Winterset means two things to local book lovers — the province’s richest literary award (The BMO Winterset Award) and a fabulous weekend-long festival now in its 15th year (The Winterset in Summer Literary Festival, out in Eastport). This week, they’ve announced their 2016 lineup, and you can buy tickets before they sell out here.

Now in its 15th year, “the Festival is well recognized for providing public access to the highest standard of literature” as well as musical guests and other artists. There are plenty of locals at their festival every year, alongside notable names from abroad — even Atwood’s been. For performers and attendees alike, it’s an intimate, interactive weekend of events, expeditions, scuffs and scoffs.

Sunday’s Events Will Be Dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of Beaumont Hamel

This year’s festival will run from August 14 – 16, and it is heavily focussed on commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Beaumont Hamel. For example, historical writer Frank Gogos and sculptor Morgan MacDonald will be hosted by the Rooms’ archivist Larry Dohey for a discussion about how their work and their family’s service in the war influenced their writing.

As well, Barbara Doran, award winning Newfoundland film producer, will be showing her latest documentary film depicting the epic and tragic story of the Beaumont Hamel massacre.

In addition, on August 12, David MacFarlane, award-winning author of the much beloved Danger Tree, will join Douglas Cameron, two-time Juno nominee, for a dramatic and music based performance of The Door You Came In. This production brings portions of David’s book to life, much of which dealt with his family’s experience during World War 1. “Neither a concert nor a play, this is a musical story about family, war, and memories.”

Other Events Feature Some of North America’s Finest Names

International award winning writer/historian, Margaret MacMillan — who gave this year’s prestigious CBC Massey Lecture — will be featured in a one-on-one discussion with noted political writer and commentator, Richard Gwyn.

The festival kicks off with a bang: at 3 pm on Friday, three Giller Award winners, Lynn Coady, Will Ferguson, and Elizabeth Hay, will talk about their writing lives, their passion for the written word, the impact of winning big literary awards, and the pressures of writing in the spotlight. CBC’s Anthony Germaine will host.

Other Local Literary Talent Includes Winterset Panel and More …

On August 13th, this year’s Winterset award winner Sara Tilley, and award finalists Stan Dragland and Leslie Vryenhoek, will be in conversation with host Michael Enright of CBC.

Saturday at 2:30 pm, Jamie Fitzpartrick will host the annual “New & Lyrical Voices Panel,” featuring writers Meghan Greeley and Shannon Webb-Campbell, and musicians Katie Baggs and Kat McLevey. The panel will “focus on the challenges and the fun of breaking into the arts scene in NL.”

En Plein Air will be back by popular demand, “Enjoy the rugged scenery of historic Salvage while you observe nationally known artist Scott Goudie coach local artists as they plank their easels on the harbour front.”

Other Informal Social Events Occur Throughout the Festival Weekend …

As always performers and spectators will mingle not only at the panels and reading and festival events, but also at a variety of community suppers, receptions, book signings, impromptu concerts, and more.  Details of all events can be found on the web site: