Right after I typed that title, I realized that pretty much everything I do at this job can fall under the ‘that time of year’ category. Because WordFest staff work on an annual cycle, I’m lucky enough to revisit my favourite activities and projects year after year, gradually improving previous efforts to make the current year even better.
One project that’s at the forefront of my mind (and that the title of this post is referring to) is the Volunteer Reader Program. Each year, from mid-February to the end of June, WordFest opens up our ever-growing library to the public, inviting people to come and read the latest submissions to the Festival and write a short book review for myself and our Executive Director Jo Steffens to read.
Our selection of books is constantly growing by the day, so we’re eager for the program to start again this year. Our official launch is February 13 (so people can pick up a book in case they have a romantic evening of reading planned on the 14), so feel free to drop by our office after that date to pick up a book. You have two weeks to read it and write a review. Your review can be as long or as short as you like—what we’re looking for is whether you liked the book or not, and why.
Why do we ask our volunteer readers to write a book review? We look to the reviews for a cue on whether we should read a particular book or not. Even though we’re fast readers Jo and I can’t possibly read all the books that are sent to the office. In fact, other WordFest team members read the books as well, and together, we still can’t get through them all. So this is where you come in, dear blog and book reader. You can help us decide what authors come to the Festival by simply plucking a book off our shelf, reading it, and telling us what you thought of it. Enough beating around the bush here, I’d like you to join the Volunteer Reader Program.
If that isn’t enough incentive, we also post a selection of volunteer reader reviews on this blog so there’s a chance your review could be published online. Now keep in mind we can’t post any reviews until the book has been released, so this process is a slow one, but so very worth it! If I haven’t convinced you to join the program by now, feel free to give the office a call for more info: 403.237.9068. Any of our staff members would be happy to discuss the program with you, and answer any questions you may have.