View the full line-up below. Click on an event to purchase tickets.

Errata in the Program-at-a-Glance:
11. WR Writing Point of View ends at 3:00 pm
36. The Big Idea ends at 8:30 pm

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September 2018

1. Why YA?: Children’s Authors on Kidlit

September 26 @ 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Islandview Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Kenneth Oppel and Tim Wynne-Jones are prolific, award-winning children’s authors. Ken brings us middle-grade graphic novel Inkling, about an artist’s ink blot that comes to life, and Tim Wynne-Jones presents crossover YA thriller The Ruinous Sweep. In conversation with kidlit editor Shelley Tanaka, Ken and Tim talk about why they write for kids, the phenomenal rise in crossover fiction --- books written for children and young adults but attractive to adults --- and why it’s important for adults to read children’s and…

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2. An Evening with Rawi Hage

September 26 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Bellevue Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Join us for a spectacular evening of elevated conversation when two-time Giller Prize shortlist nominee and winner of the prestigious IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, Rawi Hage, presents his brilliant new novel, Beirut Hellfire Society. Returning to the territory first imagined in his debut novel, De Niro’s Game, the novel combines comedy and tragedy and serves as “an urgent meditation on what it is to love through war.” Rawi reads and shares his thoughts with master interviewer Eric Friesen. Cash bar. Media…

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4. Keeping Secrets: YA Fiction *SOLD OUT!*

September 27 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am
Islandview Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Veteran Kingston author Maureen Garvie and debut novelist Kagiso Lesego Molope discuss the secret burdens their characters bear, burdens with which we all grapple – our private conflicts of conscience, the tension we feel between loyalty and doing the right thing, whether keeping others’ secrets is really in their best interest, and the difficulty of deciding the right course of action. Their characters’ struggles and how they handle them can shed light on our own and show us a way…

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5. Marco Polo & Me: On the Silk Road *52% Sold!*

September 27 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am
Bellevue Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Debut author Kate Harris proves that the old-school adventurer/explorer, “equal parts swashbuckler and metaphysician” isn’t dead. Named a “fearless female author” by Kobo on International Women's Day and one of 33 "audacious Canadians" featured in Glorious & Free, Kate talks about her youthful hopes and dreams, and shares the story of her extraordinary, off-the-charts travels along the ancient trade route into the forbidden territory of Tibet – an exploration made without a visa, and on a bicycle. With travel adventurer/writer Kate Kristiansen. Bellevue Room 9:30 - 10:30 am…

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7. Living in Tumultuous Times: Historical Fiction *SOLD OUT!*

September 27 @ 10:59 am - 12:00 pm
Islandview Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Inspired by the autobiography of a real teenage girl living in post-revolutionary France late in the 18th century, Sandra Gulland’s YA novel is both timely and of another time. Hortense’s beloved father was guillotined during “The Terror,” her mother’s new husband is Napoleon Bonaparte, destined for power, and her brother is a soldier in Napoleon’s army. Sandra knows this era well. Her novels of Josephine Bonaparte and Louis XIV are international bestsellers. Then and now, political intrigue and love are timeless.…

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10. The Boy in the Photo: Life in Syria and The Refugee Crisis *75% sold!*

September 27 @ 12:29 pm - 1:30 pm
Islandview Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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For Canadian immigrant Tima Kurdi, the aunt of Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi, private tragedy became universal symbol when the toddler’s death on a Mediterranean beach captured worldwide public imagination. Tima speaks with author Lawrence Scanlan about her attempts to find peace after their family tragedy and shares her hope that war somehow can change us for the better. She talks about the personal and societal devastation of war, and the difficulty of leaving home to put down roots in a new…

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13. Tough and Tender: Visceral Short Fiction

September 27 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Bellevue Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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When does love cross the line into obsession? Can we pinpoint the moment that irrevocably shapes the person that we become? Join short-form authors Paige Cooper and Adrian Michael Kelly as they discuss their debut short-fiction collections and explore the relationships of fathers and sons, scientists and their inventions, star-crossed lovers and estranged kin. Acclaimed short-fiction author, editor, and anthologist John Metcalf, currently the fiction editor at Biblioasis, leads the conversation. Bellevue Room 2:00 - 3:00 pm Advance GA $20 Senior $18…

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14. The Isle of Woman: Fiction and Poetry

September 27 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Islandview Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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In her newest novel, award-winning author Merilyn Simonds writes about a mature woman living on a remote island. Celebrated poet Lorna Crozier, hailed by Ursula K. Le Guin as a "storyteller, truth-teller, and visionary" is a mature woman living on a remote island. Together, they share snippets of their new work and unpack a lifetime of stories, rendered in prose and poetry. They provide deep insight, humour, wisdom, and answers to life’s most challenging questions, possible only when one reaches “a certain age.”…

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19. The State of the Book

September 28 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am
Bellevue Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Anna Porter, Phyllis Bruce, and John Metcalf collectively have edited or published an astonishing list of Canlit giants. With Hal Wake, these dedicated cultural workers reminisce about the golden age of Canadian publishing and reflect on what the future holds for contemporary Canadian writers and publishers. Can we and should we keep alive the canon of Canadian books and authors? How do we then give space to emerging writers, especially those who push the boundaries of what we might recognize as a Canadian…

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20. Invisible Wounds: Fiction

September 28 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Islandview Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Unfortunately, this event has been cancelled, due to unforeseen circumstances. We apologize for the inconvenience.  Patrick Lane, prolific, award-winning poet and novelist, makes his first appearance at Kingston WritersFest with Deep River Night, a novel set post-WWII in a remote sawmill community in BC’s interior. Patrick reads and chats with author Wayne Grady about human frailty, both psychological and physical, and shares how his own health challenges helped him to understand the damaged character of his protagonist, veteran Art Kenning, a first-aid…

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22. The Beginning, The End, and the Middle: Poetry

September 28 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Bellevue Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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An extraordinary opportunity to hear one of Canada’s most renowned and accomplished poets in conversation with an exciting debut poet. Dionne Brand is an essayist and writer of short and long-form fiction, but her most recent work is poetry collection The Blue Clerk: Ars Poetica in 59 Versos. Canisia Lubrin presents her debut collection Voodoo Hypothesis. Together they explore memory, language, culture, literary trends, and time, and the relationships between the artist and the world, and between the artist and art.     Bellevue 1:00 - 2:00 pm Advance GA…

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23. Run to Freedom: Historical Fiction

September 28 @ 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Bellevue Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Giller-winning author Esi Edugyan presents Washington Black, a fearful 11-year-old field slave in Barbados who is lifted into a world of imagination and freedom by a mysterious explorer and abolitionist, brother to Wash’s vicious owner. Esi is joined by Amazon.ca First Novel Award winner Wayne Grady. He presents Up From Freedom, about an American white man’s hunt for his son, born to an enslaved mother, when the boy runs away through a country in turmoil. A conversation about seeing each other as human, no matter our differences.  Moderated by Lawrence Scanlan. Bellevue 2:30 - 3:30 pm Advance GA $20 Senior $18 / Festival GA $22 Senior $20

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25. With Her: Wry Observations of a Feminist *81% Sold!*

September 28 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Bellevue Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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In journalist Elizabeth Renzetti’s insightful and deliciously witty essay collection Shrewed, she writes: “To be a feminist woman is to walk around, daily, confronted with your empowerment and your diminishment at the hands of others.” Elizabeth shares the personal and the political: from how she responds to her son’s innocent question, “do you know any feminists?” to the uphill battle for women in politics, to her unforgettable experiences among pussyhat-wearing millennials and placard-bearing octogenarians during the 2017 Women’s March on Washington.  Media Sponsor: FLY FM Bellevue 4:00 - 5:00 pm Advance GA $20 Senior $18 / Festival GA $22 Senior $20

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29. Author! Author!

September 29 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am
Bellevue Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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We celebrate David Chariandy’s remarkable early career; his debut novel Soucouyant received 11 award nominations, including the Governor General's Award and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His second novel, Brother, described by the Guardian as “an exquisite Canadian novel about growing up in a poor immigrant neighbourhood of danger and futile dreams” won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. With his first creative non-fiction work, I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You: A Letter to My Daughter, David addresses his teenager’s questions about the politics of race and her own heritage. Moderated by Aara…

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30. The Power of Kindness

September 29 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Bellevue Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Can kindness be taught? Brian Goldman, host of CBC’s White Coat, Black Art traversed the globe to investigate cutting-edge science on kindness. Brian subjected himself to tests and scans of all kinds, attempting to allay his fear that he’d lost the attribute of kindness or maybe never had it. With the growing propensity in all of us to lack empathy and compassion in the face of suffering, and an inability to see “the other” as human, Brian talks with Mike Condra about the important repercussions of this trend.   Bellevue 11:00 am - 12:00 pm Advance GA $20 Senior $18 / Festival…

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33. Creeps and Chills: Griplit and the Movies

September 29 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Bellevue Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Movie-worthy suspense and atmosphere, plot twists, and characters that will keep you awake at night and just give you the icks, from authors Nathan Ripley, Iain Reid, and Elisabeth de Mariaffi. Join Kingston Canadian Film Festival director Marc Garniss, as he gets the inside track on the growth of “griplit” as a genre and how easily it lends itself to adaptation for TV or film and finds out how perfectly nice people can write such perfectly scary stuff!   Event sponsor: Chris James Media Sponsor: 98.9 The Drive A…

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35. Family, Calamity & Survival: Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

September 29 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Bellevue Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Waubgeshig Rice brings us Moon of the Crusted Snow, a thriller that strikes the reader first with the subtle, unremarkable line of catastrophe - the moment that life as we know it changes - and then brings home the realization that something terrible has happened. As the routine of their remote Anishinaabe community collapses, Waub's characters respond as best they can to the growing urgency of survival, and must adapt or perish. With Brent Bellamy, Waub talks about what happens after apocalypse and…

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36. The Big Idea: Racism, Sexism, Xenophobia, and Violence: Connection and Cure

September 29 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Bellevue Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Sexism, racism, intolerance, and dehumanization are most often instigated by men, often young men. With a worldwide resurgence of white supremacy, demonization and persecution of refugees and immigrants, and continuing inequality and sexual abuse of women, it is urgent that we identify the overarching problem and seek solutions. Join Daemon Fairless (Mad Blood Stirring: The Inner Lives of Violent Men), Rachel Giese (Boys: What It Means to Become a Man), and Jamil Jivani (Why Young Men: Rage, Race, and the Crisis of Identity) in this critical discussion. Moderated by Carol Off.   Event Sponsor: The Walrus  Bellevue Room 6:30 - 8:30 pm Advance GA…

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39. Eating, Reading, and Race: Food and Cultural Representation

September 30 @ 9:30 am - 10:30 am
Islandview Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Food can evoke a cultural identity but can also become a shorthand for cultural clichés or an avenue of appropriation.  Author Naben Ruthnum’s witty book  Curry: Eating, Reading, and Race meditates on how that blend of spices monolithically known as curry actually varies district to district and cook to cook, and is sometimes conflated in Western understanding with Indian culture itself.  Joining Naben is The Globe and Mail's National Food Reporter Ann Hui, who writes about food issues, including the relationships between food and culture.  Islandview 9:30 -…

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40. The Hip

September 30 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Bellevue Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Journalist Michael Barclay spent years on the road, following and writing about The Tragically Hip and their music. Kingston natives, the band sold millions of records and defined a generation of the band, their music, peers, opening acts, naming as members of the Order of Canada for the members’ contributions to Canadian culture, and their stunning Man Machine Poem tour, watched by millions worldwide, and culminating in an unforgettable performance in Kingston’s Market Square. Moderated by Sideshow. Media Sponsor: KROCK 105.7 Bellevue 11:00…

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43. Women’s Work: Fiction

September 30 @ 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Islandview Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Award-winning non-fiction author  Katherine Ashenburg presents a fictionalized account of the wives of two famous Swedish artists, the women’s ambitions and talents, and the boundaries of ambition and friendship. Award-winning author Helen Helen Humphreys presents the story of famed fly tyer Megan Boyd, a reclusive Scotswoman who builds a solitary life doing what she feels called to do. Katherine and Helen chat with Bill Richardson about these extraordinary women and their distinctive stories of creativity, industry, and home. Islandview 12:30 - 1:30 pm Advance GA $20 Senior $18 / Festival GA $22 Senior $20

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45. Home in Any Country: Non-Fiction

September 30 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Bellevue Room, Holiday Inn, 2 Princess St
Kingston, Ontario K7L 1A2 Canada
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Sisonke Msimang is a South African writer and political analyst whose TED Talk has received more than 1.25 million views. Her family fled South Africa as political refugees when she was a child. Living in Kenya, Australia and Canada, Sisonke returned to South Africa in 1990, the year Nelson Mandela was released from prison. She carries on her parents’ passion for politics and possibility, focusing on race, class and gender issues in South African and global culture. Sisonke reads from her memoir and shares her thoughts on what belonging means. Moderated by Barbara Bell. Bellevue 2:00 - 3:00 pm Advance GA…

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FESTIVAL TICKET INFO + PRICES 2018

Want more info?

Click on our digital Program Guide or Schedule-at-a-Glance to view and download!

Tickets can be purchased directly from the Grand Theatre Box Office online (click the ‘Buy Now’ ticket icon), in person at 218 Princess Street, or by phone (613-530-2050) until 6 pm on Tuesday, September 25, 2018. International Marquee tickets will continue to be sold through the Grand until the event start time.

Ticket prices are listed as Pre-Festival (purchased by 6 pm on Tuesday, September 25), and Festival (all tickets purchased once the Festival has begun):
Regular Onstage and Festival Field Trip events
General Admission $20 Adv/$22 Fest; Senior $18 Pre/$20 Fest; Student $5 Pre/ $8 Fest
Writers Retreat Classes General Admission $35 Pre/$40 Fest; Senior $32 Pre/$38 Fest
Celebrate the Literary: Breakfast with Peter Carey; Robertson Davies Dinner -and- Book Lovers’ Lunch
General Admission $45 Pre/$50 Fest; Senior $40 Pre/$45 Fest
Saturday Night SpeakEasy General Admission $30 Pre/$35 Fest; Senior $27 Pre/$32 Fest
Forgotten Foods of Forest, Field, & Orchard General Admission $25 Pre/$28 Fest; Senior $22 Pre/$25 Fest
BUY 5 and SAVE – available for regular events OR Writers Retreat classes! Simply add EITHER 5 regular onstage OR 5 Writers Retreat tickets to your cart and the discount will automatically be applied.

OFFSEASON EVENTS: View event description carefully for details on price, advance sale cut-offs, and venue.

FEES: All ticket prices include HST. Please be advised that the Grand Theatre Box Office will add a handling fee of $3.50/ticket.

TICKET PICK-UP: Any tickets – EXCEPT International Marquee tickets –  that are not picked up at the Grand Theatre before 12 pm on Wednesday, September 26th will be brought to the onsite box office at the Holiday Inn. You may pick up your tickets there at any time during onsite box office hours (30 minutes before the first onsite event of the day til 15 minutes after the last event of the day).

During the festival, tickets are ONLY available onsite from the Festival Box Office on the main floor of the Holiday Inn Kingston Waterfront.

EXCHANGES and REFUNDS: We do not offer exchanges or refunds on tickets (except when an event is cancelled), so please plan before you buy. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of KWF staff.

PHOTOGRAPHS: No flash photography, video recorders or tape recorders, please.