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I had the huge pleasure of being part of the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts from August 11-14 in gorgeous Sechelt, BC. It was definitely one of the highlights of my summer (and that’s including the glimpse I got of lazuli bunting at the end of July–such gorgeous birds!).

On Saturday, August 11, Lorna Crozier led Rebecca Hendry, Janine Alyson Young and I in discussion about Boobs and all four of us read from the anthology, too. Over 400 people showed up to be probably the best audience for which I’ve ever had the privilege of performing. I was really moved by the thoughtfulness of the audience member’s questions during our Q & A session, and even more moved by the number of women who found me after the presentation to share their own stories with me.

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At the author signing table, from left to right: Lorna Crozier, Rebecca Hendry, Janine Alyson Young, and Ruth Daniell. Photo credit: Alexander Laidlaw

Once again, a huge thank you to everyone at Caitlin Press (Vici! Mike! Jake!) for believing in the book, and a huge thank you to the remarkable Jane Davidson and all the organizers of the SCFWA. The festival was an enormously positive experience.IMG_9223

I was able to be an audience member for the majority of the festival other events, and also had the delightful opportunity to hang out and get to know a number of my fellow authors. I loved Lorna Crozier’s other event with wildlife photographer and environmental advocate Ian McAllister, in celebration of their collaborative book, The Wild in You: Voices from the Forest and the SeaMark Winston’s talk on Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive was also just as wonderful as I had anticipated it to be (bee)! I’m also still feeling incredibly grateful to the warmth of all the more established writers with whom I got to spend time, including Laurence Hill and Madeleine Thien, both of whom also had very thought-provoking and generous presentations on their work.

And Sechelt is a beautiful place. I love the west coast. I left the place feeling renewed, inspired, and excited to get back down to the practice of writing.

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Photo credit: Candace Johnston

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