Friday Evening Opening

7:30pm – 9:00pm | Stories | A Matter of Life and Death | $20
9:00pm – 10:00pm | Mix & mingle with our authors while enjoying local live music | Cash bar
@Thousand Islands Playhouse – Firehall Theatre

Killers, catchers, disasters and survivors…
Some of the most powerful moments in storytelling balance on that fine line between life and death.

The 4th annual 1000 Islands Writers Festival opens with a tribute to great Canadian storytellers who lead us through life’s more difficult moments. Join our honorary patron Terry Fallis as he takes us on a humorous and heartfelt journey into matters of life and death with our guest authors and Gananoque singer-songwriter Kevin Head.


Saturday Workshops


9:00am – 10:30am | Writing for a Younger Audience | $20
with Heather Smith @ The Arthur Child Heritage Museum

Join Heather as she shares tips on writing for a younger audience. Whether it’s a picture book for small children or a novel for young adults, Heather will discuss the creative process – from that first spark of inspiration to the finished manuscript. Heather’s workshop will include a hands-on writing exercise and will end with a Q&A session.


9:00am – 10:30am | The Power of a Plan: Outlining Your Novel | $20
with Terry Fallis @ Gananoque Public Library

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” So said Ernest Hemingway. Sometimes the pain and misery of writing comes from not knowing enough about the stories we’re trying to tell. Terry Fallis will explore the benefits and challenges of outlining your novel before writing it. An inveterate planner, he’ll walk the participants through his own approach to outlining, showing examples and explaining how his process has evolved over the course of seven novels. Time permitting, there may be a couple of workshop exercises to bring the power of outlining to life, and plenty of discussion.


2:00pm – 3:30pm | Page-Turning Fiction | $20
with Kelley Armstrong @ Gananoque Public Library

Genre fiction is all about entertaining and engaging the reader. This workshop will focus on ways to keep readers up into the night, turning your pages. Armstrong will provide strategies for maximizing reader engagement starting with the planning stages and continuing through to tips and tricks for picking up the pace in a completed manuscript.


Saturday Living Room Sessions

Experience up close and personal sessions with your favorite authors in some of Gananoque’s finest accommodations.  Learn more about the accommodation partners who will be hosting our authors during their stay in the 1000 Islands. Plan your stay for the entire weekend and you can enjoy the full hospitality and charm of these locations as well! 

Session 1 | $15 | 9:30am – 10:30am

Barbara Fradkin at Sleepy Hollow B&B
Kelley Armstrong at Riverwalk B&B
Ken Cuthbertson at Deacon’s Air B&B

Writing Books and Writing About Books
Katherine Ashenburg & Marissa Stapley at Stonewater B&B

Session 2 | $15 | 11:00am – 12:00pm

Maureen Jennings at the Gananoque Inn
Barbara Fradkin at Sleepy Hollow B&B
Katherine Ashenburg at Riverwalk B&B
Marissa Stapley at The Stonewater B&B
Heather Smith at Deacon’s Air B&B


Saturday at the Playhouse


9:30am – 11:30am | Pirate Party Bonanza! | FREE TICKETS FOR FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN 
get ready me hearties! A morning of fun awaits at the Firehall Theatre. Reserve you free tickets for a frolicking good interactive story time with Vikki VanSickle, author of “If I had a Gryphon”, and Matt James, illustrator of, “The Pirates’s Bed by Nicola Winstanley. Then enjoy a full on pirate performance by the Thousand Islands Playhouse Young Company with, “The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate.” There will be fun pirate activities too – a perfect morning out for families with children. 


12:30pm – 1:45pm | Partners in Crime – The Making of a Murder Mystery | $20
with Maureen Jennings and Barbara Fradkin @ The Firehall Theatre

Luncheon Meal Engagement (Select a boxed lunch for an additional $10. Beverages may be purchased at the bar.)
An informal conversation with the authors about why they write mysteries, where their characters come from and how they’ve changed over the years, how and where they research their material, and the quirks and rituals of their writing process. Audience participation is welcome!


2:00pm – 3:00pm | The Halifax Explosion: The Untold Story of Canada’s Worst Disaster | $15
with Ken Cuthbertson @ The Firehall Theatre

On December 6, 1917, the French munitions ship Mont-Blanc and the Norwegian war relief vessel Imo collided in the harbour at Halifax, Nova Scotia. The accident sparked an apocalyptic blast that was the largest man-made explosion prior to the 1945 development of the atomic bomb. The Halifax explosion leveled half the city, killed 2,000 people, and injured 9,000 more. Ken Cuthbertson, the author of the critically acclaimed new book, The Halifax Explosion, will recount the haunting, untold story of this country’s worst disaster. It’s also a cautionary tale that in many ways is so uniquely Canadian.


Saturday in the Downtown

2:00pm – 4:00pm | Songwriters Showcase | $20
with Kevin Head, Cliff Edwards & Jenica Rayne @ The Thousand Islands Boat Museum
Enjoy an afternoon of stories and songs with accomplished singer, songwriter and musical actor Kevin Head, veteran singer-songwriter Cliff Edwards, and singer-songwriter, seasoned performer and passionate music educator Jenica Rayne.

4:15pm – 5:00pm | Art in Storytelling | Storytelling in Art | $10
with Katherine Ashenburg and Heather Haynes @ The Heather Haynes Gallery
Join artist Heather Haynes and author Katherine Ashenburg as they explore stories of fine art within literature and the presentation of stories through fine art.


Saturday Evening Celebration

(FREE – festival donations welcome – cash bar)

7:00pm – 10:00pm | Stories and Songs of the River
Make yourself comfortable in the River Lounge at the Thousand Islands Boat Museum and re-awaken your river spirit with readings from three iconic Thousand Islands books: Chess with Violence by Hal McCarney, The Island by Robert Russell and Of Time and an Island by John Keats. Great local music will complement the readings… and no boat house gathering would be complete without a jam session so bring your instrument and sing, tap or play along!


Sunday Morning Finale

9:30am – 11:00am | Breakfast Over Easy
Fun and lively conversation with our visiting writers @ The Old English Pub.
(full brunch, beverage incl. $15 additional charge for festival pass holders, $25 for an individual ticket).