17. DISABLED FUTURES
Disability offers society both challenges as well as the unique opportunity to re-imagine the world in which we live. How can we use the insights of disability justice to imagine a radically different future? Join three brilliant writers in conversation with moderator Amanda Leduc as they discuss their own journeys with disability and offer ways of seeing–across various genres–that promise to change the way you view the world.
Date: May 2, 2023
Time: 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET
The 2023 festival will run from April 30 – May 7. Dedicated virtual programming on our innovative, online platform will run April 30 – May 3, while in-person events — many of which will also be live-streamed and available on-demand for virtual audiences — will run May 4-7.
A Virtual Festival Pass gives guests access to more than 20 virtual events which can be viewed from the website or through our festival app designed for mobile devices. In addition to festival events, virtual passes provide users with direct access to more than a dozen vendors in our festival exhibitor hall. Guests who purchase a virtual pass can also participate in trivia times, roundtable discussions and our new festival after-parties, which will follow all of our evening events.
An In-Person Festival Pass gives users access to all of our virtual events as well as our standard in-person events in Brampton, Ontario on Saturday, May 6.
This year, the festival includes three in-person Specialty Events – the Dine N’ Draw on May 4, the Literary Cabaret on May 5 and our Historical Fiction High Tea on May 7. Tickets for these events are not covered with our passes and are only available until April 30.
On a Budget? Check out our Patron Pass program.
Eli Tareq El Bechelany-Lynch is a writer living in Tio’tia:ke, author of knot body (Metatron Press 2020) and The Good Arabs (Metonymy Press 2021).The Good Arabs was granted the honorary mention for poetry by the Arab American Book Awards and won the Grand Prix du Livre de Montréal. Their translation of Gabrielle Boulianne-Tremblay’s La fille d’elle-même is forthcoming Spring 2023. With co-editor Samia Marshy, they are editing El Ghourabaa, an anthology of queer and trans writing by Arab and Arabophone writers, forthcoming Spring 2024.
Susan Mockler is a disabled writer living in Kingston, Ontario. Her recent memoir, Fractured, details her experiences with acquired disability following a car accident that left her with an incomplete spinal cord injury. Her book provides insights into the physical and psychological challenges she faced in rehabilitation and beyond, as well as the discrimination and marginalization she encountered when she was no longer able-bodied. Susan’s fiction and nonfiction have been published in a variety of Canadian and US publications.
Nisi Shawl (they/them) is the multiple award-winning author, co-author, and editor of over a dozen books of speculative fiction and related nonfiction, including the standard text on diverse representation in literature, Writing the Other; the African Congo alternate history novel Everfair; and the first two volumes of the New Suns anthology series. They’ve guest lectured at Duke University, Spelman College, Stanford University, Sarah Lawrence College, and many other institutions. Recent titles include the horror-friendly story collection Our Fruiting Bodies and the Middle Grade historical fantasy novel Speculation. Shawl teaches online writing courses via Hugo House and the writingtheother.com website.
Amanda Leduc is the author of the nonfiction book Disfigured: On Fairy Tales, Disability and Making Space, the novels The Miracles of Ordinary Men and The Centaur’s Wife. Her new novel, Wild Life, will be published by Random House Canada in 2024. Amanda has an MFA in Writing from the University of St. Andrews, UK. She has cerebral palsy and lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where she serves as the Communications and Development Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD).
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.