Readers and writers alike welcome at Salmon Arm festival

Jason Hewlett / Kamloops Daily News
May 22, 2012 01:00 AM

Word on the Lake co-organizer Judith Benson

There might be a misconception that the Word on the Lake festival is for writers only, but that's not the case.

In fact, Judith Benson, an author and member of the planning committee for the Salmon Arm-based festival, hopes a large number of readers will attend this weekend.

She said Tuesday the event, which runs Friday through Sunday at the Prestige Resort and Convention Centre, is the perfect opportunity for avid readers to buy a book and schmooze with the author.

"What would be more ideal?" she asked during a phone interview.

This is the ninth Word on the Lake festival, with the Shuswap Association of Writers hosting gatherings when interest warrants. Benson hopes to one day have enough interested writers and readers to make this an annual festival.

Registration takes place at the Prestige on Friday from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Online registration has ended, but anyone wanting to take part in the festivities can register in person.

A full list of writers and activities can be found online at, but Benson promised 13 B.C.-based authors will attend, offer advice, and share stories.

Keynote speakers are Ivan Coyote, author of seven books that have attracted six award nominations including the 2007 ReLit Award, and Sylvia Taylor, who has been short-listed for the CBC National Literary Award.

Included in the itinerary is a houseboat tour of Shuswap Lake on Saturday night that ends with a schmooze session at the local Okanagan College, she said.

Benson is a children's author who is completing a final draft of a historical non-fiction book called Emma's War. The novel tells the story of Sarah Emma Edmondson, who fled Canada and ended up serving in the U.S. civil war disguised as a man.

"It's been a lot of fun to research," she said.

For more information on Word on the Lake phone 250-832-3028 or go online to

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