Authors & Speakers - The FOLD
fold-iconThe Festival of Literary Diversity

Authors & Speakers

Learn more about the powerful authors, poets and storytellers that took part in the 2024 festival.

Description

The Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD) celebrates Canadian and international authors every year at its flagship festival in May.

The festival includes panels, discussions, workshops, and interactive events that allow guests from across Canada and around the world to participate. The festival delivered in-person events for four festivals and presented virtual events for two years in response to the pandemic, and since 2022, the festival has presented more than thirty events annually in a multi-modal format, beginning with a virtual festival and transitioning into in-person events later in the week.

The 2024 festival will return April 28 – May 5. Events April 28 – May 1 will be virtual, while events May 2 – 5 will be offered in-person.

For more information on Tickets and Passes.

 

 

 

 

Featured Speaker(s)

Headshot of Waubgeshig Rice, an Indigenous man.
Waubgeshig Rice
Bio

Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist originally from Wasauksing First Nation on Georgian Bay.

Headshot of Leanne Toshiko Simpson, a mixed race woman.
Leanne Toshiko Simpson
Bio

Leanne Toshiko Simpson is a Yonsei writer and psychiatric survivor from Scarborough who teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto and mental health spaces across the city.

Headshot of the author Matthew R. Morris, a Black man.
Matthew R. Morris
Bio

MATTHEW R. MORRIS is an educator, anti-racism advocate, and writer based out of Toronto. He is the author of Black Boys Like Me.

Headshot of Balsam Karam, a Kurdish woman.
Balsam Karam
Bio

Balsam Karam is a Kurdish author writing in Swedish, current with the novel The Singularity.

Headshot of Alicia Elliot, an Indigenous woman.
Alicia Elliott
Bio

Alicia Elliott is an award-winning Mohawk writer and editor living in Brantford, Ontario. Her debut novel And Then She Fell was released in September 2023.

Square graphic showcasing Nafiza Azad—an Indo-Canadian Muslim woman wearing red lipstick and a shayla—next to the cover image for their latest book, WRITING IN COLOR. Black text beside author headshot reads: THE FESTIVAL OF LITERARY DIVERSITY, April 28 - May 5. Two purple circles on author headshot read: Virtual April 28 - May 1, and In-Person Brampton May 2 - 5. At the bottom of the graphic is a orange bar with black and orange text: Registration opens March 20 at thefoldcanada.org.
Nafiza Azad
Bio

Nafiza Azad writes books featuring fantastic creatures and magic.

Headshot of Catherine Leroux, a French White woman.
Catherine Leroux
Bio

Catherine Leroux is the author of three highly praised novels and an innovative sequence of short stories.

Headshot of author Louisa Onomé, a Nigerian-Canadian woman.
Louisa Onomé
Bio

Louisa Onomé is a Nigerian-Canadian writer of books for teens and adults, including PRIDE AND JOY (2024) and THE MELANCHOLY OF SUMMER (2023).

Headshot of Christina Wong, a South Asian woman.
Christina Wong
Bio

Christina Wong is an interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto, primarily working as a playwright and prose writer.

Headshot of Taj McCoy, a Black woman.
Taj McCoy
Bio

Law grad, literary agent, and higher ed consultant Taj McCoy is the author of several romantic comedies, with THE GOOD ONES ARE TAKEN releasing in April 2024.

Headshot of author Kazim Ali, a person of South Asian descent.
Kazim Ali
Bio
Headshot of author Farzana Doctor, a woman of South Asian descent.
Farzana Doctor
Bio

Farzana Doctor is a Tkaronto-based author, activist and psychotherapist who has written four critically acclaimed novels, a poetry collection and a self-help book for helpers and activists.

Headshot of Mai Nguyen, a Vietnamese woman.
Mai Nguyen
Bio

Mai Nguyen is the author of SUNSHINE NAILS.

Headshot of Tara Fraser, a woman of South Asian and Scottish ancestry.
Tara Sidhoo Fraser
Bio

Tara Sidhoo Fraser is a queer writer and creator of South Asian and Scottish ancestry.

Headshot of RJ McDaniel.
RJ McDaniel
Bio

RJ McDaniel is the author of ALL THINGS SEEN AND UNSEEN (ECW Press, 2024).

Headshot of Tania De Rozario, a Singaporean woman.
Tania De Rozario
Bio

Tania De Rozario is a writer and visual artist working in poetry and memoir. Her essay collection, Dinner on Monster Island, was published by Harper Perennial (2024).

Headshot of a Black person with short hair and a beard sitting on a chair speaking.
Rodney Diverlus
Bio

Rodney Diverlus is a Haitian-Canadian artist and best-selling author.

Square graphic showcasing Jessica Johns—a woman of English, Irish and Sucker Creek First Nation ancestry wearing a yellow scarf, standing in front of blue wall—next to the cover image for their latest book, BAD CREE. Black text beside author headshot reads: THE FESTIVAL OF LITERARY DIVERSITY, April 28 - May 5. Two purple circles on author headshot read: Virtual April 28 - May 1, and In-Person Brampton May 2 - 5. At the bottom of the graphic is a orange bar with black and orange text: Registration opens March 20 at thefoldcanada.org.
Jessica Johns
Bio

Jessica Johns is a queer nehiyaw aunty with English-Irish ancestry and a member of Sucker Creek First Nation.

Headshot of TiffanyMorris, an L’nu’skw woman.
Tiffany Morris
Bio

Tiffany Morris is the author of the swampcore horror novella Green Fuse Burning and the Elgin Award-winning horror poetry collection Elegies of Rotting Stars.

Headshot of Alina Khawaja, a Canadian-Pakistani woman.
Alina Khawaja
Bio

Alina Khawaja is a Canadian-Pakistani author, and when she’s not writing, she’s desperately trying to keep up with her list of K-dramas. She is the author of Maya’s Laws of Love.

Headshot of the author Marjorie Beaucage, a Métis woman.
Marjorie Beaucage
Bio

Marjorie Beaucage is an art-ivist telling stories as medicine for good relations and change.

Headshot of author Roshan James, a Tibetan-Indian woman.
Roshan James
Bio

Roshan James (she/her) is a Tibetan-Indian poet, interdisciplinary artist, and musician, living as a settler in southwestern Ontario. She is the author of Pink Moon.

Headshot of a Black man wearing a dark suit and glasses.
Brian G. Buckmire
Bio

Brian G. Buckmire is an ABC Legal Contributor and Trial Counsel at Hamilton Clarke LLP and the author of Come Home Safe.

Headshot of a Congolese woman with braids wearing a black t-shirt standing in front of a olive green wall.
Téa Mutonji
Bio

Téa Mutonji is thea award winning author of Shut Up You’re Pretty. She lives and writes in Toronto.

Square graphic showcasing Adam Pottle—a White man with short hair and a beard standing under a bridge—next to the cover image for their latest book, APPARITIONS. Black text beside author headshot reads: THE FESTIVAL OF LITERARY DIVERSITY, April 28 - May 5. Two purple circles on author headshot read: Virtual April 28 - May 1, and In-Person Brampton May 2 - 5. At the bottom of the graphic is a orange bar with black and orange text: Registration opens March 20 at thefoldcanada.org.
Adam Pottle
Bio

Adam Pottle is an award-winning Deaf author whose works span multiple genres, from horror novels and memoirs to plays and children’s books.

Headshot of Tessa Hulls, a mixed-race woman.
Tessa Hulls
Bio

Tessa Hulls is an artist/writer/adventurer who spent a decade making her graphic memoir, FEEDING GHOSTS.

Headshot of Christina Estima, a woman of mixed ethnicity.
Christine Estima
Bio

Christine Estima‘s debut book THE SYRIAN LADIES BENEVOLENT SOCIETY was named one of CBC’s Best Books of 2023.

Headshot of author Sarah Mughal Rana, a Pakistani woman.
Sarah Mughal Rana
Bio

Sarah Mughal Rana is a Muslim author who graduated from the University of Toronto and is now pursuing her MPhil in Asian studies at Oxford. She works at the intersection of human rights and Asian policy.

Headshot of a Vietnamese woman with short hair.
Kim Thúy
Bio

At the age of 10, Kim Thúy left Vietnam and came to Quebec as a refugee. She has received many awards and her books have been translated into 31 languages. She is the author of Ru.

Headshot of Natalie Sue, an Iranian-British woman.
Natalie Sue
Bio

Natalie Sue is a Canadian author of Iranian and British descent. She lives in Calgary with her family. She is the author of I Hope This Finds You Well.

Headshot of Clara Kumagai, a Canadian-Japanese woman.
Clara Kumagai
Bio

Clara Kumagai is from Ireland, Canada and Japan. Catfish Rolling is her debut novel.

Headshot of Opal Wei, an East Asian woman.
Opal Wei
Bio

Opal Wei is the author of Wild Life, a screwball rom-com.

Greyscale headshot of a transmasc individual with short hair smiling.
Matteo Cerilli
Bio

Matteo L. Cerilli (he/him) is a transmasc author and activist specializing in speculative fiction for all ages.

Headshot of the author Emily Pohl-Weary, a White woman.
Emily Pohl-Weary
Bio

Emily Pohl-Weary is the award-winning author of eight books and her latest young adult novel is How to Be Found.

Headshot of a mixed-race woman with short hair wearing a grey sweater.
Alexis Kienlen
Bio

Alexis Kienlen is a mixed race journalist, poet, fiction writer, novelist, and essayist living in Edmonton on Treaty 6.

Headshot of a white woman with long brown hair wearing a teal shirt smiling.
Amanda Leduc
Bio

Amanda Leduc is the author of DISFIGURED: ON FAIRY TALES, DISABILITY AND MAKING SPACE and the novel THE CENTAUR’S WIFE. She has cerebral palsy and lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

Headshot of a White woman with dark shoulder-length hair wearing a cream sweater.
Bianca Marais
Bio

Bianca Marais is a bestselling author, award-winning creative writing instructor, and cohost of the popular podcast, The Sh*t No One Tells You About Writing.

Headshot of a mixed Cree, queer, transexual two spirit individual.
Calypso Haine
Bio

Calypso Haine is a mixed Cree, queer, transsexual, twospirit poet with a special love for writing about the transsexual experience.

Headshot of a White woman with blonde hair wearing a white turtleneck sweater.
Carly Watters
Bio

Carly Watters is a Senior Literary Agent at P.S. Literary.

Greyscale headshot of an Indigenous-Filipino individual with long hair wearing a long dark t-shirt smiling.
Castor Angus
Bio

Castor is Victoria-based writers that puts his Indigenous and Filipino roots into his work, explores stage plays and YA fiction.

Headshot of a White woman with long brown hair wearing a grey sweater.
CeCe Lyra
Bio

CeCe Lyra is a literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency representing adult fiction and nonfiction and the co-host of the popular podcast The Sh*t No One Tells You About Writing.

Headshot of East Asian man wearing a black shirt smiling.
David Yoon
Bio

David Yoon (@ThePoptimist on YouTube) is a Waterloo Region native working in Canada’s high tech hotbed with a side hustle as an avid reader and semi-prolific booktuber focused primarily on literary fiction.

Greyscale headshot of an White individual with short dark hair wearing a turtleneck sweater.
Jason Purcell
Bio

Jason Purcell is a writer and musician from Treaty 6 (Edmonton, Alberta). They are the author of Swollening and was co-founder of Edmonton’s Glass Bookshop.

Headshot of a Black woman wearing jeans and a white top siting on a bright yellow bench.
Jess Kirk
Bio

Jess Kirk is an artist, organizer, and Executive Director of Wildseed Centre for Art & Activism – a community hub that nurtures Black creative possibilities.

Headshot of a woman with dark straight hair.
Laura Ash
Bio

Bookseller for 20 years. She is currently the Co-coordinator at Another Story Bookshop.

Headshot of a Métis woman wearing a flannel shirt and red beanie sitting in from of a fireplace.
Lareina Abbott
Bio

Lareina Abbott is a writer who pens Métis themed speculative fiction, essays and memoir.

Headshot of a Black woman with braids wearing a bright red shirt smiling.
Léonicka Valcius
Bio

Léonicka Valcius is 2024 graduate from the Lincoln Alexander School of Law, and a Literary Agent at Transatlantic Agency. She represents books for children and adults with a focus on commercial and genre fiction by writers of colour.

Headshot of a Muslim woman with short hair wearing a grey outfit smiling.
Salma Hussain
Bio

Salma Hussain‘s funny novel, The Secret Diary of Mona Hasan is about a young girl’s immigration and menstruation journey. It was published by Penguin Random House in 2022.

Greyscale headshot of a Black woman with short hair wearing a white shirt smiling.
Simone Dalton
Bio

Simone Dalton is an award-winning author, teaching artist, and playwright. Her work is anthologized in Watch Your Head, Black Writers Matter, and more. Simone holds an MFA from the University of Guelph and is working on her first book.

Headshot of Somali-Canadian woman wearing dark clothes and glasses smiling.
Tasnim Geedi
Bio

Tasnim Geedi, a 24-year-old Somali-Canadian and content creator known as @groovytas on TikTok, champions own-voice stories and promotes diversity in publishing.

Headshot of a woman with long hair holding up a book.
Tina May
Bio

Tina May is a passionate reader and bookstagrammer @tinamayreads in Vancouver, BC.

Headshot of a Métis man with short hair smiling.
Warren Cariou
Bio

Warren Cariou is a Métis writer, artist and professor based in Winnipeg. In addition to his own creative work, he has edited books by numerous Indigenous writers.

Headshot of a Black woman wearing a black turtleneck sweater.
afrakaren
Bio

afrakaren is a critical thinker and contemporary philosopher, focused on the language of narrative, who is deeply invested in claiming spaces of healing and rest for #theblackbodypolitic.

Headshot of a woman wearing a grey t-shirt.
Caterina Sauro
Bio

Caterina Sauro is a poet, multi-faceted artist and self-published author based in Mississauga, ON.

Headshot of a black man wearing a white shirt and beige blazer.
David Delisca
Bio

Haitian born writer and performer based in Toronto.

Headshot of a black woman wearing a polka dot dress.
The Wild Woman
Bio

Rooted in her intersections as Black, woman, and queer, award-winning spoken word artist, The Wild Woman uses poetry, spirituality, and sensual self-introspection to instigate waves of change.

Photo of an Indigenous woman in a green sweatshirt.
Hilary Atleo
Bio

Hilary Atleo is the co-owner of Iron Dog Books.

Black woman wearing royal blue dress speaking into a mic.
Amoya Reé
Bio

Amoya Reé (she/her) is a Jamaican-Canadian performance poet and 2018 Canadian National Champion. Her writing is rooted in her lived experiences as a Black Woman, mother, & arts educator.

Headshot of Waubgeshig Rice, an Indigenous man.

Waubgeshig Rice

Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation. He has written four fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His breakthrough novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. The sequel, Moon of the Turning Leaves, was published in October 2023. He graduated from the journalism program at Toronto Metropolitan University in 2002, and spent most of his journalism career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a video journalist and radio host. He left CBC in 2020 to focus on his literary career. He lives in Sudbury, Ontario with his wife and three sons.

Headshot of Leanne Toshiko Simpson, a mixed race woman.

Leanne Toshiko Simpson

Leanne Toshiko Simpson is a mixed-race Yonsei writer who lives with bipolar disorder. Named Scarborough’s Emerging Writer in 2016 and nominated for the Journey Prize in 2019, she co-founded a reflective writing program at Canada’s largest mental health hospital and teaches at the University of Toronto. Never Been Better is her debut novel.

Headshot of the author Matthew R. Morris, a Black man.

Matthew R. Morris

MATTHEW R. MORRIS is an educator, anti-racism advocate, and writer based out of Toronto. He earned a BA (Hons) and an MA in Social Justice Education from the University of Toronto. In addition to teaching, his work and public speaking on the deconstruction of Black masculinity, hip-hop culture, and schooling has taken him across North America to consult on and learn about the challenges facing students and educators in the current education system. He has written articles for TVO, Huffington Post, ETFO Voice, and Education Canada and has been featured in Toronto Star and Sun, on CBC Radio and CityNews. He is the author of Black Boys Like Me.

Headshot of Balsam Karam, a Kurdish woman.

Balsam Karam

Balsam Karam is of Kurdish ancestry and has lived in Sweden since she was a young child. She is an author and librarian and made her literary debut in 2018 with the critically acclaimed novel, Event Horizon, which was shortlisted for the Katapult Prize and won the Småland Literature Festival’s Migrant Prize. Her second novel, The Singularity, originally published in Sweden in 2021, was shortlisted for the European Union Prize for Literature, the August Prize, and Svenska Dagbladet’s Literature Prize.

Headshot of Alicia Elliot, an Indigenous woman.

Alicia Elliott

Alicia Elliott is an award-winning Mohawk writer and editor living in Brantford, Ontario. Her best-selling first book, A Mind Spread Out On The Ground, was nominated for the Hilary Weston Nonfiction Prize. Her debut novel And Then She Fell was an instant national bestseller.

Square graphic showcasing Nafiza Azad—an Indo-Canadian Muslim woman wearing red lipstick and a shayla—next to the cover image for their latest book, WRITING IN COLOR. Black text beside author headshot reads: THE FESTIVAL OF LITERARY DIVERSITY, April 28 - May 5. Two purple circles on author headshot read: Virtual April 28 - May 1, and In-Person Brampton May 2 - 5. At the bottom of the graphic is a orange bar with black and orange text: Registration opens March 20 at thefoldcanada.org.

Nafiza Azad

Nafiza Azad is an award-winning Indo-Canadian Muslim author. She writes books featuring magic and spunky female protagonists. She is also the co-editor of Writing in Color.

Headshot of author Craig Shreve, a Black man.

Craig Shreve

Craig Shreve is an author that was born and raised in North Buxton, Ontario. His debut novel One Night in Mississippi was published in 2015. His 2023 novel, The African Samurai, was listed by Paste Magazine and Bookbub as one of 2023’s most anticipated new releases, and was named by Quill and Quire and The Miramachi Reader as one of 2023’s best novels. It has been translated internationally in thirteen different languages, and was optioned for a Netflix series. He currently lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Headshot of Catherine Leroux, a French White woman.

Catherine Leroux

Catherine Leroux is the author of three highly praised novels and an innovative sequence of short stories. Her bestselling second novel, The Party Wall, a translation of Le mur mitoyen, won the France–Quebec Prize in the original and, in translation, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Dublin IMPAC Award. Leroux’s story sequence, Madame Victoria, won Quebec’s Adrienne Choquette Prize. The French original of The Future (L’avenir) won the Jacques Brossard Prize. Catherine Leroux works as a translator and editor in Montreal. She was awarded the 2019 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation.

Headshot of author Louisa Onomé, a Nigerian-Canadian woman.

Louisa Onomé

Louisa Onomé is a Nigerian-Canadian writer of books for teens and adults. She holds a BA in professional writing and a MA in counselling psychology. Her debut young adult novel LIKE HOME was critically acclaimed, receiving several starred reviews, including from Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal. ​ When she is not writing, she works as a narrative designer in games. Her hobbies include language study, obsessing a healthy amount over her favourite video games, and perfecting her skincare routine. She currently resides in the Toronto area.

Headshot of Christina Wong, a South Asian woman.

Christina Wong

Christina Wong is a playwright, prose writer, and an interdisciplinary artist who also works in sound installation and printmaking. Her plays have been performed at Factory Studio, Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace, and Palmerston Library Theatre. Christina was also part of Diaspora Dialogues Mentorship Program (playwriting and short-form), Nightwood Theatre’s Write From the Hip, and fu-GEN’s Kitchen playwriting unit. Her work has also appeared in Spacing, TOK Magazine, and on CJTM 1280AM. She also holds a PhD in Music from the University of Leeds. She is the author of Denison Avenue.

Headshot of Taj McCoy, a Black woman.

Taj McCoy

Oakland-born law grad, Taj McCoy, is the author of SAVVY SHELDON FEELS GOOD AS HELL, ZORA BOOKS HER HAPPY EVER AFTER, and editor of the disaster romcom anthology EVEN IF THE SKY IS FALLING. In addition to writing, Taj works as a literary agent and a higher education consultant. She joined Rees Literary Agency in 2022 and aims to widen the entryway for marginalized authors and to normalize Black joy, fat joy, celebrations of culture, and love without limitations, representing Children’s and Adult Fiction and Nonfiction. Her newest novel THE GOOD ONES ARE TAKEN releases in April 2024.

Headshot of author Kazim Ali, a person of South Asian descent.

Kazim Ali

Kazim Ali is the author of more than twenty books of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and cross-genre work. He has translated books by Ananda Devi, Marguerite Duras, and Sohrab Sepehri. Founding Editor of Nightboat Books, he currents serves as professor and chair of the Department of Literature at the University of California, San Diego.

Headshot of author Farzana Doctor, a woman of South Asian descent.

Farzana Doctor

Farzana Doctor is a Tkaronto-based author, activist and psychotherapist. She has written four critically acclaimed novels including Stealing Nasreen, Six Metres of Pavement, All Inclusive, and Seven, a poetry collection You Still Look The Same, and a self- and community care workbook for helpers and activists, 52 Weeks To A Sweeter Life. In 2023, Farzana received the prestigious Freedom To Read Award. A founding member of WeSpeakOut and the End FGM Canada Network, she is also the Maasi behind Dear Maasi, a sex and relationships column for FGM/C survivors. www.Linktr.ee/farzanadoctor

Headshot of Mai Nguyen, a Vietnamese woman.

Mai Nguyen

Mai Nguyen is the author of SUNSHINE NAILS, which was longlisted for Canada Reads 2024. She is also a journalist and copywriter who has written for Wired, The Washington Post, The Toronto Star, and several major brands. Raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, she now lives in Toronto.

Headshot of Tara Fraser, a woman of South Asian and Scottish ancestry.

Tara Sidhoo Fraser

Tara Sidhoo Fraser is a queer writer and creator of South Asian and Scottish ancestry. She graduated from the University of Victoria with a BA in Anthropology, and her work has been published with Autostraddle and Anathema magazine, among others. When My Ghost Sings is her first book. She lives in Vancouver.

Headshot of RJ McDaniel.

RJ McDaniel

RJ’s essays on baseball and other topics have been featured at Catapult, VICE Sports, Baseball Prospectus, and FanGraphs, among others. They were the inaugural Writer in Residence at the Upstart & Crow Literary Arts Studio. Their debut novel, ALL THINGS SEEN AND UNSEEN, is forthcoming in April 2024 from ECW Press.

Headshot of Tania De Rozario, a Singaporean woman.

Tania De Rozario

Tania De Rozario is a writer and visual artist. Her essay collection, Dinner on Monster Island, was published by Harper Perennial (2024). Her work has won the New Ohio Review Nonfiction contest (2020), the Muriel Craft Bailey Poetry Contest (2021) and Singapore’s Golden Point Award (2011). Her memoir, And The Walls Come Crumbling Down was a Lambda Literary Award finalist (2021), and her first collection of poetry, Tender Delirium, was shortlisted for the the Singapore Literature Prize (2014).

Headshot of a Black person with short hair and a beard sitting on a chair speaking.

Rodney Diverlus

Rodney Diverlus (They/Them) is a Haitian-Canadian storyteller and artivist who use body, voice, and the pen to weave diasporic and queer narratives of life and freedom. They create works across mediums; working extensively in film, theatre, dance, and multidisciplinary performance. Their artivism imagines large-scale public installations that blur the lines of protest, art, and performance. Diverlus is a co-founder of Black Lives Matter—Canada, and the Wildseed Centre for Art & Activism. They are co-author of Canadian bestseller Until We Are Free: Reflections on Black Lives Matter in Canada.

Square graphic showcasing Jessica Johns—a woman of English, Irish and Sucker Creek First Nation ancestry wearing a yellow scarf, standing in front of blue wall—next to the cover image for their latest book, BAD CREE. Black text beside author headshot reads: THE FESTIVAL OF LITERARY DIVERSITY, April 28 - May 5. Two purple circles on author headshot read: Virtual April 28 - May 1, and In-Person Brampton May 2 - 5. At the bottom of the graphic is a orange bar with black and orange text: Registration opens March 20 at thefoldcanada.org.

Jessica Johns

Jessica Johns is a queer nehiyaw aunty with English-Irish ancestry and a member of Sucker Creek First Nation. Her debut novel, Bad Cree, was shortlisted for the Amazon first novel award and is a Canada Reads finalist.

Headshot of TiffanyMorris, an L’nu’skw woman.

Tiffany Morris

Tiffany Morris is an L’nu’skw (Mi’kmaw) writer from Nova Scotia. She is the author of the swampcore horror novella Green Fuse Burning (Stelliform Books, 2023) and the Elgin Award-winning horror poetry collection Elegies of Rotting Stars (Nictitating Books, 2022). Her work has appeared in the Indigenous horror anthology Never Whistle At Night (Vintage Books), as well as in Nightmare Magazine, Uncanny Magazine, and Apex Magazine, among others. She has an MA in English with a focus on Indigenous Futurisms and apocalyptic literature.

Headshot of Alina Khawaja, a Canadian-Pakistani woman.

Alina Khawaja

Alina Khawaja is a Canadian-Pakistani author. A graduate from the University of Toronto with a BA in English, History and Creative Writing and from Toronto Metropolitan University with an MA in the Literatures of Modernity, it’s been clear from day one that the only thing Alina could be is a storyteller. Alina lives in Ontario, Canada, where she spends the summer at theme parks and the winter cozying up inside with a ridiculously expensive coffee. When she’s not writing, she’s either reading or trying to keep up with her endless list of k-dramas. She is the author of Maya’s Laws of Love.

Headshot of the author Marjorie Beaucage, a Métis woman.

Marjorie Beaucage

Marjorie Beaucage is a Two-Spirit Métis Auntie, filmmaker, art-ivist and educator, a land protector and a water walker. Born in Vassar, Manitoba, to a large Métis family, Marjorie’s life’s work has been about creating social change, working to give people the tools for creating possibilities and right relations. She is giving back to future art-ivists as they stand up for themselves and community through creating art, music, writing, ceremony. To create change and healing for the people with story medicine. Marjorie is the author of Leave Some for the Birds.

Headshot of author Roshan James, a Tibetan-Indian woman.

Roshan James

Roshan James (she/her) is a Tibetan-Indian multidisciplinary artist, poet, and musician, living as a settler in southwestern Ontario. Roshan researches and experiments to create work that embodies decolonization, identity, timelessness, mindfulness, purpose, and healing. Entrenched in her work is anti-oppression advocacy and representation of marginalized, queer, and melanated voices to help dismantle colonial, capitalistic systems. She is deeply involved in advocating for mental health and the arts – Roshan is on the Board of Governors for Lutherwood Canada, and she sits on the Board of Directors for the Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener + Area (CAFKA). She is the author of Pink Moon.

Headshot of a Black man wearing a dark suit and glasses.

Brian G. Buckmire

Former NYC Public Defender, ABC Legal Contributor appearing on GMA, World News, Nightline, ABC News Live and on his GMA3 segment, “Better Call Brian.” Trial Counsel at Hamilton Clarke LLP, where he handles federal criminal defense and civil rights cases. Law & Crime Host and memeber of the Board of Trustees for Coney Island Prep.

Headshot of a Congolese woman with braids wearing a black t-shirt standing in front of a olive green wall.

Téa Mutonji

Born in Congo-Kinshasa, Téa Mutonji is a writer and poet based in Toronto. Hr short stories, Property of Neil and The Photographer’s Wife were awarded in The Journey Prize 33. Her debut collection, Shut Up You’re Pretty was shortlisted for the Atwood Gibson Writer’s Trust Prize (2019) and won the Edmund White Debut Fiction Award (2020) and the Trillium Book Award (2020). Mutonji is the recipient of the Jill Davis Fellowship (2021) at New York University where she is an MFA candidate.

Square graphic showcasing Adam Pottle—a White man with short hair and a beard standing under a bridge—next to the cover image for their latest book, APPARITIONS. Black text beside author headshot reads: THE FESTIVAL OF LITERARY DIVERSITY, April 28 - May 5. Two purple circles on author headshot read: Virtual April 28 - May 1, and In-Person Brampton May 2 - 5. At the bottom of the graphic is a orange bar with black and orange text: Registration opens March 20 at thefoldcanada.org.

Adam Pottle

Adam Pottle is an award-winning Deaf author whose works span multiple genres. His books include the horror novel APPARITIONS, the historical suspense novella THE BUS, and the writing memoir VOICE. He is the author of the groundbreaking Deaf musical THE BLACK DRUM, and his children’s book BUTTERFLY ON THE WIND was released in March. When not writing or teaching, he is at the boxing gym, the library, or the park with with his wife Deborah and their goldendoodle Valkyrie. He lives in Saskatoon.

Headshot of Tessa Hulls, a mixed-race woman.

Tessa Hulls

Tessa Hulls is an artist, writer, and adventurer who is equally likely to disappear into a research library or the wilderness. Her essays have appeared in The Washington Post, Atlas Obscura, and Adventure Journal, and her comics have been published in The Rumpus, City Arts, and The Margins. She has been awarded grants from the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, 4Culture, and the McMillen Foundation, and is the recipient of the Washington Artist Trust Arts Innovator Award. Feeding Ghosts is her first book.

Headshot of Christina Estima, a woman of mixed ethnicity.

Christine Estima

Christine Estima is a novelist and freelance writer based in Toronto. Her debut book THE SYRIAN LADIES BENEVOLENT SOCIETY was one of CBC’s Best Books of 2023. She has written for The New York Times, The Walrus, The Observer, The Globe and Mail, VICE, The Toronto Star, Chatelaine, Maisonneuve, and many more.

Headshot of author Sarah Mughal Rana, a Pakistani woman.

Sarah Mughal Rana

Sarah Mughal Rana, author of the debut novel Hope Ablaze, is a writer and student at Oxford University, pursuing her MPhil in Asian studies at Oxford. She is a BookTok personality and the co-host of On the Write Track Podcast where she enjoys spilling tea with her favourite authors about the book world. Outside of school, she falls down history rabbit holes and trains in traditional martial arts. These days you can find her on Instagram & Tiktok.

Headshot of a Vietnamese woman with short hair.

Kim Thúy

Kim Thúy was born in Vietnam in 1968. At the age of 10 she left Vietnam along with a wave of refugees and settled with her family in Quebec, Canada. A graduate in translation and law, she has worked as a seamstress, interpreter, lawyer, and restaurant owner.She has received many awards, including the 2010 Governor General’s Literary Award, and was one of the top 4 finalists of the Alternative Nobel Prize in 2018. Her books have sold more than 850,000 copies around the world and have been translated into 31 languages and distributed across 43 countries and territories.

Headshot of Natalie Sue, an Iranian-British woman.

Natalie Sue

Natalie Sue is a Canadian author of Iranian and British descent. She spent her formative years moving around western Canada with a brief stint in Scotland, where she discovered her passion for storytelling and the comfort of reading. She’s served her country in the Tim Hortons drive-through, been a bartender and an assistant, and worked in criminal justice, but through it all she’s been a writer. She lives in Calgary with her husband, daughter, and dog. She is the author of I Hope This Finds You Well.

Headshot of Clara Kumagai, a Canadian-Japanese woman.

Clara Kumagai

Clara Kumagai is from Ireland, Canada, and Japan. Her fiction and nonfiction has been published in The Stinging Fly, Banshee, The Kyoto Journal, Room and Cicada, among others. Her debut young adult novel Catfish Rolling was published in 2023, and has been shortlisted for the Great Reads Award, nominated for the YOTO Carnegie Award and named as one of USBBY’s 2024 Outstanding International Books. She lives and writes in Ireland.

Headshot of Opal Wei, an East Asian woman.

Opal Wei

Opal Wei is the author of the screwball rom-com Wild Life, which was called “breathtaking” by The New York Times Book Review. As Ruby Lang, she’s written several contemporary romances featuring multicultural characters and their rambunctious families. As Mindy Hung (yes, she has a lot of names), her work has appeared in The Walrus and The New York Times. She lives in Toronto with her family.

Greyscale headshot of a transmasc individual with short hair smiling.

Matteo Cerilli

Matteo L. Cerilli (he/him) is a transmasc author specializing in speculative fiction for all ages. His writing aims to erase the barrier between liberation movements and the people they’re for, by opening doorways to Big Ideas like queer liberation, youth equity, neurodivergent justice, and community care. His activism work includes setting up gender care for trans students at Trans Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Asexual @ York University (TBLGAY) and helping to found the Students for Queer Liberation in Toronto, where he currently lives with his partner.

Headshot of the author Emily Pohl-Weary, a White woman.

Emily Pohl-Weary

Emily Pohl-Weary is the author of eight books, a play, and a girl pirate comic. Her young adult novel, How to Be Found, features a “grittier Nancy Drew” (Toronto Star) and “captures the angst and drama of teen life” (Zoomer). The Witch’s Circle, her 40-minute audio play, can be streamed at https://theotherpath.ca/listen. Previous books include Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl (YA), Strange Times at Western High (middle-grade), Ghost Sick (poetry), and Better to Have Loved: The Life of Judith Merril (non-fiction). She lives in Vancouver, on Musqueam Territory, where she teaches at the University of British Columbia.

Headshot of a mixed-race woman with short hair wearing a grey sweater.

Alexis Kienlen

Alexis Kienlen is a mixed race writer living in Edmonton on Treaty 6. She is a journalist, poet, fiction writer, novelist and essayist, and the author of 4 books. She dabbled in reading horror fiction for years, but fell fully in love with the genre in 2021. She is an associate member of the Horror Writers Association.

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Amanda Leduc

Amanda Leduc is the author of DISFIGURED: ON FAIRY TALES, DISABILITY AND MAKING SPACE and the novel THE CENTAUR’S WIFE. She has cerebral palsy and lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

Headshot of a White woman with dark shoulder-length hair wearing a cream sweater.

Bianca Marais

Bianca Marais is the bestselling author of The Witches of Moonshyne Manor, Hum If You Don’t Know the Words, and If You Want to Make God Laugh. She’s an award-winning creative writing instructor, and the founder and cohost of the popular podcast, The Shit No One Tells You About Writing, which is aimed at helping emerging writers become published.

Headshot of a mixed Cree, queer, transexual two spirit individual.

Calypso Haine

Calypso Haine (all pronouns) is a mixed Cree, queer, transsexual, twospirit poet. Their work focuses on the body and its relation to the land, as well as personal queerness that is nurtured by nature. Her work is playful, emotional, and highly personal. He believes that anything can be poetry, and that poetry is inherently an act of resistance and decolonization. By sharing their poetry, they hope to inspire others to dig deeper into themselves and find both the emotions that may hide from them and the strength to communicate them.

Headshot of a White woman with blonde hair wearing a white turtleneck sweater.

Carly Watters

Carly Watters is a Senior Literary Agent at P.S. Literary and VP of PACLA (Professional Association of Canadian Literary Agents). She’s been an agent for 13 years and represents award-winners and bestsellers in a variety of categories. Clients have been translated into 40 languages, optioned for TV, and have been on every bestseller list including the New York Times, USA Today and Globe and Mail. Carly co-hosts The Sh*t No One Tells You About Writing podcast.

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Castor Angus

Castor is a Victoria-based writer with his roots in both Indigenous and Filipino heritage which he brings to his storytelling. He primarily writes in both stage plays and YA fiction. Having recently participated in Audible’s Indigenous Writing Circle under the mentorship of Renulta Arluk, Castor is on a creative odyssey, leaving his mark both onstage and the literary stage. Beyond the written word, he’s heavily involved in Victoria’s arts scene, passionately contributing to theatre, opera, and live events.

Headshot of a White woman with long brown hair wearing a grey sweater.

CeCe Lyra

CeCe Lyra is a literary agent at P.S. Literary Agency representing adult fiction and nonfiction. A longterm strategic thinker, CeCe prioritizes the creative reach and sustainable longevity of her authors’ careers, and she is especially looking for clients with whom she can build fruitful, lasting relationships. CeCe believes that stories are empathy generating machines capable of healing, connecting, and enacting true change. As a mixed race Latinx immigrant, CeCe understands the power of seeing oneself reflected in books, hence her passion for championing under or misrepresented voices and narratives. She is also the co-host of the popular podcast, The Sh*t No One Tells you About Writing, which has over two million downloads.

Headshot of East Asian man wearing a black shirt smiling.

David Yoon

David Yoon is a Waterloo Region native working in Canada’s high tech hotbed with a side hustle as an avid reader and semi-prolific booktuber focused primarily on literary fiction. A massive fan of the serendipity of shared experiences, he’s helped organize and run local events like TedXWaterloo and Ignite Waterloo Region. Lately David’s been busy being a father, husband, tequila fan, and enthusiastic eater of doughnuts. Avowed introvert but capable of faking it otherwise. Big supporter of kindness, long lunches, and guaranteed to be super into whatever you’re up to lately.

Greyscale headshot of an White individual with short dark hair wearing a turtleneck sweater.

Jason Purcell

Jason Purcell is a writer and musician from Treaty 6 (Edmonton, Alberta). They are the author of Swollening and was co-founder of Edmonton’s Glass Bookshop.

Headshot of a Black woman wearing jeans and a white top siting on a bright yellow bench.

Jess Kirk

Jess Kirk is an artist, organizer, and Executive Director of Wildseed Centre for Art & Activism – a community hub that nurtures Black creative possibilities.

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Laura Ash

Bookseller for 20 years. She is currently the Co-coordinator at Another Story Bookshop.

Headshot of a Métis woman wearing a flannel shirt and red beanie sitting in from of a fireplace.

Lareina Abbott

Lareina Abbott is a writer who pens Métis themed speculative fiction, essays and memoir. Her stories have a tie to the spiritual or natural world, and to ancestry. She received the 2023 Howard O’Hagan Short Story award for her short story “Ma Soeur Marie” published in the Prairie Witch Anthology, and was part of the 2023 Audible Indigenous Writers Circle. She originates from a cattle ranch in northern British Columbia but currently lives and writes in Calgary on Métis Local 87 and Treaty 7 territory.

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Léonicka Valcius

Léonicka Valcius is 2024 graduate from the Lincoln Alexander School of Law, and a Literary Agent at Transatlantic Agency. She represents books for children and adults with a focus on commercial and genre fiction by writers of colour. Books she has worked on include NOT THE PLAN by Gia de Cadenet, FALLING BACK IN LOVE WITH BEING HUMAN by Kai Cheng Thom, and THE GROVER SCHOOL PLEDGE by Wanda Taylor.

Headshot of a Muslim woman with short hair wearing a grey outfit smiling.

Salma Hussain

Salma Hussain grew up in the U.A.E. to parents from Pakistan and immigrated to Canada when she was thirteen years old. She writes poetry and prose. Her writing has appeared in the Fiddlehead, the Humber Literary Review, Queens Quarterly, The Antigonish Review and Pleiades: Literature in Context. Her debut novel, The Secret Diary of Mona Hasan is a funny story of a young girl’s immigration and menstruation journey. Salma lives in Toronto.

Greyscale headshot of a Black woman with short hair wearing a white shirt smiling.

Simone Dalton

Simone Dalton is an award-winning author, teaching artist, and playwright. Her work is anthologized in Watch Your Head, Black Writers Matter, and more. Simone holds an MFA from the University of Guelph and is working on her first book.

Headshot of Somali-Canadian woman wearing dark clothes and glasses smiling.

Tasnim Geedi

Tasnim Geedi is a 24-year-old Somali Canadian nursing student and content creator. When she is not studying, she promotes own-voice stories on her Tik Tok account under the handle @groovytas. Passionate about diversity and accessibility within the publishing industry, she uses her platform to not only review popular books but spotlight titles that centers and uplifts people of colour. Tasnim hopes to complete her master’s degree in psychotherapy and pursue a career that advocates for women’s health. When not creating, Tasnim spends time with her friends and family in Toronto, immersing herself in another fantasy book or blasting SZA on repeat.

Headshot of a woman with long hair holding up a book.

Tina May

Tina May is a passionate reader and bookstagrammer in Vancouver, BC. Find her on Instagram and Goodreads @tinamayreads where she shares book recommendations, reviews and her current reads. She loves reading multiple books at once especially Can Lit and visiting little free libraries around the city.

Headshot of a Métis man with short hair smiling.

Warren Cariou

Warren Cariou is a Métis writer, artist and professor based in Winnipeg. In addition to his own creative work, he has edited books by numerous Indigenous writers.

Headshot of a Black woman wearing a black turtleneck sweater.

afrakaren

afrakaren is a critical thinker and contemporary philosopher who is deeply invested in claiming spaces of healing and rest for #theblackbodypolitic. With a mission to be on stage who she is off stage, afrakaren’s work/words/art/thought is embodied in the life she lives, the child she raises and the community that requires her to be her unapologetic and authentic self. Forever spiralling through this life, guided by the force of her ancestors, afrakaren believes “the artistic creation of anything can be the birth of an everything” and it is her personal mandate to midwife as many revolutions as is possible through this personal philosophy.

Headshot of a woman wearing a grey t-shirt.

Caterina Sauro

Caterina Sauro is a poet, multi-faceted artist and self-published author based in Mississauga, ON. In 2022, Caterina introduced her poetry to open mics and featured events across the GTA, working hard backstage to have her first book, Hi, My Name is Monella, published later that year. In 2023, She then launched a free monthly writing workshop series with a featured poet portion called Exprosé and has produced 8 events since. Caterina continues to dedicate her work to creating community for poets and artists, locally and across the globe.

Headshot of a black man wearing a white shirt and beige blazer.

David Delisca

Born in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida residing in Scarborough. David Delisca is a writer, poet, actor and humorist. A versatile artist, he uses stories about the immigrant and diasporic experience, as well as other various human realities, to bridge realms of communication. His works and performances have been featured in Toronto Star, CBC, Netflix.

Headshot of a black woman wearing a polka dot dress.

The Wild Woman

Rooted in her intersections as Black, woman, and queer, award-winning spoken word artist, The Wild Woman uses poetry, spirituality, and sensual self-introspection to instigate waves of change.

Photo of an Indigenous woman in a green sweatshirt.

Hilary Atleo

Hilary Atleo is the co-owner of Iron Dog Books, a independent bookstore located in the Hastings-Sunrise neighbourhood of Vancouver. Hilary is Anishinaabe from Curve Lake, Ontario but now spends more time in her husband Cliff Atleo’s Nuu Chah Nulth territories on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Hilary believes books should be available and accessible and that bookshops are fundamentally place-making.

Black woman wearing royal blue dress speaking into a mic.

Amoya Reé

Amoya Reé (she/her) is a Jamaican-Canadian performance poet and 2018 Canadian National Champion. Her writing is rooted in her lived experiences as a Black Woman, mother, & arts educator. Exploring the cultural significance of things like race, mothering and love, she often blends historical fact with present realities, making for a poetic experience that is both informational and inspirational.

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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