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 2: Across The Universe

September 11, 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 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’re the type to daydream about dragons and spaceships, eldritch horrors and technological miracles, and quests in faraway lands, the Across The Universe track is for you! Read on to hear our hand-picked suggestions for a day of fantastical adventure.



Featured Stage: Across The Universe

Whether it’s time travel, gods and monsters, or alternative reality you seek, our titular stage has it all for you. Set up camp in the Brigantine Room of Harbourfront Centre for a good portion of the day to soak up riveting tales of science and magic read by authors like Cory Doctorow and S.M. Beiko, and to glean insight into writing genre fiction from some of the best writers Canadian SFF has to offer.

A few talks of note are the thought-provoking “Alternate Futures” with L.X. Beckett and our August Book of the Month author Amal El-Mohtar, and the deep dive into “Epic Fantasy Sagas” with Nicholas Eames and Evan Winter. Click here to view the full Across The Universe stage schedule!


Panels to Pique Your Interest

Radicalized (Cory Doctorow)

Amazon Bestsellers Stage | 12PM

The President of the Internet is here with a brand-new collection of four science fiction novellas connected by the thread of social, economical, and technological change and its impact on our lives. For everyone on whom Little Brother was a formative influence, this is for you.

Empire of Wild (Cherie Dimaline)

Amazon Bestsellers Stage | 1:45PM

From the writer who brought you the award-winning dystopia of The Marrow Thieves, now comes a story about werewolves like you’ve never seen. Inspired by the traditional Métis story of the Rogarou, Cherie Dimaline brings us into the wilds of the Georgian Bay with this riveting work of Indigenous speculative fiction.

Crow Winter (Karen McBride)

Indigenous Voices Stage | 3PM

If, like us, one of your favourite fantasy tropes is “modern individual accidentally comes across ancient god and team up to achieve a thing”, you won’t want to miss Karen McBride’s reading of her new novel Crow Winter, where protagonist Hazel and Algonquin demigod Nanabush work together to solve a century-old land dispute.

CreatureMaker with Story Planet

Kids Activity Tent | 4PM

For the little nerds in the family. Story Planet is holding a lively workshop where kids will dream up, draw, and play the part of fantastical creatures! Drama games, writing, doodling, and more are in store with this multimedia exercise in imagination.


Exhibitors Not to Miss

Want to invite some colour into your day at WOTS? Don’t miss the TCAF (Toronto Comic Arts Festival) booth at #310 for the latest in Toronto graphic novel excellence. There are several TCAF-affiliated artists scattered throughout the marketplace, too; give them a peek!

We would be remiss not to give a wholehearted holler to Bakka-Phoenix Books, the official bookseller of the Across The Universe stage. Bakka has been a friend to WOTS for the thirty years we’ve been around, and they come brimming with incredible titles in science fiction, fantasy, horror, and more. If you need recommendations, these are the folks who can give them to you—including plenty of local and independent authors!

Last but not least, show some love to our genre-writing indies. We’re proud to have the largest marketplace of independent authors and book publishers in Canada—there’s talent here that you won’t find anywhere else! Many of the SFF writers have booths sets up in the 300s (the navy blue section of the map), so take some time to wander the grounds and see what catches your eye!



There you have it: our top picks for everyone wanting to ‘go boldly where no one has gone before’. 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 the 22nd!