The Sunday Magazine

Newfoundland writers onstage at the Winterset literary festival

Michael Enright is a regular at the Winterset in Summer Festival in Eastport, Newfoundland. We bring you an excerpt from his conversations with Joel Thomas Hynes, Wayne Johnston and Bridget Canning, the three finalists for the BMO Winterset Award.
Bridget Canning, Joel Thomas Hynes and Wayne Johnston were the three finalists for the BMO Winterset Award. (Sheilagh O’Leary/HarperCollins/Mark Raynes Roberts)

In August, book lovers gathered for the annual Winterset in Summer Literary Festival, which is held in the small Newfoundland village of Eastport. 

Michael Enright hosted a panel featuring the finalists for the BMO Winterset Award: Joel Thomas Hynes, Bridget Canning and  Wayne Johnston.

Wayne Johnston's The Colony of Unrequited Dreams was an instant bestseller when it came out in 1998. In it, we meet Joey Smallwood, who ushered Newfoundland into confederation and became its first premier. One of the book's most beloved characters, Sheila Fielding, reappears in his latest novel, First Snow, Last Light

Bridget Canning is a writer and educator. Her first novel is called The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes. Wanda's life changes radically when a gunman enters the supermarket where she is shopping, and opens fire.

The winning novel was We'll All Be Burnt in our Beds Some Night, by Joel Thomas Hynes. In it, street scrapper Johnny Keough is awaiting trial on an assault charge involving his girlfriend Madonna.  

Click 'listen' above to hear an excerpt from their conversation.