Cape Breton produces fine musicians and songwriters. I think it’s fair to say that statement is a truism. This fair isle also produces many fine literary writers. Fiction, poetry, theatre, non-fiction. Strewn across the island I know drawers are laden and shelves are sagging with the prolific prose of hundreds of scribes. The inaugural Cabot Trail Writers’ Festival will, with any luck, unleash more of that cumulative creative energy.
Indeed, the festival’s very existence speaks to the appetite and calibre of people living and writing on the island. From October 2 to 4th writers and readers will gather in North River for readings and workshops. Authors featured are Newfoundland’s award-winning Donna Morrisey, whose novels include Downhill Chance and What They Wanted. The Cabot Trail’s own Susan Zettell recently published her first novel, The Checkout Girl – this after many award-winning short stories. Rounding out the trio is Ross Ferry’s Douglas Arthur Brown. Author of five books, his latest work of adult fiction, Quintet, garnered him the 2009 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize.
Friday – opening night – is a Literary Cabaret. It will feature readings by award-winning Donna Morrisey, interspersed with the musical creations of the Poe Trio. This talented collective are Paul MacDonald, Otis Tomas and Ed Woodsworth. Saturday will be devoted to the workshops. On Sunday there’ll be a panel discussion with all three authors – moderated by CBC’s Steve Sutherland. Tickets can be purchased for the entire weekend – or a single day. You can buy tickets at Wreck Cove General Store, the Blue Heron Gift Shop in Baddeck, the Cape Breton Curiosity Shop in Sydney or on-line.
For more information check out the website cabottrailwritersfestival.com