Festival

Program Overview

Presented by the PEI Writers’ Guild, Innovation PEI, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the City of Charlottetown and more, this four-day literary experience includes author workshops facilitated by some of Canada’s most established writers in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and storytelling. 

We will also be rounding out our workshops with panel sessions, where industry professionals will speak to current and emerging publishing trends, the publishing industry in 2021, and marketing and branding solutions for authors. Some will be in person, some will be virtual, and all will be sure to electrify and inspirit both emerging and established writers, and readers.

For the 2021 Schedule, please download below. Ready to register? Please click here: REGISTER

Wild Threads Literary Festival 2021 will be taking place in Charlottetown from Thursday August 26th-Sunday August 29th, 2021
 

Festival Workshops

Terrilee Bulger
Jared Bland

WORKSHOP FEATURES

Creating Unforgettable Moments in YA  | Andre Fenton  
WEBINAR | Saturday, Aug 28th,  9-10:15

Young Adult Fiction is a genre filled with teenage angst, awkward moments, and personal growth, all while learning the best parts about yourself. In this versatile writing workshop with Andre Fenton, we will look at ways to create moments in your story that carry emotional weight with a focus on character development, atmosphere, and scenery. Have a cast of characters in mind? Bring them along! Wanna start from scratch? We can do that too! This will be an inclusive space that is supportive for emerging and established writers.

Poetry of the Breath | Trevor Corkum & Joshua Lewis
HAVILAND CLUB | Friday, 11-12 pm & Saturday, 9-10:15 am

Exploring the connection between self-expression, language, and body awareness, Poetry of the Breath is an all-ages, accessible workshop designed to connect writing and mindfulness. Using writing prompts, guided breathing, and a sense of playful discovery, this workshop is a perfect fit for both new and experienced writers, or just the simply curious. No previous writing or movement experience necessary. Our aim is to connect the seeds of creative expression with the experience of embodied being in the world, using curiosity and mindfulness to explore how various movement and breathing activities impact our writing practice.

The Courage Room: Writing and Health For The Body-Mind-Spirit | Karen Connelly
WEBINAR | Saturday, Aug 28th 3-4 pm

Being (or becoming) a writer is an enriching, endlessly engaging pursuit. But it’s not easy. There’s the interior struggle for self-esteem. The exterior battle to the win the space, time and energy to write. Imposter syndrome. Creative wounds. Old traumas and PTSD, which are often reactivated in writing. An aching back. Sore wrists. Churning stomach. Scattered attention . . . The list goes on, and on! Most of us can add at least two or three of our own personal challenges to the litany.

In this session, Karen reviews a few of the most common challenges to writers’ mental and physical health, and provides some accessible practices and suggestions for creating more ease and resilience in every creative person’s life. The Courage Room™ is the name of her counselling practice and Creativity Collective, and it’s also her approach to thinking about our bodies-minds-spirits as we write: each one of us is a courage room. Writing, she believes, is always an act of courage.

Elephants in the Living room & Skeletons in the Closet: Writing about Family | Eufemia Fantetti
WEBINAR | Friday, 3-4 pm

For writers interested in crafting a memoir, writing about family can be an obstacle that may delay putting pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard. The act of telling stories from our past could be fraught with tension or feel like a betrayal simply because the memories involve other individuals connected to our experiences. The workshop will offer insight into the process of working with memories and the need for self-care strategies, and also includes suggested readings. Participants are asked to come prepared to engage in writing prompts and to have selected one photo to use for a writing exercise.  

Mystery Workshop | Cynthia Good
WEBINAR  | Saturday, Aug 28th, 1:30-2:30 pm

A quick look at the bestsellers list reveals an abundance of mysteries. And although the popularity of sub genres may change, mysteries/crime/thrillers are perennial favourites. And many Canadians are international best sellers! What accounts for this extraordinary popularity? What attracts us to reading about murder, violence, even evil?

In this workshop, we will look at the history of the genre, and the evolution of the mystery to its current forms. We will discuss and examine the elements of writing that lead to success. And for those working on their own mysteries, there will be the opportunity to pitch their idea, or read their copy.

So, whether you are a reader of mysteries or a writer of them, whether you prefer Nordic Noir or Malice Domestic, this opportunity to delve into this most popular genre is for you.


Writing As a Call to Action | El Jones
HAVILAND CLUB  | Saturday, 3-4 pm

Looking to find your voice? This workshop with El Jones will explore the words, language and platforms of resistance, how best to get your message across, and how to use collaboration as a tool to further cultural and community connection.

Writing for Children |  Deirdre Kessler
HAVILAND GREAT ROOM | Friday, August 27, 9-10:15 a.m.

Participants will write short pieces of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction geared for children in a series of timed exercises developed by a skilled teacher. Surprise yourself with what you write.


The Legacy of LM Montgomery | Deirdre Kessler
Saturday, August 28, 3-4 pm

Participants will write two-minute responses to short passages of Montgomery’s journals, fiction, and poetry and engage in dialogue about Montgomery’s lasting influence.

Deirdre Kessler teaches creative writing, children’s literature, and the course on L.M. Montgomery with UPEI’s Department of English and is a recipient of a UPEI Award for Teaching Excellence. She is the author of over two dozen books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.


Inclusive Language in Editing | Christine Gordon Manley
HAVILAND | Thursday, August 26 1:00pm–2:30pm

Language evolves, and the way we use words matter. The phrase “do no harm” also applies to writers and those who work with words. Join Editors Canada member and freelance editor Christine Gordon Manley for an overview of inclusive language best practises. Participants will learn inclusive language strategies for a range of areas (e.g., race, ability, sexuality, body image). Please note: Christine will be referencing inclusive style guides developed by industry professionals during this session.


Editing: Working with Book Length Texts | Christine Gordon Manley
HAVILAND | Friday, August 27. 9:00am–10:15am

You’ve finished your manuscript—fantastic! Now what? Join Editors Canada member and freelance editor Christine Gordon Manley for an overview of the book editing process. This session will touch on DIY editing tips for book-length manuscripts at both the structural and copyediting level. Participants will learn tools and strategies for conducting a thorough self-edit, saving them time and money before hiring a professional.

Introduction to Self Publishing | Patti Larsen
HAVILAND |  Saturday, August 28th 9-10:15 am,

Introduction to Self Publishing with Patti Larsen In this short course on becoming an independently published author, USA Today bestselling, multiple award-winning and full time indie author Patti Larsen will share the step-by-step facts and how-tos on what you need to do in order to set yourself and your publishing business up for success.

Perfecting the Pitch | Shaun Bradley
HAVILAND | Friday, August 27th

You’ve spent years working on your manuscript, and now you’re ready to show it to the world. Congratulations! But how do you covey the depth and scope of your complex work in just two or three sentences! Pitching your project can feel counterintuitive, awkward, and superficial, but it’s an unavoidable part of the writing life.  Every pitch can be unique, but there are basic components and key pitfalls to avoid.  Let’s talk about how to put your best foot forward every time you pitch, whether it be to an agent, a publisher, or a film producer. 

One-on-One Pitch Sessions | Shaun Bradley
Sunday, August 29th, 2021

You’ve written your book and you’ve crafted your pitches.  But is your presentation exactly right? Are you conveying the most focused elements of your work?  Will anyone be interested?

Practice makes perfect! Rehearsing your pitches on friends and family is a great way to gain confidence — after all, they are your most supportive and enthusiastic audience! But they might not be comfortable critiquing your presentation.  As a bridge to the big leagues, sit down one-on-one with a publishing professional to talk about your book and perfect your presentation.  Together we can fine-tune your message, tease out those little gems of information that can make a pitch really sing, and help you to be your very best in the high stakes pitching arena. 

Eco-Fiction | David Hubert
HAVILAND | Friday, August 27th 9-10:!5

How can we do nature writing thirty years after Bill McKibben declared “the end of nature”? Is the wild out there, or just in our heads? Why do stories always tend to wander through the deep-dark woods? How can we start to decolonize nature-writing tropes? After a theoretical introduction situating story aswilderness and a hands-on writing exercise, this workshop will offer some techniques and strategies for engaging with wild people, critters, and spaces in fiction writing.

Wild Threads Morning Yoga | Terrilee Bulger 
CHARLOTTETOWN YOGA SPACE | Friday, August 27th 7-8:15 and Saturday, August 28th, 7-8:15.

Join General Manager of Nimbus Publishing Terrilee Bulger, as she leads a gentle yoga class on Friday and Saturday morning. A yoga teacher for several years, Terrilee finds yoga perfect to couple with the writing lifestyle. In this class, participants will awaken the mind, declutter the body, and fuel the soul. Suitable for beginners, yoga mat is needed.

Personal and Professional Branding & Marketing to Audience | Patti Larsen
HAVILAND CLUB  | Sunday, August 29th 10-12 pm.

Marketing doesn’t have to be daunting or complicated. Join award winning and bestselling author, Patti Larsen, for a comprehensive look at what works, what doesn’t and what’s changing in the world of marketing and branding yourself and your work. With over a decade of experience as a full time writer making a living from her work, Larsen will simplify the mystery of marketing and branding, advertising and trends while helping you find the right strategy for your projects.

ART TALKS




Deep Diving: Songwriting as Medicine | Tara MacLean
OLD TRIANGLE | Saturday, August 28th 11-12 pm

This workshop is an interactive conversation about how songwriting can be done by anyone as a way to access and move internal emotional blockages. Songwriting is a healing modality that I have used as a life raft for 35 years to make sense of my experience of the world. Now, more than ever, songs are pushing at us from inside, asking to be released into a world that deeply needs them.


What I learned from a thesaurus: the tools and toils of poetry | Tanya Davis
UPSTREET CRAFT BREWING | Friday, August 27th 11-12 pm

Join poet and performer Tanya Davis as she examines the merits of her favourite book, the thesaurus, which is not only a tool but a portal to clearer writing, fewer clichés, and new ways of understanding. Like a thesaurus, this artist talk may take you in many directions (what does that mean? what does that mean?). Like a complete sentence, it seeks a concise point—language is powerful and, in our search for the perfect word, we need to wield it with care.

FESTIVAL PANELS

THE LAUREATES | CHARLOTTETOWN YACHT CLUB
THURSDAY, AUG 26TH, 2021, 6:15 pm.


Join Poet Laureates past & present Deirdre Kessler, Tanya Davis & Julie Pellissier Lush for an intimate conversation about the pleasures and perils of the position. Moderated by Jane Ledwell, this discussion will delve into how poety connects to the community—as comfort, celebrant, and witness. 


ASK A PUBLISHER (A VIRTUAL IN-CONVERSATION)
FRIDAY, AUGUST 27th, 1:30-2:30 pm

Jared Bland, Publisher at McClelland & Stewart does a deep dive into the post-COVID publishing industry, and looks at the coming trends in publishing in 2021. In this Q&A format, writers will be invited to submit to the questions to a PEIWG moderator and hopefully gain some clarity on the publishing process, from querying and editorial selection through to a successful book launch.


REGIONAL PUBLISHING PANEL | ST PAUL’S CHURCH
FRIDAY, AUG 27TH, 4:30-5:15

Atlantic publishers Bren Simmers of Island Studies Press and Terrilee Bulger of Nimbus and Acorn join us to talk about trends in the region. Moderated by Island writer John Flood, this panel examines how Atlantic publishers are the same as larger publishers, how they’re different, or as we say in PEI – whether it all comes out in the wash. 


FIRST PAGE CHALLENGE | TRAILSIDE MUSIC HALL
SATURDAY, AUGUST 28TH, 2021, 4:30-5:30

Have a piece already started? Time to get it checked out by our panel of experts. Genevieve Loughlin from Acorn Press, Lori Mayne from the University of PEI and Shaun Bradley from Transatlantic Literary Agency will all tell you what they like to see and hear on the page. This lively in-conversation is designed to give writers a few ideas and they head home to their own work. Keep posted for our submission guidelines and deadline.

SPECIAL EVENTS

OPENING RECEPTION | PEAKE’S QUAY SIDE PATIO
Thursday, Aug 26th, 4-6 pm

Come join the Wild Threads Artistic direction & Coordinator for a warm welcome to Wild Threads Literary Festival, 2021. Here you can mingle with other writers, talk about which workshops and panels you are looking forward to, or gain a sympathetic ear for you Work-In-Progress.

WILD THREADS INSPIRED PUBLIC READINGS
St. Pauls Church | Friday, August 27th, 8-10 pm

Taking place at St. Paul’s historic church in downtown Charlottetown, this free event and public reading celebrates the best of our literary community. Join Nova Scotia’s eco-fiction writer, David Huebert and the winner of PEI’s first Scott Parsons Island Literary Award, Deborah Langston as we celebrate some breakthrough writing. Opening by Julie Pellisser Lush, moderated by George Arsenault, and featuring musical guest, Charlottetown’s own Tara MacLean.   

WILD THREADS CABARET NIGHT
Trailside Music Hall | Saturday, August 28th 8-10 pm

It’s time to showcase our talent at PEI’s very own Trailside Music Hall. We’ve united an all star cast of poets, musicians and performers for this Wild Threads first. Featuring singer-songwriter Tara MacLean, Halifax’s own performance poet El Jones, musician and poet Tanya Davis, and blues artist Logan Richard. Fraser McCallum will be our emcee for what’s sure to be a very dynamic and wordsy event.


OPEN MIC & SOCIAL | 
The Old Triangle | Sunday Aug 29th, 3-5 pm


You’ve talked about your work all weekend, now it’s time to give us a taste. Ten readers will be able to sign up for the Wild Threads Participant’s Open Mic to read for five minutes each. Watch for our sign-up sheet throughout the weekend.