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Writers' Fair taking place at Centre for Newfoundland Studies

By Janet Harron | April 29, 2013

The Centre for Newfoundland Studies’ (CNS) mandate is to have a copy of every book ever published by a Newfoundland and Labrador writer and a copy of every book ever published about Newfoundland and Labrador.

It’s not surprising, then, that the centre enjoys great relationships with numerous writers and publishers. 

The CNS will be hosting a Writers' Fair for the general public on Sunday, May 5, to celebrate this long-standing partnership.

Joan Ritcey, director of the CNS, conceived the idea for a writers' fair in consultation with University Librarian Lorraine Busby.

“We wanted to do something in the cause of public engagement, as so many of the centre’s initiatives and services are for the benefit of the residents of the province and have been since the centre’s inception," said Ms. Ritcey. "We had a successful event last year recognizing the Chinese community in Newfoundland and we were part of Reunion 2012 so we wanted to keep the momentum going. Lorraine and I thought about what was unique about the centre and we kept coming back to our extensive collection of writings by Newfoundlanders and Labradorians.”

The centre was established in 1965a By the end of 1975 the Bibliography of Newfoundland listed 5,000 books in the CNS. Today the centre holds 42,000 book titles, which, as Ms. Ritcey points out, shows the enormous growth in publications about Newfoundland and Labrador and by writers from Newfoundland and Labrador.

Forty writers will attend the event, which takes place from 1:30-5 p.m. at the Centre for Newfoundland Studies on the third floor of the  Queen Elizabeth II Library. The public is invited to sit down and chat with writers one-on-one about their books and the creative process. Throughout the afternoon at scheduled intervals, writers Gerard Collins, Patrick Warner, Claire Wilkshire, Mark Callanan, Lesleyanne Ryan, Chad Pelley, Russell Wangersky and numerous others will give short readings from their work. Memorial University writers attending include Peter Pope, Martha Hickman Hild, Anne Hart, Anna Kearney Guigné, Roberta Buchanan, Mark C. Hunter, Larry Felt and Sheilah Roberts.

Local publishers Flanker Press, Breakwater Books, Creative Books and Boulder Publications will display newly released titles and the Memorial University bookstore will handle book sales.

Families with children are welcome. There will also be a special emphasis on children’s books with writers Debbie Hanlon, Susan B. MacDonald, Jennifer Morgan and illustrator Rochelle Baker reading stories and singing songs.

For further details see

The event is free and parking is available in lot 18.