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Since 1989, The Word On The Street has proudly hosted some of the finest talent in Canadian literature. Our 30th anniversary festival will be our best yet! Stay tuned for announcements on our featured authors, performers, and storytellers.
Sarah Abušarar comes from a long line of storytellers on her paternal side. She tells stories to both adults and children. Sarah has told, both nationally and internationally, at various cultural centres, museums, art galleries, festivals, libraries, parks and homes.
Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm is a writer, poet, spoken-word performer, librettist, publisher, and activist from the Saugeen Ojibway Nation. Kateri has written books of poetry, was a contributor to the graphic novel anthology This Place, was editor of the award-winning Skins, has been published internationally, and performed and spoken around the world.
This Place: 150 Years Retold
Semareh Al-Hillal is the Publisher at Groundwood Books, an independent Canadian publisher based in Toronto. Last year Groundwood celebrated 40 years of publishing beautiful, thought-provoking books for children of all ages. Prior to joining Groundwood, she was with Kids Can Press for eighteen years.
André Alexis was born in Trinidad and grew up in Canada. Fifteen Dogs won the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. His other books include Pastoral, The Hidden Keys, and, Asylum. His most recent book is Days by Moonlight.
Days By Moonlight
S. K. Ali is the author of YA novels, Love from A to Z, and the 2018 Morris award finalist, Saints and Misfits. She has a degree in Creative Writing and has written about Muslim life for various media, including the Toronto Star and NBC News. She lives in Toronto with her family.
Love From A to Z
Zainab is of mixed race background that includes African-American, Cherokee, Seminole, Portuguese, Amish, Polynesian, and other trace elements (if DNA testing is accurate). She is an author of screenplays, nonfiction and futurist fiction, the most notable being the adequately written yet somehow cult classic Moons of Palmares. Based in peri-apocalyptic Toronto, Zainab is the mother of three grown sons and a cat who allows her to sit on one section of the couch.
Madeline is a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and UTA. She has worked with Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, The Atlantic Council, the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, Changeist, and others. Her essays have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity, MISC Magazine, and FutureNow. She is the author of the Machine Dynasty novels. Her novel Company Town was a Canada Reads finalist. madelineashby.com
Mike Barnes, a dual Canadian-American citizen, has published 11 books across a range of genres: poetry, short fiction, novels, and memoir. His poems have appeared in numerous anthologies, and his stories have appeared twice in Best Canadian Stories and three times in The Journey Prize Anthology. He has won a National Magazine Award Silver Medal in the short story category. His collection of poems, Calm Jazz Sea, was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award; and Aquarium, his first collection of stories, won the Danuta Gleed Award. He has also published many essays, one of which, the photo-text collage “Asylum Walk”, won the Edna Staebler Award. His last novel, the neo-noir thriller The Adjustment League, was named by Maclean’s one of the 10 best books of the year, and his recent nonfiction book, Be With: Letters to a Caregiver, has been praised by Margaret Atwood as “Timely, lyrical, tough, accurate.” He works as a private English tutor and lives in Toronto.
Be With: Letters to a Caregiver
Toronto author and editor L. X. Beckett frittered away their misbegotten youth, before deciding to make a shift into writing science fiction. Their first novella, Freezing Rain, a Chance of Falling, published in 2018, and takes place in the same universe as Gamechanger. L.X. identifies as feminist, lesbian, genderqueer, married, and Slytherin, and can be found on Twitter or at a writing advice blog, the Lexicon.
Rehana Begg is the editor of CanadianManufacturing.com at Annex Business Media. Rehana has 20 years of editorial experience across B2B and B2C publications. She holds two master’s degrees, which she puts to the test daily scouring the Canadian landscape for industrial and manufacturing news that impact business decisions.
S.M. Beiko is an eclectic writer and artist based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She also works as a freelance editor, illustrator, and graphic designer. The first novel in this series, Scion of the Fox, won the 2018 Copper Cylinder Award.
The Brilliant Dark
Gwen Benaway is a Two-Spirited Trans poet of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. She has received many distinctions and awards, including the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers. She is the author of two previous poetry collections and her latest book is Holy Wild. She lives in Toronto.
Robert Benzie is Queen’s Park Bureau Chief for the Toronto Star. He is responsible for coordinating the provincial political coverage for the Star, which he joined in 2003. Benzie has covered countless elections and leadership contests at federal, provincial and municipal levels.
Coming off of the release of his 2018 debut album, “The Right Place”, 21 year old Sean Bertram is a formidable talent: a jaw-dropping young guitar-slinger who is equally comfortable in jazz, pop and rock, a singer with a pure voice and dizzying falsetto, and a songwriter who makes the craft look deceivingly easy.
Tanaz Bhathena was born in India and raised in Saudi Arabia and Canada. Her acclaimed novel A Girl Like That was nominated for the White Pine Award and was named a Best Book of 2018 by numerous outlets. Her short stories have appeared in various journals including Blackbird, Witness and Room.
The Beauty of the Moment
Elly Blake is the New York Times bestselling author of Frostblood, Fireblood, and Nightblood. She lives in Southwestern Ontario with her husband, kids, and a Siberian Husky mix that definitely shows frostblood tendencies. Find her online at EllyBlake.com or @elly_blake.
Matt is an artist living and working in Toronto. He has worked as an illustrator and as an environment concept artist in the film and TV industry. He has contributed numerous illustrations to Spacing since the magazine launched in 2003. mathewborrett.com
Shannon Bramer is an author of poems, plays and short fiction. She has published a number of poetry collections and chapbooks, winning the Hamilton and Region Best Book Award for suitcases and other poems. Shannon’s plays include Chloe’s Tiny Heart Is Closed and The Hungriest Woman in the World.
Dionne Brand’s literary credentials are legion. Her latest novel, Theory, won the 2019 OCM BOCAS Prize for Caribbean Literature, and was a Globe and Mail Best Book. Her latest poetry collection, The Blue Clerk, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and won the Trillium Book Prize. Her collection Ossuaries won the Griffin Poetry Prize, and other collections have won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Trillium Book Award and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Among her novels, In Another Place, Not Here was selected as a NYT Book Review Notable Book and a Best Book by the Globe and Mail; At the Full and Change of the Moon was selected a Best Book by the LA Times; and What We All Long For won the Toronto Book Award. In 2006, Brand was awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize for her contribution to the world of books and writing, and from 2009 to 2012 she served as Toronto’s Poet Laureate. In 2017, she was named to the Order of Canada. Brand is a Professor in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. She lives in Toronto.
Drew Brown is the editor of The Newfoundland and Labrador Independent. He grew up in Grand Falls-Windsor, NL. He has been a regular columnist for VICE Canada since 2015, and his work has appeared in CBC, Newfoundland Quarterly, The Deep, The Overcast, and The Guardian.
Bruce Campion-Smith is a reporter in the Toronto Star’s Ottawa bureau. He joined the Star in 1988 and has been a transportation beat reporter, assistant city editor and an editorial writer covering municipal politics. He joined the Ottawa bureau in 2003. The coming election will be his sixth federal campaign.
Cheryll Case is the founding principal of CP Planning, an urban planning firm that digs into addressing the urban conditions that affect access to housing, work, and play. She specializes in designing inclusive conversations that build relationships between the non-profit, private, and public sector.
House Divided: How the Missing Middle Can Solve Toronto's Affordability Crisis
Charlene Chua grew up in Singapore, where she divided her time between drawing, reading comics and failing her Chinese classes. She started work in 1998 as a web designer, however, what she really wanted to do was draw pictures all day. She decided to give it a go, and became a illustrator.
Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao
What Goes Around is Ruth Clarke’s first full-length novel. She has published several non-fiction works, and previously worked in publishing and the arts. Her short stories and articles have appeared in anthologies, newspapers and magazines. She divides her time between Canada and Latin America.
What Goes Around
Lynn Coady is the critically acclaimed and award-winning author of six books, including Hellgoing, which won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and was an Amazon.ca and Globe and Mail Best Book. Coady lives in Toronto and writes for television.
Watching You Without Me
Marina Cohen is the author of several creepy middle grade novels including The Inn Between, The Doll’s Eye, and A Box of Bones. She has been nominated for numerous awards in both Canada and the United States. She loves old castles, hot cocoa, and mysterious doors of all shapes and sizes.
The Doll's Eye
Martin Regg Cohn writes the Ontario politics column for the Toronto Star. A foreign correspondent for 11 years, he was chief of the Middle East and Asia bureaus, then Foreign Editor, and a world affairs columnist. He previously covered national politics from Ottawa.
Stephanie Cooke is an award-nominated writer and editor based out of Toronto, Canada. Her writing work is featured in Millarworld Annual, The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, Toronto Comics Anthology, and her debut graphic novel, Oh My Gods (HMH Kids), is set for release in 2020.
Nancy Jo Cullen is the fourth recipient of the Writers’ Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Emerging Writers. Her short story collection, Canary, was the winner of the 2012 Metcalf-Rooke Award. Her poetry has been shortlisted for multiple awards, including the City of Calgary WO Mitchell Book Prize.
Western Alienation Merit Badge
Katie Daubs is a reporter at the Toronto Star. A graduate of Carleton University, she won a William Southam Journalism Fellowship in 2016 and has been nominated for three National Newspaper Awards. Born in Forest, Ontario, she lives in Toronto. This is her first book.
The Missing Millionaire
Cherie Dimaline’s young adult novel The Marrow Thieves shot to the top of the bestseller lists when it was published in 2017, and stayed there for more than a year. It won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Kirkus Prize in the young adult literature category, the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature, was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award and, among other honours, was a fan favourite in the 2018 edition of CBC’s Canada Reads. It was also a Book of Year on numerous lists including the National Public Radio, the School Library Journal, the New York Public Library, the Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire and the CBC. Cherie was named Emerging Artist of the Year at the Ontario Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts in 2014, and became the first Indigenous writer in residence at the Toronto Public Library. From the Georgian Bay Métis Community in Ontario, she now lives in Toronto.
Empire of Wild
Farzana Doctor is the award-winning author of Stealing Nasreen, Six Metres of Pavement and All Inclusive, and was named one of CBC Books’ “100 Canadian Writers You Need to Know Now”. She recently completed Seven (Dundurn, 2020), her fourth novel. She is also a psychotherapist and #EndFGM activist.
Cory Doctorow is a coeditor of Boing Boing, a special consultant to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an MIT Media Lab Research Associate and a visiting professor of Computer Science at the Open University. His award-winning novel Little Brother and its sequel Homeland were a New York Times bestsellers. Born and raised in Toronto, he lives in Los Angeles.
Ben Dugas is a Product Manger at Rakuten Kobo Inc and has lived in the world of ebooks for just over a decade. He used to work on improving content quality and content support and now focuses on matching products, disambiguating contributors and solving other data related problems.
Camille Dundas is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Canada’s leading Black Canadian online magazine, ByBlacks.com. She has won two national ethnic media press awards and a commendation from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Camille spent 10 years as a TV news reporter and producer, working on shows for CTV and CBC.
Nicholas Eames was born to parents of infinite patience and unstinting support in Wingham, Ontario. Though he attended college for theatre arts, he gave up acting to pursue the much more attainable profession of ‘epic fantasy novelist.’ Kings of the Wyld was his first novel.
Amal El-Mohtar is an award-winning author, editor, and critic. Her fiction has most recently appeared on Tor.com and Uncanny Magazine, and in anthologies such as The Djinn Falls in Love & Other Stories and The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales. She teaches creative writing at the University of Ottawa.
This Is How You Lose the Time War
Alicia Elliott is a Tuscarora writer living in Brantford, Ontario. She has written for Globe and Mail, CBC, Hazlitt and many others. She’s had essays nominated for National Magazine Awards for three straight years, winning Gold in 2017, and her short fiction was selected for Best American Short Stories 2018, Best Canadian Stories 2018, and Journey Prize Stories 30. Her first book, A Mind Spread Out On The Ground, is a national bestseller.
A Mind Spread Out On The Ground
Cary Fagan’s numerous kids’ books include Mort Ziff Is Not Dead, the Kaspar Snit novels, the Wolfie & Fly chapter books and the picture books Little Blue Chair and the forthcoming What Are You Doing, Benny?, illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton. Mr. Zinger’s Hat, another of his picture books, was awarded the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and the IODE Jean Throop Award. He also won the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People for his body of work. In addition to his books for children, Cary is the author of six novels and three story collections for adults. He was born and raised in Toronto, where he continues to live with his family.
The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster
Cary Fagan is also the author of six novels and three story collections for adults. His books include A Bird’s Eye (finalist for the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize, an Amazon.ca Best Book of the Year) and the story collection My Life Among the Apes (longlisted for the Giller Prize, Amazon.ca Best 100 Books of 2013). Cary was born and raised in Toronto, where he lives with his family.
Terry & Eric Fan are brothers who made their debut with the acclaimed picture book The Night Gardener, which they wrote and illustrated together. They reside in Toronto. Visit them at www.thefanbrothers.com.
Melanie Florence is an award-winning writer of Cree and Scottish heritage. She is the author of the picture books Stolen Words and Missing Nimama. She has authored several YA novels including The Missing, He Who Dreams, and Just Lucky. Melanie lives with her husband and two children in Toronto.
Andrew Forbes was the 2019 Margaret Laurence Fellow at Trent University. His story collection What You Need was shortlisted for the 2016 Trillium Book Award. The Utility of Boredom: Baseball Essays is currently in its fourth printing. Lands and Forests is his third book with Invisible Publishing.
Lands and Forests
Cecil Foster is a leading author, academic, journalist and public intellectual whose work highlights Black Canadians’ fight for social justice and human dignity. In particular, Foster addresses issues of immigration in his critical discussions of the evolving discourse around who is a Canadian.
They Call Me George
Adam Foulds is a poet and novelist from London, England, now living in Toronto. He has been the recipient of many literary awards, including the European Union Prize For Literature. His 2009 novel, The Quickening Maze, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Dream Sequence is his fourth novel.
Brian Francis is the author of two previous novels. His most recent, Natural Order, was selected by the Toronto Star, Kobo, and Georgia Straight as a Best Book of the Year. His first novel, Fruit, was a Canada Reads finalist and was selected as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers title. He lives in Toronto.
Break In Case of Emergency
Joe Frank is an illustrator and writer. Nominated for the 2009 Pushcart Prize, he has also been honored as an emerging writer by the City of Hamilton Arts Awards in 2015. Joe lives in Hamilton, Ontario, with his wife, three children and chihuahua. You can find him online at josephthefrank.com.
Arthur Garber the Harbour Barber
J.M. Frey is an author, screenwriter, and professional smartypants, and she’s appeared in podcasts, documentaries, and on radio and television to discuss all things geeky. Her debut novel Triptych was nominated for two Lambda Literary Awards, and garnered a place among the Best Books of 2011 from Publishers Weekly.
The Skylark's Sacrifice
Valentina Gal is the blind daughter of Ukrainian immigrants who settled in Hamilton Ontario after WWII. While at McMaster University, she discovered that her city was diverse and peopled by colourful characters. Her writing and storytelling explore both her mother’s tragic history and her family’s adventures in becoming first generation Canadians.
Philipovna: Daughter of Sorrow
Don Gillmor is the author of three novels, Kanata, Mount Pleasant, and Long Change. He is also the author of nine books for children and four works of non-fiction. His most recent book is To the River. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Walrus, and the Globe and Mail.
Shinan Govani, a contributing columnist for the Toronto Star who was once dubbed “the go-to Canadian” by Page Six, is both social chronicler and pop culture decoder. He’s reported from Art Basel, in Miami, fashion weeks in Milan and Paris and film festivals at Sundance, Cannes, and Toronto.
Nick Green is a Dora Mavor Moore and Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award-winning playwright whose work has been seen across Canada and in New York. He co-wrote Every Day She Rose with Andrea Scott, which will premiere at Buddies in Bad Times this November.
Ken Greenberg is an urban designer, teacher, and writer, whose passion and advocacy for the city over the past decades has involved him in virtually every aspect of its remarkable transformation. He lives in Toronto.
Join Ken Greenberg as he presents The Word On The Street’s inaugural City Imagines keynote on urbanism and the arts on Tuesday, September 17th.
Elizabeth Greene has published three collections of poetry and a novel, A Season Among Psychics (Inanna, 2018). She edited and contributed to We Who Can Fly: Poems, Essays and Memories in Honour of Adele Wiseman (Cormorant, 1998). Her selection of Adele Wiseman’s poetry, The Dowager Empress, will appear from Inanna this fall. She lives in Kingston.
Season of Psychics
Kevin Hardcastle is a fiction writer from Simcoe County, Ontario. He studied writing at the University of Toronto and Cardiff University. He was a finalist for the 2012 Journey Prize, and his stories have been published widely in Canada and anthologized internationally. Hardcastle’s debut short story collection, Debris, won the Trillium Book Award and the ReLit Award for Short Fiction. His novel, In The Cage, was published to critical acclaim in 2017, and was recently published in translation in France and Germany.
Chantal Hébert, Toronto Star political columnist, cut her teeth in politics at Queen’s Park in the late seventies. Since then she has reported in French and in English on Canada’s constitutional and referendum wars, the 1988 free-trade debate, as well as the ups and downs of federal politics over the last 35 years.
Catherine Hernandez is a queer Filipina femme, Navajo wife, radical mother, the artistic director of b current performing arts, and an award-winning author of multiple books and plays. Her debut novel Scarborough was shortlisted for the Trillium and Toronto Book Awards. Her new children’s book I Promise (illustrated by Syrus Marcus Ware) is out from Arsenal Pulp Press in fall 2019.
Mike Holmes is a Canadian illustrator currently living in Philadelphia. His works include the graphic novel series Secret Coders and Wings of Fire, Animal Crackers: Circus Mayhem and Mikenesses. He’s a regular contributor to MAD magazine and has produced promotional art for comedian Patton Oswalt for 10 years.
Wings of Fire, The Lost Heir
Peter Howell is the movie critic for the Toronto Star. He’s also president of the Toronto Film Critics Association. Howell often discusses movies as a guest on radio and TV shows. He has been with the Star for 31 years, 21 of those as a member of the Star’s Entertainment Department.
Ann Hui has been The Globe and Mail’s national food reporter since 2015, using food as a lens to explore public policy, health, the environment, and agriculture. She has twice been nominated for National Newspaper Awards. Chop Suey Nation (Douglas & McIntyre) is her first book.
Chop Suey Nation
Doyali Islam’s poems have been published in Kenyon Review Online, The Fiddlehead, and The Best Canadian Poetry in English, and have won several national contests and prizes. Doyali serves as the poetry editor of Arc Poetry Magazine. heft is her second collection of poetry.
Maureen Jennings immigrated to Canada from the UK as a teenager. She is the author of the Murdoch Mysteries series which has been adapted into a TV series. The series is going into its thirteenth season. Before becoming a full-time writer, Maureen was a psychotherapist. She currently lives in Toronto with her husband Iden Ford and their dog, Murdoch.
Amy Jones’s first novel, We’re All in This Together, was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Originally from Halifax, she lived in Thunder Bay for many years before moving to Toronto. Every Little Piece of Me is her second novel.
Every Little Piece of Me
Andrew Kaufman lives and writes in Toronto. He is the author of international bestseller All My Friends are Superheroes, The Waterproof Bible, The Tiny Wife, and Born Weird, which was named a Best Book of the Year by The Globe and Mail. The Ticking Heart is his latest book.
The Ticking Heart
Edward Keenan is a city columnist for the Toronto Star who has lived in the city all his life. His book Some Great Idea: Good Neighbourhoods, Crazy Politics, and the Invention of Toronto explores Toronto’s history and identity crisis in the years since amalgamation, and he is also the author of the children’s book The Art of the Possible: An Everyday Guide to Politics.
Adnan Khan has written for VICE, the Globe and Mail, and Hazlitt. He has been nominated for a National Magazine Award and in 2016 won the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award. There Has to Be a Knife is his first novel. He lives in Toronto.
There Has To Be A Knife
Kirby’s earlier chapbooks include Simple Enough, Cock & Soul, Bob’s boy, The world is fucked and sometimes beautiful, and SHE’S HAVING A DORIS DAY (knife | fork | book, 2017). They also appear in Matrix Magazine, National Poetry Month.ca, Dusie, Canthius, Carousel, and The Rusty Toque (Pushcart Nominee). Their full-length debut, THIS IS WHERE I GET OFF is newly out from Permanent Sleep Press. Kirby is the owner/publisher of knife | fork | book
Andreya Klobucar is the founding Editor-In-Chief of Mimp Magazine: a platform & annual print volume with an aim to celebrate the infinite imperfections of the women around us and within. An imaginative storyteller and entrepreneur experienced in Publishing and Creative Direction, Andreya’s work revolves around creating opportunities to amplify the voices of women with a vision for the future.
Adrienne Kress is an award winning and internationally published Toronto writer and actor. She is the author of several children’s and YA novels, including the recently completed The Explorers adventure trilogy and the horror novel for the Bendy and the Ink Machine video game, Dreams Comes To Life.
The Explorers, Quest For The Kid
Bendy and the Ink Machine: Dreams Come To Life
Chris Kuzma is an artist living in Toronto, ON with his wife, two children and their cat. He divides his time between drawing comics, doing freelance illustration and teaching at OCAD University. He is one-third of the Wowee Zonk comics collective. This is his first all-ages graphic novel.
Sonnet L’Abbé is the author of two previous poetry books, A Strange Relief and Killarnoe, and Anima Canadensis, which won the bpNichol Chapbook Award. She won the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award and was the guest editor of Best Canadian Poetry in English. Her work has been internationally published and anthologized.
Ben Ladouceur is the author of nine chapbooks and the collection Otter, which was named a best book of 2015 by the National Post, nominated for a Lambda Literary Award, and awarded the 2016 Gerald Lampert Memorial Prize. In 2018, he received the Dayne Ogilvie Prize. He lives in Ottawa.
Mad Long Emotion
Born in Montreal to Rwandan parents, Didier Leclair grew up in different African countries, including Gabon, Benin, Togo and Republic of the Congo. He returned to Canada in the late 1980s. The author of eight novels, he has won the Trillium Book Award and the Christine Dimitriu Van Saanen Book Prize. The original French version of his novel, Ce pays qui est le mien, translated by Deux Voiliers Publishing’s Elaine Kennedy as This Country of Mine, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for French-language Fiction in 2004.
This Country of Mine
Fonda Lee is the World Fantasy Award-winning author of Jade City and the award-winning YA science fiction novels Zeroboxer, Exo, and Cross Fire. Born and raised in Canada, Lee is a black belt martial artist, a former corporate strategist, and action movie aficionado who now lives in Portland, Oregon.
Robert Lee is an upright bassist, composer, and bandleader in Toronto. He is a graduate from the University of Guelph and Humber College. Robert participated in the Spectrum Music New Voices Composers residency and attended the Keep an Eye Summer Workshop in the Netherlands. He was featured on Jazzology on JazzFm91
Ness Lee is an illustrator/artist based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in award publications such as American Illustration 35 and the Society of Illustrators 57. She has exhibited at galleries in Toronto, New York, Boston and Tokyo. She has a Bachelors of Design degree in Illustration from OCAD.
Jeff Lemire is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of such graphic novels as Essex County, Sweet Tooth, The Secret Path (with Gord Downie), and most recently, Frogcatchers. He lives in Toronto, with his family, and their troublesome pug, Lola. Find him online at @JeffLemire.
Diya Lim est lauréate du Prix littéraire Henriette-Major 2011 et du Prix du livre d’enfant Trillium 2019. L’auteure compte à son actif une douzaine de livres pour enfants publiés au Canada.
La marchande, la sorcière, la lune et moi
Lesley Livingston is an award-winning author of teen fiction, including the Wondrous Strange trilogy, which won the 2010 CLA Young Adult Book of the Year Award, and was named one of the “100 young adult books that make you proud to be Canadian” by CBC Books. Visit her at www.lesleylivingston.com.
Jason Loo is a Toronto-based cartoonist who got his start freelancing illustration work for magazines, newspapers, and educational books for children. He is the creator of Toronto superhero comic series The Pitiful Human-Lizard. Other comic works by Jason include a short story for volume three of Toronto Comic Anthology and art for volume five of Kill Shakespeare (IDW Publishing).
John Lorinc is a Toronto journalist and editor. He reports on urban affairs, politics, business, technology, and local history for a range of media, including the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, Walrus, Maclean’s, and Spacing, where he is senior editor.
John Lorinc will moderate The Word On The Street’s inaugural City Imagines keynote on urbanism and the arts on Tuesday, September 17th.
House Divided: How the Missing Middle Can Solve Toronto's Affordability Crisis
Nicole Lundrigan is the author of six critically acclaimed novels, including The Substitute and Glass Boys. Her work has appeared on best of the year selections of The Globe and Mail, Amazon.ca, and Now magazine. She grew up in Newfoundland, and now lives in Toronto.
Rachel Manley is an author and poet, best known for her memoir, Drumblair: Memories of a Jamaican Childhood (winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction), which was inspired by life with her grandfather, Norman Washington Manley, founder of Jamaica’s first national party.
Derek Mascarenhas is a graduate of University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies Creative Writing Program. Derek is one of four children born to parents who emigrated from Goa, India, and settled in Burlington. Derek currently resides in Toronto. Coconut Dreams is his first book.
Karen McBride is an Algonquin Anishinaabe writer from the Timiskaming First Nation in the territory that is now Quebec. She holds a bachelor of arts in music and English, a bachelor of education from the University of Ottawa and a master of arts in creative writing from the University of Toronto. Karen works as an elementary school teacher on her home reserve. Crow Winter is her first novel.
Dawne McFarlane‘s Scottish grandfather told her there were faeries in the apple tree when she was wee. Since then she has been telling stories around campfires, kitchen tables, in classrooms and at international festivals. She teaches the art and craft of storytelling to teachers in Canada and abroad, and is the Artistic Director of the Toronto Storytelling Festival.
rob mclennan lives in Ottawa, where he is home full-time with the two wee girls he shares with Christine McNair. His most recent poetry titles include A halt, which is empty (Mansfield Press, 2019) and Life sentence, (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019). His chapbook press, above/ground, recently celebrated twenty-six years.
Rachel McMillan lives in Toronto and is the author of the Herringford and Watts mysteries and the Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries; praised for bringing an authentic 1930’s Boston world to life while normalizing the fictional conversation around mental illness. Her first work of non-fiction releases in 2020.
Murder in the City of Liberty
Anubha Mehta holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political-Science with two decades of award-winning Canadian public service experience. Peacock in the Snow (Inanna Publications, 2018) was spotlighted by Toronto Lit-Up and launched a second time in India (Amaryllis Publications, 2019). Anubha is a celebrated author for 2019-2020 by Brampton Library.
Peacock in the Snow
Ishta Mercurio studied dance and theater at Simon’s Rock College of Bard. In between homeschooling her children, she teaches writers how to use theater techniques to improve public readings. She lives with her family in Ontario, Canada.
Suzanne Methot is a Nehiyaw (Cree) writer, editor, educator, and community worker born in Vancouver, British Columbia, and raised in Peace River, Alberta. She has worked in the non-profit sector, in the classroom, and in advocacy and direct-service positions in Indigenous community–based agencies. She currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Legacy: Trauma, Story, and Indigenous Healing
Khashayar Mohammadi is an Iranian-born writer/translator based in Toronto. He is the Host of knife I fork I book’s Chapbook club and the author of Chapbooks ‘Moe’s Skin’ with ZED PRESS 2018 and ‘Dear Kestrel” with knife I fork I book 2019. His poems have also appeared in Poetry is Dead, Bad nudes, Half a Grapefruit Magazine and elsewhere. He is currently working on a full length poetry manuscript.
A former language arts teacher with a PhD in English, Pamela Mordecai writes poetry and fiction. Her poetry for children is widely anthologized and used in language arts curricula internationally. Her debut novel, RED JACKET, was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Award. She is most famously, Zoey’s grandma.
A. F. Moritz has written nineteen books of poetry. His work has received the Griffin Poetry Prize, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Award in Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Poetry magazine’s Bess Hokin Prize, the Ingram Merrill Fellowship, the ReLit Award, the Raymond Souster Award, and three shortlistings for the Governor General’s Literary Award. His Griffin Poetry Prize–winning collection The Sentinel was a Globe and Mail Top 100 of the Year, and his ReLit Award–winning Night Street Repairs was named one of forty-three “books of the decade” by the Globe and Mail in 2010.
Jim Munroe is a “pop culture provocateur” according to the Austin Chronicle. His novels have been praised by comics legend Neil Gaiman, his lo-fi sci-fi feature films by Wired and The Guardian, and his videogames have appeared at Sundance and Cannes. www.jimmunroe.net
Téa Mutonji is an award-winning poet and writer. Born in Congo-Kinshasa, she now lives and writes in Scarborough, Ontario where she was named emerging writer of the year (2017) by the Ontario Book Publishers Organization.
Shut Up You're Pretty
Eden Nameri tells tales of all kinds, with a particular affinity for stories rooted in Jewish tradition. Her renditions of Bible stories and other classic tales incorporate a mixture of original and traditional interpretation, along with plenty of personal perspective.
Merle Nudelman is an educator, lawyer, and author of five books of poetry including Borrowed Light which won the 2004 Canadian Jewish Book Award for Poetry and The Seeker Ascends (Inanna Publications, 2018). Merle’s poems have been widely published and anthologized. Her essays on poetic inquiry appear in academic publications.
The Seeker Ascends
Suharu Ogawa is a Toronto-based illustrator originally from Japan. After working as an art librarian in California for several years, she packed up her suitcase and moved to Canada in 2011. Now she creates illustrations for various publications.
Why Don't Cars Run on Apple Juice?
David Oppenheim is a producer at the National Film Board of Canada where he is currently producing a number of creative non-fiction film, interactive, and immersive (VR) projects. Recent credits include Draw Me Close (Tribeca Storyscapes, Venice Film Festival) and The Space We Hold (Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Award).
Steve Paikin is the anchor of TVO’s flagship current affairs program, The Agenda with Steve Paikin. A native of Hamilton, Ont., Steve received his bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto (Victoria University, 1981) and his master’s degree in broadcast journalism from Boston University.
By day, Amanda Parris is a TV and radio host and writes a weekly column for CBC Arts. By night, she writes stories for the stage and screen. She is the co-founder of the award-winning alternative education organization Lost Lyrics and worked with the Remix Project and the Manifesto Festival.
The Other Side of the Game
Casey Plett is the author of the multi-award-winning novel Little Fish (Arsenal Pulp Press) and the short story collection A Safe Girl to Love (Topside Press), and co-editor of the anthology Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Science Fiction and Fantasy from Transgender Writers (Topside Press).
Andrew Pyper is the author of The Only Child, which was an instant national bestseller in Canada. He is also the author of six previous novels, including The Demonologist, which won the International Thriller Writers award for Best Hardcover Novel.
Zalika Reid-Benta is a Toronto-based writer whose work has appeared on CBC Books, in TOK: Writing the New Toronto, and in Apogee Journal. She received an M.F.A. in fiction from Columbia University in 2014 and is an alumnus of the 2017 Banff Writing Studio.
Douglas Richmond is an editor at House of Anansi Press, where he works on a diverse list of bestselling and award-winning titles ranging from literary and upmarket commercial fiction to memoir, pop culture, and cookbooks. Previously, he held editorial positions at HarperCollins Canada and University of Toronto Press.
Nathan Ripley is the pseudonym of Journey Prize–winner Naben Ruthnum. His first novel, Find You in the Dark, was an instant bestseller, and his nonfiction book, Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race was critically acclaimed and one of the Globe and Mail’s best books of 2017. Ruthnum lives in the Parkdale neighbourhood of Toronto.
Your Life Is Mine
Kelly Robson’s fiction has appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, and Tor.com. Her novella Waters of Versailles won the 2016 Aurora Award, and she has also been a finalist for the Nebula Award, World Fantasy Award, Theodore Sturgeon Award, Sunburst Award, and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. She lives in Toronto.
Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach
Bev Katz Rosenbaum is the author of several works of fiction. She has worked in-house as an editor for book publishers and magazines and has taught writing at the college level. Currently she juggles writing children’s books with freelance editing. Bev lives in Toronto.
Who Is Tanksy?
Auteur des séries Ariane et Nicolas, Ernest et Émilie et Petits récits de grands bouleversements, Paul Roux a écrit et illustré, à ce jour, plus de 195 livres et albums pour des éditeurs québécois, canadiens et français. En 2018, un de ses plus récents romans Gladiateurs virtuels, remportait le Prix littéraire jeunesse LeDroit et, en 2019, le Prix Tamarac.
Armand Garnet Ruffo was born and raised in northern Ontario and draws upon his Ojibwe heritage for much of his writing. A multi-genre writer, he is the author of Grey Owl: The Mystery of Archie Belaney and Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing into Thunderbird. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.
Kristin Rushowy is a reporter in the Star’s Queen’s Park bureau. Prior to that, she spent 15 years on the education beat, with a focus on early years and the move to full-day kindergarten. She was a member of a Star team that won a National Newspaper Award.
Devyani Saltzman is a Canadian writer and curator with a deep interest in relevant multidisciplinary programming at the intersection between art, ideas and social change. She is the Director of Public Programming at the AGO, working across all disciplines and was the 2014-18 Director of Literary Arts at the Banff Centre as well as the Founding Curator, Literary Programming, at Luminato. Her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, National Post, The Atlantic and Tehelka, India’s weekly of arts and investigative journalism.
Devyani Saltzman will participate as a panelist at The Word On The Street’s inaugural City Imagines keynote on urbanism and the arts on Tuesday, September 17th.
Diane Schoemperlen is the author of 14 books, including This Is Not My Life: A Memoir of Love, Prison, and Other Complications, shortlisted for the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize. In 2018, she was awarded the Molson Prize in Arts by the Canada Council. Diane has lived in Kingston for over 30 years.
Karl Schroeder lives in Toronto, Canada with his wife and daughter. He is the author of New York Times Notable book Ventus, and acclaimed Virga steampunk space opera series. A member of the Association of Professional Futurists, Karl consults and speaks about the future as well as writing about it.
Richard Scrimger has written more than twenty books for children and adults. Some of his recent books are Zomboy, Lucky Jonah and Downside Up. Richard is also a contributor to the popular Seven series, with Ink Me, The Wolf and Me and Weerdest Day Ever! Visit him online at www.scrimger.ca
Sharon Hampson, the late Lois Lillienstein (d. 2015) and Bram Morrison are some of Canada’s most famous children’s performers. The trio, known simply as Sharon, Lois and Bram, formed in Toronto in 1978 and went on to create two children’s television shows, most notably The Elephant Show, and to release 21 full-length albums. Though Lois died in 2015, Sharon and Bram have worked with Sharon’s daughter Randi and illustrator Qin Leng to turn their famous song “Skinnamarink” into a picture book.
Sharon, Lois & Bram's Skinnamarink
Writer and transdisciplinary artist, Sarah Sheard published her first novel, Almost Japanese, in 1985. Her political novel, Krank: Love in the New Dark Times came out in 2012. She edited at The Coach House Press for 13 years and has been an instructor at Humber School for Writers since 1995.
Leslie Shimotakahara holds a Ph.D. in English from Brown University. Her memoir, The Reading List, won the Canada-Japan Literary Award in 2012, and her fiction has been shortlisted for the K.M. Hunter Artist Award. Leslie lives in Toronto.
Craig Silverman is an award-winning journalist and author and one of the world’s leading experts on online misinformation, fake news, and content verification. He is the media editor of BuzzFeed News, where he leads a global beat covering platforms, online misinformation, and media manipulation.
Heather Smith is originally from Newfoundland, and now lives in Waterloo, Ontario, with her husband and three children. Her east coast roots inspire much of her writing. Her previous novel, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe, received a starred review from Kirkus and Quill & Quire.
Sophia Smith is a saxophone and woodwind player, composer and educator based in Toronto. Sophia’s work as a musician ranges from section player to band leader in many styles. Her modern jazz group, The Sophia Smith Quartet, is releasing their debut album this fall. Sophia studied classical performance at Wilfrid Laurier University before attending Humber College for jazz and commercial music.
Adam Sol is an award-winning poet, writer, and teacher. He has published four collections of poetry, including Crowd of Sounds, which won Ontario’s Trillium Book Award. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, with his wife, Rabbi Yael Splansky, and their three sons.
Kean Soo is the author and illustrator of the award-winning graphic novel series Jellaby and March Grand Prix, and was also an assistant editor and contributor to the FLIGHT comic anthologies. He currently lives and works in Toronto.
March Grand Prix
Ted Staunton is the award-winning author of over forty books for young people, including Bounced, and a roots/blues musician in whatever time is left over. A busy and popular presenter at schools across Canada, Ted also teaches writing at George Brown College in Toronto. Visit www.tedstauntonbooks.com
What Blows Up
Patricia Storms is a writer and illustrator with over twenty years’ experience. Her work has been featured in Chirp and KNOW magazines. Guy Storms works for the Toronto Public Library. Moon Wishes is the first picture book they’ve written together.
Kate Story is a recipient of the K.M. Hunter Award for her work in theatre. Her novel, This Insubstantial Pageant, was ranked a “top science-fiction read” by the Toronto Star. Antilia: Sword and Song is her first YA fantasy novel. Its sequel, Antilia: Seer and Sacrifice, was released in July 2019.
Antilia: Seer and Sacrifice
Smokii Sumac is a Ktunaxa two spirit and transgender poet and a PhD Candidate in Indigenous Studies at Trent University. Smokii’s debut poetry collection, you are enough: love poems for the end of the world (Kegedonce Press) won the Indigenous Voices Award for published poetry in 2019.
you are enough: love poems for the end of the world
Joel A. Sutherland is the Silver Birch and Hackmatack Award-winning author of numerous Haunted Canada books (a series that now has more than 400,000 copies in print), and the Red Maple Award Honour Book Summer’s End. His new series, Haunted, has been praised by Goosebumps author R.L. Stine.
Anoosha Syed is a Pakistani-Canadian illustrator and character designer for animation, based in Texas. She graduated with a BFA in illustration at Ceruleum: Ecole d’arts Visuels in Lausanne, Switzerland. Bilal Cooks Daal is her first picture book.
Bilal Cooks Daal
Kevin Sylvester is an award-winning writer, illustrator, reporter, radio host, producer and documentary maker. His books include the MiNRS and Neil Flambé series. Kevin’s superpower is that he can take a puck off the head and STILL finish a hockey game. Visit him at kevinsylvesterbooks.com.
The 2019 Toronto Slam Team is comprised of what makes Toronto so unique: vibrancy and voice. An amalgamation of new and established artists, this years team consists of AG, Gavin, Michael McNeil and Nells. A wonderful mix of identity, humour, politics, and humanity await any audience who witnesses them perform.
Logathasan Tharmathurai (Das) is a writer and information systems professional. He decided to write his memoir thirty-two years after leaving Sri Lanka. Das lives in Toronto, Ontario.
The Sadness of Geography
Jesse Thistle is Métis-Cree, from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He is an assistant professor in Métis Studies at York University in Toronto. He won a Governor General’s Academic Medal in 2016, and is a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholar and a Vanier Scholar. Visit him on Twitter @MichifMan
From The Ashes
Kai Cheng Thom is the author of four books: I Hope We Choose Love: A Trans Girl’s Notes From the End of the World, Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars: A Dangerous Trans Girl’s Confabulous Memoir, a place called No Homeland, and From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea.
I Hope We Choose Love
Maryem Hassan Tollar is a renowned Egyptian-Canadian vocalist, known for her world music performances as well as original compositions. She performs with Turkwaz, whose recording “Nazar” was nominated for a 2017 Juno award for World Music Album of the year. Maryem was the featured vocalist in Tafelmusik’s production of “Tales of Two Cities: The Leipzig-Damascus Coffee Houses”
Lynn Torrie is a member of the York Storytelling Guild and a regular host of Storytelling Toronto’s Storytent, where she indulges her passion for traditional folk tales. Her original adaptations have been told at the Toronto Storytelling Festival, the Ottawa Signature Series and Guelph’s Tea ’n Tales. When not telling stories herself, she teaches workshops in storytelling and coaches emerging tellers.
Sienna Tristen is the author of multiple-award-winning fantasy novel The Heretic’s Guide to Homecoming; she is one half of The Shale Project, a multimedia storytelling initiative “roughly in the shape of a planet”, dedicated to publishing healing and innovative fiction.
The Heretic's Guide To Homecoming
Joanne Vannicola is an Emmy award winning actor and has been nominated four times for her work in television and film in her career. She is also the recipient of the Leslie Yeo award for Volunteerism, 2019. Joanne is the chair of the LGBTQ committee, outACTRAto, founded Youth Out Loud (YouthOutLoud.ca), and is working on an LGBTQ YA.
All We Knew But Couldn't Say
M.G. Vassanji won the Giller Prize for The Book of Secrets and The In-Between World of Vikram Lall, and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction for A Place Within: Rediscovering India. His novel The Assassin’s Song was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction. Most recently, his novel Nostalgia was a finalist in Canada Reads 2017.
Kira Vermond has written more than 1,500 articles for adults as a journalist and six non-fiction books for kids about money, puberty, geography, science, fads and lies. When she’s not writing, she’s whistling while she works, singing with the windows wide open and cooking tasty stuff.
Why Don't Cars Run on Apple Juice?
Donovan Vincent is a housing and civic affairs reporter with the Toronto Star. His areas of specialty are feature writing, particularly stories that have human interest themes. He has extensive experience covering municipal politics, having worked for several years out of the Star’s city hall bureau during then-mayor David Miller’s time in office.
Brian Walsh is a professional Storyteller with a background in spiritual care, psychotherapy, world religions, and Celtic studies. Usually specializing in stories from Celtic Mythology, Brian is especially interested in sacred stories as vehicles for healing, wisdom, and building deeper relationships, all while having some fun along the way.
Jennifer Wemigwans is Anishnaabekwe (Ojibwe/ Potawatomi) from Wikwemikong First Nation and President of Invert Media. She is an assistant professor at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at University of Toronto.
A Digital Bundle
Zoe Whittall’s third novel, The Best Kind of People, was shortlisted for the Scociabank Giller Prize, is being adapted for film by director Sarah Polley, and was named Indigo’s #1 Book of 2016. She has also published three volumes of poetry. Her next novel, The Spectacular, is forthcoming with HarperCollins.
The Best Kind of People
Ian Williams is the author of Personals, shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award; Not Anyone’s Anything, winner of the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada; and You Know Who You Are, a finalist for the ReLit Prize for poetry. He was named one of 10 Canadian writers to watch by CBC. Williams is currently assistant professor of poetry in the Creative Writing program at the University of British Columbia. He completed his doctorate in English at the University of Toronto under George Elliott Clarke. In 2014-2015, he was the Canadian Writer-in-Residence for the University of Calgary’s Distinguished Writers Program. He has held fellowships or residencies from Vermont Studio Center, the Banff Center, Cave Canem, and the National Humanities Center. Born in Trinidad, Williams grew up in Brampton, Ontario, and worked in Massachusetts and Toronto before moving to Vancouver.
Andrew Wilmot is a writer, painter and editor, living in Toronto, ON. He is an academic editor, specializing in matters of body dysmorphia and eating disorders. He is also co-publisher and co-EIC of the online magazine Anathema: Spec from the Margins. The Death Scene Artist is his first novel.
The Death Scene Artist
A life-long Torontonian, Norman Wilner became the senior writer for NOW in early 2008. He hosts NOW’s free screenings at The Royal and TIFF’s Reel Talk: Sneak Previews at TIFF Bell Lightbox. He’s also the host of your new favourite podcast, Someone Else’s Movie (someoneelsesmovie.com). Norm lives in Little Italy with his wife, the magnificent knitwear designer and author Kate Atherley, and their terrible dog.
Jody Wilson-Raybould is a lawyer, advocate, and a proud Indigenous Canadian. She was Regional Chief of the Assembly of First Nations for British Columbia from 2009 to 2015 and was elected as Member of Parliament for Vancouver Granville in 2015. She was appointed the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, making her the first Indigenous person to serve in this portfolio.
From Where I Stand
Born in England to South American parents, Evan Winter was raised in Africa near the historical territory of his Xhosa ancestors. Evan has always loved fantasy novels, but when his son was born, he realized that there weren’t many epic fantasy novels featuring characters who looked like him. So, before he ran out of time, he started writing them.
The Rage of Dragons
Jessica Duffin Wolfe teaches immersive storytelling at Humber College, where she is a Professor in the Faculty of Media & Creative Arts. Her current creative work spans VR, writing, and programming, and grows from her varied background in literary scholarship, design, film, and journalism.
Tory Woollcott is a cartoonist, writer and literacy educator & advocate who lives in Toronto, Canada. Her first graphic novel, Mirror Mind, was an autobiographical memoir about growing up with dyslexia. Tory’s latest graphic novel is Science Comics: The Brain with artist Alex Graudins.
Science Comics: The Brain
Kristy Woudstra is an award-winning writer and editor. She has worked for HuffPost, Today’s Parent, Outdoor Canada, MoneySense, The United Church Observer as well as international development organizations. Her writing has appeared publications such as The Walrus, Canadian Living, Geez and This.
Andrew Yates is the managing editor of news at HuffPost Canada. He first started working in digital news and current affairs as a producer at the National Post Online in 2000. Prior to HuffPost, Andrew was senior producer of social media and community engagement at CBC News.
Bänoo Zan is an immigrant poet and poetry curator with over 180 published pieces and three books, including Songs of Exile (2016) and Letters to My Father (2017). She is the founder of Shab-e She’r (Poetry Night), Toronto’s most diverse and brave poetry reading and open mic series (inception 2012).
Janice Zawerbny has been an editor for more than twenty years in Canadian publishing. She has edited numerous critically acclaimed and bestselling books of fiction and non-fiction. She is an editing instructor at Ryerson University, and a senior editor at HarperCollins Canada.
Lindsay Zier-Vogel is a Toronto-based writer, arts educator, and the creator of the internationally-acclaimed Love Lettering Project. Since 2004, Lindsay has asked participants in over 250 events to write love letters to their communities and has two kids’ books about the project coming out with Kids Can Press.