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The WGA and Horizons Writers Circle Present: Literary Festivals 101

Literary Festivals 101

Thursday, November 18, 2021.
6:30 MST
, Free


The Writers’ Guild of Alberta is hosting the first panel of their new 101 Series on all things literary. Four female festival directors from across Canada, Amanda Leduc, from The FOLD Festival, Charlene Diehl from Winnipeg’s Thin Air Festival, Fawnda Mithrush from LitFest YEG, and Shelley Youngblut, from Calgary’s Wordfest will share with us their insights on running literary festivals. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Edmonton Public Library through their 2021 Writer in Residence, Vern Thiessen.



Amanda Leduc is the author of THE CENTAUR’S WIFE and DISFIGURED: ON FAIRY TALES, DISABILITY, AND MAKING SPACE, which was shortlisted for the 2020 Governor General’s Award in Nonfiction. She has cerebral palsy and lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where she serves as the Communications Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD).

Photo: Luke Tokaryk


Dr. Charlene Diehl is the Director of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival (WIWF) THIN AIR and THIN AIR KIDS. She is also Project leader of Voices in the Circle: Celebrating Indigenous Writing in Canada, and Co-leader of the Manitoba Book Awards/Les Prix du livre du Manitoba.


Fawnda Mithrush is the executive director at LitFest, Canada’s only literary festival dedicated to non-fiction. She has played GM for Theatre Network and the outdoor Freewill Shakespeare Festival, and was named to EDify Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2020. A COPA and Yeggie Award-winning podcast producer (A Tale of Two Weeklies and I Don’t Get It), she is also Program Director for the Alberta Podcast Network, founder/producer of YEGPodfest, and curator of Taproot Edmonton’s weekly Arts Roundup.


Shelley Youngblut is the CEO & Creative Ringleader of Wordfest. She was the recipient of the 2020 Calgary Award for Community Achievement in the Arts and the 2018 Rozsa Award for Arts Leadership. She also won the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award at the Western Magazine Awards. Youngblut was the founding editor of Calgary’s award-winning Swerve magazine and has created magazines for ESPN, Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, Nickelodeon, Western Living, and The Globe and Mail. A former pop-culture correspondent for ABC World News Now and Canada Am, she is now often unconventionally opinionated on CBC Calgary’s Eyeopener.

Follow her on Twitter @youngblut and Instagram @youngblutshelley.

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