Wordstock – also known as “The Time Before and Between WordPlay and Read by the Sea Main Stage

Wordstock is a series of literary shenanigans designed to celebrate and foster writing and storytelling, also known as “The Time Before and Between WordPlay and Read by the Sea Main Stage." Wordstock typically includes:

A Writing Workshop

Join journalist and author Stephen Kimber for a writing workshop on June 30, 10 a.m. 2022. "Making a Scene: Putting the Narrative in Nonfiction". See workshop registration details below.

A Heritage Story Walk

Heritage Story Walk features visits to historic sites in and around River John, led by folks who know and share the stories of each location.

Family Campfire Stories

June 30, 6:30 p.m. at Caldera Distillery Inc. Bring your lawn chairs and your family-friendly jokes and stories.

Open Mic

Open Mic, hosted by the Pictou County Writers Group, is an opportunity for author to read their works before an encouraging and uncritical audience.

Pitch the Publisher

July 2, 9-10:30 a.m., River John Legion. Sponsored by the Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association and Read by the Sea literary festival, this fan-favourite gives emerging authors 3 minutes to pitch their works to a panel of publishers. See below for how to apply.

Pitch the Publisher

Do you have a manuscript burning a hole in your sock drawer, aching to be published? This might be your chance. At Pitch the Publisher, selected writers each have three minutes to stand at a microphone and pitch their manuscripts to a panel of publishers, in front of an audience. Publishers have five minutes to respond with feedback.

Here’s how you can be one of the selected writers:

  1. Prepare a proposal. Describe your manuscript in two sentences or less, plus why you are the most qualified person to write it and why people would want to read it. State the genre and intended audience.
  2. Send your proposal (not the manuscript) and your contact information to Read by the Sea Pitch the Publisher by April 15, 2022:
  • Email your proposal using the Contact Us form on this website, or
  • Mail your proposal to Read by the Sea, c/o River John Library, PO Box 104, River John, NS, B0K 1N0.
  1. A jury will select 9 or ten entries that are most likely to succeed. We will contact the selected writers with their time slots for pitching to the publisher panel on July 2, 2022.

Open Mic

Following the Writers' Workshop at St. John's Hall, on July 2, 1-2 pm. As for the Writers' Workshop, please pre-register. Bring your writing - of any kind - and share it with an audience. Covid protocols will apply. This event will also be recorded for the website.  (If you plan to attend both the workshop and Open Mic, you may want to pack a picnic lunch. We hope for sunshine!)

Writing Workshop

Making a Scene: Putting the Narrative in Nonfiction.   Join journalist and author Stephen Kimber for a writing workshop on June 30, 2022, 10a.m.

Pre-registration is required. The workshop is limited to 25 participants. To register, please use the Contact Us form on this website or email [email protected].

Stephen Kimber is an award-winning writer, editor, broadcaster, and educator. A journalist for more than 50 years, he is the author of 13 books, including two novels and 11 works of nonfiction. He currently writes a weekly column for the Halifax Examiner and is a contributing editor for Atlantic Business Magazine. Kimber was a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax for more than 40 years, serving as its director for close to a decade. In 2013, he co-founded the King’s MFA in Creative Nonfiction program, where he now serves as a cohort director.

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Book Auction

We’re auctioning off copies of books by our Main Stage authors, as a fundraiser and because they are simply fabulous books! Here’s how it works: View the list of auction items below, then use our ‘Contact Us’ form or email [email protected] (include the word “auction” in the subject line) and tell us:
1. Your name, email address and phone number
2. Which auction item you’re bidding on (you can bid on as many items as you like)
3. The amount of your bid

The auction will close at 5 p.m. July 9, at which time we will award the items to the highest bidders.
This is your chance to snag some great books and support Read by the Sea at the same time (how awesome is that?).

Auction Item #1: Kill the Mall, by Pasha Malla. $25 value. Minimum bid: $15
Auction Item #2: Kill the Mall, by Pasha Malla. $25 value. Minimum bid: $15
Auction Item #3: Crow, by Amy Spurway. $22.95 value. Minimum bid: $15
Auction Item #4: Crow, by Amy Spurway. $22.95 value. Minimum bid: $15
Auction Item #5: Fishing the High Country, by Wayne Curtis. $19.95 value. Minimum bid: $15
Auction Item #5: Fishing the High Country, by Wayne Curtis. $19.95 value. Minimum bid: $15
Auction Item #6: I’m Finding My Talk, by Rebecca Thomas plus companion book I Lost My Talk, by Rita Joe (both illustrated by Pauline Young). Value: $45.90. Minimum bid: $30
Auction Item #7: I’m Finding My Talk, by Rebecca Thomas plus companion book I Lost My Talk, by Rita Joe (both illustrated by Pauline Young). Value: $45.90. Minimum bid: $30
Auction Item #8: I’m Finding My Talk, by Rebecca Thomas plus companion book I Lost My Talk, by Rita Joe (both illustrated by Pauline Young). Value: $45.90. Minimum bid: $30

Meet The Pitch Panel

Boularderie Island Press is located in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. On average, they publish between 3-5 traditional trade book publications and co-publications each year. They have published more than 50 books, including The Appendage Formerly Known as Your Left Arm by Julie Curwin, which won the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction at this year’s Atlantic Book Awards.

Paul MacAllister, Monster House owner/author published his first book, There and Back Again: A Herman Tale in the Fall of 2015. He then began Monster House Publishing, a New Brunswick based publishing house for children’s books. Since then, Monster House Publishing has launched several works, including the recent Mi’kmaq Alphabet Book by Shyla Augustine, which was nominated for a New Brunswick Book award this year, and has a second edition on the way!

Chocolate River Publishing was established to raise the profile of New Brunswick in Anglophone children’s literature. Their main focus is on the types of books that kids from kindergarten to grade twelve want to read. They should tell a great story, have strong characters, the action should move fast, and humour doesn’t hurt! What-cha Doing by Kim Renton was nominated for a New Brunswick Book Award this year.

Moose House Publications:

Best-selling author Brenda Thompson founded Moose House in 2019 to publish fiction, non-fiction, and other materials written in or about rural Nova Scotia. The press serves folks who are writing material that excites and compels them, even though it might not have a large-enough potential market to attract larger publishers. They have published 25+ authors in their first two years. Two Crows Sorrow was shortlisted for The Miramichi Reader’s 2020 Very Best of Historical Fiction award and was on Atlantic Books’ Chapters Indigo bestsellers list in January 2020. Their goal is to build up their catalogue with entertaining, challenging, eye-opening stories, plays, essays, and book-length explorations into subjects of local interest. Moose House is proud to be a member of the Atlantic Publishers’ Marketing Association, which supports publishers across Atlantic Canada. Their publisher and staff, and many of their authors, are members of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

Penguin Random House

Penguin Random House Canada, the country’s largest book publisher and part of an international publishing company, was established in 2013 by merger and has a Canadian publishing history going back to 1906. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, with office locations in Mississauga, Ontario, and Vancouver, British Columbia, and more than 230 employees across the country, it is the literary home of world-renowned Canadian authors such as Margaret Atwood, Leonard Cohen, Kim Thúy, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, David Chariandy, Dionne Brand, Richard Wagamese, and Chris Hadfield. It is made up of 19 diverse imprints, publishing adult and children’s fiction and non-fiction print and digital trade book publishing.

Page Turners

Page Turners - The festival holds two sets of books by MainStage authors, to be loaned to area book clubs. To borrow these books, and find out more, please contact us at [email protected]