If you love reading and perhaps even writing, then this festival is for you! For its 14th year, the Blue Metropolis Literary Festival found new digs at the trendy Opus Hotel in Montreal. Although the festival officially starts today, it kicked off its shoes with a fashionable fundraiser Tuesday night entitled Shoe Stories. Well-heeled Montrealers donned their best stilettos in support of the literary arts – an excellent indication that this festival is certainly not for stuffy bookish types, but a chic, contemporary and enticing event for any type of zurbaine.

Who knew that a literary festival could be so much fun? With a lineup of celeb guest authors, workshops with well-known writers, literary foodie events, book launches and even a speed-dating session – this is one forward-thinking festival!

Here are a few of my picks to help you get your book on:

All the single (literary) ladies should definitely check out Read Dating, Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. at the Opus Hotel in the Godin room. Fall in love with a book lover during a series of 7-minute dates with other festival-goers. You may just meet your own Heathcliff.

For ladies who love their luncheon, how about a lunch date with Hemingway? Friday at noon, author John Hemingway will discuss his grandfather’s work over lunch at Koko, the Opus’s chic Asian-fusion restaurant.

Friday night at 6:30 p.m. order a hot toddy at the bar and head out onto Koko’s heated terrace where detective novelist Howard Shrier will read from his latest novel, Boston Cream.

Saturday morning at 9 a.m., put on your best empire-waist dress and head to the buffet Koko will have prepared for the Jane Austen breakfast, hosted by our very own literary zurbaine, Amanda Cockburn.

Saturday night, don’t miss the highlight of the festival, at the Grande Bibliothèque, when CBC Radio’s Eleanor Wachtel interviews this year’s literary grand prize recipient, Joyce Carol Oates – one of North America’s great contemporary authors.

These are just a few ideas to inspire you, but do check out the festival program for all the other incredible events. And don’t forget to stop by the Blue Met bookstore, Olivieri, which is set up at the Opus for the duration of the festival.

Blue Metropolis
April 18th – 23rd 
OPUS Montreal Hotel
10 Sherbrooke Street West

Event ticket prices $7 to $20 or $45 for unlimited access to all events

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