Vancouver Writers Fest 2012 packs a national punch

This year’s internationally renowned Writers Festival features quite the national showcasing of Canadian talent with literary heavyweights such as, Margaret Atwood, Douglas Coupland, David Suzuki and Jane Urquhart on the bill. The 25-year-old event will run from October 16 to October 21 on Granville Island. Scheduled alongside our national writers, international novelists will also join in discussions and debates on the current state of storytelling through its myriad of mediums.

The 25th anniversary is hosting 77 events and offers some notable and worthy intellectual discourse. Australia’s climate commissioner Tim Flannery, a scientist and author, and David Suzuki get together to discuss environmental challenges. Four compelling female writers from around the world offer their experiences and views on gender equality in writing in a women and literature segment. Margaret Atwood, along with a panel of distinguished Canadian writers, examines literature on this side of the continent.

The festival isn’t just a thing that happens for a few days every autumn. The creative minds behind the idea have extended their brand of learning into the community. Throughout winter and into spring, workshops and presentations are held at the Vancouver Public Library in the form of Incite, a reading series, every second Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Writers from Canada and around the world are invited to take part in the series. Incite will be back Jan. 16, 2013.

Spreading The Word is another program spearheaded by the festival. An educational program set up for underprivileged schools in the city and throughout B.C., the festival sponsors writers to speak to up to two classes in a school about becoming a writer and reading their books.

For more information about the festival or getting a school involved in Spreading The Word, check out the festival Website,