The Fernie Writers’ Conference was held in Fernie over the weekend, and was a bigger success than ever before.
Between 600 and 700 people attended the public events and registration was up by 20 per cent on last year.
“We had an incredible week with some very talented and dedicated instructors teaching over 65 students,” said organizer Randal Macnair. “Thank you to all of the sponsors and volunteers who made this all possible.”
Venues for different events included Fernie Alpine Resort, Island Lake Lodge and The Arts Station and big name authors included Marina Endicott, Betty Jane Hegerat and Tom Wayman.
“The 2011 edition of the Fernie Writers’ Conference was without doubt the most successful thus far,” said Macnair. “Fernie has likely never seen such a collection of Canadian literary talent. Between them, the presenters and faculty represented literally dozens of national awards and nominations.
“The presence of award-winning writer Marina Endicott was particularly exciting, not only for the strength of her writing and teaching ability but for the fact that this visit was a return to her childhood home. Endicott spent her early years in Fernie and related a number of stories of her fond memories in our community.
“Already people are asking to return in 2012 and it is our intent to have yet again an exciting event that enriches our community.”
Endicott, author of Good to a Fault, winner of the Commonwealth Prize and shortlisted for the Giller Prize, also said she enjoyed being a part of the conference.
“I had a seriously good time at the Fernie Writers’ Conference, both with my student writers during the week of intensive classes on creating character, and at the very engaging readings and panels that surround the class work,” she said. “Bringing together new and experienced writers, Randal and Christa wove learning and entertainment into an energetic yet relaxed schedule. It was particularly enjoyable for me to come home to Fernie and find such a writer’s welcome waiting.”