Our Spring 2017 Literary Festival Guide

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Book Cover Galiano Island

It's in the dead of winter that everything starts stirring, by which we mean literary festivals taking place from coast-to-coast. Throughout the next few months, readers and writers will be coming in from the cold to get together and celebrate reading and writing, and to usher in spring. And if you're lucky, there's a festival going on near you. Don't miss it! 


In a wild world, it's nice to know there are still things we can count on. Like the Galiano Island Literary Festival, which will kick the new season February 17–19 with authors including Gail Anderson-Dargatz, Carmen Aguirre, Janie Chang, Anosh Irani, Jennifer Manuel, Heather O'Neill, Bev Sellars, and Yasuko Thanh. 

The Mission Writers and Readers Festival takes place in Mission, BC on March 4 with a great lineup being announced soon. 

And while things we can count on are nice to have, a little bit of change can do some good as well. Such the advent of a new literary festival. We welcome Growing Room: A Feminist Literary Festival to the scene, taking place March 8 and then March 11–12 in Vancouver, BC, featuring Amber Dawn, Carleigh Baker, Hiromi Goto, Doretta Lau, Jen Sookfong Lee, Betsy Warland, and many others. 

Ottawa's Versefest runs March 21–26, and it features writers from all around the world.

In Victoria, BC, WordsThaw returns to warm the University of Victoria from March 16–20, with Richard Van Camp and other authors still to be announced.

LitFest NewWest celebrates readers, writers, and community March 31–April 2 in New Westminster, BC. 

From April 5–9, over a dozen Canadian writers will gather for the ImagiNation Festival at the Morrin Cultural Centre in Quebec City, QC. 

The 18th Annual North Shore Writers Festival happens April 7–8 at North Vancouver City Library in North Vancouver, BC.

Book Cover GritLit

The fantastic gritLIT Readers and Writers Festival takes place April 7–10 in Hamilton, ON; the lineup is yet to be announced. 

Details have not yet been announced for this year's Edmonton Poetry Festival, but the dates are set for April 16–23.

In Picton, ON, and the surrounding area, the Prince Edward County Writers Festival takes place April 20–22, featuring Steve Burrows, Joy Fielding, Wallace Edwards, Merilyn Simonds, Zoe Whittall, and others. 

From April 22 to 29, the Frye Festival happens in Greater Moncton, NB, with authors including Riel Nason, Jennifer McGrath, and many more still to be announced. 

The Blue Metropolis Festival in Montreal, QC, runs April 24–30 with programming for readers of all ages. 

Across the country on April 27, Canadian authors will be celebrating great books and reading with Authors for Indies; explore the site to find out what's happening near you. 

The Ottawa International Writers Festival takes place April April 27 to May 2, with details still to come.  

The 1000 Islands Writers Festival runs May 5–7 in Gananoque, ON, featuring Cathy-Marie Buchanan, Iain Hamilton, Lindy Mechefske, Marni Jackson, and others. 

The Stratford Writers Festival holds its Young Adult focused edition on Saturday May 6th. A number of established Canadian YA authors will be visiting Stratford for readings, school visits, and panel discussions including Lesley Livingston, Rick Revelle, E.K. Johnson, Deb Loughead, R.A. Anderson, Danielle Younge-Ullman, Sylvia McNicoll, Marthe Jocelyn, and the honorable James Bartleman.

The Fold Logo

The next-best thing to a new lit fest is a new lit fest that's coming back for its second year. After an incredible debut in 2016, The Festival of Literary Diversity returns to Brampton, ON, running May 4–7 with another stellar lineup. 

Vancouver Island's Children's Book Festival is scheduled for May 6 in Nanaimo, BC, featuring (as usual) some of Canada's best children's authors. 

The Atlantic Books Festival runs May 11–May 18 with events in all four maritime provinces.

The Ontario Library Association's Festival of Trees takes place throughout May, with events in Toronto, London, and Sault Ste. Marie. 

On May 28, The Elora Writers' Festival takes place in Elora, ON, with authors announced so far including Andrew Westoll, Brad Smith, and Adrienne Kress. 

Is your event missing? Email us at Editor AT 49th DOT com, and we'll get it added. 

February 2, 2017
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