powerful storytellers, and Governor General award-winning author John Vaillant whose recently published book on climate change, Fire Weather: The Making of a Beast, is striking a chord with national and international audiences.

The festival takes place from September 11-17th in Nelson and includes author readings, workshops, panels, writing mentorships, a film screening, and an apocalypse themed zine workshop in the Nelson Museum’s bunker.

Writing’s Role on Screen: A Conversation and Film Screening Kickstarts the Festival on Monday, September 11 at 7 p.m.

In partnership with The Civic Theatre, this event delves into the intricate relationship between writers and the screen. Accomplished filmmaker Amy Bohigian and guests will discuss how the power of words shapes narratives and how to represent those visually on screen, as well as the crucial role that writers play in the screen industry. The discussion will be followed by a screening of short films by festival presenters and celebrated writers.

Ivan Coyote, Deryn Collier, Sonnet L’Abbe, and John Vaillant: Readings, Mentorships and Workshops

Ivan Coyote is the author of 13 books, creator of 4 films, six stage shows and three albums that combine storytelling with music. Their stories grapple with the complex and intensely personal topics of gender identity, family, class, and queer literation, but always with a generous heart and quick wit. You can see Ivan Friday, September 15th at the Capitol or take a performance workshop with them Saturday morning, September 16th.

Sonnet L’Abbe is a poet, performer, editor, and professor who also pairs music with words: the acclaimed author of 4 books of poetry will also be reading Friday night and will host a workshop titled “It’s a Mood: Speaking Between Music and Message” on Saturday afternoon. Poets can book a Blue Pencil mentorship with Sonnet, who is also a poetry editor for Brick Books.

Deryn Collier, celebrated mystery author from Nelson will be reading Friday night from her newest novel, A Real Somebody—a smart, charming postwar historical novel based on the true story of an aspiring writer who dares to dream big. Based on the true story of the author’s aunt, the novel charts the journey of a talented young writer who dares to break the conventions of her time. Writers looking for mentorship can book a spot with Collier through the festival’s Blue Pencil sessions.

John Vaillant has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Governor General’s Literary Award, British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize, and the Pearson Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. His newest novel Fire Weather was released earlier this year to international acclaim. Vaillant is also offering Blue Pencil sessions, but they are filling fast! Book now to avoid disappointment.

After the Apocalypse: A Zine Workshop on Emergence Sunday, September 17 from 1- 4 p.m.

Join renowned artist and writer Renee Harper for a unique experience at the festival’s final event, “After the Apocalypse: A Zine Workshop on Emergence.” Held in partnership with the Nelson Museum, Archives, and Gallery, this hands-on workshop will take place down in the museum’s bunker where participants will be invited to imagine they have survived the end times. The work will be collected and turned into a zine that participants will receive, free of charge.

Tickets for all events are now on sale, including festival Gold Passes which give ticketholders access to all festival readings and panels.

Workshops and the Blue Pencil sessions are sold separately. Individual tickets and workshops are offered with sliding scale pricing this year. For the complete festival schedule, please visit Gold passes can also be purchased at Notably, A Book Lover’s Emporium.


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