Visit the IFOA Bookstore & Meet the Authors at their Signing!

Searching for an opportunity to buy your next favourite book and get it signed by its creator?
IFOA will be operating a bookstore at the Festival Hub in the Marilyn Brewer Community Space at Harbourfront Centre! Check out the Signing Schedule and come meet the authors you admire!

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IFOA Bookstore Hours
Thursday, October 20      5:30pm-9pm
Friday, October 21           5:30pm-9pm
Saturday, October 22       12pm-10pm
Sunday, October 23         11am-7pm
Monday, October 24         7pm-10pm
Tuesday, October 25        1pm-8:30pm
Wednesday, October 26   5pm-10pm
Thursday, October 27       1pm-10pm
Friday, October 28             5:30pm-10pm
Sunday, October 30           10am-7pm

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An Excerpt from Best of Writers & Company by Eleanor Wachtel

Best of Writers & Company, Eleanor Wachtel Wachtel Eleanor

Interview with Alice Munro.

Excerpt from pages 206-207.

WACHTEL Keeping with the idea of Runaway, in your 1998 collection The Love of a Good Woman you have a line about a woman who flees her marriage for another man, and you write, “So her life was falling forwards…. She was becoming one of these people who ran away. A woman who shockingly and incomprehensibly gave everything up. For love, observers would say wryly. Meaning sex.” What is it these women run away from? Is it convention and expectation?

MUNRO I think they run away from a life… they look ahead and they can see what their whole life is going to be. You wouldn’t call that a prison exactly; they run away from some kind of predictability, not just about things that will happen in their lives but things that happen in themselves. Though, I don’t think most of my characters plan to do this; they don’t say, “There’s a certain stage of my life when I’ll get out of this.” And in fact I think the people who run away are often the people who’ve got into things the most enthusiastically. They think, This is it!—and then, they want more. They just demand more of life than what is happening at the moment. Sometimes this is a great mistake, of course, it’s always a little bit, a good deal, different than you’d expect. Women in my generation particularly tended to do this because we’d married young, we’d married with a settled idea of what life is supposed to be like, and we were in a hurry to get to that safe married spot. Then something happened to us when we were around forty, and all sorts of women decided that their lives had to have a new pattern. I don’t know if that will happen to women of the next generation, or the generation after that—I think of my granddaughters’ generation—because so much has happened to them by the time they’re forty, maybe it’s enough. And they pick a life and go on with it, without these rather girlish hopes of finding love, finding excitement.

WACHTEL Why girlish hopes? What do you mean?

MUNRO Well, women often harbour rather youthful ideas—ideas that somewhere there is a passion that will last, or there is a passion that surpasses everything else in life, that you can just tear everything apart, and pick up, and go on somehow. I think that’s rather a youthful idea. But I think that women of my age didn’t hit this youthful phase until we’d first had our middle age. We had our kids and our homes and our husbands and our quite programmed lives. But there remained this voice that said there’s got to be more in my life than that!

WACHTEL And they were attracted to a certain recklessness.

MUNRO In men or in themselves? In both, yes, I think in both. The very idea that one is doing a reckless thing! The character you’re talking about, the one from “The Children Stay,” finds that running away has considerable penalties she didn’t count on. The way she finds this out is one of the things you discover.


Eleanor Wachtel @ IFOA:

Rosemary Sullivan interviews Eleanor Wachtel about Best of Writers & Company on Thursday, October 27 at 6pm. For information and tickets, click here!

Do not miss Writers & Company @ IFOA on Saturday, October 29 at 8pm. Eleanor interviews international authors Francesca Melandri and Christopher Kloeble! For information and tickets, click here!

 

 

Poets @ IFOA

Do you love poetry? Here are events featuring poets @ IFOA 2016.

1. Shakespeare Lives in Poetry: Friday, October 21, 2016 – All Day

To celebrate the international influence of Shakespeare, during the year of the 400th anniversary of his death, the British Council is bringing international poet and facilitator, Deanna Rodger to IFOA to work with emerging spoken word poets. Taking Shakespeare’s sonnets as inspiration, this Spoken Word Workshop will explore how sonnets can be utilized by contemporary voices in fresh and unexpected ways to talk about their lives today. The workshop will culminate in a performance by the participants.

The workshop is free and open to all spoken word poets, from beginners to seasoned performers. To participate in the workshop, download the Sign up form, and email learning@ifoa.org.

2. Immersive Settings: Sunday, October 23, 2016 – 1:30pm

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Chris Chambers presents Thrillows & Despairos, a collection of poems that speak of our connection to a place, in Immersive Settings.

Get tickets to this event by clicking here.

3. Interrupting Familiar Spaces: Sunday October 23, 2016- 5pm

Hear Japanese writer Takashi Hiraide alongside Canadian poets Sylvia Legris and Sarah Pinder read from their latest works. The reading will be hosted by Catherine Graham and followed by an audience Q&A.

Get tickets to this event by clicking here.

4. Interpreting the Past: Monday, October 24, 2016- 8pm

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Join Adam Hochschild, Guy Gavriel Kay, Lola Lafon and Daniel Scott Tysdal as they explore the theme of writing about history. Daniel Scott Tysdal will present Fauxccasional Poems,

Get tickets to this event by clicking here.

5. Sound & verse: Wednesday, October 26, 2016 – 8pm

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Join poets Phil Hall, Maureen Hynes, Sylvia Legris and Mark Wagenaar reading from their new collections! If you love poetry, this is a must-attend event.

Ger tickets to this event by clicking here.

6. Poetry Ireland @ IFOA:  Thursday, October 27, 2016- 2pm

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Part of festival focus this year, Ireland @ IFOA, we welcome two contemporary Irish poets, Julie Morrissy and Ciaran O’Rourke!

Get tickets to this event by clicking here

Click here for Ireland @ IFOA, featuring both Julie Morrissy, Ciaran O’Rourke, as well as Emma Donoghue and Paul Muldoon presenting the best contemporary  Irish literature.

7. Recklessness: The Art of Writing – Celebrating Ten Years of the Guelph Creative Writing MFA

Thursday, October 27, 2016- 7:30pm

Join hosts Michael Winter and Catherine Bush as they celebrate the 10th anniversary of University of Guelph’s Creative Writing MFA program, whose faculty, alumni, and students have been pushing boundaries―being reckless!―for the past ten years.

This event features award winning poet Motion.

Get tickets to this event by clicking here

8. Artist talk: Paul Muldoon: Friday, October 28, 2016- 5:30pm

Award-winning poet Paul Muldoon will talk about his craft and inspiration. This event is hosted by poet Jacob McArthur Mooney.

This event is FREE.

See our full list of events here. For ticket information call our box office at 416- 973 4000.

Ireland @ IFOA

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The 37th International Festival of Authors is welcoming five contemporary Irish writers for our festival focuses: Ireland @ IFOA! With partners Poetry Ireland and Culture Ireland, we invite Canadian audiences to immerse themselves in Irish Literature and discover new favourites!

WIN A TRIP TO IRELAND:

Win a trip to Ireland, courtesy of Tourism Ireland & Trafalgar! Discover Ireland’s UNESCO Cities of Literature, and see the literary landscapes and majestic scenery that have inspired writer for centuries. Ireland’s literary romance really is one for the books. The stories are written into the land and the ancient traditions and authors are celebrated all over the world. To enter click here!

Thursday, October 27, at 2pm in the Lakeside Terrace

Encounter contemporary Irish poets Julie Morrissy and Ciarán O’Rourke and discover Poetry Ireland’s Rising Generation.

Purchase tickets by clicking here

 

Friday, October 28, at 5:30pm in the Lakeside Terrace

Learn more about the writer’s creative process in Paul Muldoon’s Artist Talk. This event is partnership with Quill and Quire.

This event is FREE

 

Friday, October 28, at 8pm in the Fleck Dance Theatre

NOW Magazine’s book editor Susan G. Cole will sit down with Emma Donoghue for an intimate interview.

Purchase tickets by clicking here

 

Saturday, October 29, at 7pm in the Brigantine Room

Meet the Irish at Ireland @ IFOA! Catriona Crow, Emma Donoghue, Julie Morrissy,  Paul Muldoon, and Ciarán O’Rourke read from their latest works.

Purchase tickets by clicking here

 

Sunday, October 30th at 5:15pm in the Studio Theatre

Catriona Crowe will discuss Ireland’s violent revolution in her lecture, as  part of the Stranger Than Fiction series.

Purchase tickets by clicking here

 

The Ireland @ IFOA programme is curated by IFOA and Poetry Ireland with the generous support from Culture Ireland.

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Special thanks to the following organizations for their support:

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The Nuts and Bolts of Writing

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Sometimes, as a creative writing instructor, I feel like the squisher of dreams. It’s nothing I’m doing intentionally, but as I lead students through the building blocks of good fiction writing, I can’t help but imagine what some of them might be thinking: “Dude is killing the magic.”

For many writers, part of the allure of our craft is its mystery. Who knows what compels us to sit at the keyboard and transform our thoughts and ideas into words? Who knows why we spend our subway rides thinking about scenes and plot twists and people who don’t exist in real life? Who knows why we tear things down only to build them up again and again and again?

That mystery is what draws many of us into writing. Speaking for myself, I have no idea what compels me to write, other than the need to do it. And, for many of us, this is why the magic of writing is so appealing. It’s as though the writing is in control of us, rather than the other way around.

Writing should feel intuitive and personal. It’s a room we inhabit even when we’re not sure why we’re there. It’s an obsession of finding precise language. It’s a mystical experience, especially when our writing takes flight and surprises us in the best kinds of ways.

And while that magic needs to inhabit your writing, there’s another, non-magical side that isn’t quite as fun. That’s what I call the nuts and bolts of writing. In other words, our conscious writing. Nuts and bolts are the practical tools of the trade that you need to factor into your writing. I’m talking good dialogue, evocative settings, believable plot points, compelling characters and more. The nuts and bolts side of writing isn’t glamourous. It involves a lot of tedious work. Nuts and bolts aren’t always in sync with our imaginations and can sometimes interrupt our creative flows. But without the nuts and bolts, the magical side of your writing can’t flourish.

© Paula Wilson

© Paula Wilson

In my course, Becoming a Better Writer and the two workshops I co-present, Improving Your Writing and Publishing 101, I try to help emerging writers understand the importance of being conscious of their writing. And while some writers are resistant to completely letting go of their magical, intuitive sides, embracing the conscious side of writing doesn’t kill the magic. In fact, the best writers are highly aware of every aspect of their writing, both the conscious and subconscious elements. It’s only when you understand the relationship between the magical and practical sides of your writing that you can achieve the heights that all writers strive for.

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