The Grand Finale!

Main Stage closes out the 2023 Read by the Sea literary festival on Saturday, July 8 with four of Canada’s literary greats.

Featured authors for 2023 are Nova Scotian novelist, Bruce Bishop; African Nova Scotian poet, author, Tedx speaker, writer, activist and community volunteer, Angela Bowden; Canadian Arctic author, storyteller and former broadcaster, currently living in Ottawa, Whit Fraser; and TV host / interviewer, author, professional speaker and actor, Nancy Regan.  Watch this page for more information about this stellar line-up.

Have you read works by any of our featured authors? Recommend their poetry, prose, and creative non-fiction to other Read by the Sea enthusiasts by sending us your reader reviews. We’ll share them here as part of this year’s festival (using only your first name and your province/territory or country of residence). Submit your reviews (250-word maximum) using the Contact Us form.

Whit Fraser

Whit Fraser who’s first broadcasting job was at CKEC in New Glasgow, left the RCAF in 1967 for a job with CBC in Frobisher Bay, now Iqaluit. For the next fifty plus years, whether living north or south and including, years in Ottawa, Whit Fraser traveled to every corner of the north, from Labrador to Alaska, and throughout the circumpolar world, including the North Pole itself

He is the spouse of Mary May Simon, Canada’s first Indigenous governor general and the 30th governor general since Confederation.
Mr. Fraser is an author and a storyteller who has had a front row seat to many of the historic events in the last half century in the Canadian Arctic.
His passion for the Arctic and its peoples began more than five decades ago when he began sharing important stories for Indigenous peoples and other northerners on TV and radio. His coverage included the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry, the negotiations leading to the signing of comprehensive Inuit land claims agreements, and the historic First Ministers' meetings in the 1980s where Indigenous rights were affirmed in Canada’s constitution. In all, Mr. Fraser spent 25 years with the CBC, including 8 years as a national Parliamentary reporter in Ottawa.

In the years following his extensive journalistic career, Mr. Fraser remained closely connected to the North. He was the founding chair of the Canadian Polar Commission from 1991 to 1997, working with the board of directors on a series of recommendations and measures aimed at enhancing science policy in the Polar Regions and improving human health and social issues in the North.

As the executive director of the national Inuit organization, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, from 2001 to 2006, he coordinated the Inuit-specific agenda presented to the Kelowna First Ministers’ meeting on Aboriginal issues in 2005.

1n 2019, Whit Fraser became an author, with the award winning national best seller True North Rising that documented his eye witness perspective to events and people who confronted and challenged colonialism and changed both the North and Canada. Many who have read and reviewed his memoir say that True North Rising is a must read for anyone with an interest in Canada arctic and its people.

In 2021, Whit Fraser turned his hand to historical fiction, writing the unique and compelling Cold Edge of Heaven. A story set in the Canadian Arctic in the 1920’s at a desolate police outpost on Devon Island in Canada’s far north. This is a story of murder, mystery, and love—intensified by a clash of cultures between Inuit guides and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers who live and work alongside them.

In both books and public appearances, he brings a first-hand, on-the-ground perspective to events that confronted and challenged colonialism and brought about a far greater measure of equality and reconciliation across Northern Canada in a way that no one else can.

Pasha Malla

PASHA MALLA is the author of five works of poetry and fiction, including the story collection The Withdrawal Method and the novel People Park. His fiction has won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, the Trillium Book Prize, an Arthur Ellis Award and several National Magazine awards. His work has also been long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Pasha’s latest novel, Kill the Mall, was released in February 2021.

Stephen Maher

The Writers Workshop "Fiction Thrillers" will be led by Stephen Maher, a journalist and novelist originally from Truro, Nova Scotia. Steve is an interviewer for the 2021 MainStage. An award-winning investigative journalist and political columnist, he is the author of three novels, Deadline, Salvage and Social Misconduct. He makes his home on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.

Suzanne Stewart

Suzanne Stewart’s writing has appeared in The Dalhousie Review, The Goose, The Globe and Mail, Saltscapes Magazine, The Antigonish Review, English Studies, Essays on Canadian Writing, The Craft Factor, and Newest Review. She has published a creative non-fiction book, The Tides of Time: A Nova Scotia Book of Seasons (Pottersfield 2018). Having completed an MFA in Creative Nonfiction and a PhD in English literature, Suzanne currently teaches at St. Francis Xavier University. Read by the Sea welcomes Suzanne as a MainStage interviewer.

Lana MacEachern

Lana MacEachern is a library technician and former journalist/columnist whose work has appeared in Nova Scotian daily and weekly newspapers and The Seniors' Advocate. A longtime Read by the Sea fan and frequent festival interviewer, she is now a member of the festival's organizing committee. Lana writes poetry and creative non-fiction and is working up the courage to submit her work to literary journals. She lives on Nova Scotia's Northumberland shore.

“River John, on Nova Scotia’s lovely north shore, is the perfect setting for Read by the Sea. It’s a jewel of a festival bringing together wonderful writers and welcoming readers for a celebration of the written word. I’d go back in a heartbeat.”

Terry Fallis, two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour