Preview: LitFest. Edmonton’s Nonfiction Festival

LitFest-2clr-cmyk-smallLitFest starts tomorrow! If you are thinking, “But Laura, it’s a nonfiction festival, and you barely read any nonfiction,” rest assured, LitFest organizers are pretty flexible about including authors who write all types of books, and, as a blogger, I can (maybe, almost) call myself a nonfiction writer too. Plus, I was fortunate enough to win tickets to a couple of events, so it’s a no-brainer! Here are the events I’m attending, and my top three picks for the rest of the festival.

I’m attending these events:

  1. ME ME ME! From the website: Finally. An event about the most important person in the world — YOU! Get your very own one-sentence biography from a professional author, have a photo shoot, and hear bits of brilliant memoir that will be featured later at LitFest.  Your host is the extraordinary Bridget Ryan. Oct. 16, 5:30 pm, at Bohemia.

    This is sorely needed, as my go-to pictures online are a blurry selfie and a picture from about four years ago. I’m also terrible at bios.

  1. via

    Lawrence HIll. via

    Writing in Blood: From the websiteA writer’s family is both rich source material and a minefield, especially when the material remains nonfiction instead of being transformed into fiction. This panel – Jenna Butler, Lawrence Hill and Jessica Kluthe, with moderator Elizabeth Withey – discusses their personal experiences, and offers their thoughts for others shaping a family memoir. Oct. 26, 2pm, Stanley Milner Theatre

    I’m reading Hill’s The Book of Negros right now and it’s blowing me away. I will be purchasing a paper copy so I can get it signed. I’m excited to see the other authors too. Jessica Kluthe, of course, wrote the powerful memoir Rosina the Midwife. I heard Jenna Butler read from her book of poetry, Seldom Seen Road, at the NeWest Press Spring Spectacular earlier this year. And I love Elizabeth Withey’s One Hundred Widows project – stories about earrings with no mates. Sounds weird but the execution is beautiful.

My picks of the other events:

  1. CLC Brown Bag Reading Series featuring Todd Babiak on Wednesday Oct. 23, and Lawrence Hill on Friday Oct. 25, both at noon, both in the student lounge at the Old Arts Building, University of Alberta. No explanation needed, right? It’s free and it’s two awesome authors! I hope to make it to one or both of these.
  2. Dan Savage. Oct. 21, 7pm, Winspear Centre. I used to read his column in Vue (or was it See?) along with Josey Vogels’ “My Messy Bedroom” while riding the bus to and from University, hoping that people didn’t think I was checking out the escort ads. I’d love to see Savage say “DTMF” in person.
  3. Digital Tools for Writers with Omar Mouallem, Saturday Oct. 26 at 10am, Stanley Milner Library. Really sad I’m going to miss this one.  Someone go and take notes, okay? It’s free!

See you there, #yegwrites peeps!



  1. Libarbarian

    Hi Laura. I hope you can make it out to St. Albert for STARFest – the St. Albert Readers’ Festival. We partner with LitFest for nonfiction authors but bring in fiction writers on our own. This Thursday evening we have Helen Humphreys (Nocturne) in conversation with Diana Davidson (Pilgrimage). Saturday at 2pm we have Trevor Cole (Practical Jean) and Anakana Schofield (Malarky) in conversation with Michael Hingston (The Dilettantes). Sunday at 7 we have Andrew Pyper (The Demonologist) in conversation with Paul Matwychuk.

    Next week we have Linda Spalding (The Purchase) hosted by Jean Crozier on October 22, Cathy Marie Buchanan (The Painted Girls) on October 23 and Todd Babiak (Come Barbarians) hosted by Anne Bailey on October 25.

    Tickets are all $10 but the awesome thing about STARFest is that includes snacks, wine or beer. Our events are fun and convivial. Information here:

  2. Pingback: Fall Preview Part II: Three literary festivals and a giveaway | Reading in Bed

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s