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6 Simple Things to Do Before Attending The Word On The Street

August 30, 2016

Guest post by Jack Hostrawser



  1. Shatter Your Preconceptions

The Word On The Street covers everything literary: novels, cookbooks, travelogues, poetry, sci-fi, magazines, scholarly theory, and more. Don’t miss out! Get yourself ready to explore a festival full of new worlds, new perspectives, and new ideas! Finally take a chance on your friend’s self-published space opera (The Cradle of Gnac’qu has always been calling your name), because it might inspire you to attend The North Stars: Canadian Science Fiction presentation, which showcases sci-fi with exciting Canadian and First Nations twists. Or perhaps finally visiting that vegetarian restaurant down the street (it’s called “The Veggie Table!” Get it!?) will inspire you to check out the Toronto Vegetarian Bookstore’s collection of cookbooks, advice, and more at booth 150. The Word On The Street is the perfect chance to discover new literary passions and brave new worlds of imagination, so bring your curiosity!


  1. Register as A Volunteer

It sure would be great if events like The Word On The Street would just happen on their own, but none of the organizers have had any luck in building festival-running robots yet. They’re working on it (the newest batch of prototypes hasn’t tried to lead a machine uprising yet, which is good). In the meantime, sign up on the The Word On The Street Toronto website today for a chance to have lots of fun and be a part of the still-entirely-human team that makes the whole festival possible!


  1. Rent A Moving Truck

The Word On The Street festival fills the Harbourfront Centre with vendors looking to find new customers and new connections—which usually means great savings for visitors. You’ll find great prices and deals on hot new releases from big publishers like Coach House Books, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins. You’ll also discover hidden gems from smaller houses, such as Inanna Publications, Latitude 46 Publishing, and The Porcupine’s Quill. So it’s good sense to arrange ahead of time to have the hauling power of a big-block diesel engine and reinforced chassis ready to ship all of your new reading material home. Otherwise, you might hurt your back!


  1. Donate to Friend An Author

Every year, The Word On The Street hosts a unique fundraising campaign called Friend An Author, which offers donors the opportunity to get a signed copy of one (or more!) of their favourite authors after that author’s reading at the festival! Other bonuses include the option to have your contribution recognized in the Official Festival Program and a really nifty tax receipt to help make your taxes a little easier next April. (Please consider a donation—designing sentient festival-running robots is not cheap.)


  1. Figure Out Where Your Kids Are

They’ve been quiet for the last few minutes and that means they’ve definitely just broken something. When you’re finished mourning the loss of your grandmother’s beloved John Wayne commemorative plates, get them out of the house to explore The Word On The Street’s section dedicated to kids having fun, TD KidStreet! Their favourite TVOKids characters will be there to get everyone moving and dancing (and tired out!). There’s also the Sago Mini Children’s Activity Tent, where kids can take part in creative activities like drawing, mask-making, and sock-puppet making, all inspired by readings by children’s authors Brian McLachlan (What Noise Do I Make?), Nadia L. Hohn (Malaika’s Costume), John Martz (Burt’s Way Home), and Carey Sookochef (Solutions for Cold Feet and Other Little Problems).


  1. Finish Reading Your Backlog Of Books

Hahaha—sorry, I’m just kidding. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.


Jack Hostrawser likes old motorcycles, tornadoes and outer space. And portage trips. And shiny rocks. Read some of his writing in The Dalhousie Review, Existere, The Fieldstone Review and In The Hills.