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Nine Creeker readers; nine jailed journalists


Author Gillian Kydd (right) and yours truly at the July 17 Gumboot Cafe readings

                                                                                                                          — George Smith photo

From the traffic mayhem of eyelash mites to erotic prose and historical fiction, nine Roberts Creek writers read an eclectic mix of creative prose July 17 at a fun launch/benefit.


Think globally. Read locally!, a special evening organized at the Gumboot Cafe by Jane Covernton, was a wonderful opportunity for an overflow crowd (about 60) to hear the voices and visions of these local writers:

  • Joanne Bennison: journalist, screenwriter, and young adult novelist
  •  Myself: “who likes to write true stuff best and is working on a scandalous family story”
  • Jane Covernton: self-published fiction writer who launched her third novel, The Modern Age, that evening
  • Rebecca Hendry: author of the novel Grace River, who has published short fiction in numerous Canadian literary magazines
  • Caitlin Hicks: an international playwright and performer and writer of fiction, nonfiction, drama, and comedy; her film Singing the Bones, produced on the Sunshine Coast, is celebrating its 10th anniversary
  • Gillian Kydd: author of Secrets of the Creek, a mystery set in Roberts Creek
  • George Payerle: author of two novels and two books of poetry
  • David Roche: an international performer and author of The Church of 80% Sincerity
  • Robin Wheeler: author of fiction and nonfiction books such as Gardening for the Faint of Heart

Each of us had 10 minutes to read, after drawing numbers from a hat to determine our order of appearance. (George was kind enough to swap with me so that I became #3 instead of #8.) It felt great to share in such a community-minded event with fellow writers and hear what each of us is working on. A number of writers stretched beyond their familiar genres and read new material. Some shared local content, from Gillian’s Secrets of the Creek to George’s comical account of a night at the Roberts Creek Legion.


Donations at the door raised $211.25 for PEN, the international organization that supports writers jailed for their published material. The event honored Dawit Isaak, co-owner of an independent newspaper in Eritrea and one of nine journalists imprisoned since 2001. Four of the reporters have since died in jail. As a symbolic gesture, Jane displayed an empty chair, bearing Isaak’s photo, next to the speaker’s platform.


Many thanks to Jane for organizing this event as a grassroots local occasion with a global rights-to-writers action, and for providing a book-sales table, sound equipment, stage, advertising materials, etc. Thank you to all the writers who participated, to Joe for allowing us to hold this event at the Gumboot, and to all the friends, family, and community members who attended. I hope that this becomes an annual event.


July 25, 2010 at 11:25 am
  • December 21, 2012 at 6:35 amflat fee mls

    I like the idea, and personally I think we need more actions like this. If everyone took the time to sort out what was really important, I think there would be big changes in this world. By the way, I also like the Gumboot Cafe.

  • November 12, 2010 at 6:46 amwww.heatherconnblogs.com

    I congratulate, a remarkable idea

  • July 25, 2010 at 9:18 pmDuane Burnett

    Heather thanks so much for writing about this wonderful writers fundraiser. Its uploaded to the “Sunshine Coast BC Canada” fan page on facebook. Look forward to your next articles! Well done. HUGS Duane

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