35. Diversity in Romance Publishing - The FOLD

35. Diversity in Romance Publishing

Romance Writers at the FOLD

Session Description

In this practical discussion on the business of romance publishing and the lack of diversity in published love stories, authors Lily Chu, Farah Heron, and Hudson Lin debate and discuss the ways the industry needs to grow and expand to make room for a better and necessary range of voices.

This session is sponsored by Harlequin Books.

 

 

The logo for Harlequin Books.

The Romance Writer's Track

The Romance Writer’s Track includes a full day of programming designed just for romance writers. It features panels, workshops and events, as well as a one-on-one interview with best-selling author Jasmine Guillory.

How to Register

Events scheduled for May 1-15 are available via an all-access festival pass. The festival pass costs $39 and gives you access to a virtual festival platform, which includes an auditorium hosting forty virtual events, an exhibit hall with a live chat feature for communicating with vendors, and a lounge for engaging in discussions before and after events with other festival-goers.

Passholders will have be able to compete in the space for incredible prizes and will have access to the platform and all of the recorded festival events, as well as bonus content, until May 30, 2021. If the cost of the pass is prohibitive, please fill out the Patron Pass form, and a pass will be made available.

Featured Speaker(s)

A stylized photo of a young Asian-Canadian woman. She wears a wide-brimmed hat and is looking down, away from the camera. The hat obscures most of her face.
Hudson Lin
Bio
A young Asian woman with blonde hair. She wears a white blouse and dark pants.
Lily Chu
Bio
A middle-aged Indian Canadian woman with shoulder-length dark curly hair and glasses stands smiling against a backdrop of trees.
Farah Heron
Bio
A young BLack woman with short curly dark hair. She sits on a bench amd weats a blue and rose-coloured multi-print shirt.
Alicia Cox Thomson
Bio
A stylized photo of a young Asian-Canadian woman. She wears a wide-brimmed hat and is looking down, away from the camera. The hat obscures most of her face.

Hudson Lin

Hudson Lin was raised by conservative immigrant parents and grew up straddling two cultures with ofttimes conflicting perspectives on life. Instead of conforming to either, she has sought to find a third way that brings together the positive elements of both. Having spent much of her life on the outside looking in, Lin likes to write stories about outsiders who fight to carve out their place in society, and overcome everyday challenges to find love and happily ever afters. Her books are diverse romances featuring queer and disabled people of color.

A young Asian woman with blonde hair. She wears a white blouse and dark pants.

Lily Chu

Lily Chu loves ordering the second-cheapest wine, wearing perfume all the time, and staying up far too late reading a good book. She writes romantic comedies set in Toronto with strong Asian characters. Her newest work is The Stand In, out in spring 2021 with Audible Originals.

A middle-aged Indian Canadian woman with shoulder-length dark curly hair and glasses stands smiling against a backdrop of trees.

Farah Heron

After a childhood raised on Bollywood, Monty Python, and Jane Austen, Farah Heron wove complicated story arcs and uplifting happily ever afters in her daydreams while pursuing careers in human resources and psychology. She started writing those stories down a few years ago, and never looked back. She writes romantic comedies for both adults and teens full of huge South Asian families, delectable food, and most importantly, brown people falling stupidly in love. She lives in Toronto with her husband, two teenagers, a rabbit, and two cats who rule the house.

A young BLack woman with short curly dark hair. She sits on a bench amd weats a blue and rose-coloured multi-print shirt.

Alicia Cox Thomson

Alicia Cox Thomson has been in the media industry for 20 years, working as a digital and social media editor for Chatelaine, Flare and HGTV Canada. She has been published in Chatelaine, Flare, Today’s Parent, CBC Life, Elle Canada, Refinery29, Best Health and more. Alicia is currently working on a romance novel and raising two great kids with her husband in Hamilton.

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.

Soraya Chemaly, author of Rage Becomes Her

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!

Ben Philippe, author of Field Guide to the North American Teenager

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.

Zetta Elliott, author of Dragons in a Bag

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.

Harold Johnson, author of the memoirs Clifford and Firewater

Being part of such a clearly diverse, inclusive and mutually respectful group was thrilling and inspiring: a glimpse of a better world.

Kathy Page, author of Dear Evelyn, winner of the 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize

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.

Ian Williams, Author of the Giller Prize-winning novel Reproduction

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.

Alicia Elliott, author of A Mind Spread Out On The Ground

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.

Waubgeshig Rice, author of Moon Of The Crusted Snow

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.

Ann Y.K. Choi, author of Kay’s Lucky Coin Variety

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