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Eden Mills Writers’ Festival announces 2018 lineup

Whether you are an avid reader or hoping to spark a new interest in reading, the festival can provide a whole new way to access the world of literature
Eden Mills

On Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, book-lovers of all ages will descend upon the village of Eden Mills to lounge in sloped backyards at the edge of the Eramosa River, and enjoy the luxury of being read to by their favourite authors.

For 30 years, the residents of Eden Mills have hosted a who’s who of Canadian literature in a setting that Guelph/Eramosa Township Mayor Chris White says, “makes folks feel like they have been dropped into a 19th century English novel.”

The EMWF has been beloved in the Guelph/Eramosa communities for 3 decades, drawing in locals and visitors alike. A one-of-a-kind event, the EMWF is a showcase for CanLit legends and rising literary stars, featuring reading sets dedicated to young readers, young adult readers, French audiences, as well as fans of poetry, creative non-fiction and more. “The 2018 EMWF has something for everyone,” says Kim Lang, Artistic Director.

Whether you are an avid book reader or are hoping to spark a new interest in reading, the EMWF can provide a whole new way to access the world of literature. The festival is a fantastic opportunity to support Canadian writers and tour the worlds they have created with their work.

In recognition of the 30th anniversary, the EMWF has assembled a stellar lineup for Festival Sunday, including Madeleine Thien, Rawi Hage, Esi Edugyan, Sheila Heti, Thomas King, Dennis Lee, Cherie Dimaline, and recently-announced Griffin Poetry Prize winner Billy-Ray Belcourt.

Well-known authors aren’t the only ones supported by the festival. The EMWF also provides the opportunity for aspiring (or modestly published) writers to read their work on Sunday, Sept. 9 through “Read at the Fringe”, one of several contests the festival offers. Many writers who have presented return in following years as published authors. You could be saying “I saw them before they were famous!” Or, you could be reading your work – apply by June 30.

Rounding out the weekend is a series of events guaranteed to excite both readers and writers. Dan Needles, “Canada’s funniest farmer,” kicks things off at the 30th anniversary celebration on Friday, Sept. 7 in Eden Mills, and authors Sheila Heti and Craig Davidson (aka Nick Cutter) host writing workshops in Guelph on Saturday, Sept. 8.

The EMWF is thrilled to welcome beloved Canadian icon Jann Arden to the University of Guelph, also on Saturday, Sept. 8. The multiple Juno award-winning singer-songwriter will share her story and explore the inspiration behind her memoirs, including Feeding My Mother.

A detailed schedule of events can be found at

If there’s one year of the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival you don’t want to miss, it’s this one!

Jann Arden, Feeding My Mother (Random House, 2017)
Katherine Ashenburg, Sofie & Cecilia (Knopf, 2018)
Sharon Bala, The Boat People (Penguin Random House, 2018)
Billy-Ray Belcourt, This Wound is a World (Frontenac House, 2017)
Dave Bidini, Midnight Light (Penguin Random House, 2018)
Carol Rose Daniels, Hiraeth (Inanna Publications, 2018)
Craig Davidson, Saturday Night Ghost Club (Penguin Random House/Knopf, 2018)
Julie Demers, Little Beast (Coach House, 2018)
Claudia Dey, Heartbreaker (HarperCollins, 2018)  
Esi Edugyan, Washington Black (HarperCollins, 2018)
Omar El Akkad, American War (Penguin Random House, 2017)
Kim Fu, The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore (HarperCollins, 2018)
Brian Goldman, The Power of Kindness (HarperCollins, 2018)
David Goudreault, Mama’s Boy (Book*hug, 2018)
Rawi Hage, Beirut Hellfire Society (Knopf, 2018)
Kate Harris, Lands of Lost Borders (Knopf, 2018)
Sheila Heti, Motherhood (Knopf, 2018)
Thomas King, Cold Skies (HarperCollins, 2018)
A.F. Moritz, The Sparrow (House of Anansi, 2018)
Iain Reid, Foe (Simon & Schuster, 2018)
Waubgeshig Rice, Moon of the Crusted Snow (ECW, 2018)
Nathan Ripley (pen name of Naben Ruthnum), Find You in the Dark (Simon & Schuster, 2018)
Peter Robinson, Sleeping on the Ground (McClelland & Stewart, 2017)
Heidi Sopinka, Dictionary of Animal Languages (Hamish Hamilton, 2018)
Amy Stuart, Still Water (Simon & Schuster, 2018)
Claire Tacon, In Search of the Perfect Singing Flamingo (Wolsak & Wynn, 2018)
Madeleine Thien, Do Not Say We Have Nothing (Penguin Random House, 2016)
Kim Thuy, Vi (Penguin Random House, 2018)
Tom Wilson, Beautiful Scars (Doubleday, 2017)  

Karen Bass, Two Times a Traitor (Pajama Press, 2017)
Gillian Chan, The Disappearance (The Cooke Agency, 2017
Natasha Deen, Game’s End (Yellow Dog, 2017)
Cherie Dimaline, The Marrow Thieves (Dancing Cat Books, 2017)
Lesley Livingston, Defiant (HarperCollins, 2018)
Marsha Skrypuch, Don’t Tell the Enemy (Scholastic, 2017)

Sigmund Brouwer, Innocent Heroes (Penguin Random House, 2017)
Lana Button, My Teachers’ Not Here (Kids Can Press, 2018)
Dennis Lee, Good Night, Good Night (HarperCollins, 2018)
Casey Lyall, Inky’s Great Escape (Sterling Publishing, 2017)
Sylvia McNicoll, The Snake Mistake Mystery, (Dundrun, 2018)
Brad Woods (storyteller)


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