Archive for the ‘Kids’ Category


Only Three Months Away

June 22, 2017

The 2017 Word Vancouver festival is now only three months away! The main festival day is Sunday, September 24 and will once again take place at Library Square. Satellite events will take place at venues throughout Vancouver in the week leading up to the Sunday, from September 19-23.

We have tons of exciting author readings in store for this year, including Carleigh Baker (Bad Endings), John MacLachlan Gray (The White Angel), Daniel Zomparelli (Everything is Awful and You’re a Terrible Person), and Grant Lawrence (Dirty Windshields: The Best and Worst of the Smugglers Tour Diaries).

Readings for children will include Jen Sookfong Lee (Chinese New Year: A Celebration for Everyone), Nicola Campbell (A Day With Yayeh), and Sarah Ellis (Waiting for Sophie).

There will be poetry readings by Michael V. Smith (Bad Ideas), Heidi Greco (Flightpaths: The Lost Journals of Amelia Earhart), Leanne Dunic (To Love the Coming End) and more.In addition to the author readings, there will also be a variety of panel discussions, writing workshops, and more. Stay tuned for more details!


Activities for Kids and Families

September 14, 2016

Word Vancouver will once again have plenty of fun and activities for kids and families, with three venues on Sunday, September 25 devoted just to them!


Alpha Bravo Charlie by Sara Gillingham

The kids’ reading venue is called The Quay this year, and as always, there will be tons of author readings for kids of all ages. Kathy Beliveau and her book The Yoga Game in the Garden invites children to hum like a bee and grow like a tree with a variety of yoga poses, while Sara Gillingham‘s book Alpha Bravo Charlie: The Complete Book of Nautical Codes will inspire kids to code and decode messages using nautical flags, Morse code, the phonetic alphabet, and semaphore signalling. Other lovely picture books include In the Red Canoe by Laura Bifano, about a young girl’s adventures with her Grandpa in their canoe, and What Grandma Built by Michelle Gilman, which tells the story of Grandma and the wonderful home she built her family that bursts with toys, bunk beds, and pies. Tales for middle grade readers (ages 8-12) will include Heart of a Champion by Ellen Schwartz, which tells the story of Kenny, who has been interned with his family following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, and his mission to convert a vacant field into a baseball field, thereby giving purpose to the long days; The Case of the Girl in Grey by Jordan Stratford, which continues the story of Ada Bryon Lovelace and Mary Shelley (the Wollstonecraft girls) as they investigate a horrible hospital, a missing will, a hasty engagement, and a suspiciously slippery servant; and Notes from the Life of a Total Genius by Stacey Matson, about Arthur’s final year at Terry Fox Junior High, and how he uses his wit (and his column in the school paper) to skewer the censorship of the play he wrote. Also in The Quay will be “Dumb and Stoopid,” two drawing workshops for kids aged 8-12 lead by For Better or For Worse creator Lynn Johnston.

Heart of a Champion by Ellen Schwartz

Heart of a Champion by Ellen Schwartz

The family entertainment stage, The Dock, will feature the talents of sibling phenoms Kai and Lia of Fiddlin’ Frenzy; Dixie Star Storytelling, who fire the imagination of children and grown-ups alike with their innovative and interactive shows; stories and songs from Renae Morriseau and M’Girl; and improv for all ages with Vancouver Youth Theatre.

Imagination Island is where you will find fun, interactive family activities all day long. Join the staff and volunteers of Christianne’s Lyceum and dress the trees around the library in beautiful words, hunt for word treasure to turn into a sparkling poem, or write a fortune to add to their fortune-telling machine. Compose a frameable, inspiring piece of literary art celebrating your adventures at Word Vancouver with CWILL BC members and Reading Lights contributors. Frontier College will have a bookmark-making station, a book coin toss, and a jelly-bean guess where kids can win a bundle of books. Visit the Vancouver Children’s Literature Roundtable and contribute to the creation of a colourful paper mural background and add your own collaged animals to it. Decoda Literacy Solutions, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, the FortisBC Street Team, Kids’ Lit Quiz, and WestCoast Families will have more fun activities on Imagination Island too!

Renae Morriseau of M’Girl

Renae Morriseau of M’Girl

Other family activities at this year’s Sunday event include a colouring book activity featuring pages from locally-published colouring books; and a fairy tale scavenger hunt, where kids can search the festival site for 10 characters and answer questions about them to win a prize.

In addition to Sunday’s programming, also be sure to visit Christianne’s Lyceum on Friday, September 23 for An Evening of Faerie Magic. The Lyceum’s garden has long attracted faeries far and wide. They will be celebrated with stories, treats, and crafts for the entire family. Enjoy tea and faerie bread while making faerie sculptures and listening to faerie stories told by experts Tiffany Stone, Kallie George, Danika Dinsmore, and Christianne Hayward.

A full listing of our family events and all other programming can be found in our program guide or on our website.


Only Three Weeks to Go!

September 1, 2016

Now that it’s September, the 22nd annual Word Vancouver festival is just around the bend! Join us for the main festival day on Sunday, September 25 in and around the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library, and for our satellite events taking place throughout the city from Wednesday, September 21 to Saturday, September 24.

The big Sunday event will once again feature our exhibitor marketplace, readings, panel discussions, writing workshops, site performers, family activities, and more, but you’ll notice our venue names have changed this year!

Community Garden will feature author presentations including Mark Leiren-Young (The Killer Whale Who Changed the World), Darcy Matheson (Greening Your Pet Care), Joy Kogawa (Gently to Nagasaki), Ujjal Dosanjh (Journey After Midnight), and Carmen Aguirre (Mexican Hooker #1), as well as an eco-fiction session and the panel “Writing From Within: Memoir and Identity.”

Joy Kogawa - blog

Joy Kogawa

At The Lions you’ll find authors such as Paul Yee (A Superior Man), Anosh Irani (The Parcel), Jennifer Croll (Bad Girls of Fashion), and Bif Naked (I, Bificus), as well as a presentation by VPL Writer in Residence Sam Wiebe and the panel “Inclusive Magazine Publishing: Barriers and Strategies for Writers and Publishers.”

Suspension Bridge will have two panels, “Demystifying the Submission Process” and “Fresh Blood,” a PRISM international showcase, and author readings from Yasuko Thanh (Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains), Jen Sookfong Lee (The Conjoined), Ronald Wright (The Gold Eaters), Charles Demers (The Dad Dialogues), and more.

Our poetry venue will move back into a tent this year and is called Sunrise Suite. Here you’ll find readings by Kim Fu (How Festive the Ambulance), Garry Gottfriedson (Deaf Heaven), Carla Funk (Gloryland), Juliane Okot Bitek (100 Days), and bill bissett (th book), as well as presentations from the Dead Poets Reading Series and six of the 2016 Poetry in Transit poets.

Kim Fu

Kim Fu

The Underground will once again feature comics and chapbook programming, including “Chapbook Races with Kevin Spenst,” the panel “Comics and the Creative Process,” “Drawing Autobiographical Comics with Sean Karemaker,” and chapbook readings from Leaf Press and above/ground press authors.

You’ll find more workshops and author presentations in Port of View and Perspective Point, including “Family as Inspiration: A Fiction Workshop with Simon Choa-Johnston” and “Invitation to English Tanka with Kozue Uzawa” in Port of View; and “Chalk Talk with Lynn Johnston,” an author presentation by Erik Bjarnason (Surviving Logan), “The Hustle with JJ Lee,” and “Creating an Excellent Book with Craig Shemilt” in Perspective Point.

Children’s and family programming will be found at The Quay, Imagination Island, and The Dock. The Quay will feature readings including Ellen Schwartz (Heart of a Champion), Uma Krishnaswami (Book Uncle and Me), Jordan Stratford (The Case of the Girl in Grey), and Laura Bifano (In the Red Canoe); and drawing workshops with For Better or For Worse creator Lynn Johnston. On Imagination Island, families and kids will find plenty of fun interactive activities, such as literary art making, book-making stations, trivia, and more. Performances at The Dock will include M’Girl, Dixie Star Storytelling, Fiddlin’ Frenzy, and Vancouver Youth Theatre.

Jordan Stratford

Jordan Stratford

In addition to our Sunday programming, we also invite you to join us on Wednesday, September 21 at The Emerald for the Poetry in Transit 20th–Anniversary Celebration; Thursday, September 22 at Banyen Books & Sound for a presentation and book signing with Mark L. Winston (Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive) and The Cottage Bistro for the Twisted Poets Literary Salon; Friday, September 23 at Christianne’s Lyceum for An Evening of Faerie Magic and Historic Joy Kogawa House for “Sober Second Thoughts with Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall”; and Saturday, September 24 at The HiVE for a day of professional development workshops, Carnegie Community Centre for Type Up!, and CBC Studio 700 for the Pandora’s Collective Literary Awards Gala.

Be sure to check out the official program guide for a full listing of events, or the Schedule page on our website for the most up-to-date information.


The 21st Annual Festival Concludes

October 8, 2015

Word Vancouver has wrapped up for another year. Thank you to everyone that participated and attended! We had a great time, and we hope you did too.

We enjoyed events from September 23 to 26 at venues including SFU Harbour Centre, The Cottage Bistro, Banyen Books & Sound, Christianne’s Lyceum, Historic Joy Kogawa House, CBC Studio 700, and the VPL Central Branch. The festival culminated with the main day on Sunday, September 27 in and around Library Square, where attendees delighted in author readings, writing workshops, panel discussions, entertainment, public typing stations, and more!

The 2015 festival saw the debut of our Family Stage, which featured family-friendly entertainment and activities all day long on our main festival day. Surrounding the Family Stage were plenty more kids and family activities, found under the Kids’ Lit and Kids’ Words tents. Thank you to those who donated to our Chimp campaign to help fund this new family programming!


Also new to the festival was our Underground Words + Art venue. This venue was devoted to everything comics and chapbooks and featured panels, workshops, readings, and exhibitors.

This year’s festival may have come to an end, but we’re already excited about next year’s! Look for details in the new year about the 2016 festival.


Tons of Family Activities

September 10, 2015

Dixie Star photoThis year Word Vancouver will have even more fun and activities for kids and families! 2015 marks the launch of our Family Stage, which will feature family-friendly fun and entertainment all day long on Sunday, September 27. Here you’ll find performances by Dixie Star Storytelling, Sharon Shorty (the current VPL Storyteller in Residence), Vancouver Youth Theatre, and Fiddlin’ Frenzy. You will also enjoy readings from award-winning Australian author Aleesah Darlison as well as Grant Lawrence, Mike McCardell, Nan Gregory, and Kathryn Shoemaker, who will share their favourite children’s books. In addition, there will be interactive sessions with Maura Camino, including Spanish Storytime and Spanish Music Time. Visit our website for a full listing of Family Stage entertainment.

Groundwood Logos SpineReturning for this year’s festival is Kids’ Words, which will feature author and illustrator readings from Deborah Hodge (West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet), Julie Flett (Dragonfly Kites), Robin Stevenson (The Summer We Saved the Bees), Brandee Bublé (Jayde the Jaybird), Robert Heidbreder (Song for a Summer Night), and more! If you’re looking for YA programming for your teens and tweens, you’ll find them in Authors’ Words, with readings from Darren Groth (Are You Seeing Me?) and Rachel Hartman (Shadow Scale)Kids’ Lit will also return with fun, interactive family activities provided all day long by FortisBC, Maura Camino, Christianne’s Lyceum, the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, Decoda Literacy Solutions, Frontier College, and WestCoast Families.

In addition to Sunday’s programming, be sure to join us at Christianne’s Lyceum on Friday, September 25, for “Adventure Awaits!” Following readings from Tiffany Stone, Elisa Gutiérrez, Kathy Beliveau, and Lee Edward Födi, children will be invited out to the Lyceum’s garden for a magical glow-in-the-dark treasure hunt!

Check out our website and official program guide for a full listing of festival events and activities.

Interested in supporting our children’s and family programming? Help us help kids fall in love with books and reading by donating to our Chimp campaign!


Word Vancouver is Back in 3 Weeks!

September 3, 2015

In just three weeks, Word Vancouver will return for its 21st annual festival! The main festival day will take place at Library Square on Sunday, September 27, with satellite events taking place at locations throughout the city from Wednesday, September 23 to Saturday, September 26. And as always, everything is FREE!

BeyondThePaleOur main festival day you know and love will feature an exhibitor marketplace, author readings, workshops, panel discussions, entertainment, and more. Author readings will include Arthur Black (Paint the Town Black), Stan Persky (Post-Communist Stories), Emily Urquhart (Beyond the Pale), and George Bowering (Ten Women) in Canada Writes; Rachel Hartman (Shadow Scale), Owen Laukkanen (The Stolen Ones), and Ashley Little (VPL Writer in Residence) in Authors’ Words; Julie Flett (Dragonfly Kites), Robin Stevenson (The Summer We Saved the Bees), and Troy Wilson (The Duck Says) in Kids’ Words; and Sandy Shreve (Waiting for the Albatross), Daphne Marlatt (Liquidities), Chelene Knight (Braided Skin), and John Pass (Forecast) in Poetry On The Bus.

At the same time these author readings are taking place, you will also find workshops and panels such as “How to Captivate Readers through the Senses with Helen Polychronakos” and “Getting Started and Staying Motivated as a Published Children’s Book Author” in Ricepaper_cover_20.2Writing Talks and Word Talks; and Magazine Words will once again feature presentations, readings, and panels from local literary magazines such as Room Magazine and Ricepaper Magazine.

New for this year’s festival are Underground Words + Art, featuring comic and chapbook exhibitors and programming, and the Family Stage, featuring family friendly activities and entertainment. Programming in Underground Words + Art will include a “Comics Workshop for Beginners with David Lasky,” readings from the chapbook Cascadia, and the panel “Comics: DIY and Self-Publishing.” Family Stage programming will include Dixie Star Storytelling, Vancouver Youth Theatre, and Fiddlin’ Frenzy.

Grant-Lawrence-hires-cbcIn addition to the main festival day programming, you are invited to join us on Wednesday, September 23 at SFU Harbour Centre for the Launch Party for The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them; Thursday, September 24 at The Cottage Bistro for Pandora’s Collective Twisted Poets Literary Salon; Friday, September 25 at Christianne’s Lyceum for “Adventure Awaits,” Banyen Books & Sound for a presentation and book signing with Kemila Zsange, Historic Joy Kogawa House for “Adventures in Song and Story with Grant Lawrence,” and CBC Studio 700 for the Pandora’s Collective Literary Awards Gala; and Saturday, September 26 at the VPL Central Branch for a full day of professional development sessions on a variety of topics.

For a full list of programming, take a look at our official program guide, or visit the Schedule page on our website for the most up-to-date information.


Word Vancouver Returns in 3 Months!

June 15, 2015

Summer is in the air, and that means Word Vancouver is just around the bend! From September 23-27, you can enjoy everything from author readings and live entertainment to workshops and panels. And it’s all FREE! We are still firming up this year’s programming, but a lot of exciting events have already been confirmed.

John Vaillant

John Vaillant

As always, our main festival day (Sunday, September 27) will feature many author readings from fiction and non-fiction writers, children’s authors, and poets. This year’s author appearances will include John Vaillant (The Jaguar’s Children), Alix Hawley (All True Not a Lie In It), Michael Christie (If I Fall, If I Die), Charles Demers (The Horrors: An A to Z of Funny Thoughts on Awful Things), and Aislinn Hunter (The World Before Us).

Children’s and YA readings will be back outside on Library Square and will include Susin Nielsen (We Are All Made of Molecules), Australian author Aleesah Darlison (Spider Iggy), and the illustrator of Dennis Lee’s latest children’s collection Jeremy Tankard (Melvis and Elvis). There will also be a family entertainment stage and activities.

Poets such as Dina Del Bucchia and Daniel Zomparelli (Rom Com), Kevin Spenst (Jabbering with Bing Bong), and Amber Dawn (Where the words end and my body begins) will once again enthrall audiences on the ever popular Poetry Bus.

In addition to all the author readings and entertainment on Library Square, you will find panels and workshops inside the library, a few of which will feature comics and chapbooks! Comics workshops will be facilitated by David Lasky and Ken Steacy, and a chapbook workshop by Kevin Spenst.

As in the past, there will be plenty of other events taking place throughout the city during the four days leading up to Sunday’s main event. We are once again partnering with Pandora’s Collective for their Twisted Poets Literary Salon as well as their Pandora’s Collective Literary Awards Gala. Other events from Wednesday, September 23 to Saturday, September 26 are expected to take place at Banyen Books & Sounds, The Paper Hound, Historic Joy Kogawa House, and the VPL Central Branch. Stay tuned for more details!