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Same venue, different format for this year's Book Bash Festival, says organizer

This year, the Book Bash Festival is celebrating its fifth anniversary
2017 10 15 GT - Book Bash Festival – TB 01
File photo from the 2017 Book Bash at Lakeside HOPE House. Troy Bridgeman for

Although it started off as a one-off event, a local literary festival for Guelph and area authors is now celebrating its fifth anniversary.

The 2018 Book Bash Festival, a celebration of Guelph books, will return to Lakeside HOPE House on Oct. 14 for the one-day literary event.

“I had no idea we would make it this far,” said Jeremy Luke Hill, Book Bash organizer and publisher of Guelph’s Vocamus Press. “I didn’t think we would have enough to do a second one, but every year there are people putting out books in the area.”

More than 40 local books will be recognized at this year’s event, with over 30 authors introducing their titles and chatting with guests.

Because the event is celebrating a range of books published in the last year, Hill said there is something for everyone.

Food and drink make the event more social than some other book festivals.

“Let’s have a chance to meet each other and see what our neighbours are writing and shake a hand. It’s just a more relaxed approach to books,” said Hill.

Catering for the event this year will be provided by the Community Eatery, a youth-led social enterprise recently started at HOPE House. 

“They will be doing fancy kettle chips of various kinds — sweet potato and parsnip and all kinds of crazy kettle chips,” said Hill.

The event moved to Lakeside HOPE House last year after having been held at Red Papaya restaurant the previous two years.

Being in HOPE House offers the Book Bash to highlight its charitable partner Action Read, which is located in the basement of the former church.

The Book Bash is free, but any donations made during the event will go toward Action Read, a community literacy centre.

“It gives us a chance to steer traffic their way,” said Hill. “And it lets people see where their donations are going, if they choose to do that.”

This year, the festival moves to new format with one featured author, instead of allowing all of the authors time to introduce their works. Hill said this will offer attendees more time to mingle.

This year’s featured author is novelist Catherine Bush.

Aside from the 30 or more authors expected at the event, Hill said to expect local micropublishers, literary organizations, book stores and libraries to be in attendance.

The 2018 Book Bash Festival will run Oct. 14 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Lakeside Hope House on Cork Street East. The festival is presented by Vocamus Writers Community, a non-profit community organization supporting book culture in Guelph and surrounding area, and by Action Read.



Kenneth Armstrong

About the Author: Kenneth Armstrong

Kenneth Armstrong is a news reporter and photojournalist who regularly covers municipal government, business and politics and photographs events, sports and features.
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