Author Richard Ford will be the keynote speaker next month when the Sage Hill Writing Experience celebrates its twentieth anniversary in Saskatchewan’s Qu’Appelle Valley. Ford, whose Independence Day (Knopf, 1995) was the first book to win both the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, is at work on a new novel that is partially set in the province. He will speak on July 25 at St. Michael’s Retreat, the organization’s home near Lumsden.
Sage Hill, launched in 1989 by the Saskatchewan Writers Guild after earlier programs in the area lost funding, hosts ten-day residential workshops each summer for writers of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, drama, and children’s literature. It also holds an annual spring colloquium for manuscripts in progress, as well as writing workshops for teens at various rural and urban locations throughout Saskatchewan. Sage Hill’s advisory council includes Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi (Knopf, 2001), and two-time Governor General’s Award-winner Guy Vanderhaeghe.
Ford, who was born in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1944, is also widely known as the author of the short story collection Rock Springs (Atlantic Monthly Press, 1987). His novel The Sportswriter (Knopf, 1986)—along with its two sequels, Independence Day and The Lay of the Land (Knopf, 2006)—is being adapted as a miniseries by HBO Films.