Monday, May 30, 2016

Festival 2016: Five terrific authors and a full house - a fantastic day!

The Weather Fairies woke up in a bad mood on May 29 - Festival day! - but no one was daunted. Not our five wonderful authors - J.M. Frey, Dietrich Kalteis, Douglas Gibson, Pamela Mordecai and Terry Fallis - and certainly not the nearly 100 book-lovers who joined us at Aboyne Hall for Festival 2016.

Thunderstorms? Not allowed on Festival day!
As 1 p.m. approached, and Aboyne Hall started to fill up, the authors took a pre-Festival break in the Green Room (also known as the Board Room at the Wellington County Museum & Archives) to swap stories and warm up for their readings. (And just so you know, what happens in the Green Room, stays in the Green Room.....)

(Left to right) Terry Fallis, Douglas Gibson, J.M. Frey, Pamela Mordecai (and her husband, Martin), and Dietrich Kalteis
And all of sudden - we were underway! Mistress of Ceremonies Roxanne Beale welcomed everyone to Aboyne Hall and made a point of thanking some of our sponsors, including the Writers Union of Canada and the Wellington County Community Foundation.

Roxanne Beale: Best. MC. Ever.
The rest of the afternoon passed in an exciting montage of words, stories, laughs, moments of drama, moments of hilarity, food, drink, and a little interactive fun as well. Take a look:

J.M. Frey - Photo by Francis Baker

J.M. Frey had us on the edge of our seats. Dragons. Yup.

Dietrich Kalteis
Things got a little, um, spicy with Vancouver's Dietrich Kalteis. "You never think when you write this stuff that you're going to be reading it out loud. Am I turning red?" (The crowd loved it!)

Douglas Gibson

Doug told us some amazing stories about well-known CanLit heros such as Alice Munro (and why she stuck with writing short stories. Thanks, Doug. CanLit definitely owes you!), Margaret Laurence (long dresses to hide fear-trembling knees), and Lucy Maud Montgomery (a little note in a long-ago notebook about a story idea involving an elderly couple who want to adopt a boy to help on the farm and get a girl instead....) Magic.

And then, Intermission!

Debbie and Suzanne on the refreshments

It's thirsty work listening to all those great stories. Time for some hydration, thanks to Wellington Brewery (with a little help from the LCBO...)

And thanks to Fergus's Fountainhead Café, we didn't go hungry!

Kim, of Roxanne's Reflections, hard at work during intermission.

Intermission was a busy time because, of course, there were books to be bought at the Roxanne's Reflections mini-bookstore.

Douglas Gibson, a fan, and a bemused Terry Fallis

And of course, the authors were available to visit and sign books....

(Left) Pamela Mordecai

...and schmooze with fans!
Tammy Gilbert (left) and friends

And out in the garden, Tammy Gilbert and friends enjoyed some fresh air in preparation for the start of the second half - beginning with the presentation of First Prize to Tammy in the EWF Short Story Contest. No wonder she's celebrating!

Terry Fallis

Terry Fallis made us laugh (of course!) and....

Author Q&A

... Pam Mordecai made Terry laugh, during the final session of the afternoon, a Q&A with questions from the audience, moderated by EWF committee member Dave Beynon. Pam also gets the prize for Best Cliffhanger Of The Day.

And suddenly, it was over!

A huge thank-you to everyone who joined us at Aboyne Hall on Sunday, May 29. Thanks for your enthusiasm, your participation and your much-valued feedback.

Thanks also to our wonderful sponsors:

Elora Arts Council
Wellington County Community Foundation
Writers' Union of Canada
Wellington Brewery
Community Resource Centre of North and Centre Wellington
Fergus-Elora News Express
Dr. Radka Novak
LittleTree Garden Market
Grand 101.1FM
Roxanne's Reflections Book & Card Shop
Wellington Country Museum & Archives

... as well as the many local businesses who donated to our gift basket raffle.

And a BIG thank-you to J.M. Frey, Dietrich Kalteis, Douglas Gibson, Pamela Mordecai and Terry Fallis. We couldn't have done this without you.

Stay tuned for news about Festival 2017. We can't wait!

The EWF Organizing Committee:

Roxanne Beale
Dave Beynon
Marilyn Kleiber
Francis Baker
Nada Small
Suzanne Sutton-Curry
Jean Mills

The end of a PERFECT day!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Announcing the 2016 EWF Short Story Contest winners!

It all started here...
We received almost 100 entries to our contest this year, and our judges have spent the last six weeks reading, considering, evaluating and making their selections.

Finally, the decisions have been made and here they are, the winners of the 2016 EWF Short Story Contest:

In the YOUTH category (age 14 and under)
(Judges: Lisa Dalrymple, Lisa MacColl, Kira Vermond)

First Prize
Madeline Vukovic for Dear World

Second Prize
Becca Swan for The Journey

Third Prize
J. Zimmerman for The Most Colourful Climbing Tree

The final round of judging also included:

Jiya Gangwani Believe
Joshua Doupe I Am an Orange
Jonah Doupe One Cold Day
Benjamin Richards 240 Hours
Turner Duldhart Opportunity Knocks
Mariana Lalla My Family

In the TEEN category (age 15-19)
(Judges: Heather Wright, Heather Debling)

First Prize
Eric Bernhardt for October’s Storm

Second Prize
Candice Rubie for Gloves

Third Prize
Hunter Gutman for Itch

The final round of judging also included:

Cate Newman In Search of the Elusive Moonflower
Madeline Burgess It’s Not a Mistake
Sammy Beynon Stalemate
A.C. Franklin Reflections
Emma Chiera Advancements

In the ADULT category (age 20 and older)
(Judges: Bieke Stengos, Lisa McLean, Francis Baker, Michael Hale)

First Prize
Tammy Gilbert for If You’re Gonna Live

Second Prize
Vera Constantineau for Searching for Peace

Third Prize
Melanie Scott for Jump

The final round of judging also included:

David S. Cross White
Mary Steer Miracle at IKEA
Katrine Raymond Fifteen Minutes
Lisa MacColl A Day at the Park
Marion Reidel The Diagnosis
Kim Murray The School Bus Graveyard
Lori Twining Seashells, Swans and Ice Cream

Congratulations to the contest winners, and a special thank-you to our hard-working judges.

Thanks also to our two sponsors, The Community Resource Centre of North and Centre Wellington (Youth category), and the Elora Arts Council (Teen category), two organizations which join us in recognizing the importance of supporting and encouraging young writers.

During the intermission of the 2016 Elora Writers’ Festival on Sunday, May 29 (1-4 p.m.), any winners in attendance will receive their prizes – along with a big round of applause from the Festival audience and authors.

And speaking of the Festival authors, here’s our fantastic line-up, in case you missed it:

J.M. FreyThe Untold Tale (Fantasy and beyond – think “ComicCon goes wild”)
Dietrich KalteisThe Deadbeat Club  (Gritty crime thriller of the noir persuasion)
Douglas GibsonAcross Canada by Story  (Behind the scenes with some of Canada’s favourite authors)
Pamela Mordecai Red Jacket (Joyful Caribbean heart and voice)
Terry FallisPoles Apart (Feminism rules! But wait a minute….)

Please join us! You can reserve and pick up tickets at Roxanne's Reflections Book and Card Shop in Fergus (Phone 519-843-4391) or by ordering online through the Theatre on the Grand box office (find the link to their ticketing website, here.)