Since the beginning of time we’ve been communicating by telling stories. And even before humans learned to read and write stories were passed through generations to embed family values and to celebrate cultures. Inspired by one of the greatest story tellers of our time, Nobel Laureate for Literature and Wingham native, Alice Munro, a Festival was created with a mandate to nurture emerging writers and celebrate the short story.
The Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story (AMFSS) is now in its 20th year. In 2022 it hosts a 3-day literary festival offering workshops and onstage presentations as well as the annual short story competition for emerging writers in both an Adult and Youth Category. And, in order to bring writers and children of all ages together through storytelling, the Alice Munro Festival of the Shot Story was expanded to include programming dedicated just to kids – specifically students in Avon Maitland District School Board. The Kids Festival is a fundamental part of achieving its goal to nurture the next generation of great Canadian authors and is presented in partnership with the Foundation for Enriching Education.
This year’s guest authors include:
• Alexander MacLeod, a Giller Prize finalist, with Animal Person, a magnificent collection about the needs, temptations, and tensions that exist just beneath the surface of our lives.
• Nita Prose brings mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, as her new release The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different.
• Martha Schabas has penned a piercing, poignant novel about truth in art and identity in My Face in the Light.
• Danielle Daniel imagines the lives of women in the Algonquin territories of the 1600s in a story inspired by her family’s ancestral link to a young girl who was murdered by French settlers, in Daughters of the Deer.
• Looking for Jane by Heather Marshalls tells the story of three women whose lives are connected by a long-lost letter, secrets, loss, and the fight for women’s right to choose.
• Buffalo is the new Buffalo by Chelsea Vowel tells powerful stories of “Metis futurism” that envision a world without violence, capitalism, or colonization; and the
• Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story for Kids will feature virtual school readings and presentations by David A. Robertson, Tara Anderson, Wesley King and Katherine Battersby.
Workshops are always a popular part of Festival. This year writers can take five masterclasses with our bestselling Canadian guest authors including: Process, Prompts and Possibilities with Danielle Daniel, Exceptional Faults: Finding the qualities (and flaws) that make your writing unique with Martha Schabas, “Who are these people and what is happening to them?” Character and Plot in Short Fiction with Alexander MacLeod, and Publication 101 from a #1 Bestselling Author, with Heather Marshall. Workshops and the Awards Luncheon are $30 per person, while the author readings are free. Friday and Sunday events are virtual and Saturday events are all held at the Maitland River Community Church in Wingham.
The annual festival is generously supported by: County of Huron, Township of North Huron, Dr. Marie Gear, Royal Homes, Capital Power, Leslie Motors, Stainton’s Home Hardware, Crawford, Mills & Davies Law Office, Joe Kerr Ltd., Hurontel, Britespan Building Systems, MicroAge Basics, John Schenk Legal Howick Mutual Insurance Company and Glassier Physiotherapy Clinic.
Full details and ticket links are available on the website at www.alicemunrofestival.ca.