Solar panels take sunlight, generate electricity, and light rooms. Elephant Mountain Literary Festival panels take topics, generate ideas, and illuminate audiences.
Elephant Mountain Literary Festival’s (EMLF) three panel discussions — which happen Saturday, July 9 at the Chamber of Commerce in the historic CPR building at 91 Baker Street — are lively, opinionated, and spontaneous,each one a sort of carbon-neutral external combustion engine. (Not spontaneous combustion. That’s a different festival). Pick up a coffee at the Railtown Café and settle in for a day of brilliant conversation.
There will be three panel discussions starting with Writing the Land, from 9 to 10:30 a.m., which lines up literary luminaries J.B. McKinnon (The 100-Mile Diet; The Once and Future World), Grant Lawrence (Adventures in Solitude:What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck), Briony Penn (The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan),and Eileen Pearkes (The Geography of Memory: Recovering Stories of a Landscape’s First People).
Author and Douglas College creative writing department chair Calvin Wharton moderates this discussion, which shines an (eco-sustainable) light on land-based writing.
In Once Upon a Time (11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), children’s author Caroline Adderson (the Jasper John Dooley series),musician and author Jill Barber (“Baby’s Lullaby”), and Governor-General’s Award-winning illustrator Murray Kimber (Josepha: A Prairie Boy’s Story) discuss children’s literature in this energy-fracturing world of distractions in a lively panel moderated by writer and editor Verna Relkoff.
Publishing: Perish or Prosper? from 2 to 3:30 p.m., is the final panel of the day. There are those who’ll say that the sun is setting on the book, and yet more writers than ever are finding bright new ways to be published.
Among those shining a light on the current state of publishing and its potential is Rolf Maurer, who has been withVancouver’s New Star Books since 1981.
He’s joined by Julian Ross, who published more than 100 titles with Polestar Press in Winlaw, and Nancy Wise, who literally wrote the book on self-publishing (How to Self-Publish and Make Money was one of the first on the subject, written with Marion Crook). She runs Sandhill Book Marketing in Kelowna.
EMLF runs July 6 to 10 here in Nelson. Expect to be sparked by Grant Lawrence, Jill Barber, and others at Thursday’s 100-Mile Opening Gala, ignited by J.B. MacKinnon, Briony Penn, and Richard Cannings at Friday’s Reading the Earth event, fueled by Caroline Adderson’s free talk “Tips for Writers: Introduction to the Craft”tonight (Wednesday) at the Nelson Public Library, and completely fired up by the time you get to the Saturday Night Live! event, where the torch is lit for Caroline Adderson and Bill Richardson. Full details, of course, are at www.emlfestival.com.
Behind the infectious energy of the EMLF is a host of committee members and volunteers running a good old fashioned event-generating treadmill, all ideas and elbow grease.
This year’s core committee, led by festival coordinator Lynn Krauss, is comprised of Verna Relkoff, Tom Wayman,Michael Dailly, Leesa Dean, and me.
Supporting members and on-the-ground at the fest are David Lawson, Rose Nielsen, and Shannon Griffin-Merth.Other pitchers-in include Anthony Sanna, Dale MacKenzie, Will Johnson, P’Nina Shames, Calvin Wharton, Wendy Kelly, and Sharmaine Gray, among others. Our government, corporate, and community sponsors are legion; their logos grace our website and print materials and you’ll hear their names all weekend, because they provide the(green) fuel we need to bring you all this literary brilliance.
This weekend’s so bright, you’d better wear shades.