The Writer’s Hub is one of our most popular annual events and features a unique opportunity to “tour” Canada’s publishing industry. This event is designed for those looking for a deeper understanding of publishing. Whether you’re preparing to shop-around a manuscript or whether you’ve already published a book and are considering a “home” for a new title, the Writer’s Hub will provide you with comprehensive information as well as the opportunity to connect with speakers through our virtual platform chat features.
Hosted by Bianca Spence, participants can drop in for part of the experience or stay for the whole event as we showcase short panels with a sample of phenomenal independent publishers, agents, authors, and multinational publishers.
Schedule of Events
This event will be updated regularly as new speakers are added to the list. Attendees may join for the entire time or can pop in and out at their convenience. All speakers will be available after the event to speak from their organization’s booth or through the individual chat function. There will be a short break from 3:10 – 3:25.
2:00pm | Editors from three Independent Publishers discuss the advantages and opportunities that are unique to publishing with independent Canadian publishers.
2:35pm | Discover important information and insight about the process of acquiring an agent and the tips and tricks for getting an agent that’s right for you.
3:20pm | Three authors who took a different approach to publishing address the joys and challenges of publishing. From self-publishing to non-traditional publishing formats, find out what some of the other alternatives are to putting a book out in the world in 2021.
3:55pm | Editors from Penguin Random House Canada, HarperCollins Canada, and Simon & Schuster close out the Writer’s Hub by providing insight to writers on publishing with Canadian multinationals.
Want more info? In addition to the Writer’s Hub, on Saturday, May 15, Harlequin Canada will present a workshop to open up our first day of programming dedicated to diversity in romance writing.
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.
As Program Consultant for Book Publishing at Ontario Creates, Bianca Spence administers the Trillium Book Awards and other programs that support the economic development of Ontario’s publishing industry. She has previously worked at the Canada Council for the Arts, Livres Canada Books, Cormorant Books, the Literary Press Group, and McClelland & Stewart. Bianca served as Co-Chair of the Women’s March in Toronto, and she sits on the Board of Directors for Project Bookmark Canada. When not at work, you can find Bianca championing a number of important artistic endeavours from literature to dance.
Brian Lam is the publisher of Arsenal Pulp Press. A graduate of the University of Victoria’s creative writing program, he has been with Arsenal since 1984, becoming co-owner in 1992. He is a former president of the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia, and current board member of the Association of Canadian Publishers. He won the Community Builder Award from the Asian Canadian Writers’ Workshop in 2014, the Ivy Award from the Toronto International Festival of Authors in 2018, and the Publishing Professional Award from Lambda Literary in the US in 2020.
Bryan Ibeas is a Fiction Editor for Invisible Publishing.
Amanda Orozco is a literary agent at Transatlantic based out of Los Angeles with a breadth of experience in academic publishing, publicity, and subsidiary rights. She graduated from NYU with her Masters of Science in Publishing: Digital and Print Media. She has worked at the National Book Foundation, Shreve Williams Public Relations, and The Gernert Company, as well as in Subsidiary Rights at Little, Brown and Park & Fine Literary and Media. Amanda has been a member of PoCinPub since 2018 and currently works for Dryland, the literary journal born in South Central, where she aims to amplify marginalized voices.
Claire Harris is a literary agent at PS Literary acquiring a wide range of adult projects including rom coms, thrillers, contemporary fiction, family dramas, lifestyle guides, self-help, true crime, cultural criticism, and more. She loves stories set in the Midwest (especially in or near her home state of Wisconsin) and other underrepresented areas, and she is actively looking for books that support inclusivity. Diverse voices and great writing are always appreciated. One thing Claire loves is shining a spotlight on issues, people, and areas that aren’t often included in society’s narrative.
Noyz is an author, rapper, spoken word artist, and community organizer from Brampton, Ontario. In addition to headlining shows in the US, UK, and across Canada, Noyz facilitates hip hop & mental health workshops where he engages with youth through the healing and transformational powers of music and songwriting.
Called “Canada’s answer to George R. R. Martin” by the Globe and Mail, Evan Winter, winner of the Reddit/Fantasy Award for Best Debut Fantasy Novel, is a Barnes & Nobles, Amazon, and Locus best selling author of speculative fiction. His debut novel, The Rage of Dragons, is the opening to an epic fantasy quartet that began life as a self-published novel before being acquired for republication by Hachette’s Orbit Books. Most recently, TIME magazine named it one THE 100 BEST FANTASY BOOKS OF ALL TIME, and its sequel has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Booklist.
Anita Chong is a Senior Editor at McClelland & Stewart, where she acquires and edits literary fiction and memoir. Recent titles include Souvankham Thammavongsa’s How to Pronounce Knife; Genki Ferguson’s Satellite Love; Saleema Nawaz’s Songs for the End of the World; Michael Christie’s Greenwood; Sharon Bala’s The Boat People; and Richard Wagamese’s Starlight. Authors she is currently working with include Shashi Bhat, Brian Francis, Reema Patel, Alexander MacLeod, Tsering Lama, Amy Jones, and Jen Sookfong Lee. Anita is an active member of Penguin Random House Canada’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and one of the founders of its monthly BIPOC Forum.
Jim Gifford is Editorial Director, Non-Fiction, for HarperCollins Canada Ltd. He has acquired and edited works by numerous award-winning and bestselling authors, including Kamal Al-Solaylee, Mark Sakamoto, Mellissa Fung, Tara Westover, David Robertson, Linden MacIntyre, Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Albert Woodfox, Max Eisen and Jamil Jivani, among many others. He is currently pursuing new works by a diverse authorship across many genres, from memoir to popular science and sports to popular history. He was a 2020 recipient of University College’s Alumni of Influence Award at the University of Toronto. He lives and works in Toronto.
Janie Yoon is Executive Editor at Simon & Schuster Canada. Previously, she was at House of Anansi Press, where she worked with bestselling and award-winning Canadian and international authors such as Tanya Talaga, Gil Adamson, Patrick deWitt, Ins Choi, Margaret MacMillan, Lawrence Hill, Ronald J. Deibert, Adam Gopnik, Neil Turok, Douglas Coupland, Behrouz Boochani, Cho Nam-joo, and Sofi Oksanen.
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.