The Honourable Gene Makowsky, Minister of Parks, Culture, and Sport, has officially declared September 28-October 2 as Saskatchewan Book Publishing Week 2020.

The Book Week 2020 lineup features thirteen books from eight different Saskatchewan-based publishers. In response to COVID-19, we have embraced a primarily digital approach, with most of our events streamed across, and available on, different online platforms. We will also be featuring small, socially-distanced “micro-readings” in Regina, Swift Current, Saskatoon, and La Ronge.

This year we are prioritizing BIPOC and LGBTQIA2S+ authors and are collaborating with the SWG, independent bookstores, local libraries, and community centres in order to celebrate the diversity of voices and perspectives on the Saskatchewan prairies.

Harold Johnson, based in La Ronge, is doing a micro-reading from his latest book, Cry Wolf (U of R Press, 2020) on September 29th at the Kikinahk Friendship Centre at 3:00 pm CST. Cry Wolf examines the death of a young man killed in a wolf attack near his work camp; Johnson considers how we fail to take this apex predator seriously at our own peril.

On the next full moon, October 1, at 7:00 pm CST, Randy Lundy will be doing a micro-reading of his latest collection of poetry, Field Notes for the Self (U of R Press, 2020), at Regina’s new independent bookstore, The Penny University Bookstore.

Motivational speaker and mental wellness advocate, Allan Kehler, will be reading from his book, Mental Health (Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing, 2020), which focuses on men’s mental health issues, at Station 20 West on September 28 at 7:00 pm CST.

Bonnie Dunlop will be doing a micro-reading on October 2 at 6:00 pm CST at Swift Current Public library of her novel Raft Baby (Thistledown Press, 2020), an historical novel set in the Peace River country in the early 1900’s.

The four micro-readings have limited space, so be sure to register before the events fill up! In addition to the micro-readings, we have an impressive schedule of online events.

Wednesday, September 30th features Black voices. At 4:00 pm CST, the co-editors of Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada (U of R Press, 2020), will read from their anthology. At 6:30 pm CST Saskatchewan’s Youth Poet Laureate, Peace Akintade will join a contributor from the anthology Black Writers Matter (U of R Press, 2020), Rowan McCandless, in a joint reading and discussion on being Black writers in the prairie publishing industry.

Janice Forsyth will read from Reclaiming Tom Longboat (U of R Press, 2020) on Tuesday, September 29 at 6:00 pm CST. Forsyth recounts the history of Indigenous sport in Canada through the lens of the prestigious Tom Longboat Awards, shedding light on an often-overlooked part of understanding colonialism in Canada.

Karin Melberg-Schwier, from Saskatoon, will be reading from her award-winning debut novel, Small Reckonings (Burton House Books, 2020), which tells the story of a prairie family and their daughter who meets her unique challenges with heart-rendering spirit and gumption during the Great Depression. The reading will take place online on Monday, September 28th at 6:00 pm CST.

Helen Knott, a 2019 RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Author, will be doing an online reading of her first book, In My Own Moccasins: A Memoir of Resilience (U of R Press, 2020). The reading will take place on October 1 at 6:00 pm CST.

Nicole Haldoupis will be doing a sneak-peek reading from her forthcoming, debut novel, Tiny Ruins (Radiant Press, 2020), a coming-of-age and coming out story that follows Alana, as she grows up, and navigates a perplexing and sometimes hostile world. Haldoupis will read online at 5:00 pm CST on October 2.

This year’s program features three children’s books. In celebration of the 20th anniversary and re-publishing with DriverWorks Ink, Mary Harelkin Bishop will be doing a reading of the classic children’s book, Tunnels of Time, in the Tunnels of Moose Jaw, which will premiere during Book Week. Jessica Williams will be doing a virtual reading of Sleeping Brilliant (All Write Here Publishing, 2020) from her home in Swift Current. Karon Shmon and David Morin of The Gabriel Dumont Institute Press will be doing a joint reading from the Taanishi Emergent Reader Series II with Westmount School in Saskatoon. A video of the reading will premiere during Book Week as well!
Saskatchewan Book Publishing Week 2020 could not happen without the enthusiasm and support of our publishers, writers, librarians, school staff members, and book lovers across the province.

SaskBooks gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Book Fund and Canada Council for the Arts.