BookFest! The Bookiest of Days!

[Yes, we know ‘bookiest’ isn’t a word – but we couldn’t find the perfect one, so we made one up.]

We are super excited to have put together a really special event – our first ever BookFest is just two weeks away on Saturday, November 19! What is a book fest? Well I’m glad you asked. It’s a smorgasbord of prairie book goodness taking over the second floor of Millennium Library, brought to you by Winnipeg Public Library as well as the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers, and generously funded by the Winnipeg Public Library Board. There are tons of things planned:

1-handwrittenBook Tastings

Like a wine tasting — but with books! We will provide small yummy samples of new and top titles in prairie fiction and non-fiction. A sure way to find new favourites, with one of the showcased books up for grabs at every ‘tasting’.
Running time is 11 am – 4 pm in the Anne Smigel Room (second floor, west side of the library).

Here are the 30-minute seatings:

11-11:30 am Life and Death: notable new memoirs & mysteries

12-12:30 pm Past and Present: compelling local history and military must-reads

1-1:30 pm Fact and Fiction: hot (and hidden gems) in non-fiction and fiction

3-3:30 pm Turtle Island Reads: new and classic Indigenous titles

2How to Judge a Book by Its Cover

I’ve started to notice a trend in what books pique my interest enough to pick them up (bold colours, retro photographs). What kind of cover makes you reach for a particular book? How does a publisher choose which cover to use? Why do so many book covers feature headless people, anyway? Charlene Diehl of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival will lead a discussion 2-3 pm in the Carol Shields Auditorium featuring cover designers from Doowah Design and Mel Matheson, Librarian Barbara Bourrier-Lacroix, and Jamis Paulson of Turnstone Press.

See what I mean by a headless cover?


3-2Book Fair

Tables and tables and tables of local authors and publishers scattered around the second floor, with prize draws every hour! From 11 am to 4 pm.

number-4   Colour & Create

Anishinaabe artist Jackie Traverse will be showcasing her brand new Indigenous colouring book, Sacred Feminine. Colouring sheets will be available to try out. From 11 am to 4 pm in Wii ghoss.


number-5-handwritten     Book Club Corner

We know you’re always searching for good book club picks and we’ve got titles your group will love (or love to discuss, at any rate)! Plus, enter to win a set of 10 copies of The Opening Sky and an appearance by its author Joan Thomas at your book club!


 And Even More Books!

Just in case you weren’t already staggering under armloads and lists of to-read books, there’s still more! Displays of recommended reads on different themes will be stashed throughout the second floor, including a selection of titles personally curated (so fancy) by our Writers-in-Residence, Christine Fellows and John K. Samson!


See you Saturday, November 19 all over the second floor, Millennium Library, 251 Donald Street!!




2 responses to “BookFest! The Bookiest of Days!

  1. To the organizers:
    Who is exactly the force behind the running this event? Is it run by the Manitoba Publishers Assoc? The Library? And how were the “featured” books chosen? Was there a book panel who chose the books to highlight, other than the writers-in-residence list. if there are book tables for local authors, who contacts the authors ahead of time? If it is a book fest, then why weren’t all prairie-published writers notified – who have books out in the past few years. Surely the library would know. Does a book have to be prairie published? Or does it include prairie writers no matter where they are published? I’m not including myself in this, although I do have a new YA novel coming out next year. However, I know of one Manitoba writer, a new writer on the scene, with a very well received novel published by Coteau last year. My sister Erna Buffie’s novel “Let Us Be True.” This writer was not asked or notified to be involved in your “BookFest.”. I’m curious to know who chooses the books and what the criteria is for picking one book or writer over another. And also, why some writers and publishers knew about it in time to plan a table or to participate in it – and other published writers and prairie publishers were not informed.

  2. Hi Margaret,

    BookFest was organized by the Library and AMBP (Association of Manitoba Book Publishers). AMBP’s member publishers chose whether to participate and which of their books they wanted to highlight. Unfortunately, Coteau is not a member of AMBP as they are based out of Saskatchewan.

    One table was designated for local authors, and writers who we had to turn away from our self-published author fair last year due to lack of space were given first priority for timeslots at that table.

    We hope to make BookFest an annual event, and any local authors would certainly be welcome to participate in future years. Look for more details in late summer 2017. If you have any more comments or concerns, feel free to contact me at dpilon (at) winnipeg dot ca.


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