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The Word On The Street Toronto Announces 2014 Festival Highlights

July 8, 2014

TORONTO, July 8, 2014 —– The Word On The Street Toronto is thrilled to announce highlights of the author line-up and special events planned for the festival’s 25th edition on Sunday, September 21st feature new works that represent the quality and diversity of Canadian literature on more than 14 outdoor stages.

The Bestsellers Stage heats up with appearances by Francis Itani and Dionne Brand. Catch family-favourite Kenneth Oppel, as he presents his newest release, The Boundless. Authors Robert Rotenberg and Robyn Doolittle also take to the Bestsellers Stage for a conversation about the blurred line between fiction and reality at City Hall.

Spoken word poetry will be featured in a big way this year on the Vibrant Voices of Ontario Tent and the This Is Not The Shakespeare Stage. Festival guests are invited to The Word On The Street’s website to sign up to challenge the Toronto Poetry Slam and BAM! Youth Poetry Slam teams on festival day. Visitors to the This Is Not The Shakespeare Stage can be the first to take home an advanced reading copy of Megan Crewe’s series launch Earth & Sky: The Sky Trilogy, Book One. Bestselling YA authors Norah McClintock, Richard Scrimger, Ted Staunton, and Shane Peacock are back with their contributions to The Seven Sequels. Other YA highlights include Lesley Livingston, and Robert Priest.

A new festival venue, the New Narratives Tent, will feature award winning cartoonist and illustrator Nina Bunjevac’s upcoming graphic novel Fatherland. Join an interactive Zine Off presented in partnership with Broken Pencil Magazine, and check out bold new poetry including The Scarborough by Michael Lista. For art lovers, David Balzer and Margaux Williamson will be talking about art books, and musician Clara Venice will demonstrate the remarkable sound of the theremin, to accompany a reading of Us Conductors by Sean Michaels.

Supported by the Toronto Arts Council, The Word On The Street launches its inaugural visual arts program, Sculpting New Reads, inspired by new books from past Scotiabank Giller Prize nominees. Johanna Skibsrud, Kathleen Winter, Craig Davidson, and more will have their literary works interpreted by local artists, and installation pieces based on the books will be exhibited at the 2014 festival.

The Great Books Marquee features literary talent from across the nation, including Vancouver’s Ian Weir and Newfoundland’s Russell Wangersky, as well as Shani Mootoo, Paul Vermeersch, and Elyse Friedman. The Vibrant Voices of Ontario Tent will host the highly anticipated Girl Runner by Carrie Snyder and Sochi Delirium by Vladimir Azarov. The ever-popular Wordshop Marquee, featuring the Humber School for Writers, provides informative talks from great Canadian authors including Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, Andrew Pyper and Cathy Marie Buchanan.

The festival’s non-fiction venue, the Nothing But The Truth Tent, features the creative minds behind Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk as they present their book Darling, You Can’t Do Both (And Other Noise To Ignore On Your Way Up). Seek political enlightenment with Joseph Heath and find out how Mother Nature is Trying to Kill You with Daily Planet’s Dan Riskin. Living Well @ Penguin Random House presents a stage to inspire living your best life! Hosted by CBC personality Gillian Deacon, sessions will include panels on healthy whole eating and foods that heal, demonstrations of reach your full fitness potential, and more.

This year the festival will host even more ways for kids and families to learn, have fun, and be active outdoors. As title sponsor of TD KidStreet, TD will give visitors a chance to have their picture taken for free inside a giant, 12-foot storybook. Through a digital app, attendees can write their own story and then, along with their personalized storybook photograph, share it over email, Facebook, Twitter or Weibo.

Find entertainment for the whole family on the TVOKids Stage. Learn how to draw with Cary Fagan at the Children’s Activity Tent, and take part in activities with comic creator Brian McLachlan and OWL Magazine editor Kim Cooper. Celebrate the best children’s literary fiction at the TD Children’s Literature Tent with Andrea Lynn Beck, Laurel Croza, Governor General Award winning illustrator Matt James, and more. Middle grade fiction highlights include Helaine Becker and Michael Redhill.

The Word On The Street’s 25th anniversary season kicks-off on Thursday, September 18th with an event at the Toronto Reference Library. The eh List Author Series will feature Emma Donoghue, Russell Wangersky and Anthony De Sa reflecting on their careers and histories with The Word On The Street, and reading from their new and award-nominated works.

The Word On The Street Toronto is the place to connect with favourite authors and discover new talent, and all events are free. This year the festivities take place on Sunday, September 21st, from 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. at Queen’s Park Circle.

About The Word On The Street:

Each September, in the cities of Toronto, Halifax, Lethbridge, Saskatoon and Kitchener, The Word On The Street unites the country in a national celebration of literacy and the written word. Annually attracting more than 200,000 visitors to its Queen’s Park Circle location, The Word On The Street Toronto is the largest book and magazine festival in Canada. This year’s event takes place on Sunday, September 21st.

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