Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Welwyn Wilton Katz

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Welwyn Wilton Katz is a flute player (the jazzier the better); a wannabe sailor (preferably via a 16 footer without winches); an inner archaeologist and geologist (because I have few oft-used muscles and so would need a team to woman the trowels and rock hammers); a Viking skald by desire (the myths are so connected); a follower of the non-dualist path of Siddha yoga (and therefore a still-working-on-it Christian and Buddhist and Muslim and Jew as well as any other path where God -- in English-- is still an abbreviation for Good); an identifier (crystals, flowers, geography, and so on); a jeweller; a believer in justice (it must exist somewhere); a believer in magic (see?); an experienced battler of insurance companies, rapacious lawyers (not my current one!), certain Parliamentarians, and a few too many other real-life Hydras; a reader of science fiction (I yearn for each new C.J. Cherryh) and mysteries; a justified optimist (married four times and finally figuring out what I'd done wrong the first three times); the mother of the best daughter in the world; a very good if out-of-practice cook; the wife of the most talented musician and kindest friend in the world; a writer of ten books for children and young adults published in roughly a dozen languages, and also some short work for adults (very short is very fun and actually publishable) and the odd poem (I bow to Roo Borson and Erin Noteboom); and (obviously), someone who would, if anyone let her, create sentences longer than those by Charles Dickens.

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Ten Questions with Welwyn Wilton Katz

Open Book: Toronto:

What was your first publication and where was it published?

Welwyn Wilton Katz:

A newspaper article on travelling the tall ship May Day: The London Free Press.


Describe a recent Canadian cultural experience that influenced your writing.


The Magic Flute: Mozart. The opera performed by the COC at the Grand Theatre, London, early summer, 2009, with musicians from Orchestra London. It renewed my belief in the possibility of perfection in the arts, despite all the negativism. It also renewed my understanding that taking joy in writing is really the only thing that matters.


By Welwyn Wilton Katz

In this beloved retelling of a popular legend, young readers are introduced to Beowulf, Wiglaf and Aelfhere, all of whom are endowed with a different magical gift. But these gifts are actually a terrible burden for them. Beowulf’s superhuman strength makes him clumsy and even overpowers his own weapons. Aefhere’s ability to read minds reveals disturbing truths. And Wiglaf’s life like dreams foretell disaster. Welwyn Wilton Katz recounts the Beowulf legend from the point of view of Wiglaf, who hears about many of Beowulf’s adventures, including the seven-day swim in which he kills nine monsters; the battle in the mead hall with the wicked troll, Grendel; the underwater struggle with the sea serpents; and the confrontation with Grendel's evil mother.

Recent Writer In Residence Posts

Battle of the Blades

Just voted my possible ten times for Battle of the Blades. I couldn't vote for just one pair. The injury level was high for at least two of the pairs, and the very fact that these three pairs had begun skating together only a few months ago meant that each of them had achieved something fantastic. I have been injured for more than six years now, and my particular injury has given me dyslexia and an inability to hang onto all the threads that it takes to write a novel. I want to get better, and to be able to play with ideas again in book-form. Writing to me was always more like weaving clouds than work. Tonight I saw six figure-skaters "surprised by joy", as a great writer once described it. Together, they (and I) all realized that the apparently impossible is never what it seems.

The Year of Fire by Teddy Jam and Ian Wallace

(Groundwood Books)

Read more about The Year of Fire at the Groundwood Books website.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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