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Book ’em boozehounds

Vicious Circle hosts bottle drive to raise funds for writers festival



Charles Bukowski. Hunter S. Thompson. James Frey. Raymond Carver.   Patrick Lane. Truman Capote. Ernest Hemingway. Great writers with a drinking problem? Or great drinkers with a writing problem?

In the literary world, the connection between alcohol and angst is well established, so Whistler’s Writers Group, the Vicious Circle, are jumping on the wagon. The bottle-drive bandwagon. To raise funds for the sixth annual Whistler Writers Festival.

On July 22, local scribblers will be at the Nesters compactor site from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., collecting bottles. Closet poets, angst-ridden journalists, insomniac novelists and absolutely anyone else with a stash of empties is invited to drop off bottles at the bottle depot on July 22, or call Stella Harvey in advance and the Vicious Circle will arrange to pick them up.

Donate your empties, and browse the second-hand book table that will be set up simultaneously. It’s a logical exchange, after all: empties for art.

Money raised from the bottle drive will support the sixth annual Whistler Writers Festival, Sept. 14-16. This year, the event will see a weekend full of opportunities to flex your creative muscles, or to discover latent ones, and cozy up to a host of good-booking people.

“This year’s lineup is incredible, and covers a really diverse range of topics, for all kinds of writers,” said Vicious Circle founder and festival co-ordinator Stella Harvey. “We’ve got five years of traction under our belts, and now writers and publishers are approaching us about being part of the festival. The Whistler Writers Festival is the most intimate, accessible festival out there, and this bottle drive is part of our commitment to bringing some of Canada’s best writers to Whistler, for incredible value programming.”

Seminars include CBC radio host Mark Forsythe on Writing for Radio; prolific magazine writer and former Creative Director of SBC Skier Magazine Leslie Anthony on Travel Writing, and Breaking Into Magazines; WestJet’s wandering poet Wendy Morton on How to Make a Living from Your Art; the Urban Peasant James Barber on Writing about Food,   and Whistler’s first writer-in-residence, Paulette Bourgeois, the celebrated author of canonical kid’s book, Franklin the Turtle.

The entire program will be online at www.theviciouscircle.ca by June 30.

To donate bottles, or second hand books, contact Stella Harvey at 604-932-4518 in advance of the Bookish Boozehounds Bottle Drive, or drop them off at the depot on Sunday, July 22 at 10 a.m.