A dozen New Brunswick authors will soon have new stories to tell about their time spent travelling the province together.

The authors come from a mix of backgrounds: Acadian, Mi'kmaw, English, Wolastoquiyik.

They're embarking on a six-stop, bilingual storytelling tour called "Creating Community," where they will be sharing previously unpublished stories about community.

The project was brought to life by funding from the Canada Council of the Arts' New Chapter program and the government of New Brunswick.

'We have an extraordinary, interesting, vibrant province … I'm in the business of letting people know that New Brunswick is one of the best places in the world to live.' —Beth Powning

Sussex-based author Beth Powning, known for A Measure of Light and The Sea Captain's Wife, is one of the 12 writers on the tour. 

"I loved the idea of travelling around the province with people from these other communities … the idea of talking about community, and what makes community, was extremely important right now in the world today," she said.

'What an interesting thing'

Each author was asked to write a piece about community and Powning decided to write a story titled Picking Blueberries with the Syrians — based on a real experience she had.

"Almost 50 years ago, I was an immigrant and I thought what an interesting thing that we're harvesting the blueberries that have grown on this land for thousands of years," she said.

"That's what I'll be reading around the province."

11 other writers will join Powning. They include:

  • Brigitte Lavallee (Petit–Rocher)
  • Elizabeth Blanchard (Grand–Barachois)
  • Gerard Collins (Sussex)
  • Lee Thompson (Moncton)
  • Muhammad Al-Digeil (Fredericton)
  • Paul Bosse (Moncton)
  • Phyllis Grant (Pabineau First Nation)
  • Raymond Sewell (Pabineau First Nation/Halifax)
  • Sebastien Berube (Edmundston)
  • Sheedy Petit Jean (Haiti/Moncton)
  • Shelby Beaatz Sappier (Tobique/Fredericton)

'We have an extraordinary, interesting, vibrant province'

The writers packed into a van on Friday and started the first chapter of their tour with readings in Bathurst, N.B.

On Saturday, they're in Rexton,  and then in Moncton, Saint John, Edmundston and Fredericton in December.

Full tour dates are available online.

"It's really going to be great for all these voices across the various communities," Powning added.

"We have an extraordinary, interesting, vibrant province … I'm in the business of letting people know that New Brunswick is one of the best places in the world to live and I think this is going to be a great chance to underline that."

Doors open at the events at 7:30 p.m., with shows starting at 8:00 p.m. — except for Fredericton where doors open at 1:30 p.m. and authors present their readings at 2:00 p.m.

Tickets are available at the door for $5 with readings available in English and French.

With files from Shift: New Brunswick