2024 Festival:
October 21–27
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Short Stories, Great Tales with Norma Dunning, Alix Ohlin, and Casey Plett

The short story: the hardest narrative to craft and an often-underrated form, it’s one of the Festival’s favourite areas to explore in events. Rediscover the beauty of these slim delights with an event exploring the crafting behind them. Norma Dunning draws on both lived experience and cultural memory to weave six new short stories centred on modern-day Inuk characters in Tainna; The Unseen Ones. Two-time Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalist, Alix Ohlin is incapable of writing a story that’s anything other than a masterclass in craft. We Want What We Want is populated by bad parents and inescapable old flames. Lambda Literary Award winner Casey Plett’s collection, A Dream of a Woman, is one of the most anticipated books of the season. Her work buzzes with quiet intensity and intimate complexities as Plett centers transgender women seeking stable, adult lives.

Moderated by Bill Richardson.

Participants and Speakers

Norma Dunning

NORMA DUNNING is a writer as well as a scholar, researcher, professor and grandmother. Her first book, the short story collection, Annie Muktuk and Other Stories (University of Alberta Press, 2017), received the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story, and the Bronze for short stories in the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards. She is also the author of the poetry collection Eskimo Pie (Bookland Press, 2020), an Alberta bestseller. (ALBERTA)

Alix Ohlin

ALIX OHLIN is the author of five books, including the novels Inside and Dual Citizens, which were both finalists for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Best American Short Stories, and many other publications. Born and raised in Montreal, she lives in Vancouver, where she chairs the creative writing program at the University of British Columbia. (BRITISH COLUMBIA)

Casey Plett

CASEY PLETT is the author of A Dream of a Woman, Little Fish, and A Safe Girl to Love; the co-editor of Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers; and the publisher at LittlePuss Press. She has written for the New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, the Guardian, the Globe and Mail, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and the Winnipeg Free Press, among other publications. Winner of the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, the Firecracker Award for Fiction, and the Lambda Literary Award twice, she has also been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. She splits her time between New York City and Windsor, Ontario.

Bill Richardson

BILL RICHARDSON is the author of Last Week, an illustrated children’s book that sensitively portrays medical assistance in dying (MAiD); I Saw Three Ships, a collection of stories set in Vancouver’s West End; and Hare B&B, a picture book with illustrations by Bill Pechet.