‘Full steam ahead’ for Stratford Writers Festival

MasterChef Canada winner Mary Berg is leading two literary meal events during the upcoming Stratford Writers Festival. Handout/Stratford Beacon Herald/Postmedia Network

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The Stratford Writers Festival’s opening weekend sums up the intent of the event.

“A full weekend of literary and a combination of the arts,” Heidi Sander, the festival’s creative director, said Thursday. “That intersection of arts and literary, which we’ve been focusing on since our first year running the festival.”

Now in year four, the first event is a free self-publishing children’s book workshop, led by publisher Chrissy Hobbs, Friday from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Stratford Public Library. Later that afternoon are free – and private – author photo sessions, also at the library, leading up to local author Terri-Lynn Penney’s 8 p.m. debut novel book launch at Revival House.

“It’s very exciting,” said Sander, adding then it’s “full steam ahead on Saturday.”

Non-fiction author John Goddard leads a two-hour workshop on query letters and book proposals at the library starting at 10 a.m. – it’s $40 to attend – and then true crime novelist John Goddard will bring one of his novels to life through an interactive session at 2 p.m. It also has a connection to Murdoch Mysteries, the series that’s been partially filmed in Stratford and St. Marys recently.

“So that’s a really interesting one,” she said. “Local connection again.”

It’s $25 to attend.

At 6 p.m. at the Stratford Chefs School, author Becky Blake will guide a wine and food book social for $45 per person.

“It’s just a great opportunity to really connect with the author,” Sander said. “It’s a really nice event that way.”

On Sunday morning, former CBC radio anchor Judy Maddren will host a question-and-answer session with author Lise Leblanc, who wrote the Conscious Caregiving Guide. The literary brunch, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Revival House, will help raise funds for the new Rotary hospice in Stratford.

“That one is really important to me and, I think, to the community,” she said.

Following a 3 p.m. workshop on creating memorable characters at the library, former businessman turned poet David Stones will be performing Infinite Sequels back at Revival House at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 and $30, respectively.

Another slew of events, featuring a pair of literary meals with MasterChef Canada winner Mary Berg and Dayna Manning’s CD and memoir launch, runs from Oct. 25 to Oct. 27. For more the full lineup and tickets, visit stratfordwritersfestival.com.

tbridge@postmedia.com

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