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Elephant Mountain Literary Festival celebreates ten years virtually

The tenth anniversary of the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival (EMLF) will be celebrated a little differently this year.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will be run completely online.

“While we’ll miss being together in one place, the beauty of online is that anyone can join us, from anywhere. You might have a watch party with your sister in St. John’s and your best friend in Montreal,” said Robyn Lamb, Executive Director. “It’s a stellar lineup with a greater reach than ever before.”

EMLF runs from July 7-11 with all special events are done by donation and workshops are being run in small groups for a reasonable fee.

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The five-day festival is jam-packed with a lineup of amazing presenters and fascinating workshops.

It kicks off on July 7th at 7:oo p.m., with a keynote address on the 2021 theme of “Writing in a Dangerous Time”, which will be given by award-winning fiction, non-fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and playwright Cheryl Foggo. Foggo is also known for the work of uncovering the stories of Alberta’s early Black Pioneers.

The next day kicks off at 5:00 p.m. with celebrated Dene writer, Richard Van Camp, offering a craft talk on writing for kids and teens. The festival continues on at 7:00 p.m. with a reading and wine night. The night involves some of the region’s finest storytellers like Pat Henman, Shayna Jones, Rayya Liebich, and Zaynab Mohammed.

Night three is packed with seasoned professionals at the EMLF. Newfoundland novelist Lisa Moore, The Golden Spruce and The Tiger author John Vaillant, and multi-award-winning poet Fred Wah will be holding a session at 7:00 pm. All three were involved in the very first festival ten years ago.

July 10th is a busy day for the festival. Poet, nonfiction author, and adventurer Jenna Butler, poet, memoirist, and teacher Carla Funk, accomplished playwright Clem Martini, and Dene writer Richard Van Camp will all be “taking the stage” at 7 pm.

Workshops are available throughout the festival but are limited to ten people each and fees do apply. The workshops will be include, nature writing by Jenna Butler, poetry with Carla Funk, and playwrighting with Clem Martini. Along with hosting a workshop, Butler will be joined by local novelist Anne DeGrace for one-on-one sessions for writers who pre-submit their work.

The EMLF concludes with a special reading by those who participated in the workshops. The annual Richard Carver Award for emerging writers will also be given out during the closing ceremony.

“It’s a fitting celebration to mark ten years of bringing exceptional Canadian literary talent to Nelson,” said Lamb. “The list of past presenters is a literary who’s who, and this year is no exception.”

MORE: Elephant Mountain Literary Festival

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