Paper Covers Rock festival runs this weekend

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A new annual readers and writers festival will feature author readings and workshops on Salt Spring on the Oct. 1 to 3 weekend.

Paper Covers Rock was launched by its founder Terri Potratz this spring with online workshops held on March 5, 6 and 7. This weekend’s offerings will shift mainly to in-person events.

Exceptions are two virtual workshops on Oct. 1. Vancouver historian Aaron Chapman will run through an entertaining and informative account of the city sleuthing he achieved for books like Liquor, Lust and the Law and Vancouver After Dark. Western Living & Vancouver Magazine editor-at-large Stacey McLachlan will lead an online workshop on The Art of the Pitch, designed not only for freelance magazine writers but also aspiring novelists who want some general pitch pointers.

At 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1, caregivers and children are welcome for a free reading at the Salt Spring Public Library program room. Jenn Wint, columnist for the Vancouver Mom Book Club, will read a selection of titles from B.C. children’s book authors, including a few book giveaways. Pre-registration is recommended to reserve a seat.

A reading with Cedar Bowers, who was just longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize for her debut novel Astra, will take place from 3 to 4 p.m. on Friday at the library event room. This is a ticketed event and includes a reading and Q&A.

In-person workshops run throughout Saturday and Sunday, and are limited to 12 participants maximum. In addition to general admission tickets, a pay-what-you-can option is in place for each workshop.

Aislinn Hunter, author of The Certainties, will suggest aspects of craft and creative strategies that can enhance a writer’s engagement with their real-life subject matter. This workshop will especially appeal to poets and non-fiction writers, or fiction writers with an interest in place or historical events.

For memoir writers, Darrel McLeod will walk participants through seven specific techniques for taking their writing to a deeper level with respect to the development of characters, scenes, plot and rich descriptions. McLeod’s latest novel — Peyakow: Reclaiming Cree Dignity — is a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writer’s Trust Prize for Nonfiction. This book is the follow-up memoir to Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age.

Local author and professor Natalie Meisner is leading a fun, hands-on workshop for people to create their own short play for audio, podcast, digital or other new formats. This workshop will combine a discussion of key topics in contemporary dramatic writing with focused live creative exercises to help writers sharpen an existing idea or invent a new one.

Cecily Nicholson won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry for Wayside Sang, and is presenting a workshop on Sense of Place. This will include visual, aural and haptic examples from contemporary art to gain new perspective and insight into writing practices.

Alexandria King, local author of The Moon in You, is facilitating healing through writing about memorable moments in one’s life, with breathing exercises and journaling as guidance.

And finally, local comedy writer Thomas John will help sharpen satirical skills as his workshop participants learn about comedic shortcuts and writing styles and come out all the funnier for it.

A free happy hour reception sponsored by Salt Spring Books will take place on Saturday, Oct. 2. This event will be held outdoors, and is subject to weather conditions. All registered festival attendees will receive event details and location via email. The store is also offering discounts as well as signed copies of books by Paper Covers Rock speakers.

Potratz has recently incorporated Paper Covers Rock as a non-profit society in B.C.

See the www.papercoversrock.ca website for more information and to register for events.

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