Friday, October 23, 2009

writers' festival

Niece Maia and I went to the Vancouver International Writers' Festival on Thursday. We drove down to Granville Island together, for two daytime sessions, mostly populated by school groups.

In the morning, we saw "Some Words on Film." Robyn Harding is a novelist who is adapting one of her books for film. Don Calame is a screenwriter, who has published his first novel. They read from their work, and talked about the differences between writing for the page and for the screen, and the challenges of making a book into a screenplay. The audience was mostly high school writing and film students, and the question period was very interesting. I was as impressed with the students as I was with the presenters. An unexpected treat: the winner of the festival's high school writing challenge read her poem before the presentation began.

We had lunch in the market, and went to the hammock store to buy hardware for Fiona's hammock.

After lunch, we saw "Wanting Mor." Rukhsana Khan is a Toronto writer of children's and young adult fiction, who came to Ontario from Pakistan when she was a young girl. She read from her new novel about a girl who is abandoned by her family, and taken to live in a Kabul orphanage. In her presentation, she talked about life in Pakistan and Afghanistan, her experiences sponsoring children and building a library in an Afghan orphanage, and life as a Canadian Muslim woman. The middle school aged audience members responded to Rukhsana's frank and friendly presentation with riveting questions about Islam, terrorism, Barack Obama and families in crisis.

I am so glad that I attended these sessions, and that Maia came with me. It was a great day together, getting to know each other better and learning about the world and writing and how people live and think.

question: what are you reading these days?

mompoet - wanting mor

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