Diversity key to attracting 7,000 students to Vancouver International Writers Festival

More than 7,000 Vancouver-area students from kindergarten to Grade 12 will have the chance starting Monday (Sept. 12) to hear and talk with their favourite authors face to face.

 Tickets for school groups planning to attend next month’s Vancouver International Writers Festival on Granville Island go on sale Monday, Sept. 12. Thirty-three events featuring some of the best-loved names in children’s and young adult writing, from Kit Pearson, Sarah Ellis and Glen Huser to the creators of the internationally-loved Franklin the Turtle, are part of this year’s Festival.


“The line-up of authors and topics this year is more diverse than ever, with direct connections to BC’s curriculum,” says Hal Wake, the Festival’s artistic director. “Students and teachers will have the rare opportunity to engage with renowned authors in intimate settings.”


The Festival’s school program, Spreading the Word, runs during the daytime from Tuesday, Oct. 18, through Friday, Oct. 21, and school groups receive discounted rates.


Spreading the Word kicks off with a party to celebrate Franklin the Turtle’s 25th birthday with his creators Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark, both from Ontario. The Franklin series of more than 30 stories has been published around the world and in 17 languages.


Non-fiction author Andrew Westoll recounts living with chimpanzees rescued from bio-medical research facilities in his book The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary. Andrew Nikiforuk casts a new light on the pine beetle epidemic in Empire of the Beetle. In the memoir genre, Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton tell the compelling true story of Margaret’s experiences at a residential school.


Moira Young introduces her debut novel, Blood Red Road, already optioned for the screen by Ridley Scott, to teen readers, with two more in this series expected to follow shortly.


Spreading the Word, for English readers, is coupled with La Joie de Lire for French-language students. Five events for students studying and learning in French feature New Brunswick’s Governor-General’s Award-nominated Édith Bourget and two-time Governor General’s Award winner Michèle Marineau, along with dramatist Stephan Cloutier.


School ticket sales start Sept. 12 at 8 a.m. Ticket price for school groups is $8.50 per person. To order school group tickets, go to www.writersfest.bc.ca/teachers/schoolorders, or fax a ticket order form to 604.681.8400


More information and a ticket order form is available at www.writersfest.bc.ca.


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