Authors and Featured Speakers

Nancy Pearl (Friday 10:45 am)

Nancy Pearl

Nancy Pearl is “America’s librarian.” She regularly speaks about the value of reading at libraries and library conferences, and for literacy organizations and community groups. Nancy can be found on KUOW in Seattle, KWGS in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin Public Radio talking about books and reading. Her monthly television show, Book Lust with Nancy Pearl, on the Seattle Channel features interviews with authors, poets, and other literary figures. Among her many honors are the 2011 Librarian of the Year Award from Library Journal and the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the PNW Booksellers Association. Nancy is the creator of the internationally recognized program If All of Seattle Read the Same Book, and was the inspiration for the Archee McPhee "Librarian Action Figure". If the library world has a rock star - Nancy Pearl is it. Nancy is a best-selling author, librarian, literary critic, as well as a radio and television personality, but first and foremost, she is a reader and has spent her life promoting reading as one of the most beneficial and joyful experiences anyone can have.

Trevor Herriot (Friday 7:30 pm)

Trevor Herriot

Trevor Herriot is the author of several award-winning books, including Grass, Sky, Song and the national bestseller River in a Dry Land, both of which short-listed for the Governor General’s Award for Non-fiction. He is the 2017 recipient of the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence. His fifth book, Towards a Prairie Atonement, was published in October 2016 and took two Saskatchewan Book Awards. A book of his essays accompanying the photographs of Branimir Gjetvaj in Islands of Grass, was released in the fall of 2017. He has also published essays and articles in The Globe & MailBrickBorder CrossingsCanadian Geographic, and several anthologies.

Herriot is a grassland advocate and a naturalist and illustrator. He posts regularly on Grass Notes (, his web page on grassland culture and environmental issues. He is featured regularly on CBC Radio and is a frequent guest on the call-in show Blue Sky. He and his wife, Karen, live in Regina, have four adult children, and spend much of their time on a piece of Aspen Parkland prairie east of the city.

Miji Campbell (Saturday 3.00 pm)

Miji Campbell

Miji Campbell is a writer and teacher. Her first book Separation Anxiety: A Coming of Middle Age Story was winner of the Whistler Independent Book Award for Nonfiction in 2016. Miji’s work has appeared in numerous publications including Reader’s Digest, Today’s Parent Magazine, the Calgary Herald, the Edmonton Journal, Women’s Words: An Anthology, and has been broadcast on CBC Radio. Miji is the founder of Write Where You Are and facilitates Writeshops, her own lighthearted brand of writing workshops. Born and raised in Calgary, she now lives in Red Deer.

Author Talk: Sheila Watt-Cloutier (Saturday 7:30 pm)

Sheila Watt-Cloutier

Nobel Peace Prize nominee Sheila Watt-Cloutier is in the business of transforming public opinion into public policy. Experienced in working with global decision makers for over a decade, she offers a new model for 21st century leadership. At a time when people are seeking solutions, direction, and a sense of hope, this global leader provides a big picture of where we are and where we're headed.

In 2007, Watt-Cloutier was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her advocacy work in showing the impact of global climate change on human rights—especially in the Arctic, where it is felt more immediately, and more dramatically, than anywhere else in the world. Watt-Cloutier an Officer of the Order of Canada; the recipient of the Aboriginal Achievement Award; the UN Champion of the Earth Award; the Norwegian Sophie Prize; and the Right Livelihood Award, which she won in November, 2015 and is widely considered the "Nobel Alternative". From 1995-2002, Watt-Cloutier was elected the Canadian President of the Inuit Circumpolar Council (ICC). She was later elected in 2002 to become the International Chair of the ICC, representing the 155,000 Inuit from Canada, Greenland, Alaska and Russia--she held this post until 2006.

Watt-Cloutier is the author of the memoir, The Right to Be Cold: One Woman's Story of Protecting Her Culture, the Arctic and the Whole Planet, published in 2015. The book was nominated for the 2016 BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. In 2017, the book was shortlisted for CBC Canada Reads, defended by Chantal Kreviazuk. Watt-Cloutier was also shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize.

Gerald Beasley (Saturday 8:00 pm)

Gerald Beasley

Gerald Beasley was recently appointed the Carl A. Kroch University Librarian at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, effective August 1, 2017. He formerly held leadership positions in Canada as Vice-Provost and Chief Librarian at the University of Alberta (2013-17) and University Librarian at Concordia University, Montreal (2008-13). Born and educated in the United Kingdom, Beasley has a Masters’ Degree in Library Studies from University College, London, and in English Language and Literature from Oxford University. He has published and presented on a variety of professional topics including fake news.

Paula Simons (Saturday 8:00 pm)

Paula Simons

Paula Simons is a documentary-maker, a playwright, and the Edmonton Journal’s City Columnist. A graduate of the University of Alberta and Stanford University, Simons has won many national and international awards for her investigative reporting, feature writing, and political commentary - and for her ground-breaking use of social media. Last spring, she was honoured at the National Newspaper Awards for her investigations of Alberta’s secretive child welfare system, and by UNESCO for her contributions to the advancement of press freedom.

Kathleen Smith (Saturday 8:00 pm)

Kathleen Smith

Kathleen Smith is an Edmonton based writer, commentator and political pundit. Via her @KikkiPlanet twitter account and her Facebook page, Smith focuses on engaging with and encouraging others to become better informed citizens. Smith's work has been published in several local and national publications, and she has appeared on a variety of television and radio panels.

Toni Samek (Saturday 8:00 pm)

Toni Samek

Dr. Toni Samek is a Professor and Chair at the School of Library and Information Studies, University of Alberta. Toni works in the area of information ethics and currently serves on the Advisory Board of Canada’s Centre for Free Expression.