The 2019 Ottawa Book Expo on October 20th was a wonderful display of work, including children’s literature, historical journeys, romance novels, graphic books, poetry, science fiction and fantasy. For most of the day there was a guitarist gently playing at the back of the room. Booths were decorated with colourful banners, books and filled with inspiring authors. The smell of coffee and pastries from the bakery up front and spices from the food venders added to the atmosphere. There were story readings, poetry and musical performances throughout the day on a small stage at the front entrance. It really was an entertaining, sunny fall day at Lansdowne Park.
Six OIW (Ottawa Independent Writers) members exhibited. Benoit Chartier known for his stories that span a wide array of serious and insightful themes, was there with his science fiction book “Red Nexus” as well as other gems such as “The Calumnist Malefesto and Other Improbable Yarns.” Laurie Campbell had her puppets and displayed her children’s books, featuring beloved animal illustrations and far too many titles to list. Anne Raina, author and keynote speaker, also had a large collection of children’s books including “The Kangaroo with the Wooden Shoe,” “Things that go SPLAT” and of course, “Clara’s Rib.” Meghan Negrijn displayed her science fiction series Pure Red Sand, including “An Expensive Retreat,” “Uncomfortable Truths” and “A Family Affair,” all skillfully written stories of human survival. Susan Taylor Meehan, author of the historical novel, “Maggie’s Choice” came with the beta version, “A Casualty of War” and her recently completed novel, “Halcyon Days,” a wonderful example of weaving fact into a story and bringing history to life. Susan Jennings was also there with her prolific and colourful display of historical and romance novels. She showed off a tea cup and short bread, promoting “Christmas at Lavender Cottage,” which includes the family short bread recipe.
At the OIW booth, the attendees were interested in speakers and topics of the upcoming meetings. The 2019 anthology “A Two-Four of Tales,” was a joy to show off as people were enthusiastic and curious. Discussions were focused on the difficulties of publishing and the need for writer’s support groups. Margaret Southall, Pearl Williams, and Michelle Sabad did an amazing job of engaging the Ottawa Book Expo attendees in conversations and educating everyone on the nurturing and informative nature of OIW. Awesome show. See you all at the OIW January meeting!