About Us

Our Story

The Eden Mills Writers’ Festival has been hosting a literary picnic on the idyllic banks of the Eramosa River for over 25 years. The Festival is a nationally acclaimed literary event, treasured by book lovers and authors, and widely respected by Canada’s literary community.

“Eden Mills has always been one of my favourite literary festivals. .. it’s not just the extraordinary quality of its writers… It’s the quality of the crowd. It’s the sense of informed community. Eden Mills has an ambiance unlike any other festival; it feels so welcoming, so open, so uniquely supportive.”
— Dorothy Ellen Palmer, Author, When Fenelon Falls, Coach House Books

The Festival was founded in 1989 by Governor General Award winner Leon Rooke. At the time, Leon and his wife Connie lived in the former stagecoach hotel across the street from the then Eden Mills General Store. The store owners suggested that Leon launch his latest novel, A Good Baby, from the front steps of their store. Leon invited other writers, including Rohinton Mistry, Michael Ondaatje, Jane Urquhart, and Linda Spalding to join him, and the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival was born.

Our setting is beautiful, informal, and accessible.

The main Festival event is held outdoors in the centre of the village. Our little valley forms a natural amphitheatre where voices and ideas reverberate and energize. The idyllic and scenic natural landscapes of Eden Mills provide a perfect story-book setting for devoted readers to hear their favourite authors read from their works.

“I can’t even begin to explain how much fun this festival was! The location in the small community of Eden Mills was so welcoming as were all the volunteers and authors.” — Kat Kruger, Author, The Magdeburg Trilogy

Our programming is rich and diverse, representing a variety of genres.

Over the years, programming has expanded to include not only the main event on Festival Sunday when the Festival hosts over 50 authors but also a youth writing workshop, an evening of literary and music performances, and a lecture on Festival Saturday by a high- profile author presented in co-operation with the University of Guelph.

Our Sponsors

Thank you to the continued support of our amazing sponsors!
(There would be no festival without their generosity.)