A quarter turn to the fantastic

March 2024

Fantastical things are coming as Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop (NOWW) welcomes international best-selling author, Guy Gavriel Kay, to LitFest 2024 this May.

“I grew up in Winnipeg,” says Kay. “As such I have always felt some chagrin about never visiting Thunder Bay. I’m really pleased to have a chance to (belatedly) correct this by spending a few days as the guest author/speaker for Litfest2024 in May.”

Kay is the author of 16 novels including A Brightness Long Ago, Children of Earth and Sky and the recent All the Seas of the World. While he insists they are all “simply historical fiction,” most readers delight over his “quarter turn to the fantastic” as he weaves elements of mystery, myth and magic into the fabric of each story.

“I think that’s why he’s so popular,” says NOWW president, Heather Dickson (herself the author of 10 Speculative Fiction novels). “His stories are emotional journeys set in near-life human history, but he knits in threads of the fantastical, which are somehow both wildly imaginative and yet grounded at the same time. That’s Kay’s real magic.”

An Order of Canada recipient, Kay will be busy during the LitFest weekend with readings, book signings, and writer round-tables. As mentioned, Kay is relieved to finally address the geographical faux-pas of growing up so close to Thunder Bay but never having visited.

“Gives me a chance to look around, meet fellow authors there, and sign books for new (or old!) readers,” he says.

The Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop is a vibrant community of writers dedicated to fostering creativity, supporting aspiring authors, and promoting a love for literature. With a rich history spanning over 25 years, the organization is committed to providing opportunities for writers to hone their craft, connect with fellow wordsmiths, and showcase their work on a global stage. Their annual LitFest is a celebration of such work, including an Awards Gala for the 26th Annual Literary Contest. As Guest Author, Kay will presenting the keynote at the Gala, but will hopefully take in some of the city’s cultural places and attractions during his stay.

“I thought about trying the Big Thunder ski jump hill,” says Kay with a grin. “But we get (slightly) wiser as we get older. Very much looking forward to the visit.”

NOWW will endeavour to keep this celebrated author OFF the ski hills, at least, for the duration of LitFest 2024. After that, who knows what may happen when there’s a hint of magic in the air?

For more information, please go to www.nowwwriters.ca.

Heather L. Dickson is a photoshop guru, zoologist and author of 6 novels.

Visit her website at www.hleightondickson.com

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