Inaugural Writers Festival Has Attendees Eagerly Waiting for Next Years!

“The thing about this festival is, writers want to come here because it’s a beautiful part of the country and audiences are great. I think it’s an excellent chance to come see your favourite author.” – Michael Winter, award-winning author

The two-day Stratford Writers Festival was such a success that we’ve set the date for next year: October 20-22, 2017. This year’s festival offered something for everyone through unique and interactive programming, including:

  • An editing workshop with award-winning author Farzana Doctor;
  • Barbara Budd moderating an IFOA sponsored panel featuring Joseph Kertes, Michael Winter, and Dionne Brand;
  • #CanLitPit LIVE during which writers pitched their manuscripts to Jay MillAr of Bookthug and Laurie Graham of Brick Magazine;
  • A reading and discussion with RBC Taylor Prize winner Plum Johnson;
  • A free literary fitness class with Globe & Mail columnist and author Kathleen Trotter;
  • Barbara Budd moderating an interactive panel with mystery authors Steve Burrows, Janet Kellough, C. Humphreys, and Barbara Fradkin;
  • A reading and discussion with award-winning author Gail Anderson-Dargatz.

If you attended the Stratford Writers Festival, either as an audience member, a moderator, or a presenting author, please accept our sincere gratitude for helping to make this festival a success. We’re also very grateful for the kind comments we received during the festival – in person or through social media – and via a short post-festival survey. We’re busy collecting everyone’s feedback, and we look forward to incorporating your thoughts and ideas into future events.

Below, we have highlighted a few crowd-favourite events. If you missed the festival or if you would like to re-live it, head over to our Facebook page to view a small collection of photos taken throughout the weekend.

An Evening with Ivan Coyote

Ivan Coyote, one of Canada’s best-loved storytellers and authors, had a huge crowd on the edges of their seats during their presentation on Saturday evening. With their trademark sense of humour and honesty, Ivan read from their new book, Tomboy Survival Guide. After the presentation concluded, the line to both purchase Ivan’s books and meet them stretched the entire length of the upper hallway of Knox Presbyterian Church, and our bookseller, Fanfare Books, sold out of Ivan’s titles.


Ivan Coyote reads from their new book Tomboy Survival Guide on October 22, 2016, at the Stratford Writers Festival.

Alison Wearing’s One-Women Play, Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter

Local Stratford author Alison Wearing closed the Stratford Writers Festival with a performance of her one woman show Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter, inspired by her latest book. Additional chairs had to be added to an already packed Knox Presbyterian Church. Complete with a disco light and a perfect 80’s soundtrack, Alison stole the show, receiving a standing ovation following her performance.


Alison Wearing performs during her one-women show, Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter, on October 23, 2016, at the Stratford Writers Festival.

Dramatic Reading with Author and Actor C.C. Humphreys

Author and actor C.C. Humphreys read from his books Fire and The Hunt of the Unicorn, and dazzled the audience with his dramatic reading and edge-of-your-seat stories. He was also kind enough to answer as many questions as possible through an interactive Q&A, and sign copies of his books following his performance.


C.C. Humphreys prepares to read from his new book The Hunt of the Unicorn on Sunday October 23, 2016, during the Stratford Writers Festival.

Literary Lunch and Brunch

Stratford is not only renowned for its performing arts but also its culinary scene. These two art forms were savoured on both Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday, we hosted award-winning authors Farzana Doctor and Alison Wearing for a delicious lunch at The Prune. The meal was preceded by readings and Q&As by both authors from their latest books. With Joseph Kertes, Michael Winter, and Dionne Brand also in attendance, it was truly a Literary Lunch!


Farzana Doctor introduces an excerpt from her book, All Inclusive, at The Prune Restaurant on October 22, 2016, during the Stratford Writers Festival.

On Sunday, we  hosted a scrumptious Literary Brunch on the upper floor of the Revival House with Giller Prize nominated author Kim Echlin. With jazz pianist Paul Shilton accompanying the reading, Kim’s story came alive in this musical masterpiece.


Melanie Kindrachuk from the Stratford Public Library introduces Kim Echlin at Revival House on October 23, 2016, during the Stratford Writers Festival.

Save the Date for the 2017 Stratford Writers Festival

“The Stratford Writers Festival is a natural place to have readers and writers together.”
-Kim Echlin

It was an incredible weekend, and we can’t wait to do it again. Save October 20-22, 2017, in your calendars. We’ll keep you posted as we begin planning the festival, so stay tuned over the coming months for announcements!

Share With Us…

Did you attend the Stratford Writers Festival? What was your favourite event?