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ROXANE GAY

AfterWords is thrilled to present Halifax’s former Poet Laureate El Jones, followed by New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay in conversation with Mary Lynk of CBC Radio’s IDEAS. 


This event is presented with the generous support of the University of King’s College.

Sunday, October 4th

4:00 - 5:30pm AST

$15

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WRITING INTO AN UNCERTAIN FUTURE

Okay, yes, the future is always uncertain. And for sure, it seems even more uncertain now than it did last year when we dreamed up this panel. And maybe you’re sick of contemplating the uncertain future—so let this panel of speculative fiction writers do it for you! Join Cory Doctorow, Thea Lim, and Catherine Hernandez in conversation with Stephanie Domet about how writers engage with the often crisis-laden news of the day and imagine possible outcomes of and perhaps even solutions to some of the pressing environmental, social, and technological issues that we face. 


This event is presented with the support of Arts Nova Scotia.

Thursday, October 1st

8:00-9:30pm AST

Suggested donation $5

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WHAT WE LEARN FROM EACH OTHER

Cicely Belle Blain’s debut collection of poems, Burning Sugar, is the second book to be published under Vivek Shraya's VS imprint. VS features work by new and emerging indigneous or Black writers, or writers of colour. Vivek and Cicely Belle join Stephanie Domet in conversation about mentorship, writing, representation, and community.

This event is presented with support from Dalhousie University.


Friday, October 2nd

8:30-9:45pm AST

Suggested donation $5

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READING DEEPLY

“If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble. We read to find life, in all its possibilities.” — Claire Messud

Life in all its possibilities abounds in new novels from Shani Mootoo (Polar Vortex), Michelle Good (Five Little Indians), and Francesca Ekwuyasi (Butter Honey Pig Bread). Hear these three novelists read from their new books, and join them in conversation with writer and journalist Evelyn C. White.

This event is presented with support from the Access Copyright Foundation.

Saturday, October 3rd

8:00-9:30pm AST

Suggested donation $5

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POETICALLY SPEAKING

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing."  —Arundhati Roy, Confronting Empire

We convene a panel of poets who are expert at hearing the quiet breath of another possible world. Sue Goyette (Anthesis), El Jones (Canada is So Polite), and shalan joudry (Generations Re-merging) shape and reshape language, look and look again, tell and retell the vital truth of another possible world. Hear these poets in conversation with Amanda Jernigan, and hear samples of their work.

This event is presented with support from Rosie Porter.

Friday, October 2nd 

6:45-8:15pm AST

Suggested donation $5

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CELEBRATING
NOVA GRAPHICA

New from Nova Scotia’s own Conundrum Press is Nova Graphica: A Graphic Anthology of Nova Scotia. We’ll celebrate the launch of this volume of illustrated histories of Nova Scotia. The histories feature important figures like Viola Desmond and Dr. Moses Coady, institutions like the Halifax Infants’ Home, Seekhers in Wolfville, and company houses in Cape Breton, along with lesser known characters, and a good helping of ghost stories too. Join Nova Graphica contributors Kris Bertin and Alexander Forbes, Rebecca Roher, Laura Kenins, Colleen MacIsaac, and others for a rich, visual celebration of this fascinating collected history.

Wednesday Sept. 30th

8pm - 9:30pm AST

Suggested donation $5

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THE HOURS THAT REMAIN

Keith Barker reads from his Dora-award-winning play The Hours That Remain, an exploration of missing and murdered indigenous women. Barker, an Algonquin Métis playwright and the artistic director of Native Earth Performing Arts theatre company, then joins Colleen Murphy in conversation.


This event is presented with the help of Playwrights Guild of Canada’s PlayConnect program.

Thursday, October 1st

7:00pm-7:45pm AST

Free

 

WORKSHOPS

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WRITING INTO THE UNKNOWN: FORTIFYING A CURIOUS AND IMAGINATIVE PRACTICE
WITH SUE GOYETTE

Saturday, Oct. 3rd

10:00-11:30 am AST

Fee: $20.00

Limit of 15 participants

For advanced writers

How do we engage with this tumultuous and potent time as writers? How do we keep our practice vibrant and intact? Sue will create a space for this crucial conversation and participants will be invited to recommit to their writing practice with a renewed vigour. Using creative prompts and through discussion, participants will have the opportunity to re-engage with the serious practice of play and emergence while reckoning with their private worries of failure and of success. Writers are invited to bring their worst fears about their work to the discussion so they may start the transformative practice of facing them.

AN INTRODUCTION TO PLAYWRITING WITH KEITH BARKER

Friday, Oct. 2nd 

1:00-2:30 pm AST

Fee: $15.00

Limit of 12 participants

This is an introduction to the way I write my plays, which hopefully opens us up to a wider discussion around the process of writing for the stage. I will share my experiences and the tricks that keep me writing while hopefully hearing about yours.

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WORLDBUILDING IS FOR EVERYONE
WITH THEA LIM

Friday, Oct. 2nd

3:30-5:00 pm AST

Fee: $15.00

Limit of 12 participants

How do authors build believable worlds? The term “worldbuilding” is usually associated with science fiction and fantasy, but the first job for any story is to convince the reader that the world is real. While also, of course, starting the plot, revealing the characters, painting emotion…This workshop will teach you the basic rules of launching a world, with max economy and multitasking, for any genre and any writer. Plus, we’ll also talk about how worlds that don’t make space for readers from marginalized groups, are 95% of the time also badly built.

STICKING WITH IT: PERSEVERING WITH YOUR STORY AND YOUR PRACTICE
WITH CAROL BRUNEAU

Friday, Oct. 2nd

10:00-11:30 am AST

Fee: $15.00

Limit of 12 participants

Pursuing a writing practice can be tough at the best of times, and in the COVID world, showing up regularly at your desk takes real determination. Through writing exercises, reflection and discussion, the workshop explores ways to re-charge your process and boost your confidence in order to mine the potential of a story and its inspiration. You’ll be encouraged to write to the heart of what you want to express, and to discover (or re-discover) the hidden life of the story that makes it energizing to pursue and keeps you fully engaged in its creation. Participants are asked to bring a story they’ve been struggling with, or an idea for a story they’re not sure how to tackle. There will be some opportunities to read work aloud.

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A TRUTH UNIVERSALLY ACKNOWLEDGED:
THE FIRST PAGE MATTERS
WITH RANDY BOYAGODA

Saturday, Oct. 3rd

2:30-4:00 pm AST

Fee: $15.00

Limit of 12 participants

Great stories begin with great openings. In this workshop, we will explore the promise and peril of how to begin a work of fiction. Any one decision - of perspective, voice, location, time sequence - has a series of cascading effects on what you decide to do next. Done well, the first page invites readers into the rest of the story with balancing ratios of curiosity and committing. Looking at a series of examples — from the likes of Herman Melville, Elena Ferrante, Ian Williams, and Arundhati Roy  — we will discuss your writing ambitions and plans in the context of what makes for the best possible start to the stories you want to tell.

MEMOIRS OF THE MUNDANE WITH JJ STEEVES

Saturday, Oct. 3rd

1:00-2:00 pm AST

Fee: $15.00

Limit of 12 participants

As a culture we have certain notions about who should and should not write memoirs-- but of course we do everyone a disservice by only valuing a small segment of voices! Luckily, comics have a long history of what is often referred to as “diary comics," and many diverse voices have created diary comics over the years to process, share, and connect their unique feelings, experiences and narratives with others. For many, this means meandering through what we would consider the mundane details of life, and that is partly what we shall celebrate in our workshop together. Not all memoirs need to be from famous politicians or celebrities! Instead, using the combination of words and drawings, we can learn to honour parts of ourselves we may not take the time to acknowledge normally.

 

Afterwords Literary Festival

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Halifax, Nova Scotia

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