The first annual Cabot Trail Writers Festival 2009 will be held at North River on Nova Scotia’s Cape Breton Island. The festival will take place over the weekend of October 2 through 4, when the leaves will just be turning their faces toward autumn. The inaugural lineup of authors includes Newfoundland’s award-winning Donna Morrissey, author of Kit’s Law and What They Wanted (Penguin), the latter named to “The Globe’s top fiction of 2008” (The Globe and Mail). Joining Donna will be Cape Breton’s Douglas Arthur Brown, whose 2008 novel Quintet (Key Porter) is the winner of the 2009 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize. As well, we will be delighted to feature the Cabot Trail’s own Susan Zettell, who recently published her first full-length novel, The Checkout Girl (Signature Editions 2008), after teasing readers with her successful short stories.
Because the now-famous Celtic Colours will follow the Cabot Trail Writers Festival by just one week, the thoughts of all Cape Bretoners will naturally turn to music. It is very exciting, then, to extend an invitation to the opening night Literary Cabaret, which will feature selected readings from her work by Donna Morrissey, in an evening of written words punctuated by the music of the Poe Trio—guitarist Paul MacDonald, fiddler and luthier Otis Tomas, and bassist Ed Woodsworth. The wrap-up Sunday Brunch with all the authors will highlight the living practice of story-telling in a performance by the Cabot Trail’s Bill Conall, a musician and author who just has a way with a story (The Rock in the Water, Hidden Book Press 2009).