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Scaling mountains, Governor General-award winning writers, swilling beer, penning sexcapades on Literary Leanings roster

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By Nicole Fitzgerald

What: Literary Leanings

When: Feb. 18-20

Where: MY Place/Three Below

Tickets: $15/Free

The Vicious Circle, a.k.a. The Whistler Writers Group, hosts a library of literary public reading events to get involved with at the fifth annual Literary Leanings Feb. 18 to 20 in Whistler as part of Celebration 2010 festivities.

“Live readings let you hear the words in the way that the author intended them,” said group founder Stella Harvey. “People can talk to the authors at the receptions. It’s a different form of entertainment. I liken it to when you were a kid listening to an adult tell you a story… Some people think readings can be stuffy, but we’ve made it a fun event that is accessible to everybody.”

One night brings out your inner Canuck, the other closeted writers and the final a champagne clinking lineup of all-star writers.

Grizzled Canuck readers looking to down a few beers and get a first-hand account of climbing some of the highest and most difficult mountains in the world will bookmark the Canada, Climbing and Beer night on Sunday, Feb. 18 at MY Millennium Place.

“We wanted to have a fiction and non-fiction night and we wanted to do something around the outdoors to play on the themes of sports and winter,” Harvey said.

Double-amputee Warren Macdonald, author of A Test of Will and director of The Second Step, will talk about his incredible feats to overcome diversity, from summiting Africa’s tallest peak, Mt. Kilimanjaro, to ascending America’s tallest cliff face, El Capitan.

Macdonald will hand off to Noah Richler for maple leaf tales that bind us as a nation. The former CBC Radio personality and literary columnist penned a literary travelogue of Canadian authors with insight into the writing medium itself in his book This My Country, What’s Yours?

Sea to Sky writers Tamsin Miller, Katherine Kerr and Jude Goodwin will wrap up the evening with their own stories.

Clink a pint to the authors at the opening reception at 6:30 p.m. with readings beginning at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $15.

Writers are pulled from the dark recesses of their mind and into the public eye with The Postcard Jam on Monday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. at Three Below.

“We wanted to reach out to other writers; there is always a writer in the crowd,” Harvey said.

More than 41 love letter scribblers and apology makers entered a short story into the postcard competition. Eleven finalists will face off reading their works aloud, including Nora Ryan, Angie Nolan, Lisa Richardson, Wambli Galeshka, Jenny Smith, Sharon Noesgaard,
 Nikolaj Shultz, 
Libby McKeever,
 Rebecca Whitely,
 Sylvia Gross and Cindy Street. A Critics’ Choice Award and Audience Choice Award will be awarded to the two top dogs, who will each receive a $250 cash prize.

Entry is $5 with the first 50 people receiving a free drink and finger food.

The charming and hilarious Ivan E. Coyote will then take to the stage with her observations on growing up in the Yukon and surviving the big city. The CBC contributor’s work has appeared in the pages of the National Post, Georgia Straight, Geist, Shared Vision, Nerve and Curve Magazines.

Admission is free.

Literary Leanings closes the book on the three-day event with a pop as Champagne cocktails toast the Glitterati and Litterati on Tuesday, Feb. 20 at MY Millennium Place with red-carpet-reading royalty David Gilmour, Annette Lapointe and John Vaillant.

“We try to get a mix of people, personalities and profiles,” Harvey said. “As usual, our goal is to raise the profile of the literary arts. We try to bring in bigger names and subjects that are of interest to the community and then showcase our local writers on the same stage.”

Gilmour won a Governor General’s Award for A Perfect Night to Go to China, which has been translated into Russian, French, Thai, Italian, Dutch, Bulgarian, Turkish and Serbian. When not writing the great Canadian novel, he pens works spanning everything from the New York Times and People Magazine to CBC programming and documentaries.

Lapointe was long listed for the Giller Prize and John Vaillant was awarded the Governor General’s Award for the Golden Spruce.

Local scribblers include town agitator Stephen Vogler, organizing queen Sara Leach and slow-food-fast-tongue feature writer Lisa Richardson.

Hang out with the national and local stars at the opening reception at 6:30 p.m. with readings beginning at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $15. For tickets, visit MY Place or ticketmaster.ca.

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