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 6: Discovery

September 18, 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 a natural adventure-seeker ready to broaden your horizons, surprise yourself, and jump headfirst into new and exciting experiences, the Discovery track is for you! Read on to hear our hand-picked suggestions for a day full of the unusual and the extraordinary.



Featured Stage: Great Books Marquee

If you’re looking for a sampling of the next generation of CanLit’s greatest, what better place to start than the Great Books Marquee? Come throughout the day to hear a variety of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and short stories read by some of this year’s most thoughtful and provocative authors, including Téa Mutonji, Derek Mascarenhas, and Zalika Reid-Benta.

Some notable events are Joanne Vannicola’s reading of their memoir, “All We Knew But Couldn’t Say”, speaking on everything from abusive families to queerness and coming out, and the thought-provoking (and stomach-rumbling) “Eat Your Words: Food and Diaspora” with Naben Ruthnum and Ann Hui. Click here to view the full Great Books Marquee stage schedule!


Panels to Pique Your Interest

semi-prose Podcast with Leslie Shimotakahara

Amazon Bestsellers Stage | 11AM

Ever listened to a live recording of your favourite podcast and wanted to be in the audience? Now’s your chance! Join the four readers of semi-prose, Max, Allie, Evan, and Kristina, as they discuss with Leslie Shimotakahara about her thrilling new novel Red Oblivion.

Writing for Interactive and Virtual Reality Story Telling

Wordshop Marquee | 2:15PM

As technology advances, storytelling is evolving in all sorts of innovative ways. If you’re curious about the future of immersive, interactive storytelling, the Wordshop Marquee’s got you covered! David Oppenheim and Jessica Duffin Wolfe will be leading a workshop on how to effectively use the exciting medium of virtual reality to tell gripping stories.

Alicia Elliott & Kai Cheng Thom in Conversation

Amazon Bestsellers Stage| 2:30PM

Here’s something you don’t get to see every day–two of CanLit’s rising stars shooting the breeze on-stage. Come for an unmoderated conversation on everything from mental health to queerness, from political injustice to trauma and healing, from oppression to legacy to hope. Bound to be unforgettable.

Oral Literature with Storytelling Toronto

Stage in the Round | 11:30AM & 2:45PM

Eventually the old becomes new again. If you’re looking to rediscover traditional storytelling and ancient tales, come to the Stage in the Round! Dawne McFarlane and Maryem Hassan Tollar will be recounting a story from One Thousand and One Nights, Brian Walsh and Lynn Torrie are sharing global folk stories of power struggle and hope, and Eden Nameri, Sage Tyrtle, and Sarah Abušarar each have their own tales to tell.

Exhibitors Not to Miss

The fun in discovery comes from exploring places you wouldn’t ordinarily go, from seeking things you wouldn’t normally seek. To that end, we strongly encourage checking out our marketplace’s indie authors and publishers! Our festival hosts the largest marketplace of independent authors and book publishers in Canada, and we’re really proud to showcase quality indie work. Many of them write refreshing and innovative work–and many of them have won awards for it! Whether you’re seeking a sci-fi adventure or a heartfelt historical romance, a guide to health and wellness or your last beach read of the year, our independent booths have got it all.




There you have it: our top picks for everyone wanting to discover the full breadth of modern storytelling. 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. Check out the other WOTStrology posts for more suggestions, and we’ll see you on the 22nd!