Open mic night is back and so is the One Day Writing Retreat

Back by popular demand, the Whistler Writers Festival offers a second open mic night and author reading in June, where storytellers can find their voices and share their creative works at Find Your Place, a free event at the Whistler Public Library.

Stories bring people together. That’s why the Whistler Writers Festival is bringing writers and audiences back together for a second installment of its popular open mic night. Find Your Place also features Vancouver author Alli Vail who will be reading from her debut novel, Brooklyn Thomas Isn’t Here.

This event builds on the success of the festival’s first open mic night in April at the Whistler Public Library, and will investigate the theme of being present, and what happens when the chaos of life causes people and characters to become ungrounded. 

“I was astounded by the talent of our local writers, and many of our audience members came up to me and said how impressed and surprised they were by the quality of the readings,” said Rebecca Wood Barrett, the festival artistic director. “We’re also very grateful the Whistler Public Library has been such a wonderful partner in helping us create these welcoming, inclusive events.”

Local storytellers who want to participate can email before Friday, June 7.

“The open mic opportunity is here for any person in our community who is dabbling in stories of any genre, has a work-in-progress, or a published book,” Wood Barrett said. “It’s a chance to get in front of people and share your ideas and point of view about the world.”

The event is rounded out with a reading from Brooklyn Thomas Isn’t Here, which is Vail’s debut novel. In Brooklyn Thomas Isn’t Here, Vail explores how women contort and minimize themselves to fit into the roles family and society offer them, and the serious price they pay for doing so. 

“This novel is a timely and wry exploration of the impact of grief, trauma and the patriarchy on women and our culture,” Wood Barrett said. “We’re excited to share this brand new work of Canadian fiction with audiences.” 

Find Your Place is a free event at the Whistler Public Library, Saturday, June 22 from 6-7:30 p.m. RSVP online for a free ticket. 

Earlier in the day, the festival brings back another popular event: the One Day Writing Retreat at The Point Artist-run Centre. This session offers writers a day of uninterrupted writing with a view of the mountains and glacial lake. The day starts with a meet and greet for attendees, a workshop called Using Dialogue to Elevate Emotional Arcs led by Alli Vail, and then writers are set free to daydream and write. This creative escape is limited to 15 people. 

The retreat runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Point Artist-run Centre, a rustic location in a rural area. Attendees must bring a snack, and food to share for the potluck meal. Registration for the retreat is now open. RSVP for a free ticket to Find Your Place.