I must admit that I only vaguely recall hearing about Lit Fest New West before. When I saw that the 3rd annual event is coming up on Friday, April 15th and Saturday, April 16th I was a little embarrassed that I hadn’t attended previously. Being an avid reader, sometimes writer, and long time New West resident it seems like the kind of thing that should have been on my radar!
So, reading the blurb on the Arts Council website I immediately added it into my iPhone calendar so as not to miss this upcoming celebration of the written word. It got me thinking about how the literary world is constantly evolving, with savvy new technology mediums for enjoying the written word of all kinds – whether it’s blog posts like this one, 144 character haikus on Twitter, or my friends Facebook posts I read and learn an extraordinary amount on a daily basis like never before. Only a few years ago I would have spent hours browsing used book stores, now I see a book review tweet from the New York Times and have the novel downloaded on my Kindle in about 60 seconds.
Lit Fest seems to embrace this evolution with workshops and panel discussions around topics like online content vs. print, and how to use new Ebook technology. They’ve also drawn some amazing talent featuring readings by BC Book Prize Nominee Morris Bates, Susin Nielsen – Author of Dear George Clooney, Please Marry My Mom – and the prolific and celebrated Michael Kenyon.
What’s really impressive however is that emerging authors can bring their latest works to the One on One Author Clinic for invaluable coaching, instant feedback from published authors Michael Kenyon and Renee Siklikar. I’ve been to writer/reader festivals before, the opportunity for instant unbiased feedback to your work on the spot is pretty rare. This element of the festival is bound draw a crowd and perhaps put New West on the literary map!
Even more impressive? According to Lit Fest Co-chair Charles Lester, admission is free to all events. The full schedule hasn’t been posted yet, but will be soon at http://www.artscouncilnewwest.org/ I suggest you put this into your calendar now…. before you click on the next post and it’s off your radar!