Find us online this year to meet and listen to authors, illustrators, and performers from across Canada! Check out our 2020 line-up...
Gil Adamson is the critically acclaimed author of The Outlander, which won the Dashiell Hammett Prize for Literary Excellence in Crime Writing, the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the ReLit Award, and the Drummer General’s Award; was a finalist for the Commonwealth Book Prize and CBC Canada Reads; and was a Globe and Mail and Washington Post Top 100 Book. She is also the author of a collection of linked stories called Help Me, Jacques Cousteau and two poetry collections, Primitive and Ashland. She lives in Toronto.
Nafiza Azad is a self-identified island girl. She has hurricanes in her blood and dreams of a time she can exist solely on mangoes and pineapple. Born in Lautoka, Fiji, she currently resides in BC, Canada where she reads too many books, watches too many Kdramas and writes stories about girls taking over the world. Her debut YA fantasy, The Candle and the Flame, was released by Scholastic in 2019.
The Candle and the Flame
Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau is an internationally-recognized visual artist and author of Cree origin. She has published three novels and two poetry collections in French. Born in Rapides-des-Cèdres in 1951, of a Cree mother and a mixed-heritage Québécois father, she holds a Fine Arts Baccalaureate and has participated in numerous exhibitions in Quebec, United States, Mexico, Denmark, and received several awards for her art. In 2007, she published her first novel, Ourse Blue. Her collection of poetry, De rouge et de blanc (2012), was awarded the Abitibi-Témiscamingue literary prize. Her subsequent novels include L’amant du lac (2013) and L’enfant hiver (2014). In 2020, she received the 2020 award for artist of the year from the Conseil des arts et lettres du Québec. She lives in Abitibi, in northwest Quebec.
Blue Bear Woman
Born in Taiwan, JANIE CHANG has lived in the Philippines, Iran, Thailand, New Zealand and Canada. She writes historical fiction with a personal connection, drawing from family history and ancestral stories. Chang has a degree in computer science and is a graduate of the Writer’s Studio Program at Simon Fraser University. She is the author of Three Souls and Dragon Springs Road.
The Library of Legends
Shane M. Chartrand, of the Enoch Cree Nation, is at the forefront of the re-emergence of Indigenous cuisine in North America. Raised in Central Alberta, where he learned to respect food through raising livestock, hunting, and fishing on his family’s acreage, Chartrand relocated to Edmonton as a young man to pursue culinary training. In 2015, Chartrand was invited to participate in the prestigious international chef contingent of Cook It Raw, and has since competed on Food Network Canada’s Iron Chef Canada and Chopped Canada. Currently, Chartrand is the executive chef at the acclaimed SC Restaurant at the River Cree Resort & Casino in Enoch, Alberta, where he transforms his diverse influences and experiences into culinary art.
tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine
Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Jennifer Cockrall-King is a Canadian food writer who now lives in the small community of Naramata, in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. She is the author of Food and the City: Urban Agriculture and the New Food Revolution and Food Artisans of the Okanagan Valley. Her writing has appeared in publications across North America, including Maclean’s, Reader’s Digest, Eighteen Bridges, Canadian Geographic, and enRoute magazine. tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine is her third book.
tawâw: Progressive Indigenous Cuisine
DESMOND COLE is an award-winning journalist, radio host, and activist in Toronto. His writing has appeared in the Toronto Star, Toronto Life, The Walrus, NOW Magazine, Ethnic Aisle, Torontoist, BuzzFeed, and the Ottawa Citizen. The Skin We’re In is Cole’s first book.
The Skin We're In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power
Michelle Dimnik is a retired teacher, formerly with Lethbridge School Division. During her thirty-three year teaching career, Michelle served as a Teacher-Librarian (Elementary and Junior High), Resource Room/Learning Support (Elementary) and classroom teacher, grades 1, 3, 4 & 5. Throughout her career and in retirement, Michelle has volunteered and has been instrumental in many reading and literacy programs including: “One School One Book”; “One District One Book”; and the Rocky Mountain Book Award: an Alberta children’s choice book award celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year (http://rmba.info). She is committed to bringing the love of reading and the power of story to children and young adults.
Eric Dyck is a cartoonist and art educator living in Lethbridge, AB. He has shared his love of cartoons and comic-storytelling in art galleries, museums, schools and libraries throughout Alberta and New Brunswick. Eric has been documenting his experiences and adventures in Southern Alberta through his webcomic, Slaughterhouse Slough. Eric uses his comic strip to share about the people that he meets, the stories that he hears and as a means of learning more about the history of Southern Alberta. Find out more at http://www.ericdyck.com/
Cheryl Foggo is a multiple award winning author, playwright and filmmaker, whose work over the last 30 years has focused on the lives of Western Canadians of African descent. The 30th anniversary edition of her book Pourin’ Down Rain: A Black Woman Claims Her Place in the Canadian West, has just been updated and released by Brush Education Press. It is also available as an audiobook read by acclaimed Canadian actor Karen Robinson through ECW Press. Cheryl’s other books include two young adult novels, One Thing That’s True, (1997, Kids Can Press) and I Have Been in Danger (2002, Coteau Books) as well as a children’s picture book, Dear Baobab (2011, Second Story Press).
She has also been published in dozens of anthologies, most recently The Black Prairie Archive: An Anthology (2020, WLU Press, edited by Karina Vernon) and Calgary Through the Eyes of Writers (2018, Rocky Mountain Books, edited by Shaun Hunter).
She is working on a book mapping Calgary’s Black history and communities from 1880-1960 and a new book about John Ware that will conclude her trilogy of works (play, film, book) on his life and legacy.
She recently directed the short film Kicking Up a Fuss: The Charles Daniels Story. Her full length National Film Board documentary John Ware Reclaimed will be released this fall, and information about screenings can be found with the Calgary International Film Festival.
Cheryl Foggo’s play, John Ware Reimagined, won the 2015 Writers Guild of Alberta Award for Drama and was produced most recently at Workshop West Theatre Company in November, 2017. Also in 2017 she was recognized by the YWCA as one of 150 outstanding Calgary women. She is a past recipient of the Sondra Kelly Screenplay Award from the Writers Guild of Canada. In 2014 she co-produced Alberta’s first Black Canadian Theatre Series with Ellipsis Tree Collective Theatre Company.
Pourin’ Down Rain A Black Woman Claims Her Place in the Canadian West
Nato’yi’kina’soyi Holy Light that Shines Bright; Hali Heavy Shield is a member of the Blood Tribe of southern Alberta. A writer and artist, Hali explores various forms of language and literacy such as poetry, Blackfoot storytelling, photography, and graphic art. Ms. Heavy Shield is currently a PhD student and an arts-based researcher at the University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Education.
Faye HeavyShield is a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy from the Kainaiwa (Blood) Nation in the foothills of Southern Alberta. She is a fluent speaker of the Blackfoot language and studied at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary, Alberta. The landscape of HeavyShield’s home community near Stand Off, Alberta is evident in her continuous use of natural materials and imagery found in her minimalist works. HeavyShield has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Canada.
Sam Hester writes autobiographical comics that have appeared in a range of different publications, like her local community newsletter, a few international anthologies, and the Calgary-based journalism startup The Sprawl. Sam also works as a graphic recorder, taking live illustrated notes for organizations all over Alberta. She captures their stories by drawing upon deep listening skills and a lot of markers. Sam lives with her two children in a really old house in Calgary. www.the23rdstory.com
Jamie John-Kehewin is from the Kehewin Cree Nation located in the heart of Treaty No.6 Territory, he is Neheyaw (Cree) and Salteaux. Kehewin is an Independent Filmmaker, a Certified Native Cultural Arts Instructor, and multidisciplinary artist who incorporates carving, painting, sculpture, print making, nature crafts, and ceremonial/powwow regalia into his work. His works and performances have been showcased in galleries and various venues throughout western Canada. Since returning to his home Territory in 2005 he has been employed with the Confederacy of Treaty Six First as a filmmaker being involved in over 40 Productions ranging from promotional films to full length documentaries. Experiences and situations encountered during filmmaking have enabled Jamie to interact with his people’s history, their struggles and their stories by the Elders of Treaty No.6 Territory. This has allowed Jamie to become increasingly grounded in the plight of his people, the survival of his native language and cultural practices, as well as the history of his ancestors.
SHARI LAPENA is the internationally bestselling author of the thrillers The Couple Next Door, A Stranger in the House and An Unwanted Guest, which have all been New York Times and Sunday Times (London) bestsellers. Her books have been sold in thirty-five territories around the world. She lives in Toronto.
The End of Her
A California native, Bethany graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz with a BA in Sociology. Following undergrad, she studied Clinical Psychological Research at the University of Wales, Bangor, in Great Britain before returning to North America to focus on her literary work. She is the author of the adult novel Mem (Unnamed Press) and the editor of the young adult anthology Take the Mic (Arthur A. Levine Books). A Song Below Water is her debut standalone young adult novel. She is a recovering expat recently returning from six years in Montreal, Quebec, to live and write in north country, New York.
A Song Below Water
“This is the first day I’ve written in a diary. The reason I am, is ‘cos I love writing stories, and if I do grow up to be a famous writer, and later die, and they want to get a story of my life … I guess I should keep (one).” Susin Nielsen wrote this poorly constructed sentence when she was eleven years old. And while she isn’t exactly famous (although she likes to think she’s ‘Big in Belgium’), and no one has written the story of her life (maybe because she isn’t dead yet), she did predict her future. She got her start writing for the hit TV series Degrassi Junior High, and went on to write for over twenty Canadian shows. More recently she turned her hand to novel writing. She is the author of five critically-acclaimed and award-winning titles, including Optimists Die First (long-listed for the UKLA 2018 award), We Are All Made of Molecules (winner of the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award and long-listed for UK’s Carnegie Medal), Word Nerd (winner of multiple Young Readers’ Choice Awards) and The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen (winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Canadian Library Association’s Children’s Book of the Year, and the UK Literacy Award). Rolling Stone magazine put The Reluctant Journal at #27 in their list of “Top 40 Best YA Novels.”
Nielsen has been called ‘The John Green of Canada’ (and she once had a dream that he had been called ‘The Susin Nielsen of the United States’). Her books have been translated into many languages. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her family and two naughty cats.
No Fixed Address
Susan Ouriou is both a literary translator of over 40 works of fiction and non-fiction (French and Spanish to English) and a fiction writer. She has received the Governor General’s Literary Translation award and has edited the anthologies Beyond Words – Translating the World and Languages of Our Land – Indigenous Poems and Stories from Quebec. She takes great pleasure in working with Virginia Pesemapeo Bordeleau and, so far, has translated three of her novels and several poems and looks forward to many more.
Blue Bear Woman
Oki Niksookowaa, I am from the Piikani Nation where I was born and raised. My parents are Vera and the Late Henry Potts. I am the youngest of three siblings. I have two sons Byron (Iitaamiyapii – Looking from Above) and Lawrence (Awaowa’mahka – Running Back and Forth) and two Daughter in laws, Jennifer (Aahkyaa poohta – Already Flying) and Tara (No name yet). We are all very proud of my one and only granddaughter Sophie (Aahkya paahkwiinamaaki – Coming Home Pipe Woman)
Sophie is the reason I wrote my book. I wanted her to know that when she came in to this world that she was loved. I want her to understand that love comes in all forms starting from prayer to the simple blessings Creator gives each day. More important, love is not gained through material possessions, but it comes from the traditional teachings each day. Through love it creates character, resilience and confidence to become the best you can be in life.
I have been an educator over 30 years. I was inspired to be a teacher from my Grandmother Maggie Provost who taught me to read at the age of 5 just before I entered the school system. It was through her kind and loving teachings that instilled confidence in me to obtain my Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education Degrees from the University of Lethbridge.
My education has brought me many places starting from a teacher assistant, teacher, school counsellor, principal and the Director of Education for the Treaty 7 First Nations. My experience in the education field is comprehensive and I am thankful for the experiences that have come my way. Presently, I am teaching in the classroom again at Tatsikiisaapo’p Middle School on the Blood Reserve.
Next on my bucket list is create Blackfoot conversational programs to revitalize and restore the Blackfoot language. Which means that there will be more books to come in the near future.
JEFF RUBIN is the author of the internationally acclaimed Why Your World Is About to Get a Whole Lot Smaller, a #1 national bestseller and the winner of the National Business Book Award. His second book, The End of Growth, was a #1 bestseller and made multiple best book of the year lists in 2012. His most recent book, The Carbon Bubble, also made the bestseller list. Rubin was the Chief Economist at CIBC World Markets, where he worked for over 20 years. He is now a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance (CIGI). He lives in Toronto.
Tom Ryan was born and raised in Inverness, Nova Scotia. He’s a graduate of Mount Allison University and NSCC.
Since 2012, Tom has published several books for young readers of all ages. He has been nominated for the White Pine Award, the Stellar Award and the Hackmatack Award, and two of his books – Totally Unrelated and Big Time – were Junior Library Guild selections. Two of his young adult novels, Way to Go and Tag Along, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013 and 2014. In 2017, on the occasion of Canada’s 150th birthday, his first novel, Way to Go, was chosen as one of the most significant books in Nova Scotia’s history. He was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction. His 2019 release Keep This to Yourself was the recipient of the 2020 Arthur Ellis Award for YA Crime Book, has been nominated for an ITW Award for Best YA Thriller, and was chosen by the Globe & Mail as one of the ‘Globe 100: Books that shaped 2019’ and was named one of 2019’s top books for young readers by both Quill & Quire and the Canadian Children’s Book Centre
Tom, his husband and their dog currently divide their time between Ontario and Nova Scotia.
I Hope You're Listening
Robert J. Sawyer has been called “the dean of Canadian science fiction” by The Ottawa Citizen and “Canada’s answer to Michael Crichton” by The Toronto Star. A member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, Rob is one of only eight writers in history to win all three of the world’s top awards for best science-fiction novel of the year: the Hugo (which he won in 2003 for Hominids), the Nebula (which he won in 1996 for The Terminal Experiment), and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award (which he won in 2006 for Mindscan). He holds honorary doctorates from both the University of Winnipeg and Laurentian University and was one of the initial inductees into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame. The ABC TV series FlashForward was based on his novel of the same name. Rob’s 24th novel, The Oppenheimer Alternative, published in 2020, explores the moral ramifications of The Manhattan Project. Find him on Facebook, Twitter, or at https://sfwriter.com.
The Oppenheimer Alternative
Danika Stone is an author, artist, and educator who discovered a passion for writing fiction while in the throes of her Masters thesis. A self-declared bibliophile, Danika now writes novels for both teens: Switchback (Macmillan, 2019), Internet Famous (Macmillan, 2017) and All the Feels (Macmillan, 2016); and adults: Edge Of Wild (Stonehouse, 2016), The Dark Divide (Stonehouse, 2018) and Fall of Night (Stonehouse, 2020). When not writing, Danika can be found hiking in the Rockies, planning grand adventures, and spending far too much time online. She lives with her husband, three sons, and a houseful of imaginary characters in a windy corner of Alberta, Canada.
Fall of Night
Courtney Summers is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of several novels for young adults, including Cracked Up to Be, All the Rage and Sadie . Her work has been released to multiple starred reviews, received numerous awards and honors – including the Edgar Award, John Spray Mystery Award, Cybils Award and Odyssey Award – and has been recognized by many library, ‘Best Of’ and Readers’ Choice lists. She lives and writes in a scenic small town in southern Ontario.
Hermione Tankard discovered her love of Shakespeare in fourth grade when she asked her father to buy her a copy of Romeo and Juliet. She read it to herself as a bedtime story for the next two weeks. Little did she know it would one day lead to a job writing new Shakespearean adventures with her dad. When not helping her dad with their book Yorick and Bones, she enjoys acting and singing onstage.
Yorick and Bones
Jeremy Tankard is the bestselling authorstrator of the Grumpy Bird picture books. He has always loved comics and planned to make a career of them when he was about nine years old. He discovered the joys of Shakespeare in high school when his drama teacher cast him in a production of The Tempest. He has loved all things Shakespeare ever since. His book Yorick and Bones sees these two interests collide in the most unexpected ways. He lives in Vancouver with his wife and two children.
Yorick and Bones
Richard Van Camp is a grateful and proud Tlicho Dene from Fort Smith, NWT. He is the best selling author of 24 books these past 24 years. His novel, The Lesser Blessed, is now a feature film with First Generation Films. You can visit Richard on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and at www.richardvancamp.com.
Moccasin Square Gardens
May We Have Enough To Share
Eric Walters is one of Canada’s best-known and most prolific writers of fiction for children and young adults. His books have won over 120 awards, including thirteen separate children’s choice awards, and have been translated into thirteen languages. He lives in Guelph, Ontario, and is the co-founder of Creation of Hope, a charity that provides care for orphans in the Mbooni district of Kenya. In 2014, Eric was named a Member of the Order of Canada “for his contribution as an author of literature for children and young adults whose stories help young readers grapple with complex social issues.”
Don't Stand So Close To Me
The King of Jam Sandwiches
“We all have stories and journeys within our spirit. As we breathe life into our art pieces, they become stories of their own. And they breathe life into you.” Amber Weasel Head is an Indigenous artist of Blackfoot (Kainai) and Bitter Root Salish. She grew up on the Blood reserve in southern Alberta, Canada. Her art forms range from beadwork, painting, mixed media, film making, performance and digital arts. Her education endeavours include National Professional Artist training through En’owkin Centre in Pentiction, BC; Studio Arts Foundations Victoria , BC; Weaving Our Stories, Institute Of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe New Mexico; Native Cultural Arts Instructor, Artisan, Entrepreneurship Diploma Program, Portage College; Diploma in Social Work, Portage College. The artwork reflects her understanding of her culture and the connection she has with her ancestors. Her style has evolved through her experiences and the journey is expressed through her work.
Amber believes that art heals and tells the stories of our spirit. Her creative energy comes from mother earth, the sunsets and sunrises, the spiritual connections, the energy that flows, life experiences, dreams and so on. Her experiences through life have given her the strength to guide her as she continues to share her stories. Her future goals are to continue her journey, to share her visions and to further her education
Teresa Wong is a Calgary writer and author of Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression (2019), a graphic memoir about new motherhood. Dear Scarlet has received praise from the New York Times Book Review, The Paris Review, NPR and the CBC. Follow her on Instagram @by_teresawong, where she posts drawings for her children.
Dear Scarlet: The Story of My Postpartum Depression