Lunenburg Lit Festival

Thursday Evening

September 26,  6 PM


Wednesday September 25

Lunenburg Launch of Jan L. Coates

Say What You Mean (Mean What You Say)  

Lunenburg Library, 10 AM

Join us at 10 am at the Lunenburg Library for the Lunenburg launch of Jan L. Coates new middle grade novel Say What You Mean (Mean What You Say).  Jan loves visiting schools through the Writers in the Schools program. Jan’s interest in writing for children grew out of her own love of words and stories and a passion for helping kid become lifelong readers and writers.

Pitch the Publisher

Thursday, September 26

Lunenburg Council Chambers, 6 PM

The first ever South Shore Public Libraries and Lunenburg Literary Festival Pitch the Publisher event will take place the Thursday, September 26, 6-8 pm.


This event will help demystify the world of publishing, introduce aspiring book writers to some our province’s leading publishers, and inform the public about the kinds of books being published in Atlantic Canada. Most importantly, authors will have the chance to make a 2.5-minute pitch for the manuscript to publishers, live!  Publishers participating are Nevermore Press, Nimbus Publishing and MacIntyre Purcell Publishing.


If you’d like to pitch, email to register or for more information. Or come on out and cheer on the authors as they pitch their book ideas.

Friday Night @ The Festival

September 27, 7:00PM | Lunenburg School of the Arts

Hosted by William Kowalski

Shandi Mitchell

Shandi considers herself an east coast prairie girl. Growing up, she split her time between the Armed Forces base where her family was stationed, and her aunt and uncle's farm. A graduate of Dalhousie University, she holds a degree in English and Theatre. Her debut novel Under This Unbroken Sky (2009) was published by Penguin Canada, Harper Collins US, and Weidenfeld & Nicholson UK, with translations in Chinese, Hebrew, Dutch, and Italian. Her next novel, The Waiting Hours, was published this spring.

Lesley Crewe

Lesley grew up in Montreal, graduated from Concordia University and settled down with her hubby in Homeville, Cape Breton and raised a family. From 2000-2005, Lesley was a features writer and columnist for Cape Bretoner Magazine, and from 2005-2009, a columnist with the on-line magazine, Cahoots. In 2005 her first novel, Relative Happiness, was published by Vagrant Press. It was and instant bestseller, and was shortlisted for the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award. She has since written nine other novels.

Craig Davidson

Craig Davidson was born in Toronto, raised in Calgary and St. Catharines. Davidson attended both Trent University and the University of New Brunswick. He has published work under both his own name and the pen names Patrick Lestewka and Nick Cutter. His 2013 novel Cataract City was named as a shortlisted nominee for the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize. His 2018 novel The Saturday Night Ghost Club was a shortlisted finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.

Saturday Morning

September 28, 11:00AM | Lunenburg Library

Walking Tour with Ashlee Feener


Formerly a research librarian, Ashlee moonlighted as a part-time guide with Lunenburg Walking Tours. Preferring to be a living part of the history, rather than hiding behind-the-scenes with her nose in a book, she co-founded Travel Lunenburg Ltd. in 2014 . She loves sauerkraut, is fascinated with the folklore of Lunenburg County, and is superstitious without even meaning to be.

Saturday Afternoon

September 28, 2:00PM | Lunenburg Courthouse

Hosted by Chris Benjamin

Kelly S. Thompson

Kelly is a former captain in the Canadian Armed Forces, retiring after an injury, and is now a writer and editor based out of the Toronto area. She has a degree in Professional Writing from York and an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. Her work has appeared in magazines including Maclean's, Chatelaine, and Maisonneuve, as well as in various anthologies and collections. She has published multiple award-winning essays. Her biographical book, Girls Need Not Apply, was released in August.

Niki Jabbour

Niki Jabbour is an author and edibles expert from Halifax, who believes that a long Canadian winter shouldn't mean an end to the homegrown harvest. Niki's work is found in Fine Gardening, Garden Making, The Heirloom Gardener and Birds & Blooms magazines, and Horticulture magazine. Niki's latest book Veggie Garden Remix was awarded the 2019 American Horticultural Society Book Award and is short-listed for a 2019 Taste Canada Award.

Gerald Hallowell

Gerald Hallowell was born in Port Hope, Ontario, and grew up on a farm in nearby Crooked Creek. For over twenty years he worked as an editor at the University of Toronto Press, retiring as senior editor, Canadian history, in 2000. Gerald’s 2014 title The August Gales: The Tragic Loss of Fishing Schooners in the North Atlantic 1926 and 1927 met with great acclaim, his latest book As British as the King will be launched September 18 in Lunenburg.

Saturday Night

September 28, 7:00PM | Lunenburg School of the Arts

Michael Crummey

Michael Crummey has published ten books of poetry and fiction. His first novel, River Thieves, was a finalist for the Giller Prize and won the Winterset Award. Galore won the Canadian Authors' Association fiction prize and the Commonwealth Prize (Canada & Caribbean Region). Sweetland was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Governor-General's Award. Little Dogs: New and Selected Poems was published by House of Anansi in the spring of 2016. HIs latest novel, The Innocents, was released August 27 and is long listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Janet Barkhouse

Janet Barkhouse retired from professional theatre in 1982, and from teaching high school English in 2005. She’s written and directed plays for children from ages 8 to 18, written innovative English curriculum for the Province of Nova Scotia, and given workshops and readings for young people, teachers and writers across the Province. In 2006 she fell in love with writing poems. Since then she has studied with many extraordinary poets, at universities in Halifax, and at the Banff Centre. Her debut book of poems, Salt Fires (Pottersfield, 2018) follows on two chapbooks, Silence and Sable Island Fieldnotes.

Amy Spurway

Amy was born and raised on Cape Breton Island, where, at the age of eleven, she landed her first writing and performing gigs with CBC Radio. Amy attended both the University of New Brunswick, and Ryerson University. She has worked as a freelance writer, communications consultant, editor, and performer. Her work has appeared in Today's Parent, the Toronto Star, Babble, and Elephant Journal, as well as in the realms of advertising, marketing, non-profit and corporate communications, education, health, and politics. Her debut novel, Crow, came out to great reviews in April. Amy lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, with her husband Matthew, and their three daughters.


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Click the chat icon in the corner of the screen to chat with a festival concierge or call us at 1-902-543-2548.

Stay Tuned for 2020 Tickets

Tickets can be purchased by cash or cheque at:

Full Weekend Pass • $50
Evening or Afternoon Show • $20
Lunenburg Walking Tour • $20
Kids Event • $0

2020 Sponsors Coming Soon