Kingston WritersFest looks for dynamic, book-loving people to volunteer during our annual Festival, which would not be possible without the nearly one hundred amazing volunteers that support us each year. Whether you have a lot of time or just a little, we have volunteer roles that are suited to your skills and expertise.

Apply to be a volunteer at the Kingston WritersFest:

Complete the online Volunteer Application form and click submit

PLEASE NOTE: All volunteers must complete the Volunteer Application form as follows, please read carefully:

Returning Volunteers: “I volunteered in 2019!”
A returning volunteer is someone who volunteered at the 2019 Kingston WritersFest.
If you have volunteered in the past, but not last year, please apply as a ‘new’ volunteer.
New Volunteers: “I’m new to Kingston WritersFest OR I’ve volunteered before but not in 2019.”
New volunteers may be required to complete a phone interview, as arranged by the Volunteer Manager.

Do you need more information? Contact our Volunteer Manager, Moira Demorest by sending an email to
Application deadline: September 20

Volunteer Job Descriptions

Attendance Tracker

Are you interested in helping the Festival collect demographic information? Curious about who actually attends the Festival? This new role will contribute important attendance information to the Festival’s statistical analysis by getting accurate counts of attendance. Discretion is key in this role as you ‘drop in’ on events to do targeted head counts.
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Do you see yourself as a leader? Your calm, competent manner is important in your work with a team of ushers and with the event Stage Manager. If so, we need your help to run event front-of-house.
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Do you love to drive? If you are great with people, have good knowledge of the city and access to a vehicle in good working condition, a valid driver’s license and auto insurance, the Transportation team needs your help to pick up and drop off authors or run errands.
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Field Trip Teacher Assistant

Do you like young people? Are you able to take charge of small groups of bright, motivated teens as you help the teacher to supervise their students? If so we need your help for our youth program to escort students to and from events.
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Do you love to welcome and interact with people? If you are warm, enthusiastic, and prepared with key knowledge about the Festival, we need your help as primary ambassadors to greet authors and attendees.
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Do you want to improve the experiences of our authors and volunteer team? Do you enjoy food and serving and believe in keeping an area clean and tidy? If so, join our hospitality team where you’ll be working in the Author Hospitality Suite or Volunteer Lounge making sure these areas are clean and inviting places to relax before or after an event.
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Are you an experienced volunteer with the Festival, flexible and ready to step in to any position when you arrive for your shift? If so, we need the help of our experienced volunteers to fill in, as needed.
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Set Up/Tear Down Crew

This is a pretty straight forward task, but absolutely essential to the Festival! Many hands make light work in this job. Volunteers can help at the beginning or end (or both) by brining supplies up to the designated Festival rooms. Chairs will need to be placed, as well as other staging equipment. It is paramount that you are in fit condition to lift heavy items. Wear comfortable clothes and solid, working shoes. In this position, volunteers will be under the direction of the Production Manager, but can take on this job in addition to other festival roles.
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Sponsorship Team

Sponsorship team members are involved in stewardship of sponsors, donors, and patrons. They help plan and promote events and host sponsor/donors during Festival events. These hosts are scheduled for each event. They stand near the ticket-takers; when sponsor/donors arrive, they introduce themselves and escort them to their seats. At the end of the event, where applicable, they introduce the sponsor/donor to the author and facilitates the sponsor/author photograph. Depending on your skills and interests you may be asked to participate in off-season promotional events and social media, market research assistance.
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Stage Manager

Do you take pride in ensuring that the stage is set, the curtain goes up on time and all technical aspects of an event run smoothly? If so, we need your help in this vital behind-the-scenes role.
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Ticket Sales

Do you like interacting with people? Can you handle cash and provide information in a pleasant and competent manner? If so, we need your help in this important front-line role.
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Usher/Line Facilitator

Do you like to see an event well run, with guests moving easily in and out of the venue, and those with special needs helped in a timely and pleasant manner? If so, we need your help to ensure our audiences have a positive experience.
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Do you like to make sure our guest authors are well cared for before, during and after their events? If so, we need your help in escorting and meeting the immediate needs of our authors.
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Have you been a volunteer with WritersFest for 3 or more years? Are you interested in a bigger role? Check out the role below and indicate on your application if you are interested.

Onsite Supervisor (4)

Must have the ability to respond quickly, reach out to volunteers to fill last minute cancellations, and to be able to be flexible in re-organizing volunteers already onsite.

– supervise volunteers for one, 8 hour shift
– maintain tidy and organized volunteer lounge
– ensure volunteers are available and ready for their shift
– adhere to festival standards and protocols
– ensure volunteers stick to schedule
– troubleshoot/problem site as needed
– must have excellent communication skills
– fair/diplomatic and respectful of others
– ensure confidentiality
– ability to prioritize based on event/festival needs

Distribution Coordinator 

A reliable individual with flexibility and dedication to the Festival, who is outgoing and comfortable approaching businesses and libraries with promotional materials for display, the volunteer distribution coordinator works with the director of marketing to plan and execute distribution and to monitor for replenishment promotional materials such as the poster, program guide, and bookmarks. Active from mid-July through the end of August, the distribution coordinator schedule is flexible and based on your availability, with the focus on the earlier part of July.

This is a volunteer role. You will be required to sign a Code of Conduct. Any expenses must be approved in advance by the artistic director.

The Distribution Coordinator:

  • Assists in the packaging of promotional materials for the 10th Annual Kingston WritersFest (posters, bookmarks, program guides, schedule at a glance)
  • Works with the director of marketing to plan and manage the distribution of promotional materials to specified libraries, bookstores, coffee shops, tourist information locations, etc., and ensuring materials are delivered on deadline
  • Works with the director of marketing to determine the best places to distribute in various areas in Kingston, as well as other targeted areas throughout Ontario from a master list already created
  • Maintains and updates a distribution database
  • Packages and puts in mail bundles of promotional materials for distance outlets, including libraries and bookstores
  • Is available to attend festivals or markets on behalf of Kingston WritersFest, to distribute promotional materials, i.e., Princess Street Promenade, Wolfe Island Music Festival, Memorial Centre Farmer’s Market.

What do we expect?

We expect our volunteers to attend a one-hour training session. These sessions will run mid-August to mid-September. A sign-up notice will be sent in early August. We also require each volunteer to sign a Code of Conduct. We do not have a minimum overall time commitment but we do expect you to be available for at least two shifts, and to arrive one hour before your shift begins (may vary by event). We also expect you to notify the Volunteer Manager immediately if you need to cancel a shift. All of our volunteers wear black dress pants/skirt and a black top when on duty. NO EXCEPTIONS

What do we offer in return?

We offer you the opportunity to be involved with one of Kingston’s pre-eminent cultural events. You become part of a volunteer community and meet new friends. While you are on shift you have access to our Volunteer Lounge with refreshments and a place to relax. You have access to rush seating at our regular onstage events – if there are seats available just before  showtime, you may attend free of charge. We have a celebration especially for volunteers after the Festival.


Kingston WritersFest uses the ‘Best Practices Guidelines for Screening Volunteers’ as outlined by Public Safety Canada.
Kingston WritersFest reserves the right to refuse volunteer applications or terminate the volunteer relationship based on the screening policies outlined in this publication.