“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

Welcome to the 2023 Whistler Writers Festival. We are grateful to live, work and learn on the unceded, shared territory of the Sḵwxwú7mesh Nation (Squamish) and Lil̓wat7úl Nation (Lil’wat).

Our theme is Connecting Through Story. Throughout human history, all cultures have had a tradition of storytelling. Before the written word, storytelling around a fire served as a warm and entertaining way to pass the long winter nights and share vital information, especially as groups of humans grew larger, beyond the family unit.
Storytelling also allows us to sit with emotions and experiences that we would not be able to in other contexts. Stories help us to feel empathy, and understand and appreciate the differences of others.

This year we hope to bridge some of the perceived gaps that the word “literary” can create. We want our community to know that stories are for everyone. And by “community” we include anyone who is curious and open about listening to storytellers from many cultures, whether they are emerging or established, local or from afar, traditionally or independently published.

I invite you to peruse the program with curiosity. The festival has gathered together an astounding group of storytellers, poets, musicians, and actors from across Canada. Come join us around the proverbial campfire and share in the extraordinary and enthralling experience of storytelling. Listen to the voices. Hear what they have to say. Be a part of our community.

Rebecca Wood Barrett
Artistic Director