As long as I have lived on the Sunshine Coast – for over 25 years – there have been the voices of the region. Some have been newspaper editors and columnists, others purveyors of the written and printed word, and for the last decade, some have been bloggers.
But there are a select few of those voices I have known through reading for my entire life here, and four of them will be speaking at the 30th Annual Festival of the Written Arts this Friday, August 17th at 4:00pm at the Rockwood Pavilion: Betty Keller, Rosella Leslie, Maureen Foss, and Gwendolyn Southin.
Known as ‘The Quintessential Writers Group’, these four women have been grouped together as “the Founding Mothers”. They have never dabbled at writing; instead they flung themselves wholly into the work of authorship, tackling works requiring painstaking research, the creation of richly believable characters, and as a group have produced 29 books ranging from non-fiction to mysteries, local lore to inventive fiction novels.
I like to think of them as the distilled spirits of Sunshine Coast writers. There are many of us on the Coast, in symbiotic relationship with words, but the vast majority are not as disciplined (in my recollection frighteningly so, which is why I never attempted to join the early ‘writers group’ led by Betty Keller, rightly realizing I was not yet ready to generate the stamina and focus it required of its members) or prolific, especially in a group setting.
This Writers Festival event should be the most supported of all the tracks at this year’s weekend schedule. As a region we are lucky to have so many authors making a living from their work, and if we are celebrating Canadian writing then surely it makes sense for a locale to also turn out in spades to honor our own homegrown talent – talent that competes on any stage.
Tickets are available by calling 1-800-565-9631/604-885-9631 or by purchasing online at http://www.writersfestival.ca/guestinfo.html