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Canadian Litfests for Fall 2016

With the arrival of September, Canadian litfest season goes full-throttle. Here are all the details on what's going down ...

With the arrival of September, Canadian litfest season goes full-throttle. Here are all the details on what's going down at festivals across the country.


Logo Eden Mills

The Eden Mills Festival runs September 16–18 in Eden Mills, ON, (near Guelph), and the schedule is always as excellent as the village is pretty. Featured authors include Kamal Al-Solaylee, Cherie Dimaline, Alissa York, Cordelia Strube, Soraya Peerbaye, George Elliott Clarke, Helen Humphreys, Katherine Govier, Maureen Jennings, Lisa Moore, Jael Richardson, and others. 


The Telling Tale Festival in Rockton, ON, (near Hamilton) is a terrific day out for families, with featured authors, storytellers, and illustrators for young readers including Scott Chantler, Jon-Erik Lappano, Andrew Larsen, Lindsay Mattick, Ruth Ohi, Kenneth Oppel, Barbara Reid, Bill Slavin, Kevin Sylvester, Jeremy Tankard, Vikki VanSickle, and many more. 

WOTS logo

The Word on the Street Festival goes cross-country in September, taking place in Halifax, NS, on September 17 (with Christy-Ann Conlin, George Elliott Clarke, Elaine McCluskey, Kate Inglis, Phonse Jessome, and more), Saskatoon on Sunday September 18 (with Yann Martel, David Suzuki, Bif Naked, Lisa Bird-Wilson, and more), Lethbridge, AB, on Saturday September 24 (with Jenna Butler, Julie Van Rosendaal, Linda Bailey, Todd Babiak, Tracey Lindberg, and more), and Toronto, ON, on Sunday September 25 (with Lisa Moore, Mona Awad, Andre Alexis, and more). 

Book Cover Thin Air

The Thin Air Winnipeg International Writers' Festival returns to Winnipeg from September 23–October 1, with a spectacular lineup of 72 authors including Deni Ellis Béchard, Roseanna Deerchild, Michael Helm, Susan Holbrook, Debra Komar, Lisa Moore, Pamela Mordecai, Kenneth Oppal, Kevin Patterson, Cordelia Strube, Katherena Vermette, Teri Vlassopoulos, and Guy Vanderhaeghe. 

Book Cover Kingston Writers Festival

The Kingston Writers Festival runs September 28–October 2 in Kingston, ON, and is jam-packed with amazingness, with authors including Gail Anderson-Dargatz, Samuel Archibald, Peter Behrens, Ashley-Elizabeth Best, Gail Bowen, Ian Brown, Cherie Dimaline, Emma Donoghue, Katherine Govier, Nadia Hohn, Helen Humphreys, Maureen Jennings, Tracey Lindberg, Lisa Moore, Iain Reid, Diane Schoemplerlen, Madeleine Thien, Richard B. Wright, and so so many more.

Logo Lunenberg Lit

Lunenberg Lit, the first literary festival in Lunenberg, NS, happens September 30-October 1, with Wayne Johnson, Kris Bertin, Rebecca Thomas, George Elliott Clarke, Ami McKay, and others. 

Logo Wordfest

Fall events for Wordfest, in Calgary, AB, take place October 7–16, with over 90 artists including Emma Donoghue, Jane Urquhart, Peter Robinson, Ruth Ohi, Madeleine Thien, and Craig Davidson. 

Logo Litfest

Litfest celebrates non-fiction in Edmonton, AB, from October 13 to 23, Canadian authors including Myrna Kotash, Teva Harrison, Plum Johnson, Neil Pasricha, Jael Richardson, Craig Richardson, Camilla Gibb, Betsy Warland, Marina Endicott, and Charlotte Gray. 

Whistler Logo

The Whistler Writers Festival is on from October 13 to 16, celebrating its 15th year. Featured authors include Caroline Woodward, Billie Livingston Richard Van Camp, Susan Juby, Joy Fielding, Steven Price, Jane Urquhart, Emma Donoghue, Madeleine Thien, Jennifer Manuel and Craig Davidson. 

Knowlton Literary Festival

The Knowlton Literary Festival (with Honorary Patron Louise Penny!) takes place October 14–16 in Brome Lake in Quebec's Eastern Townships. Confirmed authors so far include Michael Crummey, Marni Jackson, Alexandre Trudeau, John Farrow, Sharon Jennings, Michael Winter, and more.

Celebrating Stories Logo

The free family festival, Celebrating Stories, is coming back to Milton, ON, on October 16, with presenters Lindsay Mattick, Susanne Del Rizzo, Hilary Leung, and David Bruins. 


Vancouver Writers Fest is set for October 17–23, with Canadian authors including Amy Jones, Amy Stuart, Andre Alexis, Anosh Irani, Bev Sellars, Billie Livington, Cordelia Strube, Craig Davidson, David Bergen, Emma Donoghue, Erin Bow, Iain Reid, Ivan Coyote, Liz Howard, Susan Perly, Xue Yiwei, and Zoe Whittall. 

Ottawa Writers Festival Logo

The Ottawa Writers Festival runs October 20–25, with Alexandre Trudeau, Madeleine Thien, Emma Donoghue, Charlotte Gray, Jane Urquhart, Jen Sookfong Lee, Kristi Charish, Kelley Armstrong, Kathy Page, Vivek Shraya, Zoe Whittall, Ivan Coyote, Nathan Whitlock, Stephen Henighan, Ann Y.K. Choi, and Gregory Scofield among Canadian authors. 

Book Cover IFOA

Toronto's International Festival of Authors takes place October 20–30, Canadian authors including Andre Alexis, Margaret Atwood, Sharon Butala, Emma Donoghue, Yann Martel, Susan Perly, Steven Price, Iain Reid, David Adams Richards, Olive Senior, Daniel Scott Tysdal, and Andrew Westoll. 

Digiwriting Stratford Festival

The DigiWriting Stratford Writers Festival runs October 22-23 in Stratford, ON, featuring Kim Echlin, Ivan Coyote, Farzana Doctor, Barbara Fradkin, Plum Johnson, Janet Kellough, Steve Burrows, Kathleen Trotter, and Alison Wearing. 

From October 29 to November 6, the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival puts readers and film lovers up where they belong in Banff, AB. 

Words Aloud Logo

The Words Aloud Festival celebrates spoken word in Durham, ON, (near Owen Sound) November 3–6, with artists including Brian Henderson, Hugh MacDonald, Evelyn Lau, Sue Goyette, Michael Crummey, Joseph Naytowhow, and others. 

Wordstock Sudbury Logo

Wordstock returns to Sudbury, ON, also from November 3-6, with George Elliott Clarke, Jael Richardson, Samuel Archibald, Tim Falconer, Liz Howard, Hal Nielveski and Alana Wilcox, with local greats Danielle Daniel, Matthew Heiti, and Shawna Diane Partridge.

Bookfest Windsor Logo

Bookfest Windsor runs November 4–6 this year in Windsor, ON, with James Bartleman, Gary Barwin, Cherie DImaline, Rhonda Douglas, Meags Fitzgerald, Nino Ricci, Richard Scarsbrook, and many others.

Book Cover Wild Writers Festival

And the Wild Writers Festival returns to Waterloo, ON, also November 4–6. It's going to be fantastic, authors and presenters including Isabel Huggan, Erin Bow, Michael Crummy, Diane Schoemperlen, Kerry-Lee Powell, Kirsteen MacLeod, Pamela Mordecai, Alissa York and Madeleine Thien. 

Is your neighbourhood litfest missing? Email editor AT 49thShelf DOT com to have it added to the list.

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