Our Annual Event – April 11 – 14, 2012

Bernie Finkelstein – Alison Pick – Joshua Knelman – Maria Meindl
Lilian Nattel – David Penhale – Stuart Ross – Hal Niedzviecki – Tom Earle
J.D. Carpenter – Drew Hayden Taylor – Don Calame – Marie-Louise Gay
Lawrence Scanlan – David Homel – Teresa Toten – “The Dewey Divas”

Wednesday April 11th

12:00 noon: Authors & Poets at PECI (Prince Edward Collegiate Institute)
(no charge event)


Don Calame

Don Calame: How can you resist a writer whose website offers a section for “Nonsense”? Don’t even try: just welcome him to the Authors Festival’s presentation to students. Calame is a screenwriter and the author of two riotous young adult novels, Swim the Fly and Beat the Band.


J.D. Carpenter

J.D. (David) Carpenter: County resident and a former race track journalist and high school English teacher. “Robert Frost said that he made poems for the same reason other people weave baskets: to create order out of chaos,” Carpenter says. “That’s why I write: to understand myself and make sense of the world.” He has published four books of poetry, the first appearing in 1976, and in the 1990s branched out into crime fiction. Carpenter will appear at a presentation to students.


The Dewey Divas

The Dewey Divas: a group of Canadian publishers’ reps – all passionate readers – who give book talk presentations of their favourite reads at schools, libraries and conferences. They present their picks for the best upcoming books for kids, teens and adults in a variety of genres, and introduce readers and educators to forgotten gems and new writers that they may have missed.


Tom Earle

Tom Earle: was born in Orillia, Ontario, and as a young hockey player played for the Orillia Travelways, the Barrie Colts, and Dartmouth College of the NCAA before going to England to join the Whitley Bay Warriors of the British Ice Hockey League. His first novel, The Hat Trick, offers an insider’s look at professional hockey in the story of a young star whose career is derailed when a violent incident turns tragic. A teacher for almost twenty years, Earle lives in Oro-Medonte with his wife and three children.


Lawrence Scanlon

Lawrence Scanlan: Writer, editor and print and broadcast journalist Lawrence Scanlan has won numerous prizes for his writing, and his books frequently appear on bestseller lists. His subject matter is far ranging: horses and hockey, homesteading and philanthropy. His work for young readers includes Big Ben, Horses Forever, and The Horse’s Shadow. Scanlan is currently working on a book about neuroplasticity, to be published this spring. He lives in Kingston and has a cabin — the one he wrote about in Harvest of a Quiet Eye — in Prince Edward County.


Drew Hayden Taylor

Drew Hayden Taylor: one of Canada’s leading First Nations playwrights and humourists, is also a novelist, short story writer, journalist, columnist, film-maker and lecturer. Originally from the Curve Lake First Nations in Central Ontario, Taylor has spent the last twenty years travelling the wide world and writing about it from the Aboriginal perspective.


Teresa Toten

Teresa Toten: Teresa Toten’s young adult works include her Blonde novels (Beyond Blonde, Better Than Blonde, and Me & The Blondes) and, as contributor or editor, three anthologies. Her latest work, The Taming, co-written with children’s author Eric Walters, is the story of the unexpected consequences of a shy young girl’s success in her high school’s production of The Taming of the Shrew. The best part of belonging to the world of writing, Toten, says, “is meeting young people from one end of the country to another”.

Thursday April 12th

11:00am Kids @ The Regent Theatre (no charge)


Mary Louise Gay

Marie-Louise Gay: “I love to write with words and pictures,” says Marie-Louise Gay, one of Canada’s top children’s authors and illustrators. Gay publishes in both English and French and her work has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She has created more than sixty children’s books, including the famous Stella and Sam series, and has received numerous awards for her work. She and her husband, writer David Homel, have co-written the humorous children’s book Travels With My Family and its equally enjoyable sequel, On the Road Again!: More Travels With My Family. Gay and Homel will delight schoolchildren at the Festival’s Kids @ The Regent Theatre event.


David Homel

David Homel: Novelist, journalist, filmmaker, teacher and translator, David Homel began to write fiction in the mid-1980s. Both his fiction and his translations have received numerous awards. Born and raised in Chicago, Homel now lives in Montreal with his wife, children’s author and illustrator Marie-Louise Gay. They are co-authors of the captivating children’s book Travels With My Family and its equally enjoyable sequel, On the Road Again!: More Travels With My Family. Homel and Gay will appear together at the Festival’s Kids @ The Regent Theatre event.

7:00pm The County Reads: The Big Debate (no charge)

Five County luminaries jostle and joust as each tries to convince the audience that his/her book is the one to vote for: Katy McIntyre — The Cat’s Table, by Michael Ondaatje; Janet Kellough — A Good Man, by Guy Vanderhaeghe; Peter Lockyer — Fifteen Days: Stories of Bravery, Friendship, Life and Death inside the New Canadian Army, by Christie Blatchford; Mark Despault — The Pity of The Winds by Robin Timmerman; David Simmonds — The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence has Declined, by Steven Pinker.

Friday April 13th


12 noon to 4:00 pm. The Long Haul: Offering a Fresh Perspective on Old and Tired Work, with Maria Meindl At Bloomfield Public Library, 300 Main Street, Bloomfield. This workshop is limited to six attendees. Pre-registration is required. Do you feel stuck with some aspect of a writing project? Have you got a manuscript you can’t quite finish, but can’t let go? Maria Meindl knows a lot about the joys and frustrations of working on projects for a long time. In this workshop, she’ll share her experiences, and help you devise strategies for resolving impasses in your own work. Bring a passage from your work that includes some parts you are pleased with and some that make you squirm. You won’t necessarily have to read the passage aloud, but as a gauge of length, bring something that would take 15 minutes or less if you did read it aloud. – $50.

Poetry Boot Camp with Stuart Ross

1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. At Wellington Public Library, 261 Main Street, Wellington. This workshop is limited to twelve attendees. Pre-registration is required. A relaxed but lively workshop for beginning poets, experienced poets, stalled poets, and haikuists who want to get beyond three lines. Poetry Boot Camp focuses on the pleasures of writing poetry and the riches that spontaneity brings, through some unusual and exciting writing strategies. We’ll also touch on revision and collaboration. You will write in ways you’ve never imagined. Arrive with an open mind, and leave with a heap of new poems! – $40.

7:00pm Mix & Mingle Cocktail Hour – $10.

Meet Bernie Finkelstein and enjoy local wine and nibbles before the launch of his new book.

8:00pm Bernie Finkelstein “True North” Book Launch (no charge)


Bernie Finkelstein photo by Daniel Keebler

Bernie Finkelstein: has been a mover and shaker in the Canadian music scene for more than forty years. He founded True North Records, Canada’s oldest indie record label, in 1969 and has nurtured the careers of a host of musicians including Bruce Cockburn, Arcade Fire, Murray McLauchlan, Dan Hill, Nellie Furtado and k-os. When he was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 2007, the Governor General’s office paid tribute to “his gifts for discovering talent, developing artists and promoting music … hallmarks of his vast contributions to Canadian music.” The Prince Edward County Authors Festival is delighted to host the official launch of Finkelstein’s autobiography, True North: A Life Inside the Music Business.

Saturday April 14th

Saturday sessions are $8 each, or $20 for an all-day pass

9:00am Breakfast Panel

Alison Pick, Maria Meindl and moderator Hal Niedzviecki will discuss how social media’s “peep culture” affects us: is it transforming our thoughts about privacy, individuality and even humanity?

11:00am Fiction/Poetry Readings with Lilian Nattel and David Penhale

Lilian Nattel

Lilian Nattel

Lilian Nattel: “My oldest friend remembers me telling stories when I was five years old, but I didn’t decide to be a writer until I was ten. That was when I discovered not all authors were dead.” So recounts award-winning novelist Lilian Nattel, author of The River Midnight which she presented at our Authors Festival in 2001, The Singing Fire and her most recent, Web of Angels, which came out in February. This latest work examines the phenomenon of dissociative or multiple personality disorder in a compelling exploration of good and evil. Nattel will read at the Authors Festival’s fiction/poetry session on Saturday, April 14, 11:00 am


David Penhale

David Penhale: Poet David Penhale has recently published his first novel, Passing Through, a gripping and very funny story of loss and regeneration, culture shock and the bittersweet vagaries of life. It draws on his experiences in Dubai, where he lived for several years, and his responses to two Canadas: the one you are immersed in and the one you see with astonished eyes after years away. Penhale will read from this work at the Authors Festival fiction/poetry session on Saturday, April 14, 11:00 am. Penhale now lives in Toronto, where he teaches writing and is at work on a second novel.

1:30pm Fiction/Poetry Readings with Hal Niedzviecki, Stuart Ross and Alison Pick

Hal Niedzviecki

Hal Niedzviecki

Hal Niedzviecki: Peeping Tom’s transgression — he spied on the vulnerable Lady Godiva’s nakedness while everyone else considerately looked away — inspired the title of Hal Niedzviecki’s The Peep Diaries. Tom used to be a model of what people shouldn’t do. Now, with reality TV, social media, security cameras and more, we’re all involved in spying and being spied on. Niedzviecki explores this phenomenon, and its repercussions, in his thought-provoking work. “The more we entertain ourselves by looking at other people’s lives, the less we connect to them as human beings,” he warns. Niezviecki, who also writes fiction, will lead a discussion of peep culture and its impact on what we read and write during the Authors Festival Breakfast Panel on Saturday, April 14, starting at 9:00 am. He will also read at the fiction/poetry session at 1:30 pm the same day.

Alison Pick

Alison Pick

Alison Pick: Poet and novelist Alison Pick’s most recent novel, Far to Go, is the poignant story of a Czechoslovakian family’s experiences in the Holocaust and their impact through the years that follow. Pick’s work has received many awards and honours including, for Far to Go, the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction, the Man Booker Prize longlist, and Now magazine’s top ten of 2010. She will read from Far to Go at the Authors Festival’s fiction/poetry session on Saturday, April 14, 1:30 pm. She will also participate in the Breakfast Panel discussion earlier that day (9:00 am) on the impact of social media’s “peep culture”. Pick lives in Toronto where she is working on a memoir.

Stuart Ross

Stuart Ross

Stuart Ross: “Author of a bunch of books with stupid titles.” That, in his own words, is Stuart Ross, but let’s add poet, essayist, short-story writer, novelist, editor, publisher, creative-writing instructor, co-founder of the Toronto Small Press Book Fair and founding member of the Meet the Presses collective to the mix. Getting back to book titles, though, his most recent work is Snowball, Dragonfly, Jew, a surrealistic but very down-to-earth novel whose hero/antihero, Ben, riffs with humour and heartbreak on his life: the losses, the love and the tender ties that bind the generations together. Ross will read from this new book at the Authors Festival fiction/poetry session on Saturday, April 14, 1:30. He will also lead a writing workshop, “Poetry Boot Camp” on Friday, April 13 from 1 to 4.

3:00pm Nonfiction Readings with Joshua Knelman and Maria Meindl

Joshua Knelman

Joshua Knelman

Joshua Knelman: an award-winning journalist and editor, co-founder and fiction editor of The Walrus magazine, and the editor of two collections, Four Letter Word… , of fictional love letters by authors from around the world. In his most recent book, Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives Through the Secret World of Stolen Art, Knelman takes his readers on a dizzying ride through the perils and intrigues of one of the world’s largest black markets: stolen art. He will read from this work during the Festival’s nonfiction session on Saturday, April 14, 3:00 pm at Books & Company. Last year Knelman was named Massey College’s Barbara Moon Editorial Fellow. He is the first to hold this new fellowship, established by Wynne Thomas in memory of his wife, Barbara Moon, renowned editor and writer and long-time County resident who died in 2009.

Maria Meindl

Maria Meindl

Maria Meindl: prolific writer of essays, poetry, radio scripts and stories, has recently published her first full-length book, Outside the Box: The Life and Legacy of Writer Mona Gould, the Grandmother I Thought I Knew. It recounts Meindl’s journey in search of her grandmother — poet, journalist and broadcaster Mona Gould — through the chaotic mass of papers Gould left behind after her death, and through her own memories of this passionate and conflicted woman. Meindl will read from this work during the Authors Festival’s nonfiction session on Saturday, April 14, 3:00 pm. She will also participate in the Breakfast Panel discussion earlier that day (9:00 am) on the impact of social media’s “peep culture”, and on Friday April 13 will lead a four-hour writing workshop: “The Long Haul: Offering a Fresh Perspective on Old and Tired Work.” Maria Meindl lives in Toronto.

Be a part of it all!

Unless a different location is specified, Authors Festival events will take place upstairs at Books & Company, 289 Main Street, Picton. This space is now fully accessible by elevator.

Many events are free of charge. Please contact Books & Company to register for the Friday afternoon workshops or buy tickets for the Friday evening Mix & Mingle Cocktail Hour, the all-day Saturday pass and individual Saturday sessions. For further information: 613.476.3037 or info@pictonbookstore.com