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April 15th, 2014

Alison Wearing’s one-woman show ‘Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter’ in Guelph – May 23


The Eden Mills Writers’ Festival and the Bookshelf are pleased to present Alison Wearing’s award-winning one-woman show, Confessions of a Fairy’s Daughter – Growing up with a Gay Dad at the Ebar (41 Quebec St.) in Guelph, ON on Friday May 23, 2014.

Based on her bestselling memoir, Wearing’s captivating show tells the story of growing up with a gay father in the 1980s. Woven through music and imagery, the comic monologue moves from Alison’s carefree childhood to the moment she learned, at age twelve, that her family was a tad more complex than she had thought.

The ensuing years were a time of confusion and disbelief, puff pastry and opera, bath house raids, scandal and celebration. Balancing intimacy, history and downright hilarity, this is a captivating tale of family life: deliciously imperfect, riotously challenging, and full of life’s great lessons in love.

Wearing’s production has won multiple theatrical awards across Canada and praise from critics, including CBC Manitoba, which said:

(5 stars) “This is an extraordinarily moving story, well-crafted and compassionately told. See it now before it sells out.”

This all-ages/licensed performance takes place at the Ebar, 41 Quebec St. in Guelph, on Friday May 23, 2014 at 8:00 PM sharp. Tickets are now available in the Bookshelf bookstore (also 41 Quebec St.) or online via ticketbreak.

Watch a trailer for this performance here:

February 4th, 2014

Join us at Hillside Inside’s ‘Lit Music’ celebrating Broken Social Scene – Feb. 8


The multi-faceted, interdisciplinary vision of the 7th annual Hillside Inside festival features another late-breaking addition and we’re co-presenting it! Lit Music: The Broken Social Scene Story Project highlights three pieces of writing from the House of Anansi book, The Broken Social Scene Story Project and features live music by the Darcys. It takes place at 6:00 PM on Saturday Feb. 8 at Planet Bean’s downtown Guelph location, 2 Wyndham St. The event is free and accessible for all.

The premise of the Project is that writers from across Canada and of every pedigree were encouraged to submit works based upon individual songs from the breakthrough Broken Social Scene record You Forgot It In People (Arts & Crafts, 2002). The 13 winning entries were then featured in the volume, with the jury giving special recognition to the top three submissions.

At Hillside Inside these three, prize-winning authors, Jane Ozkowski, Jesse McLean, and Shari Kasman, will each read their respective works:  “Cause=Time,” “Looks Just Like the Sun,” and “Pacific Theme.”

As a special treat, each of these songs will be performed live in a one-of-a-kind outing by Toronto’s the Darcys. The band’s show with July Talk that evening is already sold out so this might well be the only chance fans will have to see them play, and in a rare, intimate performance of Broken Social Scene songs no less. The plan is to have the music and readings alternate (i.e. after a reading, the corresponding song is performed) so patrons should expect a kind of variety show.

Once again, Lit Music: The Broken Social Scene Story Project takes place at 6:00 PM on Saturday Feb. 8 at Planet Bean’s downtown Guelph location, 2 Wyndham St.  The event is free and accessible for all. Planet Bean will be serving specialty warm beverages, as well as beer, cider, and wine.

Hillside Inside will delight, amaze, and challenge audiences in 2014. Tickets are available now. For more information, keep an eye on their site and twitter feed.  #hillsideinside

January 27th, 2014

See Canadian Icon Maestro Fresh Wes Read at Hillside Inside – Feb. 7, 2014

The Hillside Festival and the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival are pleased to present Canadian music icon Maestro Fresh Wes at Hillside Inside’s Fab 5 Cabaret (featuring performances presented by Hillside, the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, the Guelph Jazz Festival, and the Festival of Moving Media) on Friday Feb. 7 at the River Run Centre.

Though primarily known as “the Godfather of Canadian Hip-Hop” and his massive worldwide hit single “Let Your Backbone Slide,” the Maestro is also an accomplished author. A Juno Award-winning recording artist and Gemini Award-nominated actor, Maestro Fresh Wes Williams wrote the critically acclaimed book, Stick To Your Vision (McClelland, 2010). Endorsed by the former Governor General of Canada, Michaëlle Jean, as a “plan for action” and superstar Drake who cites Williams as a hero, the book shows individuals how to define their vision, how to achieve it, and what to do once they are there.

Stick To Your Vision was shortlisted for the Forest of Reading – White Pine Award. The White Pine Award is an annual literature award sponsored by the Ontario Library Association (OLA) that has awarded Canadian young adult books since 2002.

Williams has always been community-oriented and has made a serious impact on the country in many different capacities. He continues to support several charitable organizations such as War Child, Save The Children, Covenant House, Special Olympics, Battered Women’s Support Services (BWSS), and The African AIDS Society.

Honours include, the Award of Merit by the Black Business Professionals Association (BBPA) for continuing contributions in the Black Community in Canada as well as the Canadian Music Industry (2010); induction into the Scarborough Walk of Fame (2006); inclusion in Who’s Who in Black Canada (1st & 2nd editions, 2002 & 2006); UMAC Pioneer Award (1998 & 2002); recipient of the Reel World Film Festival ‘Trailblazer Award’ (2003); UMAC Special Achievement Award winner (2002). Wes has also won two Juno Awards, four MuchMusic Video Awards (including People’s Choice) and has 12 Juno nominations.

He is the first Canadian rap artist to go gold (album & single), recorded the first Canadian hip-hop single to go gold, has a platinum selling album (Symphony in Effect, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year), and was the first hip-hop artist to perform at the Juno Awards (1991).

Williams has a recurring role on the CBC sitcom Mr. D and a ”Gold Medal Remix” of his song “Reach For The Sky” (from his 2013 album, Orchestrated Noise) soundtracks a CBC Sports montage which features Canadian athletes who are headed to compete at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games in February.

What a thrill to have the Maestro in Guelph for Hillside Inside. Get your tickets for the Fab 5 Cabaret here. Follow him on twitter @MaestroFreshWes

Hillside Inside will delight, amaze, and challenge audiences in 2014. Tickets are available now. For more information, keep an eye on our site and twitter feed.  #hillsideinside

September 16th, 2013

Thank you.

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Well, we did it. We all celebrated 25 years of the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival with three days of amazing, very well-attended musical and literary events. We’re all still processing our feelings, emotions, and even some of our photographs in this digital age, so there will be more to come on our web site and Facebook and twitter.

For now, on behalf of all of our hard working volunteers and staff, and our excellent readers, performers and vendors, I’d like to thank all of you who supported us in the media or came out to see what we were up to this year. We had an extremely high calibre of talent with us in 2013; you’d be hard-pressed to find a reader or musician in our programming who hasn’t been honoured for their work with some award or another (earlier today, Joseph Boyden, Michael Winter, and Wayne Johnston were nominated for the Giller Prize).

Most especially, I can’t say enough about the grace and kindness of the villagers of Eden Mills who let more than a thousand strangers into their lives one Sunday a year with open arms. Some of them even baked us visitors delicious pies! You just can’t beat that. In Guelph, you’d get a kale salad. Actually, there was kale salad in Eden Mills and it was delicious too. But there was also fresh-baked pie. Guelph would give you kale salad and send you on your way, thank you very much. My point is, we certainly can’t do any of this without you Eden Mills folks, so thanks again.

As I say, we’ll have more updates and photos for you on our site in the coming weeks. If you want a sense of how magical things were yesterday, check out this short clip of a baby snapping turtle hatching during the Festival on Sunday. He said he came for the words…

The 26th annual Eden Mills Writers’ Festival is scheduled for Sept. 12-14, 2014. See you there.

Thanks again,
Vish Khanna
Festival Manager

September 15th, 2013

Sunday is here! A full day of author readings awaits! Shuttles to and from Eden Mills


Today, Sunday, September 15th the 25th annual Eden Mills Writers Festival presents more than 50 writers reading from their recent works, as well as music, food, Fringe, Poetry Slam and Publishers’ Way exhibitors. See below for the author and shuttle schedule to and from the village of Eden Mills, plus a listing for Publishers’ Way.

2013schedulegrid PUBLISHERS’ WAY A vibrant picture of the current Canadian literary scene. 40+ exhibitors set up in Eden Mills for meet and greets, book sales, signings and more. pubwaygrid

Two free shuttle buses (sponsored by The University of Guelph) run to and fro Eden Mills for the big festival day of readings on Sunday. (Bus service is not available for workshops, seminars and concerts.)

One bus leaves the Sleeman Centre (across from the River Run) at 11:00 am and running every 45 minutes thereafter:

11:00 am
11:45 am
12:30 pm
1:15 pm
2:00 pm
2:45 pm

The other bus leaves the University Centre, U of Guelph, at 11:15 am and runs every 45 minutes:

11:15 am
12:00 noon
12:45 pm
1:30 pm
2:15 pm
3:00 pm

Between 4:30 and 6:45 pm, buses will be leaving Eden Mills to return to both locations in Guelph.

September 11th, 2013

25th Annual Eden Mills Writers’ Festival is here!

Well, it took 25 years but Sept. 13-15, 2013 is here and so too is the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival. We begin our festival this Friday with events at the River Run Centre and the eco-friendly Eden Mills Community Hall and, we urge patrons who haven’t yet to please pick up your tickets to see the Joel Plaskett Emergency, Jim Guthrie, Bidiniband in Guelph, and Arthur Black and James Gordon in Eden Mills. We’d love to see you!

Keep an eye on our site, our Facebook page, and our twitter feed for all of the latest info. For example, there will be no ATM on site this Sunday. Something happened. Please bring some cash with you. 

The Hundred Story Wood, a day of writing workshops uniting Canadian authors and high school students on Sept. 30 is completely sold out! Also of note, our Food for Thought event with food experts Michael Pollan and Sarah Elton is pretty close to sold out too. There are very few tickets left online so, please pick them up while you still can. It promises to be a memorable event!

And of course, we’re very proud of our Sunday line-up, which features some of the best and brightest minds in Canadian writing. Children’s, Young Adult, and Adult authors will all be on-hand, some reading from new, anticipated works for the first time.

So, see you there!

September 4th, 2013

Sunday Readings schedule and Publishers’ Way exhibitors list announced

Join us Sunday, September 15th for the big event at the 2013 Eden Mills Writers Festival. More than 50 writers read from their recent works, as well as music, food, Fringe, Poetry Slam and Publishers’ Way exhibitors.



A vibrant picture of the current Canadian literary scene. 40+ exhibitors set up in Eden Mills for meet and greets, book sales, signings and more.

Village of Eden Mills, ON
Noon – 6 pm

August 28th, 2013

Frank Viva illustrates the Sept. 2 cover of The New Yorker


We’re so pleased to have the great Frank Viva reading as a Children’s Author at this year’s Festival. And if you scan your local magazine stands or check your mailbox, you’ll see his work on the cover of the Sept. 2 issue of The New Yorker. Nice work Frank!




August 28th, 2013

Dave Bidini takes over at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival


Dave Bidini appears at multiple events in Waterloo, Guelph, and Eden Mills

Dave Bidini appears at multiple events in Waterloo, Guelph, and Eden Mills

Just as the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival turns 25 in 2013, noted musician/former Rheostatic/author/columnist Dave Bidini is celebrating his 50th birthday with us by appearing at events in Waterloo, Guelph, and of course, Eden Mills.

On Thursday Sept. 5, he and his Bidiniband perform at the Starlight Social Club (47 A King St. N) in Waterloo opening for Toronto’s Jim Guthrie. The bill also features Toronto electronic artist I Am Robot and Proud and readings by Waterloo’s Carrie Snyder and Bidini himself.

The following week, Bidiniband will play the River Run Centre (35 Woolwich St.) in Guelph on Friday Sept. 13. Bad luck? No, it’s good! The Joel Plaskett Emergency headline this show, which features Jim Guthrie, plus Bidini doing short readings again.

Finally, on Sunday Sept. 15, Bidini will be in the village of Eden Mills, reading among some of the best and brightest Canadian writers of our time. It’s all outdoors in the rustic beauty of one of the loveliest villages in North America. Trees, a river, grass, historic structures, and Dave Bidini reading from his forthcoming book, Keon and Me: My Search for the Lost Soul of the Leafs, which is out Oct. 1 via Viking Canada.

Pretty nifty for fifty, as the saying goes. Happy birthday Dave!

August 15th, 2013

Eden Mills Writers’ Festival adds more Canadian Authors


Saleema Nawaz, Rose Murray, Macello Di Cintio join us on Sept. 15

Saleema Nawaz, Rose Murray, Macello Di Cintio join us on Sept. 15

The Eden Mills Writers’ Festival is pleased to announce that we’ve added three more remarkable Canadian voices to our Sunday Sept. 15 schedule.

Saleema Nawaz is the author of the short story collection Mother Superior, which was shortlisted for the Quebec Writers’ Federation Best First Book Prize. Her story “My Three Girls” won the Journey Prize in 2008. Born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario, she currently lives in Montreal, Quebec. Her first novel, Bone and Bread, was published by House of Anansi in March 2013.

A nationally known food writer, cookbook author, broadcaster and teacher, Rose Murray has been published widely in magazines and newspapers such as Canadian Living and the Globe and Mail and has appeared on many radio and television stations across the country including the CBC and CTV.  She has been resident cook at Kitchener CTV for thirty years. Murray has authored eleven cookbooks; the most recent Canada’s Favourite Recipes (co-authored with Elizabeth Baird) with a reprint of her very first book, Canadian Christmas Cooking, appearing this fall.

Calgary writer Marcello Di Cintio’s first book, Harmattan: Wind Across West Africa, won the Henry Kriesel Award for Best First Book. His second book, Poets and Pahlevans: A Journey Into the Heart of Iran, won the Wilfred Eggleston Prize. He has also written for numerous magazines, journals, and newspapers, including The Walrus, EnRoute, Geist, Reader’s Digest, Afar, and the Globe and Mail. His latest book is 2012′s celebrated Walls : Journeys Along The Barricades, which won the 2013 Shaughnessey Cohen Prize for Political Writing. The jury statement described the book as, “beautifully written reportage…personal stories?—?gripping, haunting, humorous, and inspiring?—?of people living against walls around the world, from the “peaceline” of Belfast to l’Acadie fence of Montreal.”  The book also won the 2013 Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction and the 2013 City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize.

For more information, please visit the Tickets and Writers and Artists sections of or sign up for our weekly newsletter. The full festival runs from Sept. 13 to Sept. 15.