February was I love to Read month, and as part of the celebrations a new author’s group was launched within the region. Called the Authors of Manitoba, the group currently consists of over twenty published authors from throughout the region.
Ile des Chenes author and publisher Marianne Curtis established the group hoping to bring visibility to the large number of authors who live, and write within southern Manitoba.
“Since I published my first book in 2012, I have been surprised to discover that we have a wealth of talented authors living in various communities but the general public is oblivious,” stated Curtis. “We have an author in almost every single community; the problem is most people do not know this.”
Curtis says she would like to see the group operate similar to an Arts Council.
“There is a wealth of information and representation for artists, dancers and musicians in the region, but there is nothing for writers,” continued Curtis. “Literacy is an important facet; without it one cannot succeed, so why would we not want to promote reading and writing as being important.”
The first order of business was to appoint a board of directors. Joining Curtis at the table are marketing expert Heather Murray, along with authors Carla Funk, Les Kletke, Casia Schreyer and Celesta Thiessen.
“I hope the group will bring authors together for information sharing, marketing help and I think it would be great if we could have some fun together too,” stated Thiessen, who has penned more than twenty books in several genres. “Being an author feels like a lonely job sometimes. It’s great to be able to connect!”
Veteran Christian author Barbara Ann Derksen recently relocated to the area, and was thrilled to join the group. “Since joining, I have learned a little of what is available in Canada already and hope to learn and discover even more as I encourage others in their writing,” she added.
Authors of Manitoba are currently working on establishing partnerships with local libraries and schools to ensure that students and the local communities have access to local talent and materials. The group is working together to host a book tour, which would see several authors at a time doing readings and signings this summer at community festivals, farmers markets and trade shows. A one day authors fair is also in the works for the fall, at Jake Epp Library.
“Similar to a trade show, we invite all authors to bring their books, set up a table, meet with readers, and have fun,” continued Curtis. “This would be a one day event open to the public, featuring all genres and age groups.”
So far the group consists of authors from Otterburne, Steinbach, Hadashville, East Braintree, Ste. Anne, St. Pierre, Buffalo Point, Gardenton, La Broquerie, Vita, Ste. Genevieve, Dugald, Winnipeg and The Pas. Their catalogue contains works in all genres including memoir, young adult, children, Christian, fiction, romance and local history.
All published authors are welcome to join. You can find Authors of Manitoba of Facebook, and a website containing a complete catalogue of local books will be launched in the near future. For more information or to join call 204-794-1207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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