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Northwords in full gear

Ben Morgan
Northern News Services
Published Friday, June 13, 2008

SOMBA K'E/YELLOWKNIFE - It's all about being creative. The third annual Northword Writers Festival is back in Yellowknife and this year's itinerary will have participants eager and hungry for more.

From June 12-14 prestigious writers from across Canada will host workshops, mentorships, panels and more.

The authors will tell stories in discussion groups and sign and sell the books that made them famous throughout the event; a celebration of the history and the tales of the North.

The annual event was scheduled to begin yesterday with readings by Lesley Choyce and Jennifer Storm at the library.

Richard Van Camp was to host a barbecue at the Ski Club with readings and story-telling from the likes of Bernice Morgan, Anita Daher and Yellowknifer Pat Braden.

Last night at Javaroma during an open-mic, novelist Michael Crummey and other featured writers planned to mingle with coffee drinkers and tell stories.

De Beers Canada - a major sponsor of the festival - was to treat everyone to dessert afterward.

The mic will be opened at Javaroma again tonight, when local columnist and writer Annelise Pool hosts an evening of story-telling centered on Yellowknife.

The NWT's own Tyler Heal, Fran Hurcombe and Walt Humphries will start the night for the group and then ask anyone from the coffeehouse crowd to join in on the fun.

So get ready to share your stories.

Tomorrow morning a workshop focused on the electronic age of writing will be hosted by Cathy Jewison.

She will talk about how blogs, websites and the Internet have changed the way stories are told and retold.

It's a 9 a.m. start at the Aurora College campus, followed by a panel discussion about how Facebook and MySpace websites are changing the face of the writing world.

Panel discussions will take place throughout the day at the campus including question and answer sessions.

The Yellowknife Book Cellar will host a barbecue at noon.

Participants will have a chance to meet their favorite authors and get signed copies of their books; an opportunity to share a laugh or two and learn more about the tremendous talents at this year's event.

The festival wraps up with a grand finale at Northern Arts and Culture Centre at 8 p.m. when Daher hosts the DeBeers Canada Gala Reading.

It should be an emotional end to a fantastic celebration of Northern writing, history and story-telling.

Festival headliners will read from their most recent works, which will be a guaranteed highlight of this celebration of writing - and reading.

The festival's third year is certain to include some rich and passionate interaction between some of the best writers around and the readers who love to read their work.