2023 Schedule of Events

*Schedule may be subject to change.

Wednesday, May 31

Café littéraire: le dialogue
Hosted in French by Batiste Foisy
NorthWords goes French! Discover the voices of local francophone writers and share your own French language creative writing. Reading of original dramatic dialogues created by local writers during creative writing workshops facilitated by Franco-Ténoise playwright Amber O’Reilly. The event will also include an open mic segment. An opportunity to share your poems, monologues or stories en français.
6:00 pm, Sundog Trading Post

Thursday, June 1

Gather: A Spoken Word Open Mic (All Ages!)
Hosted by Hilary Bird
6:15 pm, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre

Friday, June 2

Workshop: Reclaiming Family Medicines with Richard Van Camp
Join hometown author Richard Van Camp for this amazing workshop which will help participants dive into reclaiming their family medicines.
9am – 10:30am, Mary Kaeser Library – Fort Smith

Fort Smith Miracle Stories with Richard Van Camp
Join Richard Van Camp as he shares from his collection of children’s stories and miracle stories that happened to him while growing up in Fort Smith.
12pm -1:30 pm, Mary Kaeser Library – Fort Smith

Literary Lunch Break
Readings by Jessica Johns, Jamesie Fournier, Stephen Kakfwi, Shirley McGrath and Pat Kane
12 pm-1 pm, Yellowknife Visitor Centre

NorthWords Writers Festival Gala
NorthWords NWT is pleased to present its 18th Annual Gala. The event will feature readings by guest authors Britta B, Jessica Johns, Jordan Abel, Richard Scarsbrook, Fran Hurcomb, Stephen Kakfwi, and Katlia Lafferty, and a musical performance by Ryan McCord.
Hosted by Ollie Williams.
7:30 pm, Northern Arts and Cultural Centre
$20 Tickets available through NACC online

Saturday, June 3

Panel Discussion: So You Want to Get Published
Everything you wanted to know but weren’t sure who to ask about publishing in Canada.  From the importance of editing, to how to present a finished manuscript to publishing houses to self-publishing options, these experienced published authors are eager to share their know-how with you.
Richard Scarsbrook, Jessica Johns, Lana de Bastiani , Celine Dewez, Myranda Bolstad, Shirley McGrath.
Moderated by Joseph LaBine.
10 am-11:30 am, Union of Northern Workers – North Star Building

Workshop: Writing about What Matters with Jordan Abel
Join Griffin Poetry Prize-winning author Jordan Abel for a session on how to tackle the central issues in your writing and how to find your way through these issues in a manner that makes for engaging, dynamic writing. This workshop is grounded in memoir writing but contains information and strategies that can work across many genres!
10 am-11:30 am, Union of Northern Workers – North Star Building
$10. Register Here!

Family Storytime with NorthWords
Come and share the magic of stories with your children at this free event featuring wonderful books read by the authors.
Laura Deal, Jessie Wilson, Dawn Doig, Richard Van Camp, Amber Henry.
10:30 am-11:30 am, Yellowknife Public Library meeting room.

Illustration Demonstration with Alison McCreesh
Please join Alison McCreesh for a fun, family friendly interactive activity. Watch your ideas grow on the page as Alison creates an illustration with input from the attendees!
11:45 am-12:45 pm, Union of Northern Workers – North Star Building

Book Club: Moccasin Square Garden with Richard Van Camp
A varied collection of short stories ranging from the hilarious to the macabre, Moccasin Square Gardens showcases the fantastic storytelling range of award winning Dene author, Richard Van Camp. Read the book, then come meet the author!
1:00 pm-2:00 pm, Yellowknife Public Library – Find more information here!

Panel Discussion: Blurred Lines: Considering the Genre of Poetry
Five powerful authors with an impressive body of shared writing experience in moving between poetry, short stories, novels, screen plays, creative non-fiction essays, and even multimedia art will try to answer the questions “Which genre?” and “Why poetry?” These writers recognize that poems don’t often resemble those found in the dusty textbooks of yore. During this moderated discussion, they will share stories about experimenting with hybrid forms and how their personal experiences with poetry have shifted over the years.
Britta B, Jordan Abel, Cassandra Blondin Burt, Jamesie Fournier, Robyn Scott. Moderated by Elaine Gillespie.
1pm-2:30 pm, Union of Northern Workers – North Star Building

Workshop: The Nuts and Bolts of Fiction Writing! with Richard Scarsbrook
In this workshop, we will outline all of the things a writer needs to think about when working on a new story.  Learn how Point of View, Verb Tense, Modifiers, Language Use and Literary Devices affect the way that a reader experiences a story. Discover how to develop realistic characters, settings, and plots.  Find out how to create a great title for your work every time, and when a story should end. 
1pm-2:30 pm, Union of Northern Workers – North Star Building
$10. Register Here!

Panel Discussion: Small Readers, Big Ideas: Books for Children About Things that Matter
While most children’s books have a light-hearted tone, we can also use picture books to guide children into difficult conversations.
In this moderated discussion, children’s authors will talk about their insight and experience writing about topics such as coping with grief, caring for mental health, dealing with difficult family dynamics, and more.
Richard Van Camp, Laura Deal, Dawn Doig, Amber Henry. Moderated by Lana de Bastiani.
3 pm-4:30 pm, Union of Northern Workers – North Star Building

Workshop: SPEAK! Performing for the Stage with Britta B
SPEAK is an introduction to spoken word workshop providing participants an opportunity to develop writing and performance techniques. This session includes a brief history of oral traditions, writing prompts and energizing activities to build confidence and gain comfort with on-stage performance.
3:00 pm-4:30 pm, Union of Northern Workers – North Star Building
$10. Register Here!

Blush: An Evening of Erotica & Sensual Spoken Word
This popular NorthWords event is a saucy and titillating open mic event showcasing guest authors Britta B, Richard Scarsbrook, local writers and YOU! Featuring the smooth jazz stylings of Rob Elo.
Hosted by Robyn Scott.
7:30 pm, Top Knight
$20 Tickets available Here!

Sunday, June 4

Family Storytime with NorthWords
Come and share the magic of stories with your children at this free event featuring wonderful books read by the authors.
Laura Deal, Matt Fournier, Lana De Bastiani, Sebastian Berbane, Sarah Kalnay-Watson.
10:30 am-11:30 am, Yellowknife Visitor Centre.

Panel Discussion: The Sh*t People don’t Tell You about Writing
A VERY honest panel discussion for aspiring and emerging writers who want to improve the quality of their work and learn more about the publishing industry from the people who have been there.
Richard Van Camp, Richard Scarsbrook, Jessica Johns, Katlia Lafferty. Moderated by Jessica Davey-Quantick.
10:30 am -12:00 pm, Union of Northern Workers – North Star Building

Workshop: Writing Through Drawing; an Artist’ Guide to Writing with Kody Ferron
Join Kody Ferron as he uses an “art first” approach to demonstrate how he takes a simple kernel of an idea and expands it into rich, fantastic, expansive worlds that are ripe for story telling!
10:30 am – 12:00 pm, Union of Northern Workers – North Star Building
$10. Register Here!

Panel Discussion: Writing Creative Nonfiction – True Stories Well Told
NorthWords NWT has gathered a diverse group of Creative Nonfiction writers to discuss tips and tricks on their research process and compiling information, when to get creative with the facts, and how they placed everything together to turn their work into a compelling piece. Jordan Abel, Jamesie Fournier, Katlia Lafferty, Pat Kane. Moderated by Grace Guy.
1:00 pm -2:30 pm, Union of Northern Workers – North Star Building

Workshop: Creative Writing Kick-Start with Richard Scarsbrook
Eliminate “Writer’s Block”!  Discover new ideas for stories you didn’t even know you had!  Transform your experiences, ideas, and feelings into great stories!  Using fun, real-time writing cues and prompts, you can leave this workshop with the beginnings to up to a dozen new stories.
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm, Union of Northern Workers – North Star Building
$10. Register Here!

Closing Words: Stories That Heal
Richard Van Camp thinks of stories, whether for adults, young adults, or children, as medicine. The beauty of fiction, he said, is that it can fix what has been broken, by providing alternative realities. “When something breaks my heart, I think: how can I honour this, how can I write about this?” Join Richard as he discusses with featured festival authors the impact stories can have on an individual and communities. He will invite them to consider their role as storytellers in reshaping contemporary mindsets and helping readers to imagine a different way of moving forward. Jessica Johns, Richard Scarsbrook, Laura Deal, Jordan Abel, Britta B, Katlia Lafferty, Stephen Kakfwi. Moderated by Richard Van Camp.
3:00 pm – 4:30 pm, Union of Northern Workers – North Star Building

All events are open to the public. Admission is free unless otherwise indicated. 50% discount for youth and students on all workshops.


Thank you for your support!