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Shuswap’s Word on the Lake Writers’ Festival welcomes stellar cast of presenters

Event will take place at Sorrento Centre April 29 to May 1
The Sorrento Centre will be home to this year’s Word on the Lake Writers’ Festival, April 29 to May 1. (Jim Cooperman photo)

Barb Brouwer


The way authors write and readers read has changed dramatically since the day of quill and ink pot. But the ability of words to educate, evoke emotion or take readers on journeys to another time and place remains the same.

This power of words is celebrated every year by the Shuswap Association of Writers in the annual Word on the Lake Writers’ Festival – this year at the beautiful Sorrento Centre.

From April 29 to May 1, 12 presenters will share their talent in relaxed sessions that include both skill development workshops and open forums.

This year’s stellar cast includes:

• National and international award-winning author Gail Anderson-Dargatz writes best-selling books in several different genres, teaches and mentors. She will be a keynote speaker and present two workshops.

• Kelley Armstrong has published 31 fantasy novels, three middle-grade fantasy novels and is the author of three crime novels. She has also written several serial novellas and short stories.

• With nearly 20 years experience in the publishing industry, Anna Comfort O’Keeffe is publisher at Douglas & McIntyre, directing the development of the company’s national publishing program.

• Charles Demers is a comedian, author and voice actor. He is a regular performer on CBC radio’s “The Debaters,” is one of the stars of two Emmy-winning Netflix animated series and his iTunes Canada #1-selling stand-up album was nominated for a 2018 Juno Award.

• A much-anticipated presenter and keynote speaker, Dr. Norma Dunning is a proud Inuk writer, scholar, researcher and grandmother. She is a professor at the University of Alberta and in 2021, won the Governor General’s Award for her short story collection Tainna: The Unseen Ones.

• Scott Fitzgerald Gray is a writer of fantasy and speculative fiction, a fiction editor, a story editor and an editor and designer of roleplaying games.

Anne Fleming is a B.C. fiction writer, poet, and children’s author whose writing has been shortlisted for the Governor-General’s Award, among others. She teaches at UBC’s Okanagan Campus.

Kat Montagu‘s latest book dropped in paperback in December 2020 and was an Amazon Bestseller in three categories within a few days. It is now being used to teach screenwriting all over the world.

• TMusician Ed Peekeekoot takes people on a wildly varied musical journey. His blazing guitar work to foot-stomping fiddle and haunting Native flute are sprinkled with his Cree humour and philosophy.

• Jacqueline Turner is the author of a book of poetic philosophy that critics call, “a quiet tornado: riveting, expansive, and profoundly moving on multiple levels.”

She is a writing specialist at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

• Ian Weir is a multiple award-winning playwright, screenwriter, TV showrunner and novelist.

• Sam Wiebe is the award-winning author of the Wakeland novels. His original film/tv projects have been optioned and his short stories have appeared in a variety of places.

Learn more about all the presenters and get details of the festival online at

Early registration and the savings that go with it end on April 10. Those who register before the April 10 deadline will be entered in a draw for a gift basket containing $200 worth of local products. The draw will take place on April 11. Regular Registration continues until April 24.

Read more: Author, mentor: Shuswap’s Gail Anderson-Dargatz to host pair of workshops at writers’ fest

Read more: ‘You are my hope’: Author Norma Dunning presenter at Shuswap writers’ festival
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