The Word on the Street book and magazine festival hits the Harbourfront this Sunday, September 25, 2016. After four years of attending, I decided to spice things up this year and volunteer for the first time!
If you’ve never attended Word on the Street you should definitely check it out this weekend. Literary festivals are the bomb for so many reasons. You get to rub elbows with those in the biz, get some sweet deals on books, and most importantly, discover new and hot Canadian literature. If there’s one thing you should learn from this blog it’s this: can lit kicks ass (Thanks, St. Jerome’s!) and we should be celebrating it in the streets.
The only thing more fun than celebrating literacy is celebrating it as a community, and I’m looking forward to delving deeper into the Toronto literary scene after spending five glorious years in KW with its own vibrant, active literary community. Seriously, local literary communities are fantastic. People are very supportive of the literary arts, just take a look in your own town and you will probably find something. To prove it here is a long list of awesome experiences and wonderful fiction I’ve discovered at a myriad of festivals and literary events:
- Discovering The Walrus for the first time and getting a limited edition Kate Beaton tote bag for subscribing
- Hearing Yann Martel read and getting a signed copy of Beatrice and Virgil
- Getting a sweet recco for The Miracles of Ordinary Men by Amanda Leduc from the A+ staff of Words Worth Books – the very first book I ever reviewed for this blog
- Discovering a litany of high-grade independent publishing houses including my favourites House of Anansi and Coach House Books
- Contemplating what Can Lit is and laying eyes on a 2012 Gian Ghomeshi
- Volunteering at TNQ‘s Wild Writers Literary Festival and getting a sneak peak at how a quarterly publication does its thing
- Seeing David Sedaris in the flesh and crying from laughter at his tales of legendary book signings
- Learning about Broken Pencil magazine and the cross-over to the zine community with their own Canzine festival
- Watching Lawrence Hill in conversation with Farzana Doctor at the first FOLD
If you want to experience all of this, and more, in person, (and to make this post even more of a dumping ground for links) check out these festivals and events below. You may even spot me there!
- Word on the Street (Toronto) – A mainstay!
- The Reading Series at St. Jerome’s – 100% open to the public
- Wild Writers Literary Festival – Quality panels and workshops every time
- Indie Lit Night – Held at Starlight Social Club in Waterloo, ON; sadly this event is incredibly difficult to find out about online and may not even be running anymore…
- Canzine – For the zine-curious
- Chapter’s Author Events – Not just commercial hits! Memorable authors for me include David Sedaris and Vivek Shraya
- TYPE Books – Come for the independent store, stay for the show!
- FOLD – Bold, new, and celebrating diversity (my fave)