20. QUEER JOY
In this panel, three authors discuss their writing and their perspective on queer joy as it relates to their own writing, and in literature as a whole. What books have inspired their writing and their boy? What might it look like for LGBTQIA2S+ writers to feel queer joy in all aspects of the process — from creation to promotion? .
Date: May 2, 2023
Time: 7:30pm – 8:30pm 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.
Markus Harwood-Jones (he/they) is a proudly queer and trans space-case who has been writing since he can remember. Markus specializes in writing young-adult fiction and has a soft-spot for sappy love stories. He lives in downtown Toronto with his husband, their platonic co-parent, and their extra-cute kiddo. Markus is an aspiring TikTokker and can be found on social media under the handle @MarkusBones.
Danny Ramadan is an award-winning Syrian-Canadian author and advocate for LGBTQ-identifying refugees. His work includes The Clothesline Swing, The Foghorn Echoes, and the children’s series Adventures of Salma! His upcoming memoir Crooked Teeth will be released in 2024. He had raised over $300k for Rainbow Refugee society since his arrival to Canada as a refugee in 2014.
Hailing from Jamaica, and raised in Toronto, Tanya Turton is an award-winning entrepreneur, storyteller, wellness educator, and mental health advocate. Tanya’s work uses an intersectional lens to explore the relationship between narrative, mental wellness and care. As a wellness world builder Tanya takes steps to tell intersectional stories, and construct a world for Black and queer communities to feel heard, seen, and witnessed. Tanya is the author of Jade Is a Twisted Green, A coming-of-age story about Jamaican Canadian identity, love, passion, chosen family, and rediscovering life’s pleasures after loss.
Emmy is a queer, non-binary colonizer originally from Ktaqmkuk (Newfoundland), now based in Tkaronto (Toronto), where they work as a literary agent for Westwood Creative Artists.
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.