Lois Peterson is one of several local authors whose work will be featured at an upcoming reading series.

Lois Peterson is one of several local authors whose work will be featured at an upcoming reading series.

Local authors to be featured

Reading series to kick off at Alexandra Neighbourhood House Jan. 15.

What better way to inaugurate Alexandra Neighbourhood House’s new reading room than by celebrating local literary talent?

Lit Café, a series of readings of poetry and prose by Semiahmoo Peninsula writers, will take place Wednesday, Jan. 15, 7-9 p.m. in the reading room at 2916 McBride Ave. in Crescent Beach.

Featured authors will be novelists Margo Bates, Ben Nutall-Smith, Lois Peterson, Sylvia Taylor and Cristy Watson, but there will also be an open-mic portion of the program for any who might want to share their own works.

“Suggested donation for admission is $5, but none will be turned away for lack of funds,” said Neil Fernyhough, Alex House’s co-ordinator of community programs.

“In addition to the readings, the evening includes opportunities for questions and answers,” he said, adding that there will also be an opportunity to buy books by the featured authors.

Bates, author of the memoir P.S. Don’t Tell Your Mother and A Queen of the Gated Community, is currently at work on The Funeral Follower.

A public speaker, publicist and photographer, she likes to use humour to bring life to historical fiction and teaches workshops for authors on writing fiction, non-fiction and humour.

She is currently president of Canadian Authors Vancouver and serves as its program and publicity committee chair and national marketing and communications committee chair of the Canadian Authors Association.

Nuttall-Smith, a retired music, art, theatre and language teacher, is author of the historical novel Blood, Feathers and Holy Men, the autobiographical novel Secrets Kept/Secrets Told; two books of poetry, Postcards and A Moment In Eternity and the children’s books Henry Hamster Esquire and Grandpa’s Homestead.

President of the Federation of British Columbia Writers and a member of the Writer’s Union of Canada, he has also received a Surrey Board of Trade special achievement award for his work as a writer and service to the writing community.

Peterson, who works for Surrey Libraries, has written seven books for children and youth, but also spent more than 20 years as a writer of adult short stories, personal narratives and articles both in Canada and internationally.

She is also a creative writing teacher for adults and children and a frequent presenter at writing conferences and retreats.

Taylor is also a popular conference presenter and adjudicator, as well as an award-winning writer, editor, educator and communications specialist, who has been shortlisted for the CBC National Literary Awards and has edited and or coached more than 100 book manuscripts.

Her most recent work is the historical literary memoir The Fisher Queen: A Deckhand’s Tales of the BC Coast.

Watson is host of the open-mic reading series Zero to 360, through Semiahmoo Arts, at White Rock’s Pelican Rouge Café.

In addition to publishing two young-adult novels, she has had poetry published in  Ascent Aspirations, Spotlight on the Arts and CV2, where she won editor’s choice for her entry in the Two-Day Poetry Contest.

For more information on the Lit Café event, call Alexandra Neighbourhood House at 604-535-0015 (ext. 236) or contact communityprograms@alexhouse.net