Review editor at the Quill & Quire, Steven W. Beattie, was one of the 2018 Festival Delegates and in this guest post, he writes about the solitary experience of being a writer and how opportunities like the Delegates Programme offers writers a chance to engage with the community. Look out for links to guest posts written by Beattie’s fellow delegates!
Danielle Bourgon (L) and her mother (R) at Danielle’s 2012 UBC commencement ceremony
In her first stint as a Delegate for the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA), Danielle Bourgon, a frequent contributor to BookRiot, found a second chance to listen to and soak in the teachings of legendary singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie, who was also the key speaker at Danielle’s commencement ceremony years prior.
What do authors Craig Davidson, Eden Robinson, Cherie Dimaline and Waubgeshig Rice have in common? As returning Delegate Kevin Hardcastle sees it, not only were they participants at #FestofAuthors18—their approach to storytelling and the subsequent trajectory of their careers all demonstrate the shifting preferences and expectations of Canadian readers.
(L to R) Rinaldo Walcott, Vivek Shraya, Sarah Henstra and Rachel Giese at TIFA 2018
At #FestofAuthors18, Delegate Téa Mutonji had the opportunity to witness (for the very first time) two of her mentors perform their work on stage: poet Daniel Scott Tysdal, a former professor of Téa’s; and Vivek Shraya, a major figure in Téa’s writing career since she was signed to VS. Books, an imprint of Arsenal Pulp Press founded by Shraya herself.
Attending #FestofAuthors18 as a Delegate, Khalida Hassan, who was a finalist for the 2018 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Authors, was drawn to events reflecting on certain questions that all writers are likely to encounter at some point during their creative process: Why this story? Why this form? Why write at all?