Comma Queen coming to Victoria Literary Festival

This year's Victoria Literary Festival will have a special guest. Mary Norris of the New Yorker Magazine, otherwise known as the Comma Queen, is scheduled to speak at the festival.

'It’s not snobbish by any means. But it's about books and grammar'

This year's Victoria Literary Festival is focusing on books and grammar.

Grammar isn't always interesting. 

That's why organizers have invited the Comma Queen to this year's Victoria Literary Festival. 

"If you're a Bob Dylan fan, you'll never feel the same about [the song] Lay Lady Lay because she has a little video about why it's Lie Lady Lie," Linda Gilbert, one of the festival organizers, told Mainstreet P.E.I.

Makes grammar interesting

The Comma Queen is New Yorker copy editor Mary Norris. 

"She can make grammar interesting," explained Gilbert.

Linda Gilbert is one of the organizers of this year's Victoria Literary Festival. (CBC)

The festival began four years ago and is for "anyone who happens to be around" Victoria-by-the-Sea. The motivation was for the villagers, mainly comprised of small family businesses and literary people, to "just have fun in the summer." 

"It's not snobbish by any means, but it's about books and grammar," said Gilbert.


This year's festival began Friday night with a dinner to meet different authors.

On Saturday afternoon, the festival moves to the lighthouse hear storytellers [or barbs] perform readings.

Children's author Jennifer Brown is also scheduled to perform a reading. The festival moves into the evening to hear from Norris and others talk about how they got involved in a literary life.

"I find when people talk about their work, it suddenly makes you appreciate it — it has a dimension you never imagined," said Gilbert.

As a resident of Victoria, Gilbert said it's fun to walk around and see artists interacting in the community. 

"You really begin to appreciate how hard poets, artists [and] authors — how hard they really work."

With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.