Posted by Shannon Kirkwood on Jun 14, 2018
Stella Harvey, local author and founder of the Whistler Writers Group, presented to the Club on 14th June, 2018. 
 
As part of the Writers Festival, October 11-14, 2018 is the Author's in Schools program.  The programme is extremely well aligned with Rotary and our Club values in terms of Youth, Education, Writing and Literacy.
 
The Author's in Schools program began in 2012 with one author and 86 Grade 12 students. It's grown over time and could not be possible without funding from external sources, the Rotary Club of Whistler Millennium being one of those.  
 
A prodigy of Stella Harvey, it's grown in both numbers and need. Last year almost 2000 K-12 students were involved in schools from Squamish up to Mt Currie.  This year, with consultation from the schools and full integration into the BC Curriculum, there are three authors that will have their books in schools.  The audience has been modified to Grade 5-12 after feedback that the K-4 was a little too young.  The students have been given class sets and read the books over the year as part of the curriculum.  In October, the authors come to Whistler and enjoy an in person question / answer and debrief session about the book, themes and more.
 
Three authors are selected with 'diversity' being part of the selection process and with a strong focus on First Nations.  This Year, Eden Robinson from Kitimat is part of the programme along with Penny Draper and a novel co written by brothers Darren and Simon Groth.  See below for more information around the authors and their work.
 
The value of encouraging learning and knowledge through reading and writing is incredibly powerful. The carefully selected authors and topics is relevant to what students are facing in their everyday lives.  The Rotary Club of Whistler Millennium are honoured and pleased to able to sponsor this programme again.  
 
Mark your diaries for the upcoming festival in October.
 
Author Brief Bio:  
Haisla/Heiltsuk novelist EDEN ROBINSON is the author of a collection of short stories written when she was a Goth called Traplines, which won the Winifred Holtby Prize in the UK. Her two previous novels, Monkey Beach and Blood Sports, were written before she discovered she was gluten-intolerant and tend to be quite grim, the latter being especially gruesome because half-way through writing the manuscript, Robinson gave up a two-pack a day cigarette habit and the more she suffered, the more her characters suffered. Monkey Beach won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and was a finalist for the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Award for Fiction. Trickster Drift is the much-anticipated follow-up to Son of a Trickster, a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. In 2017, Eden won the Writers' Trust of Canada Fellowship. She lives in Kitimat, BC.
 
Penny Draper is the author of numerous books for middle grade and high school readers, including the award-winning "Disaster Strikes!" series, historical fiction that places young protagonists at the centre of real Canadian disasters. She likes to look at literature from all sides, having worked at various times in her life as a book buyer, a book seller, a book binder, a book reviewer, a book editor and a book publisher. But even before the books, there was story. For many years Penny worked as a professional storyteller, sharing tales at schools, libraries, conferences, festivals, on radio and television, even in an Arabian harem and from inside a bear’s belly. But those are stories for another time. When not writing, she can be found standing on her head in yoga class or zooming around the countryside on her scooter. She currently calls Victoria, British Columbia home.
 
Infinite Blue, a YA novel, is co-authored by Darren Groth and his brother Simon Groth, aka The Brothers Groth. Sonali Dev, award-winning author of A Bollywood Affair, calls this romantic tale  “Achingly beautiful and (infinitely) heartbreaking.” Please note, Simon Groth lives in Australia, but is planning to come to the West Coast this fall.