Maritime Canada Author Events

Scrolling through Facebook this morning, I came across a notice from my favourite author, Diana Gabaldon. She’s coming to the Atlantic Provinces IN A FEW DAYS!! I didn’t know this and I’m gutted because she’s going to be speaking and signing in Halifax on Wednesday and it’s already sold out. Crap.

Anyway. For fans of hers and for fans of Canadian authors in general, this weekend, April 29-30, she will be at The Frye Festival in Moncton, New Brunswick.  From their website “The Frye Festival is Canada’s only bilingual international literary festival and the largest literary event in Atlantic Canada. The Frye Festival offers the best of local, Canadian and international authors, including children’s authors, graphic novelists, storytellers, poets, playwrights, spoken-word artists and more.”

I wish I had known about this before now. I likely would have made plans to go and see Ms. Gabaldon and I know I would have enjoyed the opportunity to find some great Canadian authors and books. This festival has been going all week and has featured a few other authors that I know of and have read, Wayne Grady, Zoe Whittall, Ami McKay and Madeleine Thien. I must make a note somewhere to remind myself to check out this festival and the authors that will be attending next year. I have a friend in Moncton where I can stay. Not sure if my husband would be interested but he’d go anyway, if I wanted to.

Ms. Gabaldon is appearing on Sunday, April 30 at the Delta Beauséjour at 1 p.m. Details here on ticket prices and how to get them.  She will also be at the grand opening, the Soirée Frye, with three other authors, including Madeleine Thien (Do Not Say We Have Nothing, excellent book btw).  Saturday afternoon, she’s lecturing at a conference about Imagination and the Writing Life but that is already sold out.

Then she’s in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on Monday, May 1 doing a reading, Q&A and signing for Reading Town  in conjunction with the National Reading Campaign, at the Delta Prince Edward hotel at 7:30. Tickets are $15 plus tax and available at Bookmarks. I don’t know the status of sell out, you can contact: 902-566-4888 or e-mail at

Her last stop is in Halifax at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium on Wednesday, May 3 but as I mentioned, that event seems to be sold out according to the ticket purchase site.  You could contact the Dalhousie Arts Centre box office at (902) 494-3820   or 1-800-874-1669 in case of returns or last minute tickets that weren’t picked up perhaps.

Literary Event: Read by the Sea

Penguin Randomhouse’s website is a wealth of information about Canadian authors and events. It’s a good place to look to find if there are any events near you featuring your favourite authors. I had a glance this morning and discovered that there is an event in my province, Nova Scotia, on July 8 in the small community of River John called Read by the Sea. It’s a literary festival that takes place at the Royal Canadian Legion Memorial Garden from 11 a.m. onwards.

mementoCurrently, they have three authors scheduled. I’ve only heard of one, Lesley Crewe. I read a book by her recently and really liked it and I’ve borrowed a stack of books from my cousin by her.  The other two authors are Christy-Ann Conlin and Dean Jobb. I’m not familiar with either of them. Conlin has a new novel out called The Memento which sounds quite good, a sort of gothic ghost story/coming of age thing.  Her first novel, published in 2002, Heave, also sounds wonderful. It seems to have had a lot of awards and acclaim.

I don’t know Dean Jobb’s work either.  He’s written a book, Empire of Deception,  about a con man in Chicago, Leo Koretz, who’s scam reaped millions of dollars he swindled from people on the premise of their investing in non existent timberland and oil fields back in the early 20th century. It crashed around him in 1923 and he tried to escape to Nova Scotia. He was the Bernie Madoff of his time.  Jobb has also written a number of books about various true crime cases in Nova Scotia’s past, a book about the Westray Mining disaster of 1992, and one about the story of the Expulsion of the Acadians from Nova Scotia by the new English rulers of the province in 1755.

The festival is apparently going to have another author added but it has not been confirmed yet. River John is a small community on the Northumberland Straight, the body of water between Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. It isn’t too far from the larger town of Pictou and Caribou Island from where the ferry to PEI leaves.  It’s a pretty spot. I’ve been there once to a wedding. Less than a 2 hour drive from Halifax, it might be a nice day out. I guess we can decide closer to the day. I’ll have time to read more of the Lesley Crewe books before then as well.

The website hasn’t been updated yet for the 2017 schedule of events but judging from last year’s, they have a theme with readings by the authors in the morning and afternoon. Lunch can be bought on site from food vans or you can bring your own, with live background music for atmosphere. There’s also a Q&A with all of the authors later in the afternoon and a prize draw. The festival has been in place since 2000 and it looks to have attracted some very high profile Canadian authors including Margaret Atwood, Linden MacIntyre, Michael Crummey, Donna Morrissey and more. I’m impressed!

River John is also hosting Wordplay, a similar festival for children on Monday, July 3, 2017, from 1 to 3:30 p.m.) at Mabel Murple’s Dreamery and Book Shoppe on Allen Street,  outside on the grounds. Isn’t that a fab name for a bookstore?