Rules for reading Writers’ Festivals

  1. Pick a writer’s festival, local or otherwise. One at a time is more than plenty.
  2. Track down books. If you are a minimalist or live above a library hunt them down via said library. Steal your husband’s or roommate’s or mother’s requesting privileges. You’ll need them.
  3. If you cannot find a book via your library, convince the library to order it. Or, track them down new or used (if you’re more of a re-use type). Beg, borrow and steal from friends.
  4. Make sure you have a program that you can scribble all over as not to lose track of who and what you’ve read. Otherwise, you’ll get confused and re-order something from the library you already read and therefore waste one of the precious, limited library requests.
  5. Heavily ponder the books aimed at children.
  6. Much less heavily ponder the books aimed at adults.
  7. Listen to books on tape when accidentally ordered and be delighted you have more time for crafting. Time is a gift.
  8. Realize your livingroom requires significantly more lighting if you’re expected to read some of these books during the winter. The low light and the content of award-winning literary novels can be a deadly combination, unless you love literary genius. And napping.
  9. Keep reading. You cannot stop until you’re done.
  10. If you cannot find a book through your usual means, or if you’re not sure the author actually appeared at the festival, give yourself an out and skip it. Hopefully, the truth is that the writer has simply not written an entire book and you don’t need to feel guilty about the relative incompleteness of your reading list.
  11. Have minor anxiety when the book the library lists as ‘in’ cannot be found in the usual places. Realize you are looking in fiction and the title is a non-fiction.
  12. Keep reading. Ponder the universe. Consider the state of humanity. Mourn a little, at the end of some books. Sigh in relief at the end of others. We’re all just looking for something to help the world make sense.
  13. Blog about your feelings. Don’t write book reviews.

Previously read:

The 2017 Vancouver Writers Fest program. 110 authors.

A short run of books with the word love in the title.

If you have a writers festival you’d like me to read, please fill out the form on the Contact page.