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Writers Reading

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24 September 2016  –  1-5:30pm  – Westport United Church

Featuring Peter Behrens, Iain Reid, Andrew Westoll, Zoe Whittall 

Tickets available at Seasons of Westport, The Cove, The Westport Village IDA Pharmacy and via PayPal below:

$15 Adults
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$12 Students/Seniors
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August 29, 2016


9th Annual Westport Writers Reading Lineup announced

The Westport Arts Council’s 9th annual Writers Reading at the Westport United Church, 1:00 – 5:30 p.m., Saturday, September 24, 2016, features award-winning Canadian authors Peter Behrens, Iain Reid, Andrew Westoll, and Zoe Whittall.

Ireland and the Irish play a big part in Peter Behrens’ novels. Born in Montreal, he is descended from mid-19th century immigrants who, like so many others, sought a new life in Canada – not unlike those who settled Westport and elsewhere in Eastern Ontario. His first two novels, The Law of Dreams (winner of the 2006 Governor General’s Literary Award, and published in nine languages), and The O’Briens (2011), draw in part on his own family’s struggle to adapt and flourish in a new world. Peter’s latest novel, Carry Me, published earlier this year, bridges the decades between the two World Wars amid the growing anti-Semitism that blights multi-generational relationships between two families, one Irish, one German. His short stories, published in two volumes, Travelling Light and Night Driving, and his essays, have appeared in anthologies and the Atlantic Monthly, Tin House, Brick, and elsewhere. Peter is currently a Fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced study. An avid sailor, he lives with his family in Brooklin, Maine. For more information:

Iain Reid’s first two books, One Bird’s Choice (A Year in the Life of an Over-educated, Underemployed Twentysomething Who Moves Back Home) – winner of a CBC Bookie Award – and The Truth About Luck (What I Learned on my Road Trip with Grandma), were non-fiction, mostly positive, funny, personal family memoirs, that earned high critical praise and a selection as one of The Globe and Mail’s best books of 2013 for The Truth About Luck. His journalism has appeared in the National Post, The New Yorker, the Globe and Mail, and elsewhere. Iain received the Royal Bank of Canada Taylor Emerging Writer Award in 2015. His debut novel, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, released in June, is a major departure for Ian. His memoirs were, he says, “comfortable,” this new novel is anything but, for both him and his audience. Labeled a “thriller,” “seductive,” “creepy,” and “mysterious,” readers are left surprised at how the story unfolds, and how the writer accomplished it. Iain knows the rural villages and communities of Eastern Ontario. He lives in Kingston. For more information: @reid_iain.

Andrew Westoll, a primatologist by training, has been known to tell funny stories about his friend Jane Goodall while explaining his fascination with chimpanzees, the subjects of his non-fiction book, The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, for which he won the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. It is also the subject of his popular 2014 Ted Talk, Can Chimpanzees Forgive Us? His first book, the travel memoir The Riverbones followed a year of researching capuchin monkeys in Surinam. He published his first novel, The Jungle South of the Mountain, in August. A psychological mystery it stems in part from his time in the Surinam jungle. He has published his journalism in The Walrus, Outpost, and The Globe and Mail, among other publications, winning a 2007 Canadian National Magazine Award for his Explore article “Somewhere up a Jungle River.” His writing appears frequently in foreign publications, and his books have been published in the United States, the UK, Poland, and Australia. An assistant professor of Creative Writing and English at the University of Toronto, Andrew lives in Toronto with his wife and son. For more information:

The Globe and Mail described novelist, poet, journalist, and TV writer Zoe Whittall as possibly “…the cockiest, brashest, funniest, toughest, most life-affirming, elegant, scruffy, no-holds-barred writer to emerge from Montreal since Mordecai Richler…” Her much anticipated new novel, The Best Kind of People, was released in August. Two previous novels, Bottle Rocket Hearts (2007) and Holding Still for as Long as Possible (2010), won a variety of literary awards. The former won The Writer’s Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie grant, and was named one of CBC’s Canada Reads Top 10 Most Important Books of the Decade, and a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year. The second was awarded the Lambda Literary Award for Trans Fiction, named a Stonewall Book Award Honor Book, and shortlisted for the ReLit Award. Zoe has published three volumes of poetry: The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life, The Emily Valentine Poems, and Precordial Thump. Her journalism has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Walrus, The Globe and Mail, and Fashion Magazine. Her TV credits include: Degrassi, and the CBC sitcom Schitt’s Creek. She lives in Toronto and teaches Creative Writing at the Universities of Toronto and Guelph. For more information:

The writers will read between 1:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., with a half-time break for complimentary refreshments, book purchases and signing. (Books provided courtesy of Novel Idea Bookstore, Kingston.) The audience is invited/encouraged to engage in an open Q&A with the writers. Tickets are $15 general admission and $12 seniors and students, available at Seasons of Westport, 17 Church St. (613-273-8792); The Cove Country Inn, 2 Bedford St. (613-273-3636); Westport Village Pharmacy, 3 Church St, (613-273-2922); with PayPal at www.westportartscouncil; and at the door, if available. Come out for the afternoon and meet four great Canadian writers.

The ninth annual Writers Reading is sponsored by Seasons of Westport. 2016 Patron.


Writers Reading

2015 WR poster

3 October 2015

1pm-5:30pm  –  Westport United Church

Adults $15  –  Seniors/Student $12


Join us for the 8th Annual Writers Reading and delve into the engaging literary world of Frances Itani, Eric McCormack, Ken McGoogan and Alison Pick. Tickets available at Murphy’s Barber Shop, The Cove Country Inn and at the door.

If you would like more information about this event please contact 

Norman Peterson at (613) 273-7781 or 


The Westport Arts Council’s 8th annual Writers Reading at the Westport United Church, 1:00 – 5:30 p.m., Saturday, October 3, 2015, features award-winning authors Frances Itani, Eric McCormack, Ken McGoogan, and Alison Pick.

Frances Itani - Photo by Norman TakeuchiFrances Itani’s 2003 novel, Deafening, was an early success in a much-honoured international career that has produced 16 books, including novels, poetry, short stories and children’s books. Deafening received a Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best Book, and was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the William Saroyan International Award. It subsequently won the Kingston Reads Award, and in 2006 was selected for CBC’s ‘Canada Reads’, both English and French. It has been optioned for film and translated into some 17 languages.

Remembering the Bones, her second novel, was also an international bestseller, shortlisted for a Commonwealth Writer’s Prize. Her novel Requiem was published in Canada, U.S.A., Bulgaria, Germany and in 2012 was chosen by the Washington Post as one of the top fiction titles in the U.S. She is a double winner of the Ottawa Book Awards, and three-time winner of the CBC Literary Award. Her collection Poached Egg on Toast won the 2005 CAA Jubilee Award for best book of stories published in Canada. Her reviews, stories and essays have appeared in a wide variety of publications across North America.

Frances has been Writer-in-Residence at several universities, taught at the Banff Centre, and conducts workshops in Canada and Europe. She has lived in England, USA, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Germany, and has travelled extensively. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alberta and a master’s from the University of New Brunswick. She studied Nursing at the Montreal General Hospital, did graduate work at McGill University and Duke University, and practised and taught Nursing for 8 years while beginning to write. She studied with both W.O. Mitchell and Rudy Wiebe.

Her latest novel Tell is set in 1919 and is a follow-up to Deafening. Tell was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and was published in New York in January 2015. Frances is presently working on a new novel, continuing the storyline of Tell. She lives in Ottawa with her husband, Tetsuo (Ted) Itani, a Canadian Red Cross international consultant and volunteer.

Historian, novelist and journalist Ken McGoogan is the author of a dozen books, Ken McGooganthe latest of which, Celtic Lightening, is due out in late September. His four groundbreaking volumes about Arctic exploration: Fatal Passage, Ancient Mariner, Lady Franklin’s Revenge, and Race to the Polar Sea, individually and collectively, received the Writers’ Trust of Canada Biography Prize, the Canadian Authors’ Association History Award, the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography, the Pierre Berton Award for Popular History, the Drainie-Taylor biography prize, and an American Christopher Award for “a work of artistic excellence that affirms the highest values of the human spirit.” He has also written three novels, and the celebrated bestsellers How the Scots Invented Canada and 50 Canadians Who Changed the World.

A university teacher and popular lecturer, Ken gives presentations across the length and breadth of Canada, including recently in the high arctic as a lecturer on board Adventure Canada sailing the Northwest Passage and northern coastal waters.

Ken holds a bachelor of journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. Before turning to writing books full time, Ken worked as a journalist for two decades. He teaches in the Continuing Studies program of the University of Toronto and the MFA program at King’s College, Dalhousie University, Halifax.

He lives in the Toronto Beaches with his artist-wife, Sheena Fraser McGoogan, with whom he has two adult children.

Eric McCormack (2)-1Widely celebrated for his unique imagination, novelist Eric McCormack has been described as “a master stylist” by The New York Times Book Review, and “a spellbinder, an ancient mariner with a glittering eye” by The Globe and Mail. International best-selling author (and Writers Reading participant in 2013) Andrew Pyper has described Eric’s writing as “mysterious and beguiling.”

Last year’s release of Cloud, his first novel in ten years, was anxiously awaited by an audience of international fans of his often macabre and quirky novels, including previously The Dutch Wife, First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women, The Mysterium, Paradise Motel, and Inspecting the Vaults.

A finalist for the Governor General’s Award for English-language Fiction, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and the People’s Prize for Fiction, Eric turned to full-time writing after retiring from a thirty-year teaching career at the University of Waterloo. Born on the outskirts of Glasgow, Scotland, Eric taught high school there before immigrating to Canada where he received a PhD from the University of Manitoba. From a boyhood in the dark days of WWII, and early exposure to the works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Walter Scott, H. Rider Haggard, and other pioneers of imaginative literature, Eric naturally leans to the enigmatic, the macabre, and the unsettling, in his choice of language and themes.

Eric and his wife, Nancy McCormack, a Queen’s University law librarian, have lived in Kingston for ten years.

Alison Pick’s 2014 memoir, Between Gods, recounts her discovery of her family’sAlison Pick-1 Jewish roots in pre-WWII Czechoslovakia, and her complicated search for self-identity and love as she struggles with her wish to convert to Judaism. The CBC and the Globe and Mail included Between Gods on their Top Book of the Year list, and it was shortlisted for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. The Toronto Star said “Pick’s writing ability and keen intellect ensure she’s able to navigate such delicate, complex subject matter with compassion and clarity.” U.S. and U.K. editions of Between Gods will be released this fall.

Her 2005 novel, The Sweet Edge, was a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book, and was optioned for film. Her second novel, Far to Go, was nominated for the prestigious Man Booker Prize; won the Canadian Jewish Book Award; named to both the Globe and Mail and NOW Magazine Top 100 book list for 2010; and also optioned for film.

Alison received the 2002 Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award for Poetry, and the 2003 National Magazine Poetry Award. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Guelph and an MPhil from Memorial University in St. John’s. She is currently on the Faculty of the Humber School for Writers, the Banff Centre for the Arts, and the Iceland Writers Retreat.

Alison is a judge for the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize. She lives in Toronto with her husband, Degan Davis, and their daughter.


Books will be available for purchase (cash and credit card), courtesy of Kingston’s Novel Idea Bookstore, and signing by authors.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for seniors and students, including refreshments. For sale at Murphy’s Barber Shop, 5 Church St., Westport (613-273-2145), at The Cove, 2 Bedford St., Westport (613-273-3636 or 1-888-COVE-INN), and at the door, if available.

If you would like more information about this event please contact 

Norman Peterson at (613) 273-7781 or