In-Person Event


Being a teen can be tough. From managing the weight of expectations to dealing with big topics and world issues, it can feel like life is too big and too much to handle. In this panel designed just for students, four young adult authors discuss the ways reading and writing can be a tool for escape and entertainment, as well as a powerful tool to tackle everyday issues.

Date: May 4, 2023
Time: 10:00am — 11:00am ET


Featured Speaker(s)

A Black man with short dark hair and a short beard standing against a field of green and yellow wildflowers.
Kevin heronJones
A young Indian-Canadian woman with long dark hair, wearing a pink halter top.
Jesmeen Kaur Deo
Liselle Sambury
Liselle Sambury
A Black man with short dark hair and a short beard standing against a field of green and yellow wildflowers.

Kevin heronJones

Kevin heronJones is a youth basketball coach, author, poet, journalist, editor, actor and lecturer. This electrifying artist is best known for his profound and powerful delivery. His poetry is edu-tainment. It is poignant and inspiring. Words that equally speak to the street, the church, the night club and institutions of higher learning. He attempts to analyze life beyond the physical and spiritual norms to find the scientific parallels between our art forms, belief systems and history. His prose challenges young people to look inward to find solutions and encourages young athletes to become more involved with literature.

A young Indian-Canadian woman with long dark hair, wearing a pink halter top.

Jesmeen Kaur Deo

Jesmeen Kaur Deo grew up in northern British Columbia, where she spent most of her childhood daydreaming. She loves books that can make her laugh and tug at her heartstrings in the same paragraph. When not wrapped up in stories, she can be found biking, playing the harmonium, or struggling to open jars. TJ Powar Has Something to Prove is her debut novel.

Liselle Sambury

Liselle Sambury

Liselle Sambury is the Trinidadian-Canadian author of the Governor General’s Literary Awards Finalist, Blood Like Magic. Her work spans multiple genres, from fantasy to sci-fi, horror, and more. In her free time, she shares helpful tips for upcoming writers and details of her publishing journey through a YouTube channel dedicated to demystifying the sometimes complicated business of being an author.

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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