Canadian icon Margaret Atwood, romance novelist Sylvia Day and cyberpunk patriarch William Gibson are among the literary titans who have signed on to appear at the inaugural INSPIRE! Toronto International Book Fair in November.

On Wednesday, organizers unveiled the lineup for the festival, which is set to run from Nov. 13 to 16 at the Metro Toronto Toronto Convention Centre.

"Today’s a really exciting announcement," said Nicola Dufficy, the fair’s director of operations and programming. "We have more than 300 hours of programming and 400 Canadian and international authors in eight feature areas over three-and-a-half days of the fair."

Other big-name guests, she said, will include crime writer Kathy Reichs, comedian and memoirist Jim Gaffigan and vampire chronicler Anne Rice.

Atwood will be promoting her latest novel, The Stone Mattress, which is scheduled for a Sept. 9 release, said Dufficy.

The book fair, for which the CBC is an official media sponsor, aims to stoke appreciation for books and the written word. It will boast a series of stages featuring talks by writers from a variety of cultural backgrounds and literary genres.


Author and CBC journalist Waubgeshig Rice will be one of the presenters involved in the festival`s First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literary Circle. (Photo courtesy Jessica Blaine Smith)

The Discovery Stage, sponsored by the province, will highlight authors from Ontario and elsewhere in Canada. The Piller’s Culinary Zone will serve up stories on an immensely popular subject — food. And the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literary Circle will feature presentations by B.C. author and poet Joanne Arnott, Nunavut storyteller Michael Kusugak and Anishinaabe author and CBC video journalist Waubgeshig Rice. 

Offerings for kids will include interactive storytelling sessions with beloved children’s authors such as Geneviève Côté, Gordon Korman and Eric Walters.

General admission to the festival costs $15 for adults, $10 for youth between 13 and 17 and $10 for seniors (65+). Children under the age of 13 get in free. 

To see a full schedule of events, or to buy tickets, go to