New Brunswick

Moncton's Frye Fest announces literary headliners

Moncton's 17th annual Frye Festival is a mix of "well-known Canadian writers and also the best new voices in Canadian literature," says festival executive director Danielle LeBlanc.

Authors for the 2016 Frye Festival include Lisa Moore, Elizabeth Hay and Charles Demers

Moncton's 17th annual Frye Fest has unveiled its line-up of authors which includes some of Canada's best known writers and hundreds of school events. (Submitted by Frye Festival)

Moncton's 17th annual Frye Festival is a mix of "well-known Canadian writers and also the best new voices in Canadian literature," says festival executive director Danielle LeBlanc.

The line-up for the 2016 festival was announced on Tuesday and LeBlanc says Giller Prize winner Elizabeth Hay is probably the best-known writer who will be in Moncton in April.

"Everyone knows her from Late Nights on Air but she's coming to the festival with a brand new novel called His Whole Life."

​Hay's fifth novel is described as a "warm coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the Quebec referendum in the 1990s."

LeBlanc says there is also a lot of excitement around Atlantic Canada's "sweetheart," Lisa Moore, who is bringing her first novel for young adults, Flannery, to Frye Fest.

"I read the book and it's really good. It's about a 16-year-old who concocts a love potion and then gets more than she bargained for when rumour spreads that it actually works," LeBlanc said.

Anakana Schofield will also be part of the Moncton festival after dominating the fall book season with her Giller Prize-shortlisted novel, Martin John, which explores mental health and sexual violence.

Charlie Demers, a frequent guest on the CBC comedy show The Debaters, is another fan favourite coming to the festival.
Author and stand-up comedian Charles Demers will be part of the Frye Festival. His new book, "The Horrors: An A to Z of Funny Thoughts on Awful Things," is a collection of darkly funny and deeply personal essays. (

He is the author of a book called The Horrors: An A to Z of Funny Thoughts on Awful Things, which looks at topics such as depression, obsessive-compulsiveness and adolescence.

"It's 26 very personal and darkly funny essays about awful things but with a funny twist on them," said LeBlanc. "It's a really touching book."

Local writers also featured

Other lesser known authors who are part of the line-up include Fredericton's Kathleen Peacock who writes supernatural mysteries for young adults and Moncton native Mike Steeves.

LeBlanc describes Steeves' book Giving Up as "sort of an experimental novel." 

"It's a look into the life of this couple who is not exactly happy at that one moment in that evening and it's really, really well done."
Moncton native Mike Steeves now lives in Montreal but will return home to share his new novel "Giving Up" which tells the story of one couple. (

Francophone writers are also part of the bilingual festival and LeBlanc says she's very excited about Fanny Britt, the author of a graphic novel called Jane, the Fox and Me.

"It's a beautiful story of a young girl who is being bullied at school and takes refuge in Jane Eyre and the illustrations are just absolutely phenomenal."

The Frye Festival runs in Moncton from April 23 to May 1 and is well-known for its school program. LeBlanc says this year about 130 presentations are planned for local schools over five days.


  • In an earlier version of this story, Mike Steeves' novel Giving Up was listed with the incorrect title of he said/she said/they said.
    Feb 24, 2016 9:37 PM AT