The Festival of Literary Diversity
Festival events designed for students in grades 9-12
Festival events designed for students in grades 9-12
The Festival of Literary Diversity will host live school groups on our new virtual platform May 4-7, 2021. Teachers can now register a class of up to 35 students for $75/event, which will allow each student to attend the event using their own unique code. For safety reasons, student codes will limit a student’s use of the platform, but it will allow them to login on their own — ideal for teachers who may be sending multiple classes or who may not have class at the scheduled time.
Alternatively, a teacher can purchase an individual pass and use their account to show the event live to their class and/or on-demand for the entire month of May.
Teachers are invited to use the Educator’s Guide before/after the event to prepare students and to discuss the content of the events as a class. The FOLD 2021 Educator Guide includes information on the authors and illustrators, as well as their books. It also includes discussion questions and post-event activities.
PANEL | The Power and Possibility of Fiction (Grade 9-12)
Fiction provides a space to learn from works created entirely from the imagination of the author, some rooted in real world experiences, some straying into worlds of fantastic creation. In this event for teen readers, authors Tanya Boteju (Bruised), Sarah Suk (Made In Korea) and Cole Pauls (Dakwakada Warriors) discuss how to shape stories that impact young readers. In this 60-minute event for school groups, authors relay the power and possibility that literature provides, how creating new worlds and fictitious characters provide an important lens on contemporary realities.
PRESENTATION | THE SPOKEN WORD SHOWCASE (Grade 8-12)
The Spoken Word Showcase features presentations from three incredible spoken word artists, followed by a short Q and A with the artists. With performances by artists from a diverse range of backgrounds and experiences, the annual showcase reveals the power of oral story-telling traditions and provides an essential resource for young people who are exploring their place and purpose in a complicated world.
Thursday, May 6, 2021 | 2pm ET
INTERVIEW | BEHIND THE STORY OF DWAYNE “DERO” DE ROSARIO (Grades 9-12)
Born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario, Dwayne De Rosario wasn”t expected to make it out of high school, let alone to the top of soccer world as the best male soccer player to come out of Canada. As part of a family of five, growing up in a one-bedroom apartment, he had to work for everything he had and sometimes that meant doing things he realized he didn’t want to do. It was soccer that saved him from a life on the street. For the first time, Dwayne shares many heartbreaking, life-altering stories from his mischievous childhood, an upbringing that made him the hungry, successful, superstar athlete he became.
Friday, May 7, 2021 | 1pm ET
PRESENTATION | THE ILLUSTRATOR BATTLE (Grades 7-11)
In this new event for middle grade and secondary students, illustrators take up their drawing tools and battle it out for viewers to judge the best illustrations. This not-to-be-missed interactive and hilarious event features live drawings by illustrators Jason Loo, Cole Pauls and Anoosha Syed.
School Group events are ideally suited for students grade 8-12 due to mature themes and subject matter. The illustrator battle is suitable for students as young as grade 7. School group events in November, for the FOLD Kids Book Fest will be tailored to elementary and middle grade students.
If you’re planning to show the event in class, we recommend that you claim a few virtual codes in the event that a student is absent or unable to attend class on the day. We will not be able to adjust the numbers once your registration is confirmed, so please plan accordingly.
All teachers who are part of the boards who have purchased a block of tickets will receive their unique student codes the week of April 20th. Teachers who register individual classes starting March 25 will receive their codes immediately.
Yes! If you’re part of a block group of tickets, each student will be given a unique code for each event. If you’re registering your class on the site, your codes will apply for whatever day(s) you register.
We recommend that you get a few codes in case some of your students can’t physically attend your class that day. You can also get codes for your whole class in case in-person learning isn’t possible during the festival. It’s also important to note that there’s no guarantee that you can get more codes once they’ve all been spoken for.
On the day of the event, teachers and students will go to the login page. Teachers will use their email address and students will use a code, which will prompt them to create a password. The login and code will only work on the day of the registered event.
The festival will be held on an innovative, customized virtual platform. Guests will begin in the lobby and will “enter” a virtual auditorium. By clicking on the screen in the auditorium and selecting the appropriate event, a Zoom-based event will “pop-out” for students and teachers to watch the event.
The FOLD is taking every precaution to keep all guests safe. All students entering the platform virtually, will require a code to enter the platform. They will not need to share any emails and they will not need to login to Zoom. They will never appear on video. The Zoom chat function will be closed to student, and the question and answer box will be set to private. All questions will be monitored by a designated FOLD team member.
Our Virtual Safe Space Policy will be posted here and on the platform and shared with teachers prior to the event. In the unfortunate event that inappropriate behaviour does occur, FOLD staff will act swiftly, in consultation with the teacher and school board.
We recommend logging in to the platform 10 mins before the event. The event will go live roughly 5 mins before start time to give people time to enter Zoom. If any issues arise, individual teachers will have access to an info desk and tech support.
Teachers who have registered for the school group events will be sent a link to the recorded events after May 8th. The four videos will be available until May 31st.
To access other live events or to use the platform, teachers and students would need to purchase a FOLD 2021 pass. Patron passes are available for those in financial need.
As of March 1, Peel District School Board and Halton District School Board teachers can request tickets by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We will update this site if any additional school boards reserve spaces for their teachers. March 20 is the last chance school boards to confirm or reserve a block of tickets.
Register for the tickets you MIGHT need and adjust your ticket amount once you know your class numbers. If the block of tickets are claimed and you need more tickets later, we will not be able to add more tickets, but if you adjust your tickets later, it’s possible that someone else may be able to use your leftovers.
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.