If you find yourself lost in Montreal in April either by choice or because you like to travel without a plan, you’re in luck because one of the best Festivals in town is right around the corner.
The Blue Metropolis Literary Festival runs from April 22 to April 28 and is the best place to mingle with both the emerging and the elite in the literary community. From authors to publishers to photographers to storytellers, writing professionals gather to brainstorm and articulate ideas about the future of the industry.
Originally started as a somewhat small event with 1500 attendees and 30 events in 1999, the Blue Met has ballooned into offering close to 200 activities with international presenters from al lover the world.
Past participants include a relative who’s who in the book world. They include Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, John Ralston Saul, Yann Martel, Grace Paley and Victor-Levy Beauliu.
Blue Met highlights include:
Workshops – The best part of writing festivals to me is always what you can learn and take away from them after you leave and this is no different at Blue Met. Informal classes include lessons on how to become a writer and the best way to get published. Workshops are generally led by internationally recognized professionals and are modestly priced.
Blue Metropolis Children’s Festival – Introduced at the 2008 iteration of the Blue Met, the Children’s Festival offers a series of hands-on activities and events designed for kids 12 and under. Children meet their favorite authors and participate in drawing workshops and writing games.
International Publisher’s Forum –
This Publisher’s Forum consists of a series of meetings between Canadian and foreign publishers, journalists, agents and other book industry professionals.
Book Launches - Every year, lots of new and experienced authors launch new material at the Blue Met. Past launches include Olympic gold medal winner Mark Tewksbury’s Inside Out: Straight Talk From A Gay Jock and John Paul Fiorentino’s The Theory of the Loser Class.
Book Signings - The books of many of the participating authors are available for purchase in the Blue Metropolis and authors generally head straight over to sign them after their scheduled appearances.
Blue Metropolis International Literary Grand Prix - The Blue Met Grand Prix annually honors a writer for lifetime achievement.
Soirées de Poésie (“Poetry Nights”) – A public poetry reading that also includes the “Translation Slam” where two poets fight it out.
For more information about this year’s Blue Met Literary Festival, check out BlueMetropolis.org