Lawrence Hill Returning to Region

Canadian Literary Icon Coming in April for Workshop and Lectures


Canadian literary icon Lawrence Hill is returning to the West Kootenay-Boundary this spring to speak on his latest timely and acclaimed novel The Illegal, a fictional narrative inspired by the plight of real refugees.

In recent conversation with the CBC, Hill—known best for his epic novel The Book of Negroes—said he wanted to write about the struggles of displaced people long before the recent headlines. While visiting his sister in West Berlin in the 1980s, he became interested in the Sudanese expats and refugees that she was spending time with.

Lawrence Hill Sessions

Canadian author Lawrence Hill visited Nelson in November, 2014 for a Mir Centre for Peace Lecture at Mary Hall on the Tenth Street Campus. Hill is returning to the West Kootenay-Boundary this spring for a pair of lectures and a special workshop for writers.

"They couldn't really get their lives going legally once they arrived in West Berlin, so watching how they had to struggle and innovate—and be creative to stay alive and help each other—got me thinking about issues of statelessness," he said. "I've been dreaming about writing a novel about it ever since."

Hill’s first lecture will take place in Wednesday, April 20 at 7 p.m. in Grand Forks at the USCC Community Centre (6140 Community Centre Road). Tickets for the Grand Forks event will be available at Selkirk College, Grand Forks Campus (recommended) or at the door.

Hill will also speak in Nelson on Friday, April 22 at 7 p.m. at Mary Hall on the Selkirk College Tenth Street Campus. Tickets for the Nelson event can be purchased at Selkirk College Bookstore, Castlegar Campus or by calling 250.365.1281. They can also be purchased at Otter Books in Nelson (cash or cheque only) or at the door. Ticket cost is $10 and will be on sale as of March 1.  

Amazing Opportunity for Local Fiction Writers

In addition, ten local fiction writers will have a chance to take their craft to the next level by working in a small-group setting with Hill. In this master level class entitled “The Art and Business of Creative Writing Fiction: a Master Class with Lawrence Hill,” writers will also learn some of the finer points of the business of writing in order to make their splash in the publishing world.

This world-class workshop will take place at the Selkirk College Mir Centre for Peace on the Castlegar Campus on April 23 and 24 and is free for selected writers residing within the West Kootenay-Boundary region. To apply, writers must submit a 10-15 page manuscript of fiction to Almeda Glenn Miller at no later than March 1. Initial submissions will be juried by Selkirk College creative writing instructors and then short-listed submissions will be juried by Hill. Ten students will be selected and all candidates will be notified by early April as to whether their submissions are successful. Proof of residency is required.

For general information, please go to or contact Selkirk College Continuing Education Coordinator Cara-Lee Malange at 250.365.1261 or at For specific information about the Grand Forks lecture, please contact Jennifer Wetmore at 250.442.2704 or


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