Winterset in Summer Literary Festival

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Winterset in Summer Literary Festival
Date2002 (2002)
LocationEastport, Newfoundland, Canada
ThemePlatform for authors

The Winterset in Summer Literary Festival takes place annually in Eastport, Newfoundland and Labrador. It celebrates the writers of the province and provides a platform for both new and established authors.[1] The festival has grown to include music, drama, and visual arts, in addition to its primary focus on literature. The festival was established in 2002 after the death of Sandra Fraser Gwyn in 2000. Gwyn was an award-winning author and journalist, and the festival was founded to commemorate her contributions for the province. [2] Winterset in Summer, the organization that hosts the festival, is a registered charity. [3] The festival is organized and run by volunteers. [4]

Board of Directors

  • Kathy Hodder (COB)
  • Eleanor Dawson (VC of the Board of Directors)
  • Mary Henderson (Treasurer)
  • Barbara Case (Secretary)
  • Lana Collins (Chair Marketing Committee)
  • Carol Bishop-Gwyn
  • Cris Carter
  • Yvonne Pevie
  • Noreen Golfman
  • Leslie Vryenhoek

BMO Winterset Award

Although the BMO Winterset Award is considered a separate entity from the festival, the two are largely connected. The award plays a key role in the festival's program each year.[5] It was founded in 2000 by Richard Gwyn to honour his late wife, Sandra Fraser Gwyn. The award was named after Sandra's childhood home in St. John's. It is now known as the BMO Winterset Award due to the recent establishment of a partnership with the Bank of Montreal Financial Group.

The award aims to celebrate and support Newfoundland and Labrador authors. Eligible individuals must either have been born in the province or be a current resident. All literary works in any genre can be submitted, as long as the work is published. The only criterion for the award is the literary excellence of the work's content. The winner of the award receives a $12,500 prize, while the finalists receive $3,000 each.[6]


Year Winner Finalists
2000 This All Happened by Michael Winter Walking in Paradise by Michael Winter and The Topography of Love by Bernice Morgan
2001 River Thieves by Michael Crummey Days Into Flatspin by Kan Babstock and The Confessions of Nipper Mooney by Ed Kavanagh
2002 The Word for Home by Joan Clark Open by Lisa Moore and The Navigator of New York by Wayne Johnston
2003 Tilting by Robert Mellin Merrybegot by Mary Dalton and In the Chambers of the Sea by Susan Rendell
2004 The Nine Planets by Edward Riche Down to the Dirt by Joel Hynes and So Beautiful by Ramona Dearing
2005 An Audience of Chairs by Joan Clark Space Between the Trees by Enos Watts and The Woman Who Mapped Labrador by Anne Hart, Roberta Buchanan & Bryan Greene
2006 Inside by Kenneth J. Harvey The Hour of Bad Decisions by Russel Wangersky and Airstream Land Yacht by Ken Babstock
2007 boYs by Kathleen Winter The Silent Time by Paul Rowe and Cod: An Ecological History of the North Atlantic Fisheries
2008 Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems by Randall Maggs Skin Room by Sara Tilley and Where the Pavement Ends: Canada’s Aboriginal Recovery Movement and the Urgent Need for Reconciliation by Marie Wadden
2009 Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant Galore by Michael Crummey and February by Lisa Moore
2010 The Glass Harmonica by Russel Wangersky This Ramshackle Tabernacle by Samuel Thomas Martin and Blood Relatives by Craig Francis Power
2011 The Shell of the Tortoise by Don McKay Easy to Like by Edward Riche and Gift Horse by Mark Callanan
2012 Jack & Mary in the Land of Thieves by Andy Jones Don't Tell the Newfoundlanders by Greg Malone and Whirl Away by Russell Wangersky
2013 The Strangers' Gallery by Paul Bowdring Caught by Lisa Moore and Escape Velocity by Carmelita McGrath
2014 Eating Habits of the Chronically Lonesome by Megan Gail Coles Sweetland by Michael Crummey and Where I Belong by Alan Doyle
2015 Duke by Sarah Tilley Strangers & Others by Stan Dragland and Ledger of the Open Hand by Leslie Vryenhoek
2016 The Last Half of the Year by Paul Rowe Two-Man Tent by Robert Chafe and Little Dogs by Michael Crummey
2017 We'll All Be Burnt In Our Beds Some Night by Joel Thomas Hynes The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes by Bridget Canning and First Snow, Last Light by Wayne Johnston
2018 Ebb & Flo by Heather Smith The Luminous Sea by Melissa Barbeau and Between Breaths by Robert Chafe
2019 Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles The Innocents by Michael Crummey and Nitinikiau Innusi: I Keep the Land Alive by Tshaukuesh Elizabeth Penashue

The 2020 Festival

The 2020 Winterset in Summer Literary Festival will take place from the 8th to the 9th of August. The festival will occur digitally due to health regulations, and the events can either be watched live or streamed after. The festival will feature several events, including:

  • Any Jones: In Conversation
  • Megan Gail Coles: 2019 Winterset Award Winner
  • Eva Crocker & Shannon Webb Campbell: Conversations

There is no ticket fee, and individuals can register to be a part of the conversations live through the Winterset in Summer's website.[7] The Winterset in Summer Literary Festival is currently set to return to in Eastport in August 2021.[8]


  1. "Winterset in Summer literary festival". Atlantic Books Today. Retrieved 2020-07-30.
  2. "Winterset in Summer : Writers Festival". Retrieved 2020-07-30.
  3. "Winterset in Summer : Writers Festival". Retrieved 2020-07-30.
  4. "Winterset in Summer : Writers Festival". Retrieved 2020-07-30.
  5. "Winterset in Summer : Writers Festival". Retrieved 2020-07-30.
  6. "Winterset in Summer : Writers Festival". Retrieved 2020-07-30.
  7. "Winterset in Summer 2020". Winterset in Summer 2020. Retrieved 2020-07-30.
  8. "Winterset in Summer : Writers Festival". Retrieved 2020-07-30.

External Links

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