10. What We Found: Panel Discussion - The FOLD

10. What We Found: Panel Discussion

Four memoir writers reflect on writing their stories.

Closed captioning will be provided at this event.

Session Description

The authors of four riveting memoirs discuss their conflicted and complex relationships to family and to themselves as they come to terms with addiction, disability, adoption, and community – as they reflect on the things they discovered through writing. Dorothy Ellen Palmer, Jesse Thistle, Jenny Heijun Wills, and Lindsay Wong join moderator Farzana Doctor in a discussion about writing stories that are both personal and profound. Closed Captioning will be provided for this event.

Session Cost: $12. This event is available as a single-ticket event or as part of the Festival Pass, the Weekend Pass, or a Saturday Day Pass.

Featured Speaker(s)

DPalmer
Dorothy Ellen Palmer
Bio
JThistle
Jesse Thistle
Bio
JHeijunWills
Jenny Heijun Wills
Bio
Lindsay Wong
Lindsay Wong
Bio
FarzanaDoctor
Farzana Doctor
Bio
DPalmer

Dorothy Ellen Palmer

Dorothy Ellen Palmer is a disabled senior writer, accessibility advocate, retired English/Drama teacher, improv coach, and OSSTF union activist. Her work appears in: Refuse, Nothing Without Us, Wordgathering, Alt-Minds, All Lit Up, Herizons, Little Fiction Big Truths, 49th Shelf, and Open Book. Her novel, When Fenelon Falls, (Coach House, 2010), features a disabled protagonist in the Woodstock-Moonwalk summer of 1969. Her memoir, Falling for Myself, just appeared with Wolsak and Wynn.

Dorothy will appear in What We Found and Reconciliation and Resistance.

JThistle

Jesse Thistle

Jesse Thistle is Métis-Cree, from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He is an assistant professor in Métis Studies at York University in Toronto. He won a Governor General’s Academic Medal in 2016, and is a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholar and a Vanier Scholar. Visit him on Twitter @michifman.

Jesse is appearing in the Breakfast with Jesse Thistle, What We Found, and Reconciliation and Resistance.

JHeijunWills

Jenny Heijun Wills

Jenny Heijun Wills has lived, studied, and worked in Toronto, Montreal, Boston, and Seoul. Her memoir, Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related won the 2019 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for non-fiction. She currently teaches at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba.

Jenny is appearing in What We Found and Reconciliation & Resistance.

Lindsay Wong

Lindsay Wong

Lindsay Wong is the author of the bestselling, award-winning memoir The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug-Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family. She has a BFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and MFA in literary nonfiction from Columbia University, and she is now based in Vancouver, Canada. My Summer of Love and Misfortune is her first YA novel.

Lindsay will appear in Words Without Borders and What We Found.

FarzanaDoctor

Farzana Doctor

Farzana Doctor is the Tkaronto-based author of four novels: Stealing Nasreen, Six Metres of Pavement (which was the One Book One Brampton 2017 winner), and All Inclusive. Seven, will be released in August, 2020. She is also an activist, part-time psychotherapist and amateur tarot card reader.

Farzana will be moderating What We Found.

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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