Friday, 17 October 2014

October 15th's Gathering Was a Huge Success

What a joy it was to see almost fifty excited people come through the doors of the tiny bright yellow building that is The Voglers Cove Community Hall (VCCH) on Wednesday 15th October.

After three weeks of planning, promoting and sharing of passions, two members (yours truly and Kat) of the society and one energetic volunteer (Elke) from the VCCH pulled off an evening to be well proud of. I should add that Kat and Elke are founders of the impressive little library: The Read and Share Corner - which occupies the left wing of the VCCH building shown here. The Read and Share Corner co-sponsored this event.

As the sign says, on Wednesday, Author, and Fortress Louisbourg historian,  AJB Johnston kicked off his Maritime tour for The Maze, the second novel in his quartet that follows the exploits of Thomas Pichon.

Kat Wright manned the door with her welcome hat on and provided information with a panache that any celebrity host would envy.

Elke Love, with her generous smile, kicked off the formalities with a welcome to all with one hand while preparing coffee pots and groaning boards of goodies with the other. The hall  buzzed with anticipation for both the presentation and the food.

Seemingly invisible wonderful volunteers ensured all guests were happy. 

Sue attempted to give a squeezed overview of what the Liverpool Literary Society is, its hopes for future growth, stressing the openness of it all, welcoming anyone to come along and join in the monthly gatherings.  She then went on to introduce the guest, AJB Johnston, the gist of which  went something like this:

“A few weeks I got this phone call: are you the Liverpool Literary Society?
me: gulp, I suppose I must be.
caller: my name is John Johnston and I am planning my Maritime book tour and wondered if I could come along to one of your meetings.
me (scratching head and wondering if I should know who John Johnston is!): fabulous, that would be wonderful, but I’ll have to ask the members.

That conversation sparked off the activity that has resulted in tonight’s event.

My 90 year old mother says “if you want something doing, ask a busy woman”

Three busy women have made this evening happen for you. Kat Wright, Elke Love, and I come from totally different backgrounds with skills and talents that were soon put to work. Under Kat’s magnificent orchestration, thank you Kat - and with Elke’s unbelievable go-getting approach - thank you Elke, and with a minimum of short meetings we have, together with the techno wizardry of David (more applause) - put tonight together for you...

 (big chunk cut from here so as not to bore you further!) 

...At the heart of the book business is the writer, the author, the poet. Without these unique people, the publishers, book sellers etc etc etc - yes, that lot, yes even the book case maker would be out of work.

The world has always needed - and always will need - writers to bravely let us into their minds, to share their imaginings, their insights, and their secrets through their words.  

AJB (John) Johnston is such an author. But an author with a difference. As historian at Fortress Louisbourg, John has the benefit of many years of academic research in his chosen field. They say ‘write about what you know’ and so to apply the results of that research to fiction must be a joy indeed.

I sent John an email a few days ago asking how he would like to be introduced. He very modestly and humbly referred me to his website. Being a bit of a rebel - instead I went digging:

According to Wikipedia Andrew John Bayly Johnston is a Canadian historian and writer. He is the author, or co-author, of fourteen books and over 100 articles on different aspects of the history of Atlantic Canada.
His work has won numerous awards - but the award that caught my eye and imagination was this one:

AJB Johnston is a Chevalier of the Order of Academic Palms - an award originally founded by Napoleon and now awarded by France to major contributions to the expansion of French culture outside of France.
Blimey O’Riley - we don’t know what gems we have  in this fabulous province, do we!

John is kicking off his Maritime book tour right here in Voglers Cove. He has brought with him The Maze, the second book in his quartet of historical novels, on which one reviewer says - and I quote  "Taking on historical fiction and imaginatively recreating the inner life of one of Canada's most controversial early historical figures would be beyond the reach of most scholars. A. J. B. Johnston ... is more than equal to that challenge."

Phew - are we lucky or what!

John is also, I hope, going to tell us more about his transition from historian to novelist.

It therefore gives me great pleasure to hand over now to our guest John (AJB) Johnston.

SBB October 17 2014

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wednesday 15th October 2014

Tonight's gathering is a special event with visiting author AJB Johnston. The venue is Voglers Cove Community Hall in Lunenburg County. Time 7 pm. Refreshments provided. Free.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Historian and Novelist John Johnston to Visit

This has come about quite by accident and so suited to our mandate. Out of the blue, a phone call from AJB Johnston asking if he could join us at one of gatherings - and after a little shuffling of our regular arrangements, and some inspiring ideas from members of the group we are delighted to announce:

Novelist & historian at Vogler’s Cove Community Hall

A J B Johnston, Wednesday, October 15

A J B Johnston, long-time Fortress Louisbourg historian and more recent novelist, is beginning his Maritime Canada tour with an appearance at Vogler’s Cove Community Hall on Wednesday, October 15, at 7:00 p.m.
The Liverpool Literary Society and the Read & Share Corner at the Vogler’s Cove Hall are honoured to co-host Mr. Johnston, who will read from his new novel, The Maze. The book is his second in a fictional quartet about ambition, longing and betrayal in 18th Century France, England, and Atlantic Canada.
His book Endgame 1758, won the Canadian Historical Association’s Clio Award. As an historian and now novelist, Johnston’s work at Fortress Louisbourg for 23 years focuses on French Colonial history in Atlantic Canada.

Vogler’s Cove Community Hall is located at 8544 Highway 331, Vogler’s Cove (exit 16 or 17 off the 103). The event is free. Refreshments and copies of the book will be available. Details at and on Facebook (Voglerscovecommunityhallmaggiesplayground).

More on AJB Johnston here:

Changes to meeting dates and times

Subject to confirmation - gatherings for the winter will be on the 3rd Sundays at 2 pm as follows:

November 16th
January 18th
February 15th
March 15th

If all are in agreement - from April we will return to gathering on the 3rd Wednesdays at 7.  Venue to be determined.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Dates for meetings

The next gathering of literati will be on Wednesday September 17th at 7 pm at *Lanes Privateer Inn, Bristol Avenue, Liverpool. For those wishing to socialise beforehand, I suggest the bar for a bite to eat etc at around 6 ish.

*3rd Wednesdays for July to December are as follows:

July 16th
August 20th
September 17th
October 15th
November 19th
December 17th

*venue and dates are subject to change

Sunday, 25 May 2014

The Inaugural Meeting of the Liverpool Literary Society

The Liverpool Literary Society is Born
It wasn’t 1603. I wasn’t Sir Walter Raleigh, ambling up to the landlord of The Mermaid Tavern (on the corner of Bread Street and Friday Street), asking if a bunch of writers could use the back room for a gathering (rumour). But I reckon it had the same feel.
The proprietor of Lanes Privateer Inn on Bristol Avenue, Liverpool, was delighted at the idea of a meet-up of literati in her inn (also home to Snug Harbour Books).  And so the word went out. Then the responses came in.
On Wednesday 21 May at 7 pm, ten like-minded, but genre-diverse souls sat around the table. There was a frisson in the air. I told them, very swiftly I might add, about Sir Walter and how he’d (supposedly) gathered Will Shakespeare, John Donne, Ben Jonson and more in much a similar manner. And the frisson fair sparkled.
Introductions were made and it soon became apparent that the diversity in every sense was what would make this particular bunch exciting. From a biographer, to a well published author, to novelists, a poet, editors, translators, a song writer, young adult and children’s authors, to a creative non fictionist - and then in strolled a smiling visiting writer from Toronto.
As you can imagine, time ran out in this inaugural agenda-less event. Ideas for the future floated and swirled - gloriously - and so it looks like The Liverpool Literary Society will have a future and that it will meet at the same place at the same time on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Just like The Friday Street Club at the Mermaid Tavern in 1603 where Will and co chose the first Friday of the month - lest they forgot.
It didn't need saying that the Liverpool Literary Society would be about sharing and support in all things booky. It was, however, felt that it would not need to be a closed group - but an “All Welcome” event once a month. Where visitors to the area could drop in, see what we are up to on this part of the globe, share a little of their literary world maybe. The society could even provide the occasional satellite possibility for WFNS events.
For those members wishing for a more focussed gathering to help review manuscripts prior to submission - stuff like that - sub sessions could be set up as required. There was talk of inviting guest speakers too, authors, publishers et al, later in the year. Yes, there was a lot to get excited about.

Of all those who responded, around 50% already had commitments on that date and weren't able to attend the kick-off gathering, but they wished to be kept informed. It is hoped that folks from other areas of the industry will feel it is a place for them too e.g. illustrators, agents, printers, publishers, journalists, book sellers and yes, readers too.          

The facebook page 
and the website/blog will carry information and useful, but ad hoc, writerly tidbits.

Here’s hoping I don’t finish up in the tower like poor old Sir Walter after this,

S.B. Borgersen

Friday, 25 April 2014

The Liverpool Literary Society Media Release April 2014

The Liverpool Literary Society

There is a wealth of local writing talent; rarely a month goes by without a local author or poet attaining success. But writing can be a lonely occupation.

The Liverpool Literary Society was primarily envisaged as a small closed group providing a community/network forum for local writers in all genres, filling the need for writers to meet like-minded people, to share information and opportunities, to inspire and be inspired.

But ideas germinated and became a wider vision. Such a society may also be of interest to those in the illustrating, publishing, printing and book sales element of the business.

It may also attract visitors. Here on vacation maybe, or on business. How happenstance to find that such a society is here; to drop by and hear what is going on and maybe share a snippet of work too.

A virtual membership isn’t out of the question either.  For local writers who are far away, or those who just wish they were in Nova Scotia. Nothing is impossible.

The Liverpool Literary Society is on facebook  

For more information contact Sue at or Vernon at