New Selkirk College writing instructor Natalie Morrill

Nelson literary festival attracts new grants

Elephant Mountain Literary Festival was recently awarded major project support from the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance

Nelson’s second annual Elephant Mountain Literary Festival, July 11 to 14, was recently awarded major project support from the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, along with financial assistance from the Youth Grants Program of the Columbia Basin Trust.

“With the festival only three weeks away, we were very pleased to receive these votes of confidence in our programming,” said Lynn Krauss, festival director.  The CKCA approved a $10,000 major projects grant in support of overall festival activities, while the CBT Youth Grant will help cover costs for the festival’s youth-led writing workshop on Saturday, July 13, focusing on spoken word poetry.

Among the authors and publishers appearing at next month’s Elephant Mountain Literary Festival are novelist M.G. Vassanji, twice winner of the Giller Prize, Camilla Gibb, whose novels include the Trillium Award-winning Sweetness in the Belly, and Terry Fallis, whose novel The Best Laid Plans won the Stephen Leacock Medal for humor and the 2011 CBC Canada Reads competition.

Meanwhile, Selkirk College last week announced that Natalie Morrill — a UBC creative writing grad student who won the Alberta Magazine Publishers’ Association 2013 Showcase Award for Fiction — will instruct an introductory creative writing credit course in Nelson, which will take place the week prior to and the week following the festival.

All three of BC’s Interior mountain colleges will be offering courses at Selkirk’s Tenth Street campus in conjunction with the festival. Besides Selkirk’s writing course, July 8 to 19, Okanagan College will offer during the same period a course in professional editing. College of the Rockies will present a course in creative nonfiction, with an online portion June 26 to July 5, and a classroom portion July 8 to 12.

Other authors appearing at the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival include Vernon poet, fiction writer and musician John Lent, and Quebecois graphic novelist Pascal Girard. Invited publishers include Harbour Publishing’s Howard White, the new owner of troubled Vancouver press Douglas & McIntyre, and a poet and nonfiction author in his own right.

Also at the Festival will be Kirstin Cochrane, executive publisher of McClelland & Stewart Doubleday Canada, along with Tracy Hurren, managing editor of Montreal’s Drawn & Quarterly publishers, who specialize in graphic novels and cartoons.

Besides readings and talks, festival events include an opening gala featuring several local writers, and an opportunity for festival-goers to pitch their manuscript to a literary agent.

Full details on Festival events, including how to reserve tickets and register for courses, are available on the festival website, emlfestival.com.

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