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Writers & Friends Kingston 2017


 Sunday, April 23, marks the 21st anniversary of a remarkable fund-raising event in Kingston that since 1996 has raised almost $400,000 to better the lives of marginalized men, women and children in Central America and Mexico. The Writers & Friends literary gala in aid of Horizons of Friendship will take place in elegant Memorial Hall in Kingston City Hall. Four gifted authors will grace that stage.



Winner of the Giller Prize, the Margaret Laurence Award and a dozen other major literary prizes, David Bergen has written a stunning novel, his ninth.The New York TimescalledStranger– about a Guatemalan mother’s harrowing journey to the U.S. to retrieve her stolen child -- “breathtaking . . . a work of genius.”The Globe and Mailcalled the novel “inventive and electrifying.” In many ways, David Bergen is a perfect fit for Writers & Friends and Horizons of Friendship, for he is writing about some of our signature issues -- the cultural differences between North and South, income inequality and social justice for vulnerable people. We are also thrilled that the author is coming all the way from Winnipeg – just for our event in Kingston.



Sometimes the brightest star in the firmament is the one closest to home. Kingston’s own Steven Heighton won the Governor General’s Award for Poetry in 2016 forThe Waking Comes Late– poems that both lament and celebrate our world. His much anticipated fourth novel,The Nightingale Won’t Let You Sleep, a literary thriller set in Turkey, occasioned this response from Annie Proulx: “This book won’t let the reader sleep.” There are many ways to measure a writer’s impact. Steven Heighton’s books have been optioned for film and translated into ten languages. Prizes won include the Gerald Lampert Award and four National Magazine Awards. He has also taught creative writing all over the world, from Sage Hill, Saskatchewan to St. Petersburg, Russia.

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Those who saw it on television still remember it. Dr. Danielle Martin, a Canadian family physician, was on an international panel in March of 2014 defending the Canadian Medicare system as the Obamacare debate raged in the U.S. “Doctor schools senator,” the headlines read.The Toronto Starhad already put this self-assured and articulate young woman on its “People to Watch” list, and CBC TV’s The National had made Dr. Martin one of its regular panelists. Now that doctor, winner of numerous prizes for her work in medicine and an associate professor in health policy at the University of Toronto, has written an important book that has created a tremendous buzz:BETTER NOW: Six Big Ideas to Improve Health Care for All Canadians.  



Zoe Whittall’s The Best Kind of People– an examination of guilt and innocence and the impact on a family when the patriarch is charged with rape – was a finalist for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize. The jury called the novel “urgent and timely, nuanced and brave.” Zoe Whittall is the author of four novels and three poetry collections. Her first novel, Bottle Rocket Hearts, was named a Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year and one of the top ten essential Canadian novels of the decade by CBC Radio's Canada Reads. The winner of numerous prizes for her writing, Zoe Whittall has also served as a writer on TV shows such as Degrassi and Schitt’s Creek. Here is an exciting young writer, and one to watch.


You can purchase your tickets online . Your support is warmly welcomed for this much anticipated event. Contributions are invited, including donations to our silent auction, programme advertising, and corporate and individual sponsorship. Contact Horizons of Friendship, 905 372- 5483 ext. 10 or 1- 888-729- 9928, email info@horizons.ca.