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September 2019

Writing Outside the Box: Experiments in Form

September 26 @ 9:00 am - 11:30 am
St. Lawrence Ballroom, Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water’s Edge, 7 Earl Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L0A5 Canada
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Molson Award-winning experimental fiction writer Diane Schoemperlen shares techniques for opening yourself to experimentation with literary form by using the page in unique ways, re-imagining the arrangement of text on the page or incorporating visual elements. For the non-adventurous or stuck writer, this is a gentle way to bust out of the rut of conventional story-telling and get the creativity flowing. In-class exercises give you hands-on practice, and you may surprise yourself by creating something that’s outside the box. Limited…

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Visual Literacy: Using Images to Enrich Your Writing

September 26 @ 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm
St. Lawrence Ballroom, Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water’s Edge, 7 Earl Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L0A5 Canada
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Award-winning novelist Alan Cumyn guides you through image-based exercises to unlock your creativity while exploring fundamentals of strong, visually rich writing. Whether we write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, or memoir, we’ve all heard the advice to “show, not tell.” Using evocative paintings, photographs and texts as jumping-off points, students craft new work paying particular attention to mood, atmosphere, situation, detail, what needs to be on the page... and what does not. Come prepared to play and to write! Limited enrolment. Residence Inn,…

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Writing 101

September 26 @ 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm
St. Lawrence Ballroom, Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water’s Edge, 7 Earl Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L0A5 Canada
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In this master class, Lawrence Scanlan – the author or co-author of 24 books (non-fiction, memoir, and young adult fiction) – details what he has learned in his forty-year-long writing life about the fundamentals of good prose. About rhythm and flow, clarity and pacing, the use of imagery and dialogue, how to critique and edit one’s own work, and the art of the interview – the basis of so much journalism and almost every kind of writing. Limited enrolment. Residence…

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International Marquee

September 26 @ 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
St. Lawrence Ballroom, Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water’s Edge, 7 Earl Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L0A5 Canada
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Commonwealth Writer's Prize-winning author Marina Endicott joins veteran broadcaster Eric Friesen in a free-ranging discussion of Marina’s body of work, including her major new novel, The Difference. Set upon a Nova Scotian ship sailing the South Pacific in 1912, the book explores complex moral issues of prejudice, class, and cultural differences with gravitas and wit. Hailed by the Globe and Mail as "a sweet-natured but sharp-eyed and quick-tongued social observer in the Jane Austen -- Barbara Pym -- Anne Tyler tradition, who can…

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Top 20 Writing Gaffes You Can Catch Yourself

September 27 @ 9:00 am - 11:30 am
St. Lawrence Ballroom, Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water’s Edge, 7 Earl Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L0A5 Canada
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Susan Scott, the non-fiction editor of The New Quarterly, shines a light on the typical mistakes that writers make, and shows you how to fix them to avoid being panned by social media, the grammar police, or others. Using examples from her work with books and magazines, national contests, retreats, and award-winning collaborations, Susan combines illustrations of errors and missteps with lively, pragmatic tips and exercises for avoiding certain pitfalls and attracting the right kind of attention to your work. Limited enrolment. Residence…

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Power of the Pitch: Find Your Story’s Narrative Hooks

September 27 @ 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm
St. Lawrence Ballroom, Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water’s Edge, 7 Earl Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L0A5 Canada
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A book pitch is usually a blunt summary and crude sales vehicle, a disposable by-product of the real work. But pitching carries liberating potential to challenge what your story is “about.” In this master class, bestselling author Andrew Pyper gives you a series of exercises to discover your story’s most powerful expression. By the end of the afternoon, you’ll have written one of three documents crucial for getting your book published: the outline, the verbal pitch script, or the submission…

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What We Talk About When We Talk About Dialogue

September 27 @ 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm
St. Lawrence Ballroom, Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water’s Edge, 7 Earl Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L0A5 Canada
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We talk all the time, so nothing should be easier than writing dialogue. Yet, most writers find it hard to do convincingly. The ones who can do it are said to have an “ear”. Showing examples from other writers and from his own work, award-winning novelist and screenwriter, David Bezmozgis, invites you to investigate together how dialogue is used, what separates the good from the awful, and gives you an opportunity to try team-writing some dialogue to share with the group. Limited…

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Identity Through Poetry: Who is Bruce Kauffman Screening

September 27 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Screening Room Kingston, 120 Princess Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L5M6 Canada
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Who Is Bruce Kauffman? is an anthology film that explores and celebrates Kingston’s vibrant literary and spoken-word community through the eyes of a poet impresario who manages to be both ubiquitous and elusive. This is a thoughtful ode to a life devoted to the fusion of poetry and community, and an invitation for us to bridge the two. Join Kingston’s Poet Laureate, Jason Heroux, and special guest Bruce Kauffman for a special screening and talk-back. Co-presentation of Kingston WritersFest and…

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Robertson Davies Dinner

September 27 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Grandview, Delta Hotel, 1 Johnson St
Kingston, Ontario K7L5H7 Canada
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To celebrate the gift of storytelling in honour of Robertson Davies, beloved Canadian man of letters, we present writers whose work is of lasting impact. In 2019, we honour Emma Donoghue, internationally lauded author of unique works such as Slammerkin, Room, The Wonder, and her newest novel, Akin. After dinner, Emma delivers brief keynote comments and chats with Merilyn Simonds about the writing life, the importance of geography in fiction, and the challenges of telling stories on page, stage, and…

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Choosing Your Words

September 28 @ 9:00 am - 11:30 am
St. Lawrence Ballroom, Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water’s Edge, 7 Earl Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L0A5 Canada
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“Poems, novels, stories are built word by word,” says poet Lorna Crozier. That sounds simple, but what goes into our choosing which word we’ll use? Why “dolor” over “sadness”? “mutt” over “canine”? Lorna examines writers’ choices and then lets you write something, with this passage from Lewis Carroll in mind: “Must a name mean something?” Alice asked doubtfully. “Of course, it must,” Humpty Dumpty said. “My name means the shape I am--and a good handsome shape it is, too.” Limited enrolment…

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Chop Suey Nation: The Exceptional Fusion of Canada, China, and Food

September 28 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Silver Wok, 373 King Street East
Kingston, On K7K2Y1 Canada
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Don’t miss this exceptional lunch event! Globe and Mail national food reporter Ann Hui travelled across Canada for 18 days to report on why every small town has a Chinese restaurant. Her report eventually became Chop Suey Nation, which chronicles not just the history of Chinese-Canadian food (and the invention of dishes like ginger beef), but Ann’s own family history. Join Ann at the Silver Wok Restaurant for a tasty and fun exploration of this cornerstone of Canadian culture. Silver…

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Meaning Schmeaning: Writing as a Journey

September 28 @ 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm
St. Lawrence Ballroom, Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water’s Edge, 7 Earl Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L0A5 Canada
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In this unpredictable, enjoyable workshop, award-winning poet/fictioneer Stuart Ross encourages you to forget about “meaning” and “intention” and instead approach writing as a journey into a laboratory filled with a mysterious mist, and crazy burbling and popping noises you don’t quite recognize. Stuart leads you through four or five lively and fun poetry and prose projects, and what you write will surprise — and perhaps bewilder — even you! Join Stuart for this exploration into the wild possibilities of language.…

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Writing Character and Voice

September 28 @ 3:30 pm - 6:00 pm
St. Lawrence Ballroom, Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water’s Edge, 7 Earl Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L0A5 Canada
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Author Erika Behrisch Elce explains techniques to develop richly-imagined and believable characters. Whether your character is fully fictional, based on an historical figure, or the poetic voice, good groundwork and thoughtful choices give your characters depth. Learn how research can be a great tool that delivers unexpected and surprising details that make characters spring off the page, and in a short written exercise, experiment with bringing a character’s voice to life. Limited enrolment. Residence Inn, St. Lawrence Ballroom 3:30 –…

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Literary pub (s)crawl

September 28 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Dox Patio, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess Street
Kingston, On K7L1A2 Canada
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Gather your friends and hit the town for this original and entertaining night of literature and libations. Join a group of intrepid bibliophiles and a half-dozen authors of poetry, comedic memoir, and prose on a trek to some of Kingston’s finest watering holes. The evening is designed with ample time to settle in, order an appetizer or beverage, and take in a pair of literary readings and performances at each stop. Author Q&A and book signing at final venue. Featuring…

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To Be Here: Writing Place

September 29 @ 9:00 am - 11:30 am
St. Lawrence Ballroom, Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water’s Edge, 7 Earl Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L0A5 Canada
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Poet Tanis Macdonald explores the questions: what is the action of being here now? How does the past inform the present? where “here” is subject to your own definition, and “history,” is your lived experience of place. Using sample pieces of writing as a model, you write a piece about place to share with the class, then begin again, adding a new approach or piece of information that occurred to you as you presented or that was prompted by the…

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The Long Table

September 29 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Grandview, Delta Hotel, 1 Johnson St
Kingston, Ontario K7L5H7 Canada
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What happens when you gather people around at a long table for a delicious meal served family-style? Storytelling, of course, and lots of it. And connection. Break bread with professor of nutrition, chef, and food blogger (ameliaeats.com) Amy Symington for a delectable spread of “I-can’t-believe-it’s-veggie” dishes, served at a long table, family style, After the meal, Amy chats with fellow food blogger, Kate Kristiansen. Bring your appetites and your friends for this one-of-a-kind food event! Cash bar. Media Sponsor: Edible…

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Beyond the First Draft: Polishing Your Work

September 29 @ 12:30 pm - 3:00 pm
St. Lawrence Ballroom, Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water’s Edge, 7 Earl Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L0A5 Canada
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Award-winning author Rabindranath Maharaj helps you get your work ready for publication, as he takes you through various subjects, including understanding your audience, matching length and style to genre and topic, and checking for continuity of description, timeline, language, and theme. Robin explains the critical refining decisions that lead to a viable final draft, encourages group discussion, and allows thirty minutes for quiet writing time, during which he offers individual focused feedback. Residence Inn, St. Lawrence Ballroom 12:30 – 3:00 pm Adv. $35 / $32…

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And the Journey Continues

September 29 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Garden, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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A hit every year! Come celebrate emerging local talent with a set of energizing, provocative, and powerful spoken-word performances. Headlined by Kingston’s own verbal powerhouse Allison Chisholm and Toronto spoken-word poet Abena Beloved Green, this event promises to make you see the world in a different way – maybe more than once! Follow the signs or ask for directions to the Garden at the Holiday Inn, and remember to bring a lawn chair to this outdoor event! A co-presentation of…

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Yoga and the Art of Relaxed Writing

September 29 @ 3:30 pm - 5:30 pm
St. Lawrence Ballroom, Residence Inn by Marriott Kingston Water’s Edge, 7 Earl Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L0A5 Canada
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Author/ yoga teacher Kirsteen MacLeod helps you harness yoga’s power, free up your writing, and feed your creative flame. Gentle yoga poses, suitable for almost everyone, provide a jumping-off point for writing exercises. The body-centred process teaches you to work with less effort, generate new material intuitively, and apply new skills to advance your writing projects. Please bring your yoga mat and tools for writing by hand, or use provided mats/supplies onsite. All levels of writing and physical ability welcome. Relax,…

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FESTIVAL TICKET INFO + PRICES 2019

Want more info?

View and download the digital Program Guide or Schedule-at-a-Glance!

Tickets can be purchased directly from the Grand Theatre Box Office online (click the ‘Buy Now’ ticket icon), in person at 218 Princess Street, or by phone (613-530-2050) until 6 pm on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.

Ticket prices are listed as Pre-Festival (purchased by 6 pm on Tuesday, September 24), and Festival (all tickets purchased once the Festival has begun):

Regular Onstage and Festival Field Trip events
General Admission $20 Adv/$22 Fest; Senior $18 Pre/$20 Fest; Student $5 Pre/ $8 Fest

Writers Retreat Classes General Admission $35 Pre/$40 Fest; Senior $32 Pre/$38 Fest

Robertson Davies Dinner, Book Lovers’ Lunch and The Long Table General Admission $45; Senior $40

Literary Pub (S)crawl General Admission $40 (includes 3 beverages; $27 (event only)

BUY 5 and SAVE – available for regular events OR Writers Retreat classes! Add EITHER 5 regular onstage OR 5 Writers Retreat tickets to your cart, change the price point to 5 AND SAVE and the discount will automatically be applied.

OFFSEASON EVENTS: View event description carefully for details on price, advance sale cut-offs, and venue.

FEES: All ticket prices include HST. Please be advised that the Grand Theatre Box Office will add a handling fee of $3.80/ticket.

TICKET PICK-UP: Any tickets that are not picked up at the Grand Theatre before 12 pm on Wednesday, September 25th will be brought to the onsite box office at the Holiday Inn. You may pick up your tickets at the Holiday Inn at any time during onsite box office hours (30 minutes before the first onsite event of the day til 15 minutes after the last event of the day).

During the festival, tickets are ONLY available onsite from the Festival Box Office on the main floor of the Holiday Inn Kingston Waterfront.

EXCHANGES and REFUNDS: We do not offer exchanges or refunds on tickets (except when an event is cancelled), so please plan before you buy. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of KWF staff.

PHOTOGRAPHS: No flash photography, video recorders or tape recorders, please.