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Western Perceptions – A Festival for Writers and Readers Coming to Town Featuring Best-Selling Authors Lee Maracle, and David Morrell, Creator of Rambo

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It’s a dream come true for literature lovers. Wood Buffalo will host huge names like Lee Maracle, Canada’s most prolific Indigenous writer, and David Morrell, creator of the world-famous action hero, Rambo - at the Western Perceptions Festival for Writers and Readers. The event will take place from March 24 to 26 at the Fort McMurray Golf Club and Fort McKay.

The brainchild of local Indigenous visual artist Fred McDonald, and local writer Therese Greenwood, the festival will also feature comic book and graphic novel artists David Morrell, Jeff Mariotte and Kellen Cutsforth among others.

“When Fred and I started exploring this idea, we looked to see who else in Canada was bringing Indigenous and non-Indigenous writers together to talk about stereotypes in writing about the West. We realized that there was no one else doing this, so we decided we could fill that gap and start an important artistic discussion right here in Wood Buffalo,” explains Greenwood, who has been in town since 2012.

“The line-up was designed to have a two-sided discussion on the overall theme with both non-Indigenous writers — mostly authors of Western literature — and with authors of Aboriginal ancestry. We also wanted to delve into the idea of Truth and Reconciliation,” notes McDonald, who is from the Fort McKay First Nation and was born and raised here.

The line-up, adds Greenwood will feature hands-on writing workshops with authors who have been on North American best-seller lists, including two on writing comic books and graphic novels. The workshops are included in the price of the event. David Morrell, who created the character of Rambo made even more famous by Hollywood, is going to do a reading about the actor John Wayne, and Lee Maracle.

“We’ve brought in some heavy hitters from the writing world and I expect a good dialogue both ways regarding the theme. We also expect that attendees will have a lot of one-on-one time with the authors themselves. The authors will talk about their writing processes, where their ideas for books come from and about being published. We are also doing a one-day graphic novel workshop in Fort McKay for high school students only,” continues McDonald.

An “author speed dating,” session will see festival goers sign-up for a five-minute one-on-one session with a writers. The agenda will round out with author book sales and autograph sessions.


Visit to register and for event details highlighting all the authors in attendance.


Kiran is a national award-winning communications specialist, freelance journalist, and social media consultant. She loves telling community stories, and is a strong advocate for inclusion, diversity, women’s rights, and multiculturalism. Got story ideas? Contact her via Twitter: @KiranMK0822.