Kingston WritersFest

Starting today and running through Sunday (22 to 25 September), seventy award-winning and up-and-coming authors will be in Kingston for Kingston WritersFest. Queen’s University Archives is home to the papers of four of this year’s featured authors. Within their fonds are research, rough notes, early drafts and beyond. Here is just a small sample of what you will find:

Audio and video recordings for Quiet Limit of the World, 1994 (Wayne Grady fonds SR1138 and MI1159)

Audio and video recordings for Quiet Limit of the World, 1994 (Wayne Grady fonds SR1138 and MI1159)

In 1994, Wayne Grady travelled alongside a team of scientists on a research trip to the North Pole. They were conducting an investigation of the effects of global warming. Wayne’s chronicles of this expedition included his own journals, extensive research and interviews with the scientists and crew of their ship, the icebreaker “Louis S. St. Laurent,” all of which would go on to form The Quiet Limit of the World: A Journey to the North Pole to Investigate Global Warming.

Correspondence - Gordon WWII (Phyllis), 1941-1955 (Merilyn Simonds fonds 5064-1-10)

Correspondence - Gordon WWII (Phyllis), 1941-1955 (Merilyn Simonds fonds 5064-1-10)

Clippings-Religious (Phyliis), 1921-1961 (Merilyn Simonds fonds 5064-1-5)

Clippings-Religious (Phyllis), 1921-1961 (Merilyn Simonds fonds 5064-1-5)

With the release of The Convict Lover, published by Macfarlane, Walter & Ross in 1996,  Merilyn Simonds became nationally known as a literary writer. The Convict Lover was nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction and was chosen as one of the top ten nonfiction books of 1996 by the Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire Magazine, Elm Street Magazine and Maclean’s. Merilyn Simonds donated the correspondence between Phyllis Halliday and Joseph David Cleroux and one manuscript copy of her book in progress to Queen’s University Archives in September 1994. The remainder of the Convict Lover material came in the accrual of 2007. The Phyllis Halliday material was located for many years in the attic of the Phyllis Halliday’s, then Merilyn Simonds’, house. Wrapped in bundles, tied together with ribbon and placed in numerous containers, this material remained undisturbed until discovered by Ms. Simonds in 1987.

Short story notes (Diane Schoemperlen fonds, 1162.1-5-19)

Charts and notes for novel (Diane Schoemperlen fonds, 1162.1 F3 B3.8)

Diane Schoemperlen’s papers consist of textual and multiple media records reflecting her literary activity over a 30 year career in writing, teaching and editing. Research notes, drafts, manuscripts and published copies of poetry, book reviews, short stories and larger literary works are all in evidence in her archival material.

The Frozen River/When the River Froze/The Frozen Thames, 2006 (Helen Humphreys fonds, 2207-1-16)

The Frozen River/When the River Froze/The Frozen Thames, 2006 (Helen Humphreys fonds, 2207-1-16)

In 2007, Helen Humphreys published The Frozen Thames, a book of creative non-fiction. It went on to become a national best-seller and one of the Globe and Mail’s Top 100 books of 2007. As with many of Humphreys works, the manuscript begins with a small black book where notes and jottings start to come together to form the story. Humphreys newest release is The Reinvention of Love.

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