Award-Winning Authors Came Together to Inspire New Generations of Readers and Writers

Rain didn’t stop die-hard readers and writers from attending the Young Adult Stratford Writers Festival this past weekend.

Piggybacking on the success of the main Stratford Writers Festival last October, the Young Adult version was created with one main idea in mind: to create new generations of book lovers and wordsmiths. Based on the number of young (and young at heart) people in attendance, we achieved our goal—all while providing attendees with informative panel discussions, educational writing workshops, and the opportunity to meet their favourite authors.

The festival began with a Young Adult Writing Workshop with Marthe Jocelyn at Stratford Public Library. After the workshop wrapped, Marthe returned to Knox Presbyterian Church for the first panel of the day: Relationship Drama. Along with award-winning authors Deb Loughead, Susan Marshall, and Danielle Younge-Ullman, each author read from their latest books while panel moderator Helen Kubiw led a discussion focusing on the unique–yet relatable–situations each authors’ characters faced. While the panel dealt with serious issues such as bullying, each author kept it engaging and informative.

Following the Magnificent Middle Grade panel at Stratford Public Library, the Swords, Sorcery, and Star Wars panel with Lesley Livingston, R.J. Anderson, and E.K. Johnston rocked the house! Once again moderated by Helen Kubiw, this panel had audience members laughing and listening intently as all three authors read from their books and provided background on their characters, including which actors they would select to play their main protagonists!

To close the festival, the Stratford Perth Museum hosted authors Rick Revelle and the former lieutenant governor general of Ontario James Bartleman for a First Nations discussion panel. Both authors proved to be master storytellers and had attendees intently listening to their words of wisdom. This panel also included entry to the museum and access to an exhibit of 40 major sculptures from the AGO’s Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection.

We’d like to thank the authors, attendees, and partners who helped to make the Young Adult Stratford Writers Festival such a success. Specifically, we’d like to thank:

  • Stratford Tourism Alliance
  • Stratford Public Library
  • The Stratford Perth Museum
  • Revel Café
  • Fanfare Books
  • Knox Presbyterian Church

Finally, you’re invited to the next Stratford Writers Festival! The now three-day festival runs from October 20-22, 2017. Stay tuned to our website and social media for the full festival lineup and ticket information in the coming weeks.

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