The festival takes place on Thursday, November 4, 2021 to Saturday, November 6, 2021 both in person at the Holiday Inn Sudbury and several virtual sessions on Zoom.
All in person sessions will be live streamed allowing audience members to participate at a distance. Live stream ticket holders will receive a link to join the platform for viewing. Virtual Zoom sessions will also receive a registration link to participate.
We offer students and those with fixed incomes an affordable ticket price to also participate.
When purchasing tickets please note the participation level: in person, live stream or virtual participation.
You can download a full list of our schedule from the link below!
Adam Mardero founded the blog Differently Wired to educate and advocate for neurodiversity. He holds a Master’s Degree in History and a Bachelor of Education. Since coming to terms with being neurodivergent, he’s dedicated his life to helping further the causes of Autism and neurodiversity acceptance. Adam lives in Sudbury, Ontario.
Amber McMillan is the author of the memoir The Woods: A Year on Protection Island and the poetry collection We Can’t Ever Do This Again. Her work has also appeared in PRISM international, Arc Poetry Magazine, and the Walrus. She lives in Fredericton.
Aurore Gatwenzi describes herself as a social butterfly on the cusp of millennialism and zoomers. She holds a degree in Modern Languages and spent two years in Spain teaching English as a Second Language. She is a frequent participant in the Sudbury Poetry Slam scene and is included in the anthology Fem Grit: A Collection of Northern Voices (2020). She is a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Sudbury. She currently lives in Sudbury.
Becky Blake is two-time winner of the CBC Literary Prize (for non-fiction in 2017 and short fiction in 2013). Her stories and essays have appeared in publications across Canada, and her debut novel, Proof I Was Here, was published by Wolsak & Wynn in 2019. Becky holds an MFA from the University of Guelph and teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. She is currently working on a second novel and a memoir-in-essays.
Bennett Malcolmson is a film photographer and zine maker. He received his Undergraduate in Political Science from the University of Guelph and is a graduate of Seneca College’s Documentary Film Institute. He lives in Sudbury, ON with his girlfriend and their three cats.
Writer and performer, Blaine Thornton, is a non-binary artist interested in how writing can be used a healing vessel. They are studying creative writing at OCAD U and were a part of the school’s slam team poetry coached by Ian Keteku. They are currently the editor of the art collective, i hear you, based in Sudbury Ontario (follow on facebook and Instagram (@ihearyou.sudbury). You can follow Blaine on Instagram (@unwaking.b).
Bertrand Bickersteth was born in Sierra Leone, raised in Alberta, and has lived in the U.K. and the U.S. Bickersteth is an educator who also writes poems and plays. His poetry has appeared in several publications, including the Antigonish Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, and the Prairie Journal, as well as the anthology The Great Black North: Contemporary African Canadian Poetry (Frontenac House). In 2018, he was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize. His most recent work, The Response of Weeds, is a collection of poems published by NeWest Press. He lives in Calgary, teaches at Olds College and often (always, actually) writes about black history in western Canada.
Charles Bender is an actor, facilitator and director of the Wendat Nation. He has been involved in the performing arts and television industry for over twenty years. In particular, he is the artistic director of the Menuentakuan Theater Company and hosts the social interest report Sans Réserve on the APTN network. He recently started translating texts from the Canadian Aboriginal repertoire. He notably co-signed, with Jean Marc Dalpé, the French translation of Maria Campbell’s work Halfbreed.
David Giuliano is an award-winning writer of articles, essays, and poems. His book Postcards from the Valley: Encounters with Fear, Faith and God was a Canadian BestSeller. He has published two illustrated children’s books: The Alligator in Naomi’s Pillow and Jeremiah and the Letter e. His most recent book, It’s Good to Be Here: Stories we tell about cancer, is a spiritual memoire about his 20-year journey with cancer. The Undertaking of Billy Buffone is Giuliano’s first novel.
Dinah Laprairie is an editor, book coach and freelance writer.. Between 2003 and 2016, Dinah was the Editor–Publisher of Open Minds Quarterly, a Sudbury-based magazine dedicated to people with experiences of mental illness, trauma and/or madness. She is the co-editor of the anthology In New Light: The many paths of identity, struggle and mental illness and co-author of a chapter on the benefits of creative expression in the textbook Creek’s Occupational Therapy Mental Health (2022). Recently, Dinah sat as a member of the Ontario Arts Council’s Deaf & Disability Arts Advisory Group.
Evan J (he/they) is from Manitoba, and now works and writes in the town of Sioux Lookout, Ontario. Evan is the author of Ripping down half the trees (2021).
Gilles Poulin-Denis is an actor, writer, translator, and director from Saskatchewan. As a performer, Gilles has worked for many theatre companies, from Vancouver to Brussels. He has also authored four plays and several short texts. He is the artistic director of the 2PAR4 theatre company as well as of the biennial Zones Théâtrales at the National Arts Centre / Centre national des arts.
Ian Williams is the author of five books. His novel, Reproduction, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize. His last poetry collection, Personals, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award. Not Anyone’s Anything won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada. You Know Who You Are was a finalist for the ReLit Poetry Award. He’s online at www.ianwilliams.ca and @ianwillwrite.
Jael Richardson is the artistic director of the FOLD literary festival, the books columnist on CBC Radio’s q and an outspoken advocate on issues of diversity. She is the author of The Stone Thrower: A Daughter’s Lesson, a Father’s Life, a memoir based on her relationship with her father, CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey. The memoir received a CBC Bookie Award, an Arts Acclaim Award and a My People Award. A children’s edition was published by Groundwood Books. Her essay “Conception” is part of Room magazine’s first Women of Colour edition, and excerpts from her first play, my upside down black face, appear in the anthology T-Dot Griots: An Anthology of Toronto’s Black Storytellers. Jael Richardson received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph. She lives in Brampton, Ontario.
Jean Marc Ah-Sen
Jean Marc Ah-Sen is the author of Grand Menteur, In the Beggarly Style of Imitation (a finalist for the Toronto Book Awards), and one of the participants in the collaborative omnibus novel Disintegration in Four Parts. The National Post hailed his writing as “an inventive escape from the conventional. His writing has appeared in Hazlitt, The Literary Review of Canada, Maisonneuve, and elsewhere. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two sons.”
Jennifer Alicia (they/she) is a queer, mixed Mi’kmaw/Settler (German, Irish, Scottish) storyteller originally from Elmastukwek, Ktaqmkuk (Bay of Islands, Newfoundland), now residing in Toronto. She is a two-time national poetry slam champion and a member of Seeds & Stardust Poetry Collective. Jennifer Alicia’s debut chapbook Mixed Emotions was recently published by Moon Jelly House. They are also working on a play titled Restor(y)ing Identity, and part of it was presented at the first ever Nogojiwanong Indigenous Fringe Festival in June 2021.
Jon-Erik Lappano’s debut picture book, Tokyo Digs a Garden, illustrated by Kellen Hatanaka, won the Governor General’s Literary Award and was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Canadian Picture Book Award and Japan’s Sakura Medal. He has also written Maggie’s Treasure, illustrated by Kellen Hatanaka, to wide acclaim, and Song for the Snow, illustrated by Byron Eggenschwiler. Jon-Erik lives in Stratford, Ontario, with his family.
Jen Sookfong Lee
Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, and she now lives with her son in North Burnaby. Her books include The Conjoined, nominated for International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, The End of East, The Shadow List, and Finding Home. Jen acquires and edits for ECW Press and co-hosts the literary podcast, Can’t Lit.
Jeremy John is currently ranked as the sixty-second most famous person from Brantford, Ontario. (Look it up. There are a lot.) Jeremy’s career in broadcasting has included co-hosting shows on 680 NEWS, KiSS FM, and Breakfast Television. Jeremy now lives with his wife and kids, plus a dog he pretends not to like, in Sudbury, Ontario.
Kayt Burgess’s debut novel Heidegger Stairwell (2012) won the International 3 Day Novel Contest and a finalist for the 2013 ReLit Award for Fiction. She was a scriptwriter on the best-selling augmented reality app Zombies, Run! and writes stories, poems, plays, and produces work in experimental digital storytelling. She received her Ph.D. from Bath Spa University in 2017. Kayt was born in Manitouwadge, Ontario and lives in Elliot Lake.
Kerry Clare’s first novel, Mitzi Bytes, was called “entertaining, engaging and timely” by the Toronto Star, who also noted that it “heralds the arrival of a fantastic, fun new novelist on the Canadian scene.” She is editor of The M Word: Conversations About Motherhood, a National Magazine Award-nominated essayist, and editor of Canadian books website 49thShelf.com. She writes about books and reading at her popular blog, Pickle Me This and lives in Toronto with her family.
Kim Fahner lives and writes in Sudbury, Ontario. She was the fourth poet laureate for the City of Greater Sudbury (2016-18) and was the first woman appointed to the role. Her latest book of poems is These Wings (Pedlar Press, 2019), and her next book of poems, Emptying the Ocean, will be published by Frontenac House Press in Fall 2022. Kim won first place in this year’s League of Canadian Poets’ National Broadsheet Contest with her poem, “Beekeeping.” She’s also been shortlisted for The Fiddlehead’s 2021 Creative Nonfiction Contest, for her essay “Spirited.” Her latest play, All The Things I Draw, will be part of the Sudbury Theatre Centre’s Playmine Series in May 2022.
Linda Leith was born in Northern Ireland, and attended schools in London, Basel, Belfast, Paris and Montreal, graduating from the University of London, which granted her a PhD on the work of Samuel Beckett when she was twenty-four. A novelist, essayist, literary translator and the founder of Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival and Linda Leith Publishing, she lives in Montreal. Leith was appointed as an officer of the Order of Canada in 2020.
Liz Howards’s debut collection Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent won the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the 2015 Governor General’s Award for Poetry. Her second collection, Letters in a Bruised Cosmos, was published by McClelland and Stewart in June 2021. Howard received an Honours Bachelor of Science with High Distinction from the University of Toronto, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. She is of mixed settler and Anishinaabe heritage. Born and raised on Treaty 9 territory in northern Ontario, she currently lives in Toronto.
Michelle Good is a Cree writer and a member of the Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. After working for Indigenous organizations for twenty-five years, she obtained a law degree and advocated for residential school survivors for over fourteen years. Five Little Indians, her first novel, won the HarperCollins/UBC Best New Fiction Prize, the Amazon First Novel Award, the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Award. It was also longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and a finalist for the Writer’s Trust Award
Morgan Murray (he/him) is a settler from the same backwoods central Alberta village as figure-skating legend Kurt Browning (Caroline, AB in Treaty 6 territory). He now lives in the backwoods of Cape Breton (Unama’ki) with his wife and little family. His first novel, Dirty Birds has been compared to Kurt Vonnegut, and has been a finalist for the Leacock Medal for Humour, longlisted for CBC Canada Reads 2021, a finalist for three Atlantic Book Awards (winning the Best Atlantic Published Book) and the ReLit Awards, and won silver in the 2020 International Forewords Indies Award for Humour. It has also made his parents proud even though it’s full of cursing and carrying on.
Nathaniel G Moore
Nathaniel G. Moore is the author of eight books including Savage 1986-2011 (Anvil Press), winner of the 2014 ReLit Award for best novel. His reviews and essays have appeared in Toronto Life, Toronto Star, the Globe and Mail, the Georgia Straight and many others. He has worked in publicity for the Canadian small press for two decades, including stints as books editor of Broken Pencil, managing editor ofthe Danforth Review, columnist at Open Book, Senior Publicist at Nightwood Editions / Harbour Publishing, Publicity Manager at Goose Lane Editions, and currently, owner of moorehype (moorehype.com) a boutique publicity firm based in Fredericton, NB. His latest publication, Honorarium (2021) with Palimpsest Press is a collection of essays.
Rebecca Salazar (she/they) is a writer, editor, and community organizer currently living on the unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik people. The author of poetry chapbooks the knife you need to justify the wound (Rahila’s Ghost) and Guzzle (Anstruther), Salazar also edits for The Fiddlehead and Plenitude magazines.
Rod Carley’s first novel, A Matter of Will (Latitude 46), was a finalist for the 2018 Northern Lit Award for Fiction. His short story, A Farewell to Steam, was featured in the non-fiction anthology, 150 Years Up North and More (Latitude 46). Rod is also an award-winning director, playwright and actor, having directed and produced over 100 theatrical productions to date including fifteen adaptations of Shakespeare. He was the 2009 winner of TVO’s Big Ideas/Best Lecturer competition. He is the Artistic Director of the Canadore College Acting for Stage and Screen Program and a part-time English professor at Nipissing University in North Bay, ON. Kinmount (Latitude 46) is his second novel.
Rosanna Micelotta Battigelli was born in Calabria, Italy, and immigrated to Sudbury, Ontario with her family at three years of age. An alumna of the Humber School for Writers, she has been published in nineteen anthologies and journals, and has read at many conferences and literary events in Canada, U.S., and Italy. Rosanna’s novel La Brigantessa (Inanna Publications, 2018) was awarded Gold for Historical Fiction in the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards. La Brigantessa was a finalist for the 2019 Canadian Authors Association Fred Kerner Book Award and the 2019 Northern Lit Award. Rosanna also has five romance novels published with Harlequin/Mills & Boon and two children’s books published with Pajama Press. Her latest fiction release, also published by Inanna, is Pigeon Soup & Other Stories.
Sam Hiyate worked at the literary magazines Blood & Aphorisms and The Quarterly in the 90s. He ran the edgy micropublisher, Gutter Press, from 1993 to 2002, as publisher, and launched the literary division of The Lavin Agency in 2003, building a client list and completing his first deals. Sam’s projects for The Rights Factory include memoir, literary and commercial fiction, narrative nonfiction, health and lifestyle, self-improvement and graphic novels. He looks for works with distinct and compelling voices and he loves humour. He’s keen to discover and help new writers prepare their works for market, and to help them build lasting careers with their talent.
Sumaiya Matin is a writer and a strategic advisor for the Ontario government, working on anti-racism initiatives. She lives in Toronto.
Vera Constantineau is the current poet laureate of the City of Greater Sudbury. Her interest as a poet lies mainly in Japanese forms, in particular haiku, senryu and haibun although she does write tanka as well. She recently completed a manuscript of haibun and has plans for a second haiku collection to follow three lines at a time, her first mini chapbook.
Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation. He has written three fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. He graduated from the journalism program at the university formerly known as Ryerson in 2002, and spent most of his journalism career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a video journalist and radio host. He left CBC in 2020 to focus on his literary career. He lives in Sudbury, Ontario with his wife and two sons.
Born in Saskatchewan to an Anishinaabe (Algonquin) mother and an Irish immigrant father, Yvette Nolan knows how to wield the pen: she is the author of several plays and has directed numerous shows. She was artistic director of Native Earth Performing Arts and has written a book about Indigenous theatre in Canada, Medicine Shows: Indigenous Performance Culture. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Zoe Whittall is the author of three previous novels: the Giller-shortlisted The Best Kind of People, Lambda-winning Holding Still for as Long as Possible, and debut Bottle Rocket Hearts. She has published three collections of poetry, The Best Ten Minutes of Your Life, Precordial Thump, and The Emily Valentine Poems. She is also a Canadian Screen Award-winning TV and film writer, with credits on the Baroness Von Sketch Show, Schitt’s Creek, Degrassi, and others. She lives in Toronto.