Frye Festival Reveals 2011 Authors

Margaret Atwood

The Frye Festival, Atlantic Canada’s largest literary event, unveiled its spectacular line-up today for the 2011 edition, which will be held from April 25 to May 1st in Greater Moncton, NB. On the guest list, several prominent writers including the great Margaret Atwood, Charles Foran, Susan Juby, Kenneth Oppel, Shandi Mitchell, Karen Connelly, Jean-Christophe Rufin, and Gilles Leroy.

The 2011 Frye Festival features new events, returning favourites, evenings filled with words and music, afternoons of book clubs, various workshops and a new Poet flyé! Seven days of discoveries and wonderful encounters for the curious, creative, and imaginative of all ages!

“For the 12th consecutive year, the Frye Festival offers everyone in our community the chance to come together, meet fascinating people, explore new ideas and celebrate our vibrant cultural community,” states Dawn Arnold, Chair of the Festival. “Thirty authors from across Canada and abroad will share their passion for words, stimulate our imaginations and demonstrate the importance of literacy in our world today. Thanks to our partners, volunteers and dedicated team, the Festival is shaping up to be our best ever.”

The line-up

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than forty works of fiction and poetry, essays and books for children, and has received top honours and awards in Canada, the United States, the U.K. and many other countries. Ms. Atwood will give the Antonine Maillet – Northrop Frye Lecture, which will take place on Saturday, April 30 at 8pm at the Capitol Theatre. She will also read at the Festival’s annual gala, Soirée Frye, which will be held Thursday, April 28 at 8pm at the Capitol Theatre. Tickets are $25 ($15 for students) and $20 ($10 for students) respectively.

A doctor, writer and diplomat, Jean-Christophe Rufin was elected to the Académie française in 2008. He is best known for his dedication to large humanitarian organizations (Doctors without Borders and Red Cross). Rufin draws on his experiences to write a rich body of essays, and novels such as L’Abyssin (winner of the Goncourt for a first novel in 1997), Rouge Brésil (Goncourt 2003), and Le Parfum d’Adam. Everyone will have the opportunity to spend An Evening with Jean-Christophe Rufin with host Jean Fugère on Friday, April 29. The author will take part in a roundtable the same day.

Karen Connelly is one of Canada’s most successful younger authors and has written nine books of best-selling non-fiction, fiction and poetry. Her latest novel Burmese Lessons is a love story and memoir of her time in Burma. Karen will be in conversation with Fereshteh Molavi, an Iranian author.

Charlie Foran is the author of ten books, including four novels and the recent biographies Mordecai: The Life and Times (for which he won the Charles Taylor Award for Non-Fiction) and Maurice Richard.  He will be the focus at “Hockey and Hops”, where he will discuss Canadian hockey icon Maurice “Rocket” Richard on Tuesday, April 26 at the City Grill in Moncton.

Susan Juby’s novels have been published all over the world. She is the author of the bestselling Alice MacLeod trilogy, which was adapted into a television series called Alice, I Think. Her latest novel is The Woefield Poultry Collective.

Gilles Leroy is a novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. He has published thirteen works of literature, including Alabama Song, winner of the 2007 Prix Goncourt. He will lead a book club on Wednesday, April 27, at L’Idylle in Dieppe. Tickets are $20 (includes hors d’oeuvre). He will also take part in a roundtable discussion on Thursday, April 28, at noon at Moncton City Hall, and he will read at Soirée Frye the same day.

Shandi Mitchell’s first novel, Under This Unbroken Sky, has sold in eleven countries and won the 2010 Commonwealth Prize. This excellent book on the Ukrainian immigrant experience to Canada during the Depression will be the focus of a book club.

Johanna Skibsrud is the author of two books of poetry, but it was her debut novel, The Sentimentalists, that shot her career to stardom when it won the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Meet her at an informal book club on Wednesday, April 27.

Sylvia Tyson is a musician, performer, singer-songwriter and broadcaster and during the 1970s was half of the popular folk duo Ian & Sylvia. Sylvia will be at the Festival to discuss her first novel, Joyner’s Dream, a sweeping story of a family’s dubious legacy: an abiding love of music coupled with a persistent knack for thieving.

Other participants include Christine Adjahi, a remarkable and passionate storyteller born in Benin; Tammy Armstrong a poet from NB, Doug Harris, the author of the You, Comma Idiot and Mark Anthony Jarman whose fiction tops Amazon’s list of best hockey fiction.

Meet some of children’s literature’s brightest stars!

Kids will be pleased to meet Geronimo Stilton, the famous mouse from Sourisia, the capital of Mouse Island! Geronimo Stilton has a Ph. D. in mouse literature rodentology and comparative archeomousic philosophy. He is also the editor in chef of the Rodent’s Gazette, the most read newspaper in Sourisia.

Kenneth Oppel is the author of the Silverwing series, which has sold over a million copies worldwide, and Airborn, which won the Governor General’s Award in 2004. His most recent novel is Half Brother.

Annie Groovie has written more than 42 books for children and her character Léon can be seen animated on TV. Students will have the chance to win the opportunity to have Kenneth or Annie visit their school for a day by entering a contest citing the Top 10 Reasons why their school deserves a visit from these superstars!

Martine Latulippe has written over thirty novels for young readers, including the popular Lorian Loubier, Julie, Mouk and Marie-P series. Helaine Becker has written over 40 books for children including the best-selling Looney Bay All-Stars series.


Beer and Books is back for a second year, allowing audience members the opportunity to enjoy a beverage and hear readings by authors in a relaxing atmosphere on Friday, April 29. Also back this year: The Literary Lounge, which will happen on Saturday, April 30 at 4pm in the lobby of the Delta Beauséjour. Everyone is invited to meet the authors, chat, and have a book or two autographed!

Every year, the Festival offers workshops for anyone interested in learning more about the creative process. This year’s Writing for Comedy workshop with Randy Pearlstein (who has written for the Chappelle Show and Ugly Americans) promises to be a hit as he will focus on helping to incorporate comedy into any kind of writing you do: fiction, screenplays, stand-up or sketch. The Festival will also present fiction and poetry workshops, as well as workshops for children at KidsFest.

A new Poet flyé!

A new Poet flyé is joining the Frye team in 2011! Gabriel Robichaud is a young poet, actor, and musician, a graduating theatre student at the Université de Moncton and is currently working on his first poetry collection. He will take over from Jesse Robichaud, so be on the lookout for his “Frye Crown” and make sure you give him inspiration for his epic poem!

Festival goers can still expect popular activities such as Frye Jam, KidsFest, Prelude, Night Howls, the Saturday literary brunch, book clubs and conversations between authors. Several activities will take place on the second floor of City Grill, located on Westmorland Street in Moncton. All specific details will be available by early April at

A major literary “happening”!

The Frye Festival program now extends year-round with events such as Community Read, Pop & Frye and Frye Academy (a battle of the books for bilingual high school students). During the Festival, most authors will visit schools throughout the province as part of the Authors in Schools program, impacting more than 10,000 students.

All authors participate in Festival events in the language in which they write. Many events will be broadcast on YouTube and you can follow all the latest breaking Festival news on Facebook, Twitter (@FryeMoncton) and the Festival’s blog (

Tickets for many events can be purchased at today, but there are Festival events for all budgets, with many free or “pay what you can”. For more information about the Festival visit