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What's in a WORD?

Saturday, September 22, literary artists will be taking over the streets surrounding the library as they celebrate the 8th annual Word On the Street Festival. The sheer number of books and genres can be overwhelming to festival attendees, so I spoke with Elisabeth Hegeret, Acting Director at the Lethbridge Library, to get some details on who to keep an eye out for at this year’s festival.

“There really is something for everyone” Hegeret says, as she lists off the collection of authors involved this year, and she was not exaggerating! Headlining the festival is Joy Fielding, a mystery and suspense writer who has been included in the New York Times bestseller list for several of her works. Angie Abdou, a fiction writer, will be showcasing her memoire called “Home Ice: Reflections of a reluctant hockey mom” and multiple award-winning author Pauline Dakin will be showcasing her memoire “Run, Hide, Repeat”.

This is a very family-friendly event with several authors who write specifically for youth. Faith Erin Hicks, a children’s comic and graphic novelist from Vancouver is the recent winner of the Rocky Mountain Book Award. In addition to her book being showcased at the festival, the award will also be presented during the festival. Celebrating local achievement, Word On The Street will announce the winner of the teen writing contest and feature a reading of their work.

For the emerging and established writers in the crowd who are looking for feedback on their writing, Hegeret is excited to announce that a panel of writers and publishers will be available for on the spot to give feedback of literary work for free. Slots to be included in this featured program will be available for sign-up prior to the event.
The Indigenous culture stage by Sik-Ooh-Kotoki Friendship Society will have various readings throughout the day including featured poet Joshua Whitehead. This stage will also host a traditional drum circle and will have a teepee onsite for people to enjoy.

All books that will be discussed and presented at the festival are available for purchase through the University of Lethbridge Bookstore, who has been proudly supporting the event every year with an on-site tent.
The Lethbridge Library welcomes everyone to come to this free event, to enjoy literary arts, the written and spoken word in a street fair environment. Food trucks will be in full force, a marketplace will be onsite and there’s even rumors of Clifford the Big Red Dog making an appearance. As the streets will be blocked off, attendees are invited to walk or bike to the site but ensure there will also be a designated parking on the south-west corner for accessible drop-off to the event.

Check out wordonthestreet.ca to find a schedule of events, learn about the participants in the festival and to find directions of the various booths and tents that will consume the streets.

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