Icons Guide:

Writers Studio |  Ticketed Event

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

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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.

21. The Opposite of Identical: Fiction

Zoom Webinar

Annabel Lyon’s mysterious and heartbreaking new novel Consent centres on two pairs of sisters, one of them twins, whose lives become tangled together by tragedy. Saskia and Jenny may look alike, but the similarity is only skin-deep. Maddie and Sasha are sisters whose difficult relationship strains the notion of familial duty. Join award-winning novelist Annabel […]

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 […]

1. Uncle Tom: Distorted Nostalgia

Zoom Webinar

In Uncle: Race, Nostalgia, and the Politics of Loyalty, Professor and author Cheryl Thompson turns a critical eye to the character of Uncle Tom, tracing the evolution of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s martyr slave from a literary character to racial trope. Through the lens of literature, politics and pop culture, Cheryl examines what has become an […]

2. Love is in the Air: An Unconventional Romance

Zoom Webinar

Satellite Love is the beautifully crafted and inventive debut novel by artist and writer Genki Ferguson. Originally imagined as a short film, this tale of loneliness, alienation, love, and impermanence garnered high praise and was snapped up by Penguin Random House while he was still a student at Emily Carr University in the Film + […]

3. FFT: Before Attica: The Kingston Pen’s Forgotten Riot

Zoom Webinar

On April 14, 1971, one of the most violent and devastating prison riots in Canadian history erupted behind the walls of Kingston Pen. Yet fifty years later, few know the real story, and few are willing to talk about it. In Murder on the Inside: The True Story of the Deadly Riot at Kingston Penitentiary, […]

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 […]

7. The Long Term Crisis in LTC

Zoom Webinar

One of the greatest crises brought to light during the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly been the deplorable conditions that many of Canada’s long-term care residents find themselves living in. In this event, moderated by Ben Charland, Globe and Mail health reporter André Picard (Neglected No More: The Urgent Need to Improve the Lives of Canada's […]

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 […]

WS9. No Poem or Story Begins Until the Word “But” Appears

Zoom Webinar

In this workshop, Steven Heighton will lead the group to consider a literary ingredient that’s both vital and invisible: the emotional or dramatic pivot/hinge marked by the word “but” or some equivalent term. This hinge signals the complication, and thus the conflict, at the heart of any story or poem; it’s a switch that ends […]

$30

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 […]

20. The Big Idea: Addressing a Crisis

Zoom Webinar

Major world events don’t usually happen according to a schedule, but sometimes the consequences of tactical decisions can be seen miles off. When war, politics, and photo ops collide, the collateral damage often falls to those with no choice in the matter. In this unscripted year, we are taking the opportunity to use the Big […]

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 […]

1. An Evening with Heather O’Neill 65% SOLD

Islandview Room, Holiday Inn 2 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

In When We Lost Our Heads, two young girls from vastly different worlds and world views forge a fiery, star-crossed, and complex relationship united by a passion for dark and dangerous games. Torn apart by family, and thrown together by fate, the conclusion is sure to rattle you. Join Heather O’Neill and Tricia Knowles as […]

2. Late Nights with KWF: Reality Derailed

Islandview Room, Holiday Inn 2 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Pennie is living out a seemingly idyllic retirement in her new care home – surrounded by the woods, engaging with other residents in enriching conversations, and rediscovering her desire to paint. But is all as it seems? And is her mounting confusion really the effects of old age? Join Iain Reid in conversation with Aara […]

4. Otherworldly Adventures

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

Join E.K. Johnston, bestselling author of Star Wars: Ahsoka for an exciting new adventure into space with Aetherbound. Meet Pendt and a cast of other ambitious misfits for a heartfelt, thought-provoking, hard, and hopeful exploration of the far reaches of the galaxy, and of their own potential.   9:30 - 10:30 am EDT   Donations gratefully […]

7. Whose Dream Is It, Anyways? 75% SOLD

Islandview Room, Holiday Inn 2 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Growing up is hard for any teen. Trying to forge your own path and realise your dreams is hard enough without the weight of parental, societal, and cultural expectations. In this event, H.N. Khan and Louisa Onomé will discuss their books Wrong Side of the Court and Twice as Perfect, basketball, poetry, arranged marriages, and […]

8. Generations of Exile: Losing Tibet

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

In We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies, a haunting debut work of historical fiction, Tsering Yangzom Lama takes readers on a heart-wrenching, decades-spanning journey of four Tibetan women from a harrowing flight across the Himalayas to escape China’s occupation, to modern day Parkdale. Tsering will talk with scholar Asha Varadharajan about culture, colonization, displacement, […]

9. Dogs and the Writing Life

Islandview Room, Holiday Inn 2 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

No stranger to the festival audience, Helen Humphreys (And a Dog Called Fig: Solitude, Connection, the Writing Life) is back with another beautiful, meditative work. Join Helen and author Sarah Tsiang for an intimate conversation on the writing life – from the inspiration that comes from solitude, to the self-doubt that threatens with too much isolation, […]

10. Beneath the Surface: The Myth of Normal SOLD OUT – Virtual Tickets Available

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

Presenting the marquee event in our new Beneath the Surface series, which gives our audience and authors the opportunity to take a deeper dive into the topics that are important to all of us. This year we will explore activism, mental health, and identity. We are delighted to welcome Gabor Maté, internationally renowned author and […]

11. Women Interrupted

Islandview Room, Holiday Inn 2 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

A royal mistress to Louis XV and the wife of Siddhartha Gautama – who will later become the Buddha – learns hard lessons about the reality of living in the dark shadow of rich and powerful men. In times and places where falling out of favour threatens one’s entire mode of life, it takes strength […]

12. Bacon and Hamburgers

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

Ali Hassan and Stuart Ross take to the stage with a pair of meaty memoirs exploring humour, grief, and identity. The authors of Is There Bacon in Heaven? and The Book of Grief and Hamburgers will chat off the cuff about their work, and how their backgrounds have inspired their work. You’ll hear how they […]

14. Death by Misadventure: A Backpacker’s Disappearance in the Himalayas

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

Join journalist and author Harley Rustad and intrepid traveller Kate Kristiansen for a conversation on the fascinating life – and presumed death – of Justin Alexander Shelter. Lost in the Valley of Death: A Story of Obsession and Danger in the Himalayas investigates the enticing and perilous draw India has had on Westerners for centuries, […]

15. Mother Tongue: Identities in Verse

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

Sadiqa de Meijer speaks with a powerhouse trio of poets in this dynamic event. In their latest collections of poetry and essays, Nancy Jo Cullen (Nothing Will Save Your Life), Gillian Sze (Quiet Night Think: Poems & Essays), and Sarah Tsiang (Grappling Hook) take a lyrical, unflinching look at the intimate and messy realities of […]

16. Author! Author!

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

International bestselling, award-winning author Guy Gavriel Kay has been writing for nearly four decades, producing over a dozen novels which have been translated into 22 languages. Dubbed “one of the world’s greatest living storytellers”, the author of A Brightness Long Ago and Children of Earth and Sky returns to the stage with his latest novel, […]

18. Late Nights with KWF: Phantasmagorical Emergences

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

If words like brilliant, absurd, electrifying, kaleidoscopic, and transcendent pique your interest, you won’t want to miss this exciting late night event featuring John Elizabeth Stintzi with their sophomore novel My Volcano. In conversation with fiction and fantasy writer Adan Jerreat-Poole, JES – who has been likened to Haruki Murakami and Jeff Vandermeer by critics […]

19. To Whom the Wilderness Spoke: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence

Islandview Room, Holiday Inn 2 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Join award-winning author Merilyn Simonds as she speaks with Eric Friesen about Woman, Watching: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence and the Songbirds of Pimisi Bay – a beautifully rendered hybrid memoir/biography. As-the-crow-flies neighbours in the Northern Ontario woods, and both avid birders, Merilyn met Louise as she was publishing her last book and Merilyn was writing […]

20. In a Perfect World: Good Moms and Bad Days

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

Jessamine Chan’s explosive debut novel, The School for Good Mothers, takes a mother’s bad day to the dystopian extreme. Rattled by a series of disappointments and failures, Frida has a lapse in judgement that threatens to take away the only thing keeping her life together – her daughter, unless she can prove herself redeemable. Join […]

21. Restless States: Short Fiction

Islandview Room, Holiday Inn 2 Princess St, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

Acclaimed author Rawi Hage returns to the Kingston WritersFest stage with Stray Dogs, a globe-spanning collection of eleven stories featuring a motley crew of irresistible characters. Jason Heroux will talk with Rawi about his decision to explore the medium of short fiction with this publication (something Jason himself has on the horizon), the influences of […]

22. Beneath the Surface: Identities in Rupture: Memoir

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

Joshua Whitehead with Marshall Hill  Oji-Cree/nehiyaw, Two-Spirit/Indigiqueer novelist and poet Joshua Whitehead explores Indigeneity, queerness, the intersections of identity, and mental health in this captivating and much anticipated work of non-fiction, Making Love With the Land. With Marshall Hill, Joshua will discuss his emergence as major voice in the literary landscape following the publication of Jonny […]

25. The Big Idea: War of the Words

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

Panel Conversation: Mark Bourrie, Tajja Isen and Robyn Maynard with Carol Off  Good words that once meant something – like freedom and free speech – have now been hijacked and used to inject odious ideas into the public space. Dictator and fascist are now used so liberally that they have lost their meaning. And the […]

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