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Writers Studio |  Ticketed Event

Treaties and Ashes: Stories of the Indigenous Experience

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

Is a treaty a contract or an act of faith? A form of justice or just another way to tell a story? Poet-scholar Armand Garnet Ruffo and memoirist-historian Jesse Thistle excavate the deeper meanings and consequences of the agreements – written and unwritten, spoken and unspoken, personal and collective – that bind us all. With […]

An Evening with Michael Crummey *SOLD OUT*

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

***SOLD OUT*** Is there a slice of Newfoundland that award-winning Michael Crummey’s pen has not touched? No stranger to Kingston WritersFest, Michael is a warm, funny, and charming storyteller to spend an evening with in literary talk.  Join Michael and Steven Heighton as they unpack his latest novel The Innocents, a richly imagined and riveting […]

Two Authors, Two Women, Two Flights: Fiction

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

Two women, each at the top of a flight of stairs. One grips the banister. The other does not. Bringing them together in this conversation are Cary Fagan, author of The Student and Howard Akler, author of Splitsville – two powerful novels set in Toronto – that chronicle the extraordinary changes the city has undergone, […]

Skeptics and Seekers: What is Spiritual Living?

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

How do you live a soulful life? Anne Bokma reports on a year-long experiment of spiritual truth, beauty, trouble, and fun, as she consults a shaman, tries forest bathing, and hosts ‘death dinners.’ Susan Scott has collected stories about the messiness of faith, practice, religion, and ceremony – from writers such as Sharon Bala, Carleigh […]

All Things Observed

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

A festival-favourite, award-winning author Elizabeth Hay is back! This time she has turned her razor-sharp gaze on herself, her family, and the challenging journey of aging that lies in front of us all. Funny, insightful, brave and crafty, Elizabeth transforms the trials and tribulations of being a daughter in mid-life into vital prose. Join her […]

The Odd Couple: Fiction

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

Internationally-acclaimed Irish-Canadian author Emma Donoghue returns to Kingston WritersFest with a novel about odd pairings across generations, regions, language, status, and time. What links us is often far stronger than what separates us, and Emma’s writing is a formidable bridge of understanding in the modern world. Joined in conversation by another Irish firecracker of an […]

Women Who’ve Had Enough: Fiction

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

Join Irish-Canadian author Anakana Schofield and Newfoundland author Megan Gail Coles as they discuss small town politics, neighbourhood gossips, and the fired-up, fed-up female characters that populate their new novels. With moderator Aara Macauley, they explore the situations and frustrations that drive women to the edge, and the challenges and importance of addressing hard topics […]

Spills, Thrills, and Reading Wills: The Fiction of Fear

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

Petrifying plot twists. Treacheries you don’t see coming. Imaginations both out of this world and very much a part of it – strap yourself in for some well-crafted and honest suspense with two of Canada’s scariest writers, Andrew Pyper and Catherine McKenzie. Moderated by Marc Garniss, Director of the Kingston Canadian Film Festival, this event […]

Eternity in an Hour: The Power of Short Fiction

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

Seneca said, “As is a tale, so is life: what matters is not how long, but how good.” Many consider the short story the toughest form to master, but David Bezmozgis and HB Hogan have found unique ways to tell illuminating, sometimes difficult, and often personal stories in the short form. Joined by short fiction […]

The Fiction of Guy Gavriel Kay: Where Fantasy and History Collide

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

International best-selling author Guy Gavriel Kay has created almost as many worlds as he has written books, and each is fleshed out with history, culture, language, and religion. While many fantasy authors hide their inspiration, Kay admits it up front. A Brightness Long Ago creatively evokes the Machiavellian world of Renaissance Italy. Ben Charland chats […]

The Time Has Come: Achieving Gender Equality

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

For decades, author and educator Michael Kaufman has urged boys and men not only to embrace but to actively promote equal rights for women. Michael argues that men also stand to benefit from the ongoing gender equality revolution, which promises to unlock immense economic, cultural, and creative potential around the world. In light of continuing […]

The Reality Bubble

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

We are only capable of seeing a thin sliver of reality. But beneath and between the careful surface there are hidden forces that affect our lives in unexpected and even dangerous ways. Renowned science journalist Ziya Tong uncovers the unseen and unspoken, through the power of skin-unraveling X-rays, high-tech surveillance enabled by artificial intelligence, 360-degree […]

The Big Idea: Is Democracy Doomed? *SOLD OUT*

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

***SOLD OUT*** In this election year, the Big Idea focuses on a question that is on everyone’s mind: what is the future of Canadian democracy? Can cherished institutions endure ongoing assault from populism, climate change, social media, geopolitical turbulence, and accelerating social upheaval? Are our governments up to it? Join Indigenous poet and thought leader […]

Author! Author!

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

M.G. Vassanji’s award-winning novels are global in scope and scale. His most recent novel, A Delhi Obsession explores the contours, passions, traditions, and seeming impossibilities that link Toronto and Delhi today. Joined in conversation with broadcast journalist Eric Friesen, Vassanji will talk about the connections between his life and work, the inevitable sweep of history, […]

Hope Matters

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

The romance of the raven; the headstones in the clearing; the ember of justice; a cry to the bark-stripped moon – these are just a few of the many images in Hope Matters, a collection of poems centred around the journey of indigenous peoples in Canada from colonialism to reconciliation, and from home to the […]

Stitching in Time: Historical Fiction

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

Join international best-selling author Jennifer Robson as she unpicks, in gorgeous detail, Princess Elizabeth’s super-secret wedding gown in post-war Britain. With glimpses into royal protocols, couturier design houses, and the desperate privations of two young women who work on the gown, Jennifer illuminates a time when a nation set aside its desperate worries and celebrated […]

Fighting for Their Rights: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters in Early Canada

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

“Blacks have always been part of the Canadian story,” says author Cecil Foster, “but Canada did not always recognize the contributions that blacks have made.” When white unions refused to allow black workers into their ranks, the porters formed their own organizations to demand respect for their labour.  In conversation with Lawrence Scanlan, Cecil presents […]

Lady Franklin Writes: Where Historians Dare Not Go

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

In her debut novel, Erika Behrisch Elce explores the doomed Franklin Expedition from a fresh perspective, that of Franklin’s wife. The story begins with her anticipation of Sir John’s return and continues through her campaign for answers after his death. Written in a lively and instantly believable voice, this epistolary novel speaks back to standard […]

Sicilian Awakenings: Fiction

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

Some authors peel back the layers of character to reveal what makes us truly human. Some survey the historical record to find the lines that unite us through time. And some explore the passion, desperation, and terrible power of creativity, and the need to make something magical. Very few novelists do all of these; author […]

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

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. […]

5. Graphic Description: Memoir of a Moonie

Zoom Webinar

As a young woman at a crossroads, Marianne Boucher was introduced to a group of simple, kind, and loving people. She felt connected right away. However, using subtle brainwashing techniques, these recruiters indoctrinated her into the cult of a frightening spiritual abuser. In searing graphic novel form, Marianne, now a courtroom sketch artist, shares the […]

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, […]

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