The Festival of Literary Diversity
A complete list of the FOLD 2021 schedule
A complete list of the FOLD 2021 schedule
The Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) is held in Brampton, Canada, during the first week of May. The festival celebrates Canadian and international authors with forty events that prioritize underrepresented authors and storytellers from around the world.
Festival events include panel discussions, workshops and networking events for aspiring, emerging and established writers.
The 2021 festival will take place virtually from May 1-15. Panel, discussions, workshops, and interactive events and performances will allow guests from across Canada and around the world to participate in the festival on a brand new virtual platform. All festival events will be close-captioned.
francesca ekwuyasi is a writer and multidisciplinary artist from Lagos, Nigeria. Her debut novel Butter Honey Pig Bread (Arsenal Pulp 2020) was long-listed for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize and is a contender for the 2021 Canada Reads. Her work explores themes of faith, family, queerness, consumption, loneliness, and belonging. You may find some of her writing in the Puritan, Winter Tangerine Review, Brittle Paper, Transition Magazine, the Malahat Review, Visual Art News, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, GUTS magazine and elsewhere.
Palestinian Quebecker Yara El-Ghadban is an anthropologist by training but has been writing since she was thirteen. She is the author of three novels, of which I Am Ariel Sharon is the first to be translated into English. She won the Canada Council of the Arts’ Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award in 2017, and in 2019 she was awarded the Blue Metropolis Literary Diversity Prize. She lives and writes in Montreal.
Sheung-King, Aaron Tang’s debut novel, You are Eating an Orange. You are Naked., is longlisted for Canada Reads 2021 and named one of the best book debuts of 2020 by the Globe and Mail. He teaches creative writing at the University of Guelph
Danny Ramadan is a Syrian-Canadian author and LGBTQ-refugees advocate. His debut novel, The Clothesline Swing, won multiple awards and was translated to French, German and Hebrew. His children’s book, Salma the Syrian Chef is named amongst the Best Books of 2020 by Kirkus Reviews and Library School Journal. His forthcoming novel, The Foghorn Echoes, will be released in Summer 2022.
Eddie Lartey is a Hamiltonian wordsmith who is dedicated to and equally in love with poetic performance, community building. Eddie graduated from McMaster in 2015 from Political Science and Labour Studies and from Sheridan in 2017 with a diploma in HR Management. He is a founding member of Hamilton Youth Poets and has presented literary work and facilitated workshops across Canada and beyond. His poetry is a blend of heartfelt storytelling and literary wordplay.
Jayda Marley is a 19-year-old nationally acclaimed Afro-Indigenous poet of Ojibwe & Jamaican Descent, youth activist, and community healer from Tkaronto. As a former competing poet, Jayda holds the 1st place National championship title of “Voices of Today 2018.” She is also the founder and creative director of the new open mic series “For The Queer Coloured Girls After Me.” Most recently she is also one of the Founders of the Non-Profit movement Not Another Black Life.
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.
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.