15. The Truth Behind Climate Fiction
In this panel, the writers dive into the motivation behind their stories and the role of writers in moments of political crisis.
Date: May 4, 2022
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:15 pm ET
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Mary-Lou Zeitoun is a Palestinian Canadian author, essayist, arts journalist and activist. Her latest book is Jamilah At The End of The World. Her novel 13 was the YA winner of the 2008 New England Book festival award and she has published her more recent fiction in Taddle Creek and Canadian Notes and Queries.
Premee Mohamed is an Indo-Caribbean scientist and speculative fiction author based in Edmonton, Alberta. She is the author of the novels Beneath the Rising (finalist for Crawford Award, Aurora Award, British Fantasy Award, and Locus Award) and A Broken Darkness, and the novellas These Lifeless Things, And What Can We Offer You Tonight, and The Annual Migration of Clouds. Her next novel, The Void Ascendant, is the final book in the Beneath the Rising trilogy and is due out in spring 2022. Her short fiction has appeared in many print and audio venues.
Kathryn Mockler co-edited the print anthology Watch Your Head: Writers and Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis (Coach House Books, 2020) and is the publisher of the Watch Your Head website. Her debut collection of stories is forthcoming from Book*hug in 2023, and she is an Assistant Professor of Writing at the University of Victoria.
The FOLD is a remarkable and wonderful event for authors and attendees alike. What an amazing community, dedicated to the vital need for inclusive stories and the critical role they play in building a better world.
Field Guide to the North American Teenager is my first novel and FOLD was my first Canadian literary festival. While American and Canadian culture overlap quite a bit, especially when it comes to bookshelves, Canadian literature is unique and I was very heartened by to be embraced by that community I consider home despite residing in the US. It was a homecoming I didn’t know I needed!
The Festival of Literary Diversity was an absolute joy–the organizers thought of *everything* and by anticipating authors’ needs, they freed us to focus on connecting with the audience and each other. There was no pretension, no posturing–just very genuine conversations with invested writers and engaged readers.
I have been to a lot of writers festivals and the FOLD is definitely near the top of the list of those I want to be invited back to.
Being part of such a clearly diverse, inclusive and mutually respectful group was thrilling and inspiring: a glimpse of a better world.
Wherever I go in Canada and find another writer of colour, we eventually end up gushing about how great the FOLD is, how by normalizing diversity it liberates us to talk to audiences about craft. It’s hard to imagine the literary landscape returning to a prehistoric pre-FOLD era.
FOLD is a festival experience unlike any other I’ve had. The FOLD team strive to create a space that’s welcoming and engaging, while allowing for curiosity, ingenuity and the fostering of real community – and they succeed, every year.
The FOLD is one of the most important literary events on this continent. By focusing on diverse voices and giving authors space to share their stories and speak their truths, it is revolutionizing the writing and storytelling realm as we know it.
Being part of the FOLD community has provided me with a strong sense of belonging. Sharing diverse stories and listening to different voices that broaden my understanding of the world has impacted me as a person and motivated me as a writer.