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The New Quarterly gets wild with its first festival

(photo: Brian St. Denis)

It was a wild weekend for The New Quarterly.

The literary journal hosted the inaugural Wild Writers Literary Festival, the only event of its kind in the Waterloo, Ontario, region.

TNQ editor Pamela Mulloy says the festival, held at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, was an opportunity to raise awareness, and increase subscriptions and donations. It’s hard to make a literary magazine visible, she says. We wanted to find a way to do what we do on the pages, which is to celebrate Canadian literature, but do it face to face.

From left to right: Miranda Hill, Carrie Snyder, Alison Pick, and Kerry-Lee Powell at the Wild Women Panel (photo: Brian St. Denis)

Approximately 230 people attended a Friday-night event with Terry Fallis, while over 150 people participated in Saturday’s activities, which included a workshop on writing great sex scenes, led by Russell Smith, Tamara Faith Berger, and Martha Schabas. Other highlights included a women writers’ panel with TNQ authors Alison Pick, Miranda Hill, Carrie Snyder, and Kerry-Lee Powell, and a spotlight on three CanLit Michaels: Helm, Redhill, and Crummey.

 Mulloy, who recently took over from long-time TNQ editor Kim Jernigan*, says that given the festival’s success, there are plans to turn Wild Writers into an annual event.

Alexander MacLeod discusses how to get published (photo: Brian St. Denis)

CORRECTION Nov. 7: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the former TNQ editor.