Book Lovers Unite! Celebrate Local Authors at The Bookshelf

Nothing beats a Saturday morning spent curled up under the summer sun with a good book. Except for the chance to meet one of your favourite Canadian authors, that is.

On Saturday, June 25th, the Newmarket Farmer’s Market will present a different kind of opportunity for the arts: community members will have the chance to meet, greet and purchase books from best-selling authors.

The Bookshelf is a new event coming to the Newmarket Farmer’s Market for one day only, presenting the community with a unique occasion to support the talented authors living in our own backyard. It’s hosted by The Writers’ Community of York Region, a group of local writers who meet monthly to share ideas and support for
“all things writerly.” By attending the event, book lovers will have the chance to hear from four renowned Canadian authors, including Terry Fallis, Marissa Campbell, Rob Brunet and Alyxandra Harvey.

M.J. Moores, a local author who writes science fiction and fantasy, has taken on the position of event coordinator with The Bookshelf. Moores has attended various book events held in the Greater Toronto Area. After identifying a void for this type of occasion in York Region, she decided to join forces with fellow authors and volunteers to form a committee around a new event, which is set to make its debut this summer.

“We began with this nugget of an idea, of being able to bring local Canadian authors to the forefront in the York Region,” says Moores. “[We wanted] a place, a location, an event where they could be celebrated and sell their work.”

The volunteers have successfully recruited big name Canadian authors to headline the event. Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of five national bestsellers. His most recent novel, Poles Apart, has been named a finalist for the 2016 Leacock Medal for Humour. The Toronto novelist has won the prize twice before, first in 2008 for The Best Laid Plains, which was made into a CBC miniseries.

The event offers something for all readers. Historical romance novelist Marissa Campbell is a newcomer to the Canadian author scene, and has recently made a big splash on the market with her book Avelynn. Rob Brunet, author of Stinking Rich and creative writing instructor at George Brown College, writes crime fiction laced with dark humour. And Alyxandra Harvey, author of The Drake Chronicles, writes young adult, regency paranormal romance.

“We want to get people excited about the famous local authors they’re familiar with, and then also introduce some small print and self-published authors,” says Moores. “And we wanted to make this accessible to as many people as possible in York Region.”

The Bookshelf will be hosted in the Newmarket Community Centre, conveniently located in the heart of the Farmer’s Market. The event features a Reading Room where the four headlining authors are scheduled to speak about their work. They’ll later be available to sign books and speak with readers one-on-one. Local authors will also have the chance to speak and share excerpts of their work.

After visiting the Reading Room, you’ll want to head over to the Book Vendor Room, which will host publishers, authors and a variety of reScreen Shot 2016-05-30 at 2.45.10 PMading-centric vendors selling jewelry and other gifts for readers. Even the food is book-themed – a local caterer will be providing sweets and eats, including Harry Potter-esque chocolate frogs.

It’s a wonderful opportunity to support the local arts. “The main thing the community can do is come out and enjoy themselves,” says Moores. “[These authors] are a part of your community; and the best way to celebrate that is to get in there and talk to them, and explore what it is they have to offer.” Who knows, you may even inspire a new character in someone’s next book.

Local Links

The Bookshelf 

The Writers’ Community of York Region (WCYR)

Newmarket Farmer’s Market


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