Festival Week

Celebrate the stories that connect us at Toronto’s friendly, virtual book festival. Tune in to The Word On The Street from September 16th to 26th, 2021 for poetry, memoirs, mystery, & more!

Watch Now

Featured Books

View Schedule

Speakers

NEW: Check out our How-to Guide for WOTS2021 to watch our video explainer

Festival Schedule

september, 2021

event speaker

Past and Future Events

Authors & Panelists

  • A. F. Moritz

    A. F. Moritz’s most recent books of poems are As Far As You Know (Anansi, 2020) and The Sparrow: Selected Poems (Anansi, 2018), as well as a new edition of poems in Greek translation selected from The Sparrow (Vakxikon, 2021). He has published twenty volumes of poetry and his work has received the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Award in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Bess Hokin Award of Poetry magazine, and has three times been selected a finalist for the Governor General’s Award, among other honours. He is presently the Poet Laureate of the City of Toronto, the sixth poet to hold that office.

    event speaker

  • Adrian De Leon

    Adrian De Leon is a Los Angeles-based writer and multimedia educator from Manila by way of Scarborough. He is the author of Rouge (Mawenzi House, 2018) and barangay: an offshore poem (Buckrider Books, 2021), and the co-editor of FEEL WAYS: A Scarborough Anthology (Mawenzi House, 2021).

    event speaker

  • Aimee Wall

    Aimee Wall is a writer and translator. Her essays, short fiction, and criticism have appeared in numerous publications, including Maisonneuve, Matrix Magazine, the Montreal Review of Books, and Lemon Hound. Wall’s translations include Vickie Gendreau’s novels Testament (2016), and Drama Queens (2019), and Sports and Pastimes by Jean-Philippe Baril Guérard (2017). Originally from Newfoundland, Wall lives in Montreal. We, Jane is her first novel.

    event speaker

  • Alicia Elliott

    Alicia Elliott is a Mohawk writer living in Brantford, Ontario. She has written for The Globe and MailCBCHazlitt and many others. She’s had essays nominated for National Magazine Awards for three straight years, winning Gold in 2017, and her short fiction was selected for Best American Short Stories 2018, Best Canadian Stories 2018, and Journey Prize Stories 30. She was chosen by Tanya Talaga as the 2018 recipient of the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award. Her first book, A Mind Spread Out On The Ground, is a national bestseller.

    event speaker

  • Alix Ohlin

    ALIX OHLIN is the author of five books, including the novels Inside and Dual Citizens, which were both finalists for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Tin House, Best American Short Stories, and many other publications. Born and raised in Montreal, she lives in Vancouver, where she chairs the creative writing program at the University of British Columbia.

    event speaker

  • Amal El-Mohtar

    event speaker

  • Amanda Leduc

    Amanda Leduc is the author of the novel THE CENTAUR’S WIFE (Random House Canada, 2021) and the non-fiction book DISFIGURED: ON FAIRY TALES, DISABILITY, AND MAKING SPACE (Coach House Books, 2020), which was shortlisted for both the 2020 Governor General’s Award in Nonfiction and the 2020 Barbellion Prize. She is also the author of an earlier novel, THE MIRACLES OF ORDINARY MEN (ECW Press, 2013). She has cerebral palsy and lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where she serves as the Communications Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and stories.

    event speaker

  • André Alexis

    André Alexis was born in Trinidad and grew up in Canada. His most recent novel, Days by Moonlight, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Fifteen Dogs won the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize, CBC Canada Reads, and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His other books include Asylum, Pastoral, The Hidden Keys, and The Night Piece: Collected Stories. He is the recipient of a Windham Campbell Prize.

    event speaker

  • Andrea Gunraj

    Andrea Gunraj is author of The Lost Sister (Vagrant Press) and The Sudden Disappearance of Seetha (Knopf Canada). She is also a contributing essayist to a new collection entitled Subdivided: City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity (Coach House Books). Andrea loves stories about racialized people and families making unexpected connections. She lives in Toronto and, beyond writing, she’s passionate about non-profit leadership and communication for social change.

    event speaker

  • Angela Misri

    Angela Misri is an award-winning journalist, author and educator. Her detective series, The Portia Adams Adventures, is set in the 1930s, and her middle-grade series is called Tales from the Apocalypse. Misri has an MA in journalism and has worked as a journalist for 20 years, first at the CBC and now at The Walrus. She also teaches in the journalism department at Ryerson University in Toronto.

    event speaker

  • Angela Rebrec

    event speaker

  • Angela Sun

    Angela Sun is a Mad, plus-size, first generation/ settler actor, theatre creator, producer, writer, and arts administrator of East Asian descent. Her multidisciplinary, multilingual artistic practice focuses on cultural dissonance and mental health. She is also known for her advocacy for cultural diversity, size-inclusivity, and access for the invisible disability community that prioritizes lived experience over “expert” knowledge. She has worked with many emerging and established artistic organizations throughout her career including: CBC Arts, Reel Asian Film Festival, Koffler Centre for the Arts, Factory Theatre, The Bentway, Durham Art Gallery, The Gardiner Museum, Toronto Fringe Festival, Political Movement, Mixed Company Theatre, Theatre ARTaud, Broadleaf Theatre, and the National Theatre School. She was a member of Cahoots Theatre’s most recent Hot House playwriting unit and currently serves as the Community Engagement Coordinator at Theatre Passe Muraille.

    event speaker

  • Anosh Irani

    Anosh Irani was born and brought up in Bombay and moved to Vancouver in 1998. He has published four critically acclaimed novels: The Cripple and His Talismans, a national bestseller; The Song of Kahunsha, which was an international bestseller and a finalist for CBC Radio’s Canada Reads and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; Dahanu Road which was nominated for the Man Asian Literary Prize; and The Parcel, which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, was longlisted for the 2017 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, and the 2018 Dublin Literary Award. It was chosen as one of the best books of the year by the Globe and Mail, National Post, the CBC, The Walrus, and the Quill & Quire. His play Bombay Black won five Dora Mavor Moore Awards including for Outstanding New Play, and his anthology The Bombay Plays: The Matka King & Bombay Black was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Drama. The Matka King received a Jessie Award nomination for Outstanding Original Script as did his latest play, The Men in White. The Men in White was also a finalist for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. Irani’s short stories have appeared in Granta and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and his nonfiction has been published in the New York Times. His work has been translated into eleven languages, and he teaches Creative Writing in the World Literature Program at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.

    event speaker

  • Antonio Michael Downing

    ANTONIO MICHAEL DOWNING grew up in southern Trinidad, Northern Ontario, Scarborough, and Kitchener. He is a musician, writer, and activist based in Toronto. His 2010 debut novel, Molasses (Blaurock Press), was published to critical acclaim. In 2017 he was named by the RBC Taylor Prize as one of Canada’s top Emerging Authors for nonfiction. He performs and composes music as John Orpheus.

    event speaker

  • Ashley Audrain

    ASHLEY AUDRAIN’s debut novel The Push was a New York Times, Sunday Times and #1 international bestseller, and a Good Morning America book club pick. It has sold in 38 territories, and a limited television series is currently in development. She previously worked as the publicity director of Penguin Books Canada, and prior to that, worked in public relations. She lives in Toronto, where she and her partner are raising their two young children. She is working on her second novel.

    event speaker

  • Avi Silver

    Avi Silver is a speculative fiction author (Sãoni Cycle), editor (Augur Magazine), and poet. Find their short fiction in Common Bonds: An Aromantic Speculative Anthology, and their poetry in Strange Horizons and Uncanny Magazine. In 2018, they co-founded The Shale Project, an award-winning indie arts collective, and have not stopped worldbuilding since.

    event speaker

  • Bahar Orang

    Bahar Orang is a writer and physician-in-training living in Toronto; she completed her MD at McMaster University, and is now completing specialty training in psychiatry. Her poetry and essays have been published in such places as GUTS, Hamilton Arts & Letters, CMAJ, and Ars Medica. Where Things Touch: A Meditation on Beauty is her first book.

    event speaker

  • Bashar Lulu Jabbour

    Bashar Lulu Jabbour is an immigrant poet! He uses simple details to give a glimpse of the complexities of leaving one home for another. Bashar is a storyteller, and his stories have been featured at Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, Naked Heart, and as opening act for Carlos Andres Gomez.

    event speaker

  • Bevann Fox

    Bevann Fox is a member of Pasqua Nation, originally from Piapot Nation, Treaty 4 Territory. In 2012 she received her Bachelor of Arts in Arts and Culture and in 2018 her Master in Business Administration, Leadership from the University of Regina. In 2014 she was honoured with the YWCA Women of Distinction Award—Arts, Culture and Heritage. She received the Indigenous Voice Award 2021- Creative Non-Fiction Life Writing for Genocidal Love. Genocidal Love was also honoured with a Saskatchewan Book Award 2021.

    event speaker

  • Billy-Ray Belcourt

    Billy-Ray Belcourt (he/him) is a writer and scholar from the Driftpile Cree Nation. He won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize for his debut collection, This Wound Is a World, which was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. His second book of poetry, NDN Coping Mechanisms: Notes from the Field, was longlisted for Canada Reads 2020. A recipient of the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship and an Indspire Award, Belcourt is Assistant Professor of Indigenous Creative Writing at UBC.

    event speaker

  • Bones McKay

    Bones McKay is a writer of comics, editor of anthologies, and Lambda Award finalist. His work includes Honey Walls, The Magpie, and Moonlight: A Queer Werewolf Anthology. He’s done all this despite not understanding how commas work.

    event speaker

  • Brad Fraser

    Brad Fraser is an award winning writer/director/host who has worked extensively in various media. Credits include plays; Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love, Poor Super Man, True Love Lies, Kill Me Now, and others produced worldwide, film; Love and Human Remains, writer and Leaving Metropolis, writer director, and television; Queer as Folk, writer, story editor and associate producer and Jawbreaker which he hosted for two seasons on Out TV. He has written a number of projects for radio, CBC and BBC, as well as regular columns and stories for Xtra, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star and others. He has been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, twice listed in Tim Magazine’s Top Ten Plays of the year, and has recently finished his Masters’ degree in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto. Brad’s play Kill Me Now was nominated for a Governor General’s Award in 2016 and is currently filming in South Korea as well as being in development for a film in Canada. His memoir “All the Rage” has just been released by Penguin/Random House. Bradfraser.net

    event speaker

  • Brandon Crilly

    An Ottawa teacher by day, Brandon Crilly has more than 30 published short stories to date, by markets including Fusion Fragment, Daily Science Fiction, and Flame Tree Publishing. He reviews fiction for BlackGate.com and serves as a Programming Lead for Can*Con.

    event speaker

  • Brandon Wint

    Brandon Wint is an Ontario-born poet and spoken word artist who uses poetry to attend to the joy and devastation and inequity associated with this era of human and ecological history. For more than a decade, Brandon has been a sought-after touring performer, and has presented his work in the United States, Australia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Jamaica. His poems and essays have been published in national anthologies, including The Great Black North: Contemporary African-Canadian Poetry (Frontenac House, 2013) and Black Writers Matter (University of Regina Press, 2019). Divine Animal (Write Bloody North, 2020) is his debut book of poetry.

    event speaker

  • Brent LaPorte

    Brent LaPorte was born in the Ottawa Valley and through his tumultuous childhood moved several times throughout the Valley and Northern Ontario. He lives in Southern Ontario, has been married for 30 years and has two adult children. Unatoned is his second book.

    event speaker

  • Brian McLachlan

    Brian McLachlan is a cartoonist who’s latest book Complete the Quest: The Poisonous Library is a brand new combination of graphic novel and role playing game. He also writes Owl Magazine’s monthly Spruce Street Squad and has cartooned for Nickeloden, The Nib, and the New Yorker.

    event speaker

  • C.E. Gatchalian

    Born, raised and based on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tseil-Waututh peoples (colonially known as Vancouver), C.E. Gatchalian is a queer Filipinx author, playwright, producer, consultant and teacher. The author of six books and co-editor of two anthologies, he was the 2013 recipient of the Dayne Ogilvie Prize and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist. His memoir, Double Melancholy: Art, Beauty and the Making of a Brown Queer Man, was published in Spring 2019 by Arsenal Pulp Press.

    event speaker

  • Cadence Weapon

    Cadence Weapon is Edmonton-born, Toronto-based rapper, producer, writer and poet Rollie Pemberton. Pemberton has released five albums, all of which have been nominated for the Polaris Prize, with Breaking Kayfabe (2006) and Hope In Dirt City (2012) being shortlist nominees. His music is known for pairing groundbreaking production with incisive, socially conscious lyricism. Pemberton served as Poet Laureate of Edmonton from 2009 to 2011. His poem “The Garden” was incorporated into a bronze sculpture at the Alberta Legislature Grounds in Edmonton in 2018. He has hosted lectures and conducted live interviews for CBC q and Red Bull Music Academy. His newest album Parallel World was released this April and was selected as a 2021 Polaris Prize Short List nominee. A book about his career called Bedroom Rapper will be published by McClelland & Stewart in May 2022.

    event speaker

  • Carmine Starnino

    Carmine Starnino’s most recent book is Dirty Words: Selected Poems 1997-2016 (2020). He is editor-at-large for The Walrus.

    event speaker

  • Carol Harvey Steski

    Carol Harvey Steski’s debut poetry collection is rump + flank (NeWest Press, 2021). Her poems have appeared in Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology, CAROUSEL, FreeFall, untethered, Room, Prairie Fire and CV2. She won FreeFall’s 2019 annual poetry contest and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She lives in Toronto.

    event speaker

  • Carol Leigh Wehking

    Carol Leigh Wehking is a professional storyteller and writer, with a wide repertoire with which she has travelled widely within Canada and abroad. She has taught workshops from Yukon to Australia for all ages, and has directed concerts, series, and festivals in Ontario. She is Artistic Director of FRESH stories in Cambridge.

    event speaker

  • Caroline Topperman

    Caroline Topperman is a European-Canadian writer, entrepreneur, dancer, and world traveller. She is the managing editor for NonBinary Review and co-founder of the KW Writers Alliance. Her book credits include Tell Me What You See and FitWise. She has written articles for Huffington Post Canada and was the Beauty Editor for British MODE Magazine.

    event speaker

  • Casey Plett

    Casey Plett is the author of the novel Little Fish and the short story collection A Safe Girl to Love (Topside Press), and co-editor with Cat Fitzpatrick of the anthology Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers (Topside Press). She wrote a column on transitioning for McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and her essays and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Maclean’s, the Walrus, Plenitude, the Winnipeg Free Press, and others. She is the winner of a Lambda Literary Award for Best Transgender Fiction and received an Honour of Distinction from the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers.

    event speaker

  • Catherine Graham

    Catherine Graham is the author of seven poetry collections and the novel Quarry. She teaches creative writing at U of T, leads the TIFA Book Club and interviews for By the Lake Book Club. Æther: An Out-of-Body Lyric, shortlisted for the Toronto Book Awards, is her most recent book.

    event speaker

  • Catherine Hernandez

    Catherine Hernandez (she/her) is an award-winning author and screenwriter. She is a proud queer woman who is of Filipino, Spanish, Chinese and Indian descent and married into the Navajo Nation. Her first novel, Scarborough, won the Jim Wong-Chu Award for the unpublished manuscript; was a finalist for the Toronto Book Awards, the Evergreen Forest of Reading Award, the Edmund White Award, and the Trillium Book Award; and was longlisted for Canada Reads. She has written the critically acclaimed plays Singkil, The Femme Playlist and Eating with Lola and the children’s books M Is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book and I Promise. She recently wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of Scarborough, produced by Compy Films with support from Telefilm Canada and Reel Asian Film Festival. The film will have its world premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. She is the creator of Audible Original’s audio sketch comedy series Imminent Disaster. Her second novel, Crosshairs, published simultaneously in Canada and the US and the UK, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award and made the CBC’s Best Canadian Fiction, NOW Magazine’s 10 Best Books, Indigo Best Book, Audible Best Audiobooks and NBC 20 Best LGBTQ Books list of 2020. Her third children’s book, Where Do Your Feelings Live? which is a guide for kids living through these scary times, has been commissioned by HarperCollins Canada and will be published in winter 2022.

    event speaker

  • Cathrin Bradbury

    Cathrin Bradbury is a leader and top editor of major Canadian news organizations and publications. She has worked at The Globe and Mail, Metro News (where she was Editor in Chief), and Maclean’s magazine and is now a Senior News Director at CBC News. She lives in Toronto.

    event speaker

  • Chantal Gibson

    Chantal Gibson is an award-winning writer-artist-educator living on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish Peoples. Working in the overlap between literary and visual art, her work confronts colonialism head on, imagining the BIPOC voices silenced in the spaces and omissions left by systemic cultural and institutional erasure. Her visual art has been exhibited in museums and galleries across Canada and the US, most recently in the Senate of Canada building in Ottawa. Gibson’s debut book of poetry, How She Read (Caitlin Press, 2019), was the winner of the 2020 Pat Lowther Memorial Award and the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, a finalist for both the 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize and the inaugural Jim Deva Prize for Writing That Provokes. How She Read received second place for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry, and was longlisted for the Nelson Ball Poetry Prize, the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, and the Raymond Souster Award. Gibson’s work has been published in Canadian Art, The Capilano Review, The Literary Review of Canada, Room magazine and Making Room: 40 years of Room Magazine (Caitlin Press, 2017) and was longlisted for the 2020 CBC Poetry prize. Recipient of the prestigious 2021 3M National Teaching Fellowship, Gibson teaches writing and visual communication in the School of Interactive Arts & Technology at Simon Fraser University.

    event speaker

  • Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia

    Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia is a lawyer, academic, and writer. She works in the areas of health, gender, and violence against women and children. Cheluchi divides her time between Lagos, Nigeria and Halifax, Nova Scotia.

    event speaker

  • Cheri DiNovo

    Rev. Dr. Cheri DiNovo, C.M. is the minister at Trinity-St. Paul’s, Toronto. She is a Member of the Order of Canada, recognized for her contributions to provincial politics and her lifelong advocacy of social justice. A former Ontario MPP, Cheri passed into law more pro-LGBTQ legislation than anyone in Canadian history.

    event speaker

  • Cheryll Case

    Cheryll Case, founder, and principal urban planner of CP Planning fosters relationships between government, charities, private sector industries, and communities to develop programs, partnerships and policies that reflect housing as a human right, support urban agriculture, and improve access arts and culture opportunities.

    event speaker

  • Christine Kim

    Christine Kim is an associate professor at the University of British Columbia and editor of the journal Canadian Literature. Her teaching and research focus on Asian North American literature and theory, Canadian literature, diaspora studies, and cultural studies. She is the author of The Minor Intimacies of Race (University of Illinois Press, 2016). Currently she is working on a SSHRC funded book-length scholarly project on representations of North Korea, cultural fantasies, and Cold War legacies.

    event speaker

  • Christine Wong

    Christine is a Canadian cartoonist and illustrator who lives in Japan. She’s currently working on a bunch of comics about her everyday life as an English Teacher in a Japanese high school. She’s a workaholic who doesn’t know how to ride a bike. Don’t tell anyone.

    event speaker

  • Chuqiao Yang

    Chuqiao Yang has been the recipient of two Western Magazine Awards (2011) and a finalist for the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers (2015). Her first chapbook, Reunions in the Year of the Sheep won the bpNicholChapbook Award (baseline press, 2018).

    event speaker

  • Craig Davidson

    CRAIG DAVIDSON was born and grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario, near Niagara Falls. He has published four previous books of literary fiction, including Rust and Bone, which was the inspiration for a Golden Globe–nominated feature film of the same name; the Scotiabank Giller Prize–nominated novel Cataract City; and the novel The Saturday Night Ghost Club, which was a finalist for the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize. His bestselling memoir, Precious Cargo, about his year spent driving a school bus for children with special needs, was a finalist for Canada Reads. Davidson lives in Toronto, Canada, with his partner and two children.

    event speaker

  • Danny Ramadan

    Danny Ramadan is a Syrian-Canadian author and LGBTQ-refugees advocate. His debut novel, The Clothesline Swing, won multiple awards. His children’s Book Salma the Syrian Chef, continues to receive accolades. Both books were translated to multiple languages. His short stories and essays appeared in publications across North America and Europe. Ramadan’s forthcoming novel, The Foghorn Echoes (2022), and his memoir, Crooked Teeth (2024), to be released by Penguin Random House. Through his fundraising efforts, Ramadan raised over $200,000 for Syrian LGBTQ+ identifying refugees. Ramadan graduated from UBC with an MFA in Creative Writing, and lives in Vancouver with his husband, Matthew Ramadan.

    event speaker

  • Darrel J. McLeod

    Darrel J. McLeod is Nehiyaw (Cree) from Treaty 8 territory. Darrel’s first memoir, Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age (Douglas & McIntyre), won the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award and was a finalist for the RBC Charles Taylor Prize. The sequel, Peyakow: Reclaiming Cree Dignity, was released in March 2021. Darrel holds degrees in French literature and education from UBC. Darrel has been a teacher, School Principal in Yekooche First Nation, Director of a provincial curriculum center, Executive Director of Education and International Affairs at the Assembly of First Nations, and Chief Negotiator for the Government of Canada. Darrel is also a jazz singer. He lives in Sooke, BC and spends winters in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

    event speaker

  • David A. Robertson

    DAVID A. ROBERTSON is the author of When We Were Alone (2017 Governor General’s Literary Award), The Barren Grounds (2020 Governor General’s Literary Award finalist), and Back Water, winner of the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction and the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. He is a member of Norway House Cree Nation and currently lives in Winnipeg.

    event speaker

  • David Demchuk

    DAVID DEMCHUK has been writing for print, stage, digital, and other media for nearly 40 years. His debut horror novel The Bone Mother, published in 2017, was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Amazon First Novel Award, the Toronto Book Award, the Kobzar Book Award, and a Shirley Jackson Award in the Best Novel category. It won the 2018 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic in the Adult Fiction category. It was listed in the Globe and Mail’s 100 best books of 2017, came in at #22 in the National Post’s top 99 books of the year and became a #1 bestseller on Amazon.ca.

    event speaker

  • Deborah Dundas

    event speaker

  • Denise Davy

    Denise Davy is a nationally recognized award-winning journalist who specializes in writing about mental health, homelessness and gender issues. She worked at the Hamilton Spectator for 26 years and was twice honoured with the Journalist of the Year award by the Ontario Newspaper Association and is a recipient of a National Newspaper Award, several Ontario Newspaper Association awards and two awards from the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario. Denise’s writing has also appeared in Chatelaine magazine, CBC Hamilton, Broadview magazine, the Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail and ParentsCanada. Her story on adoption appeared in the book The Lucky Ones. She is the founder of Purses for Margaret, which provides toiletries to homeless women.

    event speaker

  • Dev Ramsawakh

    Dev (fka Mari) Ramsawakh is a disabled and non-binary multidisciplinary storyteller. They produced the podcasts Cripresentation and Sick Sad World, and edit the podcasts Leaders of Colour and Possibilities Podcast. They are also a writer, filmmaker, poet, and facilitator. They were the 2019 TVO Short Docs Contest winner and their short films have been screened at Toronto Queer Film Festival, ReelAbilities Film Festival, and North Bay Film Festival. Their work has been published on CBC, HuffPost Canada, Nuance, them, Xtra, and other publications. They also have been included in the Disability Visibility anthology edited by Alice Wong and the Rhubarb Festival 2021 publication, and their fiction has been published in Two Times Removed: An Anthology of Indo-Caribbean Fiction, Toronto 2033, and Hart House Review. They also facilitate workshops independently and with a collective called CRIP about topics such as ableism, disability justice, media, storytelling, content creation and more. You can find them on Twitter and TikTok @merkyywaters and on Instagram @merkyy_waters.

    event speaker

  • Dorothy Ellen Palmer

    Dorothy Ellen Palmer is a mom, binge knitter, lifelong Sherlock Holmes fan, disabled senior writer/activist, and retired Drama teacher and improv coach. Besides Wiggins: Son of Sherlock (MX Publishing, 2021), she has published in literary and disability journals. She has also published a novel, When Fenelon Falls (Coach House, 2010); a memoir, Falling for Myself (Wolsak & Wynn, 2019); and a new novel, Kerfuffle (Renaissance, 2022).

    event speaker

  • E.K. Johnston

    E.K. Johnston had several jobs and one vocation before she became a published writer. If she’s learned anything, it’s that things turn out weird sometimes, and there’s not a lot you can do about it. Well, that and how to muscle through awkward fanfic because it’s about a pairing she likes. Her books range from contemporary fantasy to fairy-tale reimaginings, from hopeful sci-fi to quiet epics, and from small town Ontario to a galaxy far-far away. Sha has no plans to rein anything in.

    event speaker

  • Eddy Boudel Tan

    Eddy Boudel Tan is the author of the novels After Elias and The Rebellious Tide. He’s been selected as a 2021 Rising Star by the Writers’ Trust of Canada and a finalist for the Edmund White Award. His work depicts a world much like our own — the heroes are flawed, truth is distorted, and there is as much hope as there is heartbreak. As a queer Asian Canadian, Eddy celebrates diverse voices through his writing. His stories can also be found in Joyland, Yolk, Gertrude Press, and the G&LR. He lives with his husband in Vancouver.

    event speaker

  • Eden Robinson

    Eden Robinson is a Haisla/Heiltsuk author who grew up in Haisla, British Columbia. Her first book, Traplines, a collection of short stories, won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year in 1998. Monkey Beach, her first novel, was shortlisted for both The Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction in 2000 and won the BC Book Prize’s Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Her novel Son of a Trickster was shortlisted for The Giller Prize and has been adapted into a CBC television limited series, Trickster. Trickster Drift, its sequel, won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. The final book in the Trickster series, Return of the Trickster, was published 2021.

    event speaker

  • Elaine Power

    Elaine Power is a Professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health Studies and Head of the Department of Gender Studies at Queen’s University. Her research lies at the intersection of food, poverty and public health. She created and taught the Queen’s course, HLTH 101, The Social Determinants of Health, which explores the “upstream” determinants of health, including income, racism and white privilege, education, gender, colonialism and their intersections. She is the co-founder of the Kingston Action Group for a Basic Income Guarantee and a passionate advocate for basic income.

    event speaker

  • Emily Brewes

    Emily Brewes grew up in the wilds of northern Ontario, where she learned to be afraid of nature, especially bugs. She now writes wistfully of its rugged beauty and haunting landscapes. Emily lives in Kingston, Ontario.

    event speaker

  • Erin Bow

    Erin Bow is a physicist turned poet turned children’s novelist whose honors include the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the CBC Literary Award for poetry, and the Governor General’s Award. Her novels for young readers include Plain Kate, The Scorpion Rules, and Stand on the Sky. She lives in Kitchener.

    event speaker

  • Errol Ranville

    ERROL RANVILLE is one of twelve siblings who grew up in poverty in rural Manitoba. He rose to fame with a National #1 hit song in 1980 that led to JUNO nominations in 1985 and ‘86. He went on to record a total of twenty albums over a span of forty years in the entertainment business. Errol is recording a new album of original songs and working on a screenplay for a made-for-TV movie of his life. He never sleeps, it seems.

    event speaker

  • Farzana Doctor

    Farzana Doctor is a writer, activist, and psychotherapist. She has been writing all of her life but it became a more regular practice around 2000, when she began writing her first novel, Stealing Nasreen, which was published by Inanna in 2007. Her second novel, Six Metres of Pavement, won a 2012 Lambda Literary Award and was short-listed for the 2012 Toronto Book Award. In 2017 it was voted the One Book One Brampton 2017 winner. Her third novel, All Inclusive was a Kobo 2015 and National Post Best Book of the Year.

    event speaker

  • Faye Guenther

    Faye Guenther is author of the short story collection Swimmers in Winter, published by Invisible Publishing and shortlisted for the 2021 Toronto Book Awards and the 2021 ReLit Awards. Her writing has appeared in literary magazines including Joyland and The Offing. She has a PhD in English from York University.

    event speaker

  • Francesca Ekwuyasi

    francesca ekwuyasi is a writer and multidisciplinary artist from Lagos, Nigeria. Her work explores themes of faith, family, queerness, consumption, loneliness, and belonging. francesca’s debut novel, Butter Honey Pig Bread was longlisted for the 2020 Giller Prize and was a finalist for CBC’s 2021 Canada Reads, the 2021 Lambda Literary Award, the 2021 Governor General’s Award, the 2021 ReLit Award, and the 2021 Amazon Canada First Novel Award. Find her writing in Winter Tangerine Review, Brittle Paper, Transition Magazine, the Malahat Review, Visual Art News, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, GUTS magazine, the Puritan, Canadian Art, and elsewhere. Her story Ọrun is Heaven was longlisted for the 2019 Journey Prize. Supported through the National Film Board’s (NFB) Film Maker’s Assistance Program (FAP) and the Fabienne Colas Foundation, francesca’s short documentary Black + Belonging has screened in festivals Halifax, Toronto, and Montreal.

    event speaker

  • Gail Anderson-Dargatz

    GAIL ANDERSON-DARGATZ’s first novel, The Cure for Death by Lightning, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the UK’s Betty Trask Award, the BC Book Prize for Fiction and the Vancity Book Prize. Her second novel, A Recipe for Bees, was nominated for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. The Spawning Grounds, her first novel after the 2007 bestseller Turtle Valley, was published in 2016, nominated for the Sunburst Award and the Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award, and short-listed for the Canadian Authors Association Literary Award for fiction. She taught for nearly a decade within the MFA program in creative writing at the University of British Columbia and now mentors writers online. Gail Anderson-Dargatz lives in the Shuswap region of British Columbia and, until recently, owned a summer home on Manitoulin Island, Ontario.

    event speaker

  • Gem Hall

    Gem Hall is an itinerant interdisciplinary artist of mixed Romani/British heritage currently based on the traditional, unceded land of the Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh Nations. With a background in DIY/zine culture, they use creative work as a means of survival, holding liminal spaces between worlds & ways of being.

    event speaker

  • Gord Hill

    Gord Hill is a member of the Kwakwaka’wakw nation, whose territory is located on northern Vancouver Island and adjacent mainland in the province of “British Columbia.” His previous books include The Antifa Comic Book, The Anti-Capitalist Resistance Comic Book, and the first edition of this book, published as The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book in 2010. He has been involved in Indigenous peoples’ and anti-globalization movements since 1990.

    event speaker

  • Grace Kehler

    Grace Kehler is an Associate Professor of English and Cultural Studies at McMaster University. Her main literary loves include British Victorian and Canadian Mennonite writing. To her delight, she regularly gets to teach the works of Casey Plett at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

    event speaker

  • Greg Santos

    Greg Santos is a poet, editor, and educator. He is the author of Blackbirds (2018), Rabbit Punch! (2014), and The Emperor’s Sofa (2010). He is of Cambodian, Portuguese, and Spanish descent. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School. He regularly works with at-risk communities, and teaches at the Thomas More Institute. He is the Editor in Chief of the Quebec Writers’ Federation’s carte blanche magazine. Santos lives in Montreal with his wife and two children.

    event speaker

  • Hana Shafi

    Hana Shafi (a.k.a. Frizz Kid) is a writer and artist. Her visual art and writing frequently explores themes such as feminism, body politics, racism, and pop culture. Her first book, It Begins with the Body, was listed by CBC as one of the Best Poetry Books of 2018. A graduate of Ryerson University’s Journalism Program, she has published articles in The Walrus, Hazlitt, THIS Magazine, and Torontoist, and has been featured on Buzzfeed, CBC, and in Flare, Shameless, and The New York Times. Known on Instagram for her weekly affirmation series, Shafi is the recipient of the 2017 Women Who Inspire Award, from the Canadian Council for Muslim Women. Born in Dubai, Shafi immigrated with her family to Mississauga, Ontario, in 1996. She lives and works in Toronto.

    event speaker

  • Hollay Ghadery

    Hollay Ghadery is a writer living in Ontario. She has her MFA from the University of Guelph and her work has been published in various literary journals including The Malahat Review, The Fiddlehead, The Antigonish Review, Grain, and Room. Fuse, her memoir of biracial identity and mental illness, was released with Guernica Editions’ MiroLand imprint in Spring 2021.

    event speaker

  • Irene Marques

    Irene Marques is a bilingual writer (English and Portuguese) and Lecturer at Ryerson University in the English Department, where she teaches literature and creative writing. Her literary publications include the poetry collections Wearing Glasses of Water (2007), The Perfect Unravelling of the Spirit (2012), and The Circular Incantation: An Exercise in Loss and Findings (2013); the Portuguese language short-story collection Habitando na Metáfora do Tempo: Crónicas Desejadas (2009) and the novel My House is a Mansion (2015). Her Portuguese-language novel, Uma Casa no Mundo, won the 2019 Imprensa Nacional/Ferreira de Castro Prize and is now published by Imprensa Nacional Casa da Moeda. Irene’s new novel, Daria, was published by Inanna Publications in 2021. She lives in Toronto.

    event speaker

  • Irfan Ali

    Irfan Ali is a writer and educator from Toronto. His first collection Accretion (Brick Books) was shortlisted for the 2021 Trillium Book Award for Poetry. He was a past finalist for the 2015 Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Ali’s words have appeared in The Puritan, Trampoline Hall, and filling Station.

    event speaker

  • Isabella Wang

    Isabella Wang is the author of the chapbook, On Forgetting a Language (Baseline Press 2019), and her full-length debut, Pebble Swing (Nightwood Editions, forthcoming October 2021). Among other recognitions, she has been shortlisted for Arc’s Poem of the Year award, The Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Poetry Contest and Long Poem Contest, and was the youngest writer to be shortlisted twice for The New Quarterly’s Edna Staebler Essay Contest. Her poetry and prose have appeared in over thirty literary journals and three anthologies. She is pursuing a double-major in English and World Literature at Simon Fraser University, and is an editor at Room magazine.

    event speaker

  • Jacob Scheier

    Jacob Scheier is a Governor General’s Award-winning poet, essayist, and journalist. His most recent full length poetry collection, Is This Scary? (ECW Press), was published in spring 2021. His poems have appeared in journals, magazines, and anthologies across North America and been nominated for a National Magazine Award.

    event speaker

  • Jade Armstrong

    Jade Armstrong is a Canadian comic artist. They like making playlists, cycling around, and farming in video games with friends. Their middle-grade contemporary graphic novel, “Scout is Not A Band Kid” is set to release Spring 2022 from Random House Graphics.

    event speaker

  • Jamie Swift

    Kingston writer-activist Jamie Swift is the author of a dozen books. His 2017 exploration of  how Canada remembers war was The Vimy Trap: Or, How We Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Great War”, with Ian McKay. That book  was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for political writing. And the Canadian Historical Association’s prize for the best work of history.

    Jamie has held the Michener Fellowship for Public Service Journalism and has received the Community Activist of the Year Award from the Kingston Labour Council. He did social justice work for the Sisters of Providence for fifteen years and was a longtime documentary producer for CBC-Radio Ideas. He is looking forward to soon becoming a grandfather.

    event speaker

  • Jaskaran Singh Sandhu

    event speaker

  • jaye simpson

    jaye simpson is an Oji-Cree Saulteaux Indigiqueer writer and activist from the Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, with Scottish and French settler ancestry. Their poems and essays are published in Poetry Is Dead, THIS Magazine, PRISM international, SAD Magazine, GUTS Magazine, Room, Today’s Parent, Grain, and SubTerrain. simpson is also published in Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers’ Poetry, as well as Love After the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction. simpson is currently resisting, ruminating and residing on xwməθkwəyˇəm (Musqueam), səlˇilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations territories, colonially known as Vancouver. it was never going to be okay is their first book.

    event speaker

  • Jessica Johnson

    Jessica Johnson is editor-in-chief and creative director of the Walrus, Canada’s leading general interest magazine. She is the former books editor of Saturday Night and National Post, and a former reporter and editor at The Globe and Mail. A national magazine award-winning writer, she has contributed essays and criticism to a range of publications in Canada and the US.

    event speaker

  • Jody Chan

    Jody Chan (they/them) is an artist, organizer, and therapist based in Toronto. They are the author of haunt (Damaged Goods Press), all our futures (PANK), and sick, winner of the 2018 St. Lawrence Book Award and 2021 Trillium Award for Poetry. They are also a member of the Switch Collective, and a Performing Member of Raging Asian Womxn Taiko Drummers.

    event speaker

  • John Krizanc

    John Krizanc is a Canadian playwright, screenwriter, and author. He is best known for his unique, inventive dramas that involve multiple sets and audience interpretation. While unpolitical on a personal level, Krizanc’s themes stem from his growing up in a politically aware household. Using political events as a backdrop, Krizanc explores the personal reasons behind the public actions of humanity.

    event speaker

  • José Teodoro

    José Teodoro is a playwright, critic and essayist. His play Cloudless was recently adapted into an audio drama presented by Canadian Stage. His literary nonfiction has appeared in Brick, The Fiddlehead and subTerrain. He is currently adapting his spoken-word avant-jazz chamber opera Screen Door into an audio drama with composer-musician Stephen Lyons.

    event speaker

  • Justin Ling

    JUSTIN LING is an investigative journalist whose reporting has focused on stories and issues undercovered and misunderstood. His writing has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Guardian, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere. In 2019 he hosted “The Village,” the award-winning third season of the CBC podcast Uncover, which examined cold cases from the 1970s that were reopened as a result of the McArthur investigation.

    event speaker

  • Kamal Al-Solaylee

    Kamal Al-Solaylee is the author of the bestseller Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes, winner of the 2013 Toronto Book Award and a finalist for the CBC’s Canada Reads and the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. His second book, Brown: What Being Brown in the World Today Means (to Everyone) won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and was finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Awards for Nonfiction. He’s a two-time nominee for the National Magazine Awards, winning a Gold Medal in 2019 for columns. He holds a PhD in English and is a Professor at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism.

    event speaker

  • Katherena Vermette

    Katherena Vermette is a Métis writer from Treaty 1 territory, the heart of the Métis Nation, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her first book, North End Love Songs won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Poetry and her novel, The Break won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award.

    event speaker

  • Kathy Friedman

    Kathy Friedman studied creative writing at the University of British Columbia and the University of Guelph. Her debut book of short stories, All the Shining People, is forthcoming from House of Anansi in 2022. She was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, and her writing has appeared in publications such as Grain, Geist, PRISM international, Canadian Notes & Queries, and The New Quarterly. Kathy Friedman teaches creative writing at the University of Guelph and is the co-founder and artistic director of Toronto’s InkWell Workshops. http://www.kathyfriedman.com.

    event speaker

  • Keelin‌ ‌Gorlewski‌ ‌

    Keelin is a cartoonist and illustrator from Toronto. She enjoys reading, chuckling, and dying slowly. She has a passion for making lattes improperly and running out of moisturizer. She is making a book with ShortBox which will come out in 2022.

    event speaker

  • Kelly Robson

    event speaker

  • Kerry C. Byrne

    Kerry C. Byrne is an autistic, queer and nonbinary writer and award-nominated publisher and editor living in Toronto. They are the Co-Founder and CEO of the Augur Magazine Literary Society, and the Publisher of Augur Magazine. As a writer, their work is forthcoming and/or published in Fantasy Magazine, THIS Magazine, The Temz Review, and others. The rest of the time, they’re diving deep into the endless void that is their homebrew D&D world.

    event speaker

  • Kim Echlin

    Award-winning author KIM ECHLIN lives in Toronto. She is the author of Elephant Winter and Dagmar’s Daughter, and her third novel, The Disappeared, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, won the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Award for Fiction and was published in 20 countries. Her novel Under the Visible Life was critically acclaimed, endorsed by Khaled Hosseini, and declared “nothing short of a masterpiece” by Quill & Quire. Her most recent novel is Speak, Silence.

    event speaker

  • Kobo Writing Life

    Founded in 2012, Kobo Writing Life is a global DIY publishing platform that empowers authors to take their publishing career into their own hands. With Kobo Writing Life, you can upload your eBooks and audiobooks directly to the Kobo store while retaining your rights, setting your prices and distributing your books in any country you choose. Kobo Writing Life is run by a team of passionate book lovers based in Toronto, Paris, London and Amsterdam. They love working with indie authors and helping them make their publishing dreams a reality!

    event speaker

  • Larissa Lai

    Larissa Lai has written eight books, including The Tiger Flu and Iron Goddess of Mercy. Recipient of the Duggins Novelist’s Prize, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Astraea Award, she holds a Canada Research Chair at the University of Calgary where she directs The Insurgent Architects’ House for Creative Writing.

    event speaker

  • Lauren B. Davis

    Lauren B. Davis is the author of The Grimoire of Kensington Market, Against a Darkening Sky, The Empty Room, Our Daily Bread, and The Radiant City. She has been longlisted for the Giller Prize and the ReLit Awards, and shortlisted for the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Lauren lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

    event speaker

  • Lauren Wolman

    event speaker

  • Laurie Petrou

    Laurie Petrou is an award-winning, internationally published author and also an award-winning Associate Professor at the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University in Toronto. she lives in Niagara with her family, where she is working on her next novel.

    event speaker

  • Linda Rui Feng

    Born in Shanghai, Linda Rui Feng teaches at the University of Toronto, where her research in Chinese cultural history often takes her to long-forgotten books from the ninth century and, more recently, the history of scent and aromatics. Her fiction has been supported by residencies at MacDowell and by the Toronto Arts Council, and her prose and poetry have appeared in journals such as The Fiddlehead, Kenyon Review Online, and Washington Square Review. Her first novel, Swimming Back to Trout River, traces the far-flung orbits of a family across two continents, and explores the themes of music and migration in the aftermath of one of China’s most tumultuous eras in the twentieth century.

    event speaker

  • Lindsay Zier-Vogel

    Lindsay Zier-Vogel is a Toronto-based writer, arts educator and the creator of the internationally-acclaimed Love Lettering Project. After studying contemporary dance, she received her MA in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. Since 2001, she has been teaching creative writing workshops in schools and communities. As the creator of the Love Lettering Project, Lindsay has asked people all over the world to write love letters to their communities and hide them for strangers to find, spreading place-based love. Lindsay also writes children’s books. Because of The Love Lettering Project, CBC Radio has deemed Lindsay a “national treasure.” Letters to Amelia is her first book.

    event speaker

  • Lisa Bird-Wilson

    LISA BIRD-WILSON is a Saskatchewan Métis and nêhiyaw writer. Her fiction book, Just Pretending (Coteau Books 2013), won four Saskatchewan Book Awards, including 2014 Book of the Year, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award, and was the 2019 One Book, One Province selection. Her debut poetry collection, The Red Files (Nightwood Editions 2016), is inspired by family and archival sources, and reflects on the legacy of the residential school system and the fragmentation of families and histories. She is the chair of the Saskatchewan Ânskohk Writers Circle Inc. (SAWCI)—the group that hosts the Ânskohk Indigenous Literature Festival and the CEO of the Gabriel Dumont Institute of Native Studies and Applied Research Inc in Saskatoon.

    event speaker

  • Liz Howard

    LIZ HOWARD’s debut collection Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent won the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize. Her second collection, Letters in a Bruised Cosmos, is currently out with McClelland and Stewart. Born and raised on Treaty 9 territory in northern Ontario, she now lives in Toronto.

    event speaker

  • Louisa Onomé

    Louisa Onomé is a Nigerian-Canadian writer of books for teens and adults. She holds a BA in professional writing, a MA in counselling psychology, and is represented by Claire Friedman at InkWell Management. A part of the Author Mentor Match round 3 cohort, she is also a writing mentor and all-around cheerleader for diverse works and writers. When she is not writing, her hobbies include picking up languages she may never use, crying over her favourite video games, and perfecting her skincare routine. She currently resides in the Toronto area.

    event speaker

  • Mariam Pirbhai

    Mariam Pirbhai is Professor of English in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, where she specializes in postcolonial studies, diaspora literatures, and creative writing. She is the author of a debut short story collection titled Outside People and Other Stories (Inanna), winner of the 2018 IPPY (International Publishers’) Gold Medal for “Multicultural Fiction,” winner of the 2019 American BookFest Award for the Short Story, and ranked among CBC’s top ten “must read” books of 2017. She is also the author and editor of several academic works on the global South Asian diaspora, including Mythologies of Migration, Vocabularies of Indenture: Novels of the South Asian Diaspora in Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia-Pacific (University of Toronto Press). She has recently completed a first novel depicting Islamophobia as it impacts a diverse community of Muslim-Canadians settled in Toronto and Montreal. Her current projects also include a series of creative nonfiction essays exploring questions of land, settlement and belonging in the Grand River region from her perspective as an “emigre-settler,” an exploration that she has also started to take up, more informally, in painting. She and her husband live and work in Waterloo, where they enjoy gardening, going for long walks, and taking a ridiculous amount of photos of the local flora and fauna.

    event speaker

  • Michael Prior

    Michael Prior’s second book of poems, Burning Province (McClelland & Stewart, 2020), won the Canada-Japan Literary Award, was shortlisted for the Raymond Souster Award, and is currently a finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Michael is the recent recipient of fellowships from the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center and the Jerome Foundation. His poems have appeared in Poetry, The New Republic, Narrative, and the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s The Margins, among other publications.

    event speaker

  • Moira Welsh

    Moira Welsh is the author of Happily Ever Older, about evolving ways to live in our later years. She is an investigative reporter with the Toronto Star and has written extensively on seniors’ issues, with a focus on long-term care, along with issues related to social justice, health and the environment. Moira has co-authored investigations that have won three National Newspaper Awards and a Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service Journalism. She was a finalist for the Justicia Award for Legal Reporting and the Canadian Hillman Prize for investigative journalism in “service of the common good.”

    event speaker

  • Molly Swain

    Molly Swain is an otipêmsiw-iskwêw born and raised in Treaty 7 and Metis Nation of Alberta Region 3 territory, and currently living in amiskwaciwâskahikan on Treaty 6, MNA Region 4, and Nehiyaw-Pwat lands. She is a Ph.D. student in the Faculty of Native Studies at the University of Alberta studying 20th century Métis history and Métis anarchism. She is the co-host of Indigenous feminist science fiction podcast and Land Back project Métis in Space, a co-director of the Métis in Space Land Trust, and a co-founder of Free Lands Free Peoples, an Indigenous-led anti-colonial prairie penal abolition organization.

    event speaker

  • Naben Ruthnum

    Naben Ruthnum is author of Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race and the forthcoming novel A Hero of Our Time. As Nathan Ripley, he is the author of two thrillers, Find You In the Dark and Your Life is Mine.

    event speaker

  • Natalie Zina Walschots

    Natalie Zina Walschots is a writer and game designer. She is the Author of Hench, a novel about the mistreated and undervalued employees of supervillains, which was a finalist on the 2021 season of Canada Reads and nominated for a Locus Award for Best First Novel. Her work also includes LARP scripts, heavy metal music journalism, video game lore, and weirder things classified as “interactive experiences.” Her writing on the interactive adventure The Aluminum Cat won an IndieCade award, and her poetic exploration of the notes engine in Bloodborne was featured in Kotaku and First Person Scholar. She is (unfortunately) the author of two books of poetry: Thumbscrews, which won the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, and DOOM: Love Poems for Supervillains. Natalie sits on the board of Dames Making Games, a space for queer and gender-marginalized people to create games freely, where she hosts interactive narrative workshops. She plays a lot of D&D, participates in a lot of Nordic LARPs, watches a lot of horror movies and reads a lot of speculative fiction. She lives in Toronto with her partner, four cats, two mantises and a jumping spider.

    event speaker

  • Nisha Patel

    Nisha Patel is an award-winning queer and disabled artist. She was the City of Edmonton’s 8th Poet Laureate, and the 2019 Canadian Individual Slam Champion. She is a recipient of the Edmonton Artists’ Trust Fund Award and the University of Alberta Alumni Award of Excellence. Her debut collection COCONUT is available now at Glass Bookshop. You can find her at nishapatel.ca.

    event speaker

  • Ontario Science Centre

    Since its opening in 1969, the Ontario Science Centre has welcomed over 54 million visitors and pioneered an interactive approach now adopted by science centres around the world. Visitors of all ages can learn through play and discover new ways to think like a scientist every day. Come for an in-person visit to see live demonstrations, new exhibitions and old favourites, or check out our virtual programming and events at ontariosciencecentre.ca.

    event speaker

  • Perry King

    Perry King is an author, freelance journalist, communications strategist, and proud South Parkdale-raised Torontonian. With a literary focus on sports, education and urbanism, Perry has bylines in Spacing Magazine, the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, BBC and a litany of independent newspapers and magazines.

    event speaker

  • Premee Mohamed

    Premee Mohamed is an Indo-Caribbean scientist and speculative fiction author based in Edmonton, Alberta. She is the author of the award-nominated BENEATH THE RISING trilogy and numerous novellas and short stories. She can be found on Twitter at @premeesaurus and on her website at www.premeemohamed.com.

    event speaker

  • Rahela Nayebzadah

    A mother of two, Rahela Nayebzadah holds a PhD in the Faculty of Education from the University of British Columbia. Currently, she is a schoolteacher. Her autobiographical novel, Jeegareh Ma (2012), was based on her family’s migration to Canada from Afghanistan. Her literary agent is Denise Bukowski.

    event speaker

  • Ralph Benmergui

    Ralph Benmergui is best known as a TV and radio personality. First at the CBC for over twenty years and then at Jazz FM with his morning show Benmergui in the Morning. Born in Tangiers, Morocco, Ralph and his family arrived in Canada in the late fifties settling in Toronto. Ralph has had an eclectic career. Stand-up comic, singer in a band, national media, then government communications. Executive Advisor to the President at Sheridan College and along the way seeking out and becoming becoming an ordained Spiritual Director.

    event speaker

  • Rebecca Silver Slayter

    Rebecca Silver Slayter is the author of The Second History and In the Land of Birdfishes, which was shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Named one of CBC’s Ten Writers to Watch, Rebecca is artistic director of the Cabot Trail Writers Festival and an editor of Brick literary journal. She lives in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, with her husband and two children.

    event speaker

  • Richard Van Camp

    Richard Van Camp is a proud Tlicho Dene from Fort Smith, NWT. He is the author of 26 books these past 26 years. You can visit with Richard on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at www.richardvancamp.com. Mahsi cho. Thank you!

    event speaker

  • Rinaldo Walcott

    Rinaldo Walcott is a Professor in the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto. His research is in the area of Black Diaspora Cultural Studies, gender and sexuality.

    event speaker

  • Robyn Harding

    Robyn Harding is the author of bestselling novels HER PRETTY FACE, THE ARRANGEMENT, the international bestseller THE PARTY, and the #1 bestseller THE SWAP. She also wrote and executive produced an independent film. Her latest novel, THE PERFECT FAMILY, is on sale now. She lives in Vancouver.

    event speaker

  • Ryan B. Patrick

    Ryan B. Patrick is a Producer for CBC Books in Toronto. Ryan is tasked with helping create the digital content for the CBCBooks.ca, home of the CBC’s literary programming. Ryan is one of the digital writers for the annual Canada Reads event, and also produces radio for CBC’s flagship program The Next Chapter. Ryan also has experience as a music critic and as an arts & culture journalist.

    event speaker

  • S. Bear Bergman

    S. Bear Bergman is a writer, storyteller, activist, and the founder and publisher of the book press Flamingo Rampant, which makes feminist, culturally diverse children’s picture books about LGBT2Q+ kids and families. He writes creative non-fiction for grown-ups, fiction for children, resolutely factual features for various publications, and the advice column “Asking Bear.” His books include The Nearest Exit May Be Behind Us and Blood, Marriage, Wine & Glitter, and he was the co-editor along with Kate Bornstein of Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation.

    event speaker

  • Samantha Garner

    Samantha Garner‘s short fiction and poetry have appeared in Broken Pencil, Sundog Lit, Kiss Machine, The Fiddlehead, Storychord, WhiskeyPaper, and The Quarantine Review. The Quiet is Loud is Garner’s first novel. She lives and writes in Mississauga.

    event speaker

  • Sami Alwani

    Sami Alwani is a cartoonist based in Toronto. His comics have appeared in Best American Comics, Vice, and the Fantagraphics anthology Now. He received a Doug Wright Award in 2018. His work was exhibited in the Canadian comics exhibition “This is Serious” at the Hamilton Art Gallery in 2019. His first book, The Pleasure of the Text, is out now with Conundrum Press.

    event speaker

  • Sarah Granskou

    “Embers remember the spark, even in the dark.” Though Sarah Granskou grew up hearing only swear words in Norwegian, she now shares the complex traditional music and oral traditions of her heritage as if reigniting a sense of genetic memory. With the other foot firmly planted in contemporary Canada, Sarah bridges worlds

    event speaker

  • Sarah Suk

    Sarah Suk (pronounced like soup with a K) lives in Vancouver, Canada where she writes stories and admires mountains. When she’s not writing, you can find her hanging out by the water, taking film photos, or eating a bowl of bingsu. Made in Korea is her first novel. You can visit her online at sarahsuk.com and on Twitter and Instagram @sarahaelisuk.

    event speaker

  • Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang

    Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang is a poet, children’s writer and teacher. Her books of poetry include Status Update (2013), which was nominated for the Pat Lowther Award, and Sweet Devilry (2011), which won the Gerald Lampert Award. She was shortlisted for the CBC poetry prize in 2019 and longlisted for the CBC poetry prize in 2018. Tsiang’s poetry has won the Reader’s Choice Award for Arc’s Poem of the Year, and was shortlisted for the Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse contest, the Bliss Carmen Poetry Award, and the Re-lit Award. Her work has also been featured in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry and many other anthologies. She is the editor of the poetry collection, Desperately Seeking Susans (2013). Her new book, Grappling Hook, is forthcoming with Palimpsest Press.

    event speaker

  • Selena Goulding

    Selena Goulding is a Canadian illustrator and comic book artist from Vancouver Island, currently living in Toronto. A graduate from the Sequential Arts Program at Toronto’s Max the Mutt Animation School, she is best known for her work on young adult indie comics such as Cobble Hill, publishing with 215 Ink. Susanna Moodie: Roughing It in the Bush was her first full-length graphic novel, based on a story by Carol Shields and published by Second Story Press in 2016. Her illustration work has also been showcased in the Dark Horse Comics anthology The Secret Loves of Geek Girls.

    event speaker

  • Shane Stirling

    event speaker

  • Shawn Hitchins

    Shawn Hitchins is the author of The Light Streamed Beneath It (ECW ’21) and A Brief History of Oversharing (ECW ’17). His one-man show Ginger Nation toured extensively before being filmed in concert. Hitchins is an award-winning entertainer, writer, personality, and creator of live performance. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he splits himself between Eastern and Pacific time zones.

    event speaker

  • Shawn Micallef

    Shawn Micallef is the author of Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto, Full Frontal TO, and The Trouble With Brunch: Work, Class and the Pursuit of Leisure. He’s a weekly columnist at the Toronto Star, a senior editor and co-owner of Spacing and teaches at the University of Toronto. His most recent book is Frontier City: Toronto on the Verge of Greatness.

    event speaker

  • Shayda Kafai

    Shayda Kafai (she/her) is an Assistant Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Ethnic and Women’s Studies department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. As a queer, disabled, Mad femme of colour, she commits to practising the many ways we can reclaim our bodyminds from systems of oppression. To support this work as an educator-scholar, Shayda applies disability justice and collective care practices in the spaces she cultivates. Shayda’s writing and speaking presentations focus on intersectional body politics, particularly on how bodies are constructed and how they hold the capacity for rebellion. From discussions of madness and disability to femme politics and crip art, Shayda works to reframe our most disempowered bodyminds as vehicles of change-making. In honour of self-care and her communities, Shayda is also an art maker and co-founder of CripFemmeCrafts with her wife, Amy. They make art that empowers all our bodyminds, particularly centering the magic and joy-making that comes from the wisdom and beauty of disabled, Fat bodyminds of colour.

    event speaker

  • Sheena Kamal

    Sheena Kamal holds an HBA in political science from the University of Toronto, and was awarded a TD Canada Trust scholarship for community leadership and activism around the issue of homelessness. Kamal has also worked as a crime and investigative journalism researcher for the film and television industry—academic knowledge and experience that inspired this debut novel. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

    event speaker

  • Shira Spector

    Shira Spector is a Jewish lesbian cartoonist who earned a BFA in Fibres (with Distinction) from Concordia University in Montreal. Her work has been widely anthologized and exhibited in Toronto where she is transplanted with her wife and son and a succession of rescue dogs. Red Rock Baby Candy (Fantagraphics) is her debut graphic memoir.

    event speaker

  • SJ Sindu

    SJ Sindu is the author of the novel Marriage of a Thousand Lies, which won the Publishing Triangle Edmund White Debut Fiction Award, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, and was an ALA Stonewall Honor Book; as well as the hybrid fiction and nonfiction chapbook I Once Met You But You Were Dead. She holds an MA in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a PhD in English and Creative Writing from Florida State University. Sindu teaches at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

    event speaker

  • Tamas Dobozy

    Tamas Dobozy is a professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University. He lives in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. He has published four books of short fiction, When X Equals Marylou, Last Notes and Other Stories, Siege 13: Stories, and 5 Mishaps, with a fifth collection, Ghost Geographies: Fictions, due in the fall of 2021. Siege 13 won the 2012 Rogers Writers Trust of Canada Fiction Prize, and was shortlisted for both the Governor General’s Award: Fiction, and the 2013 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. He has published over seventy short stories in journals such as One Story, Fiction, Agni, and Granta, and won an O Henry Prize in 2011, and the Gold Medal for Fiction at the National Magazine Awards in 2014. His scholarly work—on music, utopianism, American literature, the short story, and post-structuralism—have appeared in journals such as Canadian Literature, Genre, The Canadian Review of American Studies, Mosaic, and Modern Fiction Studies, among others. He has also published numerous chapters in peer-reviewed anthologies published by Routledge, University of Nebraska Press, University of South Carolina Press, and Wilfrid Laurier University Press, among others.

    event speaker

  • Tanis MacDonald

    Tanis MacDonald is a poet, nonfiction writer, and professor. Her book, Out Of Line (Wolsak and Wynn 2018), is a guide to playing the long game in the literary world, and her most recent book, Mobile (Book*hug 2019), was the only book of poetry longlisted for the 2020 Toronto Book Award.

    event speaker

  • Teneile Warren

    Teneile Warren is a Jamaican-born, Nonbinary and Queer immigrant artist living on Turtle Island. They hold an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. Teneile is a 2013 Obsidian Theatre’s Playwright’s Unit Fellow, 2017-2018 Buddies in Bad Times Artist in Residence. Their work has been staged at the Rhubarb & Rock, Paper Sistahz Festival and Summerworks. They are the co-founder of insideWaterloo, an independent media outline, a member of the Textile Magazine editorial team and has been published in various outlets. They are the Equity and Inclusion Officer at the WRDSB, and Co-Founder of the digital publication insideWaterloo. Teneile is partner to Rebecca and parent to Kelso and three furbabies (Goop, Oopy and Rae).

    event speaker

  • Tenille Campbell

    Tenille K. Campbell is a Dene/Métis author and photographer from English River First Nation in Northern Saskatchewan. She completed her MFA in creative writing at UBC and is currently working on a doctoral degree in English literature at the University of Saskatchewan, studying Indigenous women’s erotica within Canadian literature. Her debut poetry collection, #IndianLovePoems (Signature Editions), garnered positive attention across the country, hitting the awards lists in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, as well as the inaugural Indigenous Voices Award. Campbell is also the force behind sweetmoon photography, which specializes in photographing Indigenous people throughout Canada, often found hanging with large wedding parties in the north or sitting front row at awards shows, capturing NDN joy in its many forms. Finally, she is the co-creator and a blogger at tea&bannock, an online collective for Indigenous women photographers and artists to share their stories. Cultivating a life celebrating art and laughter, Campbell can always be found in coffee shops with a camera on hand and a story to share. She resides in Saskatoon, SK.

    event speaker

  • Thea Lim

    Thea Lim is the author of the Giller-shortlisted An Ocean of Minutes, which has been translated into three languages and optioned for television, and her short-form writing has been published in Granta, The Nation, The Paris Review, Best Canadian Stories, The Globe and Mail, Guernica, and others. She lives in Toronto where she wears many hats, as a book critic, as creative writing faculty, as mother to many small creatures

    event speaker

  • Therese Estacion

    Therese Estacion is part of the Visayan diaspora community. She is an elementary school teacher and is studying to be a psychotherapist. Therese is also a bilateral below knee and partial hands amputee, and identifies as a disabled person/person with a disability. Therese lives in Tkaronto. Her poems have been published in CV2 and PANK Magazine, and were shortlisted for the 2021 Marina Nemat Award. Her first collection of poems, Phantompains, was published by Book*Hug in Spring 2021.

    event speaker

  • Tyler Pennock

    Tyler Pennock was adopted from a Cree and Métis family around the Lesser Slave Lake area of Alberta. He is a graduate of Guelph University’s Creative Writing MFA program. He currently lives in Toronto, where he has worked as an educator and community worker for over ten years. Bones is his first book.

    event speaker

  • Ursula Gray

    Ursula Gray is the illustrator of LGBT+ comics such as The Magpie, The Scourge of Ninepoint, and Pretty Mouth. Despite working on several horror comics, she is the literal personification of a strawberry parfait.

    event speaker

  • Uzma Jalaluddin

    Uzma Jalaluddin grew up in a diverse suburb of Toronto, but her favourite place in the world is the nearest bookstore or library. Her debut novel, AYESHA AT LAST (2018), is a retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in the Toronto Muslim community. The novel was a Goodreads Choice Award Finalist, featured on The Today Show, and was a Cosmopolitan UK Book of the Year and Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of 2019. AYESHA AT LAST was optioned for film by Pascal Pictures and is currently in development. Her second novel, HANA KHAN CARRIES ON (2021) was an instant Canadian bestseller. The novel is a reimagining of ‘You’ve Got Mail’ set in rival halal restaurants. HANA KHAN CARRIES ON has been optioned for film by Amazon Studios and Mindy Kaling. Uzma also writes a culture and parenting column for The Toronto Star, and has written for The Atlantic. She lives near Toronto, Canada, with her husband and two sons, where she also teaches high school.

    event speaker

  • Victor Martins

    Victor Martins is a Brazilian comic artist living and working in Canada. They like fantasizing about owning a pair of rollerblades. Their ridiculous funny/sad sci-fi graphic novel, “Stay” is slated for release in Spring 2022 from PEOW.

    event speaker

  • Wayne Ng

    Wayne Ng is a social worker in Ottawa. As a child of Chinese immigrants, he ran wild in Toronto’s Chinatown, inspiring his latest novel, Letters From Johnny. Like his idealist Lao Tzu in his debut book Finding the Way, Wayne is a lifelong dreamer of a just society, and of worlds far from his doorstep.

    event speaker

  • Yeli Cruz

    Yeli (she/her) is a Venezuelan-Canadian award-winning writer. Her writing explores themes related to family, cultural diasporas, body freedom, and of course, love. She has poetry published in several literary magazines, including carte blanche, Contemporary Verse 2, and others. When she’s not writing stories and producing diet-culture-busting podcasts, she loves wearing cozy yellow sweaters and fighting for body liberation for all.

    event speaker

  • Zoe Whittall

    Zoe Whittall is the author of The Spectacular and three previous novels: the Giller-shortlisted The Best Kind of People, Lambda-winning Holding Still for as Long as Possible, and debut Bottle Rocket Hearts. She has published three collections of poetry and is also a Canadian Screen Award-winning TV and film writer, with credits on the Baroness Von Sketch Show, Schitt’s Creek, Degrassi, and others. She lives in Toronto.

    event speaker

Back to List

event speaker

Featured Books

X
X