Toronto, Ontario

WOTS Festival & Marketplace - Day 1

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Harbourfront Centre | 12pm - 7pm


WOTS Festival & Marketplace - Day 2

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Harbourfront Centre | 10am - 5pm

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The Word On The Street Blog

Stay updated on the latest festival news, book reviews, and more!

What’s Your Sign? WOTStrology Part 1: Aspiring Writers

September 10, 2019

With over 200 authors delivering readings and having conversations, alongside a marketplace of more than 150 publishers and booksellers, The Word On The Street 2019 has so much to offer it’s nearly overwhelming. Having a hard time planning your day? Fear not! We’re laying out six bundles of ‘must-sees’ according to your interests in our new WOTStrology series—think of it like a choose-your-own-adventure, or better yet, a literary horoscope.

So tell us—WOTS your sign?

If you’ve ever looked at the books on our exhibitors’ tables and dreamed of having your own book among them, the Aspiring Writer track is for you! Read on to hear our hand-picked suggestions for a day of writerly inspiration.



Featured Stage: The Wordshop Marquee

All you ever wanted to know about the writer’s life lies within this stage! Plan to spend a good portion of your day in the Studio Theatre in Harbourfront Centre, where the Humber School for Writers is hosting workshops covering craft and career strategy for aspiring writers.

A few workshops of particular interest are the humorous but useful “How NOT to Get Published” with Léonicka Valcius and Janice Zawerbny, and the mysteriously tempting “First Page Challenge” with Sarah Sheard and Douglas Richmond. Click here to view the full Wordshop Marquee schedule!


Panels to Pique Your Interest

Diaspora Dialogues presents: Writing While Black in CanLit

Toronto Book Awards stage | 10AM

The CanLit landscape is growing and diversifying at a rapid pace, with new opportunities for previously unheard voices. Join George Elliott Clarke, Whitney French, and Philip Morgan in a discussion moderated by Sarah Hagi about the nuances of writing while black in Canada, and learn about the new spaces being created for black voices.

Imagination Architects: Building Worlds from Words

Across The Universe stage | 11:45AM

As many aspiring writers know, worldbuilding is essential to a good story—and not just fantasy and science fiction stories! To unlock the secrets of this skill, we’ve gathered three worldbuilding experts: Fonda Lee, Sienna Tristen, and Kelly Robson. Moderated by Can-Con SF’s Derek Künsken, this panel is sure to spark some creativity.

Diaspora Dialogues Presents: Writing in the Age of #MeToo

Toronto Book Awards stage | 1:30PM

Diaspora Dialogues is offering all kinds of food for writerly thought this year. In a panel moderated by Aparitha Bhandari, authors S.K. Ali, Gwen Benaway, and Téa Mutonji will discuss the impact of the #MeToo movement on beloved but problematic works of art, as well as how it has affected their own creative processes. Essential for writing smart, sensitive work.


Exhibitors Not to Miss

Not too far away from the Wordshop Marquee is the Writer’s Block, our marketplace section dedicated to writing organizations and associations! From the Canadian Authors’ Association to the League of Canadian Poets to the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild, there’s a welcoming group for every writer’s interests.

Research is an important aspect of any professional endeavour, and that extends to your art! To that end, spend some time browsing the booths that our publishers have set up, from Dundurn Press to ChiZine Publications to Simon & Schuster Canada. Check out the kind of titles they publish and see where your own work might fit in—and don’t skip out on the small and medium-size presses! You can find publishers scattered all throughout our marketplace, so look up their booth numbers and go wild!



There you have it: our top picks for all the aspiring and emerging writers out there. Remember, these are only suggestions—the world of WOTS is wide and full of wonder, and you’re guaranteed to get something out of it no matter how you spend your day. Stay tuned for our other WOTStrology posts going up this week, and we’ll see you on Sunday, September 22nd!