First Hubbards Writers Festival Happening in May

Multitude of writing workshops and lobster supper in honour of Budge Wilson are main events

Have you ever wondered how to make it as a professional author? Here’s a perfect chance to find out.

The first Hubbards Writers Festival will take place May 1 to 3, and according to its organizer, it will be different from any other writing festival in the province.

“What we’re trying to do is appeal to different levels and genres and interests of writers so that people can come and engage with people who are successful in those areas and leave feeling like, ‘I can do it’,” said Pat Thomas, a local freelance editor of 11 years and the creator of her own publishing company based in Hubbards. “It was my idea but I have a committee of 13 and everybody’s sort of pulling together to do this.”

The event was organized over the past 13 months by the Hubbards Writers group.

“We were sort of looking at Hubbards as a sort of sleepy quiet place and we know that on Mother’s Day it sort of opens up more to tourism, so we wanted to do something early for the community,” she said of the weekend, which will have three main events.

On Friday night, a roast-and-toast dinner is being held to celebrate accomplished 88-year-old author Budge Wilson. She has received the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia. Lobster is the entrée that evening. “The Budge dinner has developed a life of its own. Right now, it’s over 70, and we’re expecting in the next week to have 20 or 30 more,” said Thomas, who says the capacity is set at 120 seats.

Workshops by award-winning and internationally acclaimed authors such as Patrick Lane, Lorna Crozier, Mark Lefebvre, Bill Conall and Julianne MacLean are being held Saturday. Subjects such as how authors can market their books, e-publish, aspects of diction and writing a suspenseful mystery series, are among many options offered.

Ms Thomas admits registrations for the workshops have been slower than organizers hoped. “We have those amazing people coming in,” said Ms Thomas, who has local authors attending the event along with others from across the country and one from as far away as Australia. “We don’t want to cut our programs, but we’re really hoping to get a surge of registrations. We’re kind of on tenterhooks right now.”

To encourage more registrations, organizers have reduced prices. The full weekend now costs $160 per person, the dinner is $60 by itself, two two-hour workshops are $105 per person and two workshops with lunch are $115.

Sunday is devoted to a series of community readings by published authors in six venues between Hubbards and Northwest Cove. They will start at 11 a.m. and shift locations. Every hour will feature five new readers. These are free to anyone to attend.

“Books are evolving; they’re not just words on a page anymore,” said Ms Thomas of the readings, mentioning one of the writers taking part in Northwest Cove needs music and sound equipment. “It’s becoming more of a performance.”

The group is expecting 250 registrants over the course of the three events.

“I think it’s the inclusivity,” said Ms Thomas of what will ultimately make this different from other festivals and of why anyone interested in writing should check it out. “I think it’s the fact that we’re looking at writers as writers, not as literary writers, not as romance writers, not as memoir writers. We’re trying to address the interest of all of those instead of focusing on one.”

As originally published in LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin

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