Aspiring Cape Breton writers will learn from some of the island’s best authors this weekend in Mabou when Strathspey Place hosts its second Literary Festival on Saturday, August 20.
On hand to mentor and offer tips in various workshops during the morning and afternoon will be novelist, journalist, and playwright Frank Macdonald (A Forest For Calum, A Possible Madness), historian Jim St. Clair, Mi’kmaq elders Lillian Marshall and Murdena Marshall, Nova Scotian Gaelic singer, songwriter and poet Lewis MacKinnon, graphic designer and photographer Brenna MacNeil, Elizabeth LeFort biographer Daniel Doucet, Participater editor Marie Aucoin, and two book illustrators, Peter Rankin and Virginia McCoy.
Acclaimed Glace Bay author, Sheldon Currie (Glace Bay Miners’ Museum) will offer critiques of previously submitted samples from workshop participants.
The morning and afternoon sessions will be held at Dalbrae Academy and Strathspey Place, and along with the workshops, will feature a children’s reading room, a buffet lunch and an on site book store.
The evening program begins at 7pm with a Round Table of prominent media personalities and culminates with a Gala event hosted by Ian McNeil. Special guests this year will be Alexander MacLeod, Donna Morrissey and Sheldon Currie. Admission for this event is $20 for Strathspey Place members and $25 for the general public.
Sheldon Currie’s body of work includes three novels, two collections of short stories, numerous literary articles, plays and a feature film script. He has written two plays based on his short stories, Lauchie Liza and Rory, and Two More Solitudes. The play version of Lauchie Liza and Rory was nominated for five Merritt awards and awarded the Merritt for best play by a Nova Scotia writer in 2004.
Donna Morrisey grew up in a small fishing outport in Newfoundland and now lives in Halifax where she has taught creative writing at Dalhousie University as well as at Humber College in Toronto. She is the author of four award-winning novels: Kit’s Law, Downhill Chance, Sylvanus Now and What They Wanted, as well as a screenplay, Clothesline Patch, which won a Gemini Award. She is currently writing her fifth novel, and her first children’s fable. Her work has been translated into Japanese, Dutch, German and Italian.
Alexander MacLeod was born in Inverness and raised in Windsor, Ontario. He is the son of internationally acclaimed author, Alistair MacLeod, but has earned critical praise for his own distinctive literary voice. His award-winning stories have appeared in many of the leading Canadian and American journals and have been selected for the prestigious Journey Prize Anthology. His first collection of stories Light Lifting (Biblioasis 2010) was short-listed for the Scotia Bank Giller Prize and recently won the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award. Alexander MacLeod lives in Dartmouth and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.