It was hard to describe the feeling as all thirty-one participants gathered at a family cottage in Stratford, for our final official event to listen to each other’s work. Sharon McKay, the keynote speaker for the event, left us with parting words, and we delved into poems, the short stories and the memoir, which drew many of us out to Wild Threads.
It is with heavy hearts that we at the PEI Writers’ Guild must announce that Wild Threads will not be presenting a literary festival on Prince Edward Island in 2020. Working with the new public health measures of no mass gatherings, we knew that we would not be able to hold our festival this year.
The good news is that most of our Wild Threads presenters that were booked for this year are still interested in joining us next year, in 2021. Thus at that time, we will be presenting a dynamic and rich pattern of panels, workshops, and community readings for you to enjoy. There will be more news on the rollout of 2021 in the weeks and months to come.
We are so thankful to our funding partners and corporate sponsors, and all friends of Wild Threads who have been contacting us to offer support. We look forward to brighter days when we will see you writing your ways to our shores again.
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that the writing community on Prince Edward Island and around the world is resilient. It has pushed us towards new competency, new life goals, and in some ways, a new normal.
I will close with the words of L.M. Montgomery, “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it.”
Mo Duffy Cobb
Artistic Director of Wild Threads &
President, PEI Writers’ Guild
Saturday morning began at the Carriage House at Beaconsfield with Craig Pyette sitting in conversation with Pauline Dakin, Julie Pellissier-Lush, Anne Simpson, and George Elliott Clarke.
Back to the Haviland for Workshop
Late morning of Saturday in Charlottetown brought three more workshops, Pauline Dakin on Using audio to promote your writing, Julie Pellissier-Lush on Building the Legend, and Anne Simpson in Radical Revision to Discover Strangeness in Poetry.
During the brown bag lunch, Patti Larsen offered a workshop of Outlining Your Novel. Afternoon sessions included pitch sessions with Hilary McMahon, Liberating Genre with George Elliott Clarke, A Walk on the Edge with Richard Lemm & Laurie Brinklow, and Living the Artist’s Life, with PEI’s Poet Laureate, Julie Pellissier-Lush.
Seafood, laughs and a crow parade
Dinner at the Rowe House in Charlottetown was an opportunity for faculty and participants to meet and mingle. Coupled with our outdoor art festival, Art In The Open, Charlottetown boasted her charm with fresh seafood, culture, and vibrant conversation.
Wild Threads: Free Public Readings
Friday night, participants joined all eight faculty members, who read from their work in the Confederation Centre Art Gallery. Special guest musician Scott Parsons performed with George Elliott Clarke, and Master of Ceremonies was Prince Edward Island Past President, Keith Burgoyne. Books were available, sponsored by our friend, Dan from the Bookmark.
Art Installations by Phillippa Jones
Bright and early
Friday morning started off with a bang with four workshops running concurrently: The Rhythms of Dialogue with Pauline Dakin, Writing for Social Change with George Elliott Clarke, Opening into Vividness: Beginning Your Story, with Anne Simpson, and Storytelling: The Art of Knowledge with Julie Pellissier-Lush. Check out our slide show below.
Brown Bag Lunch with a Literary Agent
Hilary McMahon from Westwood Creative talked to a full room about how to write the perfect pitch letter to capture an agent’s interest.
It was a wonderful afternoon with Patti Larsen & her marketing specialist, Carly Martin for The Author as Entrepreneur. George Elliott Clarke explored using research in writing, in History as a Base for Poetry & Essay, Pauline Dakin examined scene-making in Using the Tools of Fiction in Nonfiction, and Anne asked us to listen carefully in, How Does the Story Speak?
The publisher’s panel involved the the state of publishing in Canada.
Craig Pyette, Senior Editor of Knopf / Random House Canada and Hilary McMahon, literary agent at Westwood Creative go over the acquisition process, Canadian trends, market conditions, and common practices. Moderated by Laurie Brinklow.