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Writers Studio |  Ticketed Event

Voaden Prize Reading

Bellevue Room, Holiday Inn 2 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario

Kingston WritersFest and the Dan School of Drama and Music proudly present a staged reading of Damian Tarnopolsky's The Defence, the winning play of the 2019 Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition. Join us for an exclusive first look at the winning play at Kingston WritersFest. Previous Voaden Prize winners include Jordan Tannahill for Late Company and Norman Yeung […]

Visual Storytelling

Sir John A. Macdonald Room Holiday Inn, Kingston Waterfront, 2 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario

Images have the power of saying a lot with a little. In this class, educator, entrepreneur, and creative Claire Bouvier shows you the importance of light and darkness when telling a story and how to use different perspectives to emotionally connect with your audience. After a brief outdoor photography expedition, an exploratory opportunity to take photographs as […]

And the Journey Continues

Garden, Holiday Inn 2 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario

A hit every year! Come celebrate emerging local talent with a set of energizing, provocative, and powerful spoken-word performances. Headlined by Kingston’s own verbal powerhouse Allison Chisholm, Toronto spoken-word poet Abena Beloved Green, and Poetry in Voice artist Cyrena Fiel, this event promises to make you see the world in a different way – maybe more […]

Celebrating the 2020 Trillium Book Award

The Word On The Street YouTube Channel

An evening celebrating the English language Trillium Book Award for fiction featuring finalists Zalika Reid-Benta (Frying Plantain), Seth (Clyde Fans: A Picture Novel), Martha Baillie (Sister Language), and winner Téa Mutonji (Shut Up You’re Pretty) hosted by Ali Hassan. Tuesday September 22nd @ 7:00 pm ET Presented in partnership with The Word on the Street Toronto with support from Ontario Creates

1. Selling Your Story: Agent’s Pitch Assessment *REGISTRATION FULL*

Zoom Webinar

Hoping to land an agent for your brilliant work-in-progress or finished manuscript? Book your 10-minute time slot now for a chance to pitch your pet project to agent Stephanie Winter, of P.S. Literary Agency. The agency represents a diverse list of internationally published, award-winning, bestselling, and debut creators. Their client list ranges from literary and […]

2. An Evening with Helen Humphreys

Zoom Webinar

Award-winning writer and former poet laureate of Kingston, Helen Humphreys brings us her newest grand and beautiful experiment in fiction: Rabbit Foot Bill. Set in a small prairie town, and based on a real-life story, it explores the ways people seek inner peace when their world has been upended. With an abiding love for, and […]

4. Elevator Pitch: “Mega Drop” Fiction

Zoom Webinar

With his signature tantalizing plot and gut-churning tension, Linwood Barclay offers Elevator Pitch, a best-selling novel that provides the thrill of a big drop fairground ride. A Manhattan office tower elevator falls from the top floor to the bottom, killing all its occupants. Next thing you know, another falls the next day, and then another. […]

Guest Storytime – Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe

Zoom Webinar

Join author and illustrator Matthew Forsythe for afternoon storytime, hosted by Kingston Frontenac Public Library. From E.B. White Read Aloud honor artist Matthew Forsythe comes a picture book about a magical drum, an emerald forest, and the little frog who dares to make her own music. The biggest mistake Pokko’s parents ever made was giving […]

6. #MeToo: Reclaiming Women’s Power By Outing Rape Culture

Zoom Webinar

In her review of Robyn Doolittle’s powerful book, Had It Coming, author Erin Wunker writes, “Now, after the watershed of #MeToo, where do we go and how might we get there?” Sexual harassment and rape culture are the realities that women face daily, and Robyn and fiction writer Danielle Younge-Ullman piece apart from the complex […]

8. Reaching for Hope: Transformation of a World in Peril

Zoom Webinar

Can humanity pull itself back from the abyss of extinction? In Commanding Hope, Thomas Homer-Dixon, analytical philosopher and author of bestsellers The Ingenuity Gap, and The Upside of Down, offers a compelling corrective to a prevailing pessimism that it’s too late to stave off climate catastrophe and that it’s hopeless to attempt change in time […]

11. Poetry for Where We Find Ourselves

Zoom Webinar

“What a place we find ourselves in now. What a mad and dangerous universe of possibility.” (Matt Suddain, The Theatre of the Gods) Poets Canisia Lubrin and Sadiqa de Meijer open up the universe of possibility in their poetry. Canisia interrogates selfhood against the contemporary backdrop of toxic nationalism and climate disaster; and Sadiqa writes about […]

12. Diner Cuisine: Tradition and Taste from the Catskills

Zoom Webinar

Diner food is comfort food, and the Phoenicia Diner celebrates the regional produce and food traditions of the idyllic Catskills mountains region. American author Sara Franklin has made a study of the relationship of food and agriculture to identification with place through the lenses of local food traditions and generational memory. Joined by Kingston food […]

13. RDL: Black Lives Matter

Zoom Webinar

Black Lives Matter is currently at the forefront of the news cycle, with worldwide protests and shocking stories revealed almost daily of incidents of systemic racism. In recounting a year of personal experience of racism, Black anti-racism activist and author Desmond Cole offers his experience as a lens through which we can see ourselves clearly. […]

14. The Importance of Oral Histories in Reframing History

Zoom Webinar

How does oral history align with, or contradict, received history? Join oral history scholar Sara Franklin as she talks with Kingston writer Laura Murray about how oral history might serve as a useful tool in the current reassessment of what’s important to remember and celebrate. How does it contribute to revealing what has been buried, […]

Grand Dames of Crime Fiction

The Word On The Street YouTube Channel

Move over Nancy Drew – mavens of mystery C.S. O’Cinneide, Gail Bowen, and Ann Lambert are writing award-winning mysteries with strong lady leads. Follow the trail along with these sleuths, from finding a body to solving the murder! Saturday September 26th @ 11:30am ET Presented in partnership with The Word On The Street Toronto.  

16. What is Certain? Historical / Speculative Fiction

Zoom Webinar

“Certainty is the catalyst that turns attitude into action, bringing beliefs to life and imbuing them with meaning and consequence,” writes Zakary Tormala in the Harvard Business Review. Praised by the Chicago Tribune as “hypnotically beautiful”, Aislinn Hunter’s novel The Certainties is also described as “elegiac and heart-pounding”, “a love letter in the guise of […]

17. Couple Cold Snap: Fiction

Zoom Webinar

Award-winning author Shani Mootoo said in a NowToronto interview: “I am interested in the fact that no matter how closely you live with someone, you can never really know what is in their mind.” In Polar Vortex, lesbian couple Priya, a Trinidadian, and Alexandra, who is white, have moved to a home in the country. […]

19. The Big Idea


Join Carol Off for a visionary exercise about what the future holds, with statistician Darrell Bricker, economist Jeff Rubin, novelist Catherine Bush, and novelist and memoirist Tessa McWatt. With unprecedented global upheaval, and huge challenges to be addressed – the ongoing health catastrophe of COVID-19, systemic and institutional racism, income instability, the rapaciousness of big […]

Poets on the Tangibility of Living

The Word on the Street Youtube Channel

Join poets Sachiko Murakami (Render), A.F. Moritz (As Far As You Know), and Randy Lundy (Field Notes for the Self), as they traverse a series of befores and afters, experiencing the darknesses of life and exploring what comes after. Sunday September 27th @ 11:00am ET Presented in partnership with The Word On The Street Toronto.

23. In Praise of Paths: Finding Direction in Nature

Zoom Webinar

Perhaps you’re among the many who recently have taken to walking as means of stress relief. Norwegian author Torbjørn Ekelund understands the healing potential of walking paths and trails. With writer and dedicated walker Kate Kristiansen, Torbjørn reflects on the interdependence of paths and walkers, paths organically taking us through a natural environment to a […]

Guest Storytime – Sunny by Celia Krampien

Zoom Webinar

Join debut author and illustrator Celia Krampien for afternoon storytime, hosted by Kingston Frontenac Public Library. Sunny is an unforgettable, transcendent story about the true power of optimism. Most people would say there is nothing good about trudging to school on a rainy day. Most people would say that being carried away by the wind […]

One Page Presents: Barbara Kingsolver

Zoom Webinar

Join KFPL and Kingston WritersFest, along with libraries and festivals across Canada, for the premiere event in the new One Page: Canada's Virtual Literary Series programme! For the first time in many years, famed author of The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver, talks directly to Canadians about her latest book, in this case, a slim and beautiful […]

One Page Presents: Anne Enright

Zoom Webinar

Join KFPL and Kingston WritersFest, along with libraries and festivals across Canada, for the second event in the inaugural  One Page: Canada's Virtual Literary Series programme! In Anne’s seventh novel, Actress, the Irish writer explores the creation and destruction of celebrity in the character of Katherine O’Dell as told through the eyes of her daughter, […]

One Page Presents: Tommy Orange

Zoom Webinar

Join KFPL and Kingston WritersFest, along with libraries and festivals across Canada, for the third event in the inaugural  One Page: Canada's Virtual Literary Series programme! In a sweeping yet nuanced exploration of identity and the role of Native Americans in a contemporary urban America (in this case, Oakland, California), Cheyenne and Arapaho author, Tommy […]

A@S: A Boy is Not a Ghost

Zoom Webinar

A Boy is Not a Ghost by Edeet Ravel Middle-Grade Fiction, Ages 9 - 12 A sequel to the award-winning A Boy Is Not a Bird, about a boy exiled to Siberia during World War II. Based on a true story. Ripped from his home, with his father imprisoned in a Siberian gulag, twelve-year-old Natt […]

A@S: Borders

Zoom Webinar

Borders by Thomas King, illustrations by Natasha Donovan Middle-Grade Fiction Graphic Novel, Ages 10-14 A stunning graphic-novel adaptation based on one of Thomas King’s most celebrated short stories, presented by Métis artist Natasha Donovan. On a trip to visit his older sister, who has moved away from the family home on the reserve to Salt […]

5. Adventuring Within: Reconnecting with Our Deepest Self

Zoom Webinar

In a modern world where connectivity is near constant, the idea of disconnecting can feel nerve-wracking, antisocial, or unproductive. Yet a pause - for a breath, an hour, or more - can help us feel restored, reinvigorated, and reinspired. In this event focussing on her book In Praise of Retreat: Finding Sanctuary in the Modern […]

6. Privilege, Power, and Dead Billionaires

Zoom Webinar

Award-winning novelist, short story writer, scriptwriter and photographer Thomas King is back with a stand-alone thriller that takes a sly and satirical look at politics, greed, and privilege. Mixing a smart whodunnit with a darkly humorous commentary on corporate and government corruption and inequality, Sufferance is being praised as one of his finest books to […]

WSS4. How to Read a Poem

Zoom Webinar

Many readers are intimidated by the idea of poetry. Whether the hesitancy stems from memories of verses recited in boring monotone in English classes or fear of an indecipherable maze of impenetrable imagery, poetry isn’t always our first choice for recreational reading. In this free and friendly seminar, Kingston’s Poet Laureate Jason Heroux will offer […]

00. Gunplay (After the Gun Goes Off)

Join the DAN School of Drama and Music at Queen’s University in partnership with Kingston WritersFest for the international debut stage reading of Gunplay (After the Gun Goes Off).  When Darryl and his friend Niko get caught using a pellet gun in the alley beside an elementary school, it triggers an active shooter response, hitting […]

8. Herbariums: Meditations on Forgotten Flora

Zoom Webinar

In Field Study: Meditations on a Year at the Herbarium, award-winning poet and novelist Helen Humphreys continues her series of nature meditations by taking a deep look at the mostly forgotten world of herbariums. With the help of archival photos, illustrations, and her own drawings, Helen reflects on the humble beauty of herbariums from the […]

9. (Ad)Verse: Indigenous-Settler Relations

Zoom Webinar

scoff·law /ˈskôflô/ noun INFORMAL•NORTH AMERICAN: a person who flouts the law, especially by failing to comply with a law that is difficult to enforce effectively – Oxford English Dictionary. The shady machinations of colonial legal proceedings in Canada are brilliantly captured in this personification of Garry Thomas Morse’s titular character. The sharp, funny, and playful […]

10. The Voices of Ghosts

Zoom Webinar

A long-buried bone found in the forest. A generation of women united by unspoken trauma. Mass graves unearthed. Voices united in protest. A secret that can no longer be hushed, and the slow, quixotic quest to bring those responsible to justice. In this event, authors Kim Echlin (Speak, Silence) and Judith McCormack (The Singing Forest) […]

11. Une Femme Disparaît / The Lady Vanishes

Zoom Webinar

Jocelyne Saucier avec Rhonda Mullins La Lecture et La Conversation Événement en français L'auteur francophone primée Jocelyne Saucier revient sur la scène du Kingston WritersFest avec un mystère d'une petite ville décrit comme Away From Her rencontre Strangers on a Train. Avec Rhonda Mullins, traductrice du livre français-anglais, Jocelyne parle de son dernier ouvrage, And […]

13. Brazen Tongues: Celebrating the Unashamed Self

Zoom Webinar

Speaking openly about women’s sexual lives and desires, outside of the fantasy or the male gaze, is still viewed as a rare and bold activity. In this event, author and poet Amber Dawn (My Art is Killing Me and Other Poems) and poet Molly Cross-Blanchard (Exhibitionist) address the subject head-on, talking with Aara Macauley about […]

14. The Lost Boy: Fiction

Zoom Webinar

Omar El Akkad was born in Egypt and grew up in Qatar before moving to Canada with his family. An award-winning journalist and author, he has traveled the world covering many important news stories, including the war in Afghanistan, military trials in Guantanamo Bay, and Egypt’s Arab Spring revolution. In a conversation with interviewer Jamal […]

17. Words as Solace: The Joy of Reading

Zoom Webinar

Written over the course of a decade peppered with grief and loss Big Reader: Essays explores themes of memory, loss, womanhood, disappointment, and joy, all underpinned by an abiding love of books. Author Susan Olding hopes the book leaves reader feeling “grateful for the incredible gift that reading is, especially in times like ours, where […]

16. The Long Shadow of War

Zoom Webinar

Award-winning author Guy Vanderhaeghe is back with his first new novel in nearly a decade, and readers will agree it was worth the wait! Along with interviewer Eric Friesen, the author of such titles as A Good Man, The Last Crossing, and The Englishman’s Boy, will discuss his lavish, suspenseful and beautifully written new novel […]

18. Deep Diversity: Enacting Authentic Change

Zoom Webinar

With more than 25 years experience in the field of diversity, equity and inclusion, Shakil Chodhury has developed award-winning training and tools for organizations seeking to improve their diversity outcomes. In this event, the author of Deep Diversity: A Compassionate Approach to Achieving Racial Justice will share his personal and professional story and offer ways […]

19. Fantastic Figures: the Magic in All Bodies

Zoom Webinar

Mermen, ogres, centaurs, and witches dwell on the pages of Amanda Leduc’s novel The Centaur’s Wife and Therese Estacion’s poetry collection Phantompains. In these two unique and beautifully crafted works, the narrator navigates trauma, grief, pain, and hope through a surreal and fantastical landscape. But these fabled figures also provide a lens into the lives […]

21. Brave New Words: A Dark Debut/ Un début sombre

Zoom Webinar

Content warning – this event discusses subject matter that some audience members might find distressing. Discretion is advised. Kevin Lambert is not even 30 years old, and already he is making a big name for himself in Quebec, and building a reputation for his controversial subject matter and powerful, poetic, inventive prose. Here with the […]

22. The Ache of Memory: Fathers, Sons, and Loss

Zoom Webinar

“Paintings are rarely sequential by nature,” says author David Macfarlane. “Paintings show you everything about themselves at the same time. This doesn’t mean you see everything at the same time in a painting. Seeing a painting is another matter.” Like stepping back from the details of a painting to take in its whole, Likeness: Fathers, […]

23. Selected Poems: A Mid-Career Retrospective

Zoom Webinar

Steven Heighton is no stranger to the Kingston WritersFest stage. As a bestselling novelist, essayist, memoir writer and now musician, his passion for writing and the creative life is writ large. This Fall, Steven is back with Selected Poems 1983–2020 - his seventh volume of poetry, which features curated pieces from his past six collections, […]

24. A Brief Interlude: Stories of Music

Zoom Webinar

“He writes with immediacy and verve, cutting out the unnecessary to leave only the most vivid.” — Literary Review of Canada Short stories tend to get short shrift in the world of readers. But there is much to be said for less is more. In this event, Mark Anthony Jarman joins Adrian Michael Kelly to […]

25. Making Mischief: The Trickster Trilogy

Zoom Webinar

Fans of magical realism, compelling family dramas, supernatural battles, and dark, humorous coming-of-age stories are in for a treat with this refreshingly unique trilogy about an Indigenous teen who discovers he may be the son of the magical Trickster. The first book in Eden Robison’s trilogy, Son of a Trickster landed her a Giller Prize […]

26. On Property

Zoom Webinar

In On Property: Policing, Prisons, and the Call for Abolition, his 96 page pamphlet for Biblioasis’ Field Notes series, academic and writer Rinaldo Walcott offers an urgent, persuasive, and far-reaching call for a new ethics of care. In this event, Rinaldo will discuss the links between property, policing, and the ways in which the racism […]

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