Canada Writes

A guide to Canadian literary festivals

Discover the literary festivals in your community.
Members of the Children's Book Bank book club meet with Joel A. Sutherland at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto in 2017. (IFOA)

If you want to celebrate writers, these are the events you should know about.

The festivals listed here are only a sampling of what the Canadian literary community has to offer. Do you know of a literary festival that should be on our list? Email us at cbcbooks@cbc.ca.

Alberta | British ColumbiaManitoba | New Brunswick | Newfoundland & Labrador | Northwest TerritoriesNova Scotia | Ontario | Quebec | Saskatchewan | Yukon 

Alberta

When Words Collide
Where: Calgary
​What it's about: A festival that brings readers and writers together for informational, educational and social activities covering a wide variety of genres.
When: Aug. 9-11, 2019

The Word On The Street
Where: Lethbridge
​What it's about: A celebration of reading and writing with author events, presentations, workshops and a marketplace featuring Canadian books and magazines.
When:  Sept. 21, 2019

Words North
Where: Fort St. John
What it's about: A writing celebration with many events over four days including readers, music, presentations, workshops and more. 
When: Sept. 26-29, 2019

St. Albert Readers Festival (STARFest)
Where: St. Albert
What it's about: An annual celebration of writing, writers and reading .
When: Oct. 4,-28, 2019

Wordfest
Where: Calgary
​What it's about: Events include readings, workshops, panel discussions and presentations from authors writing in every genre and for all ages.
When: Oct. 16-23, 2019; Individual events year-round

LitFest Alberta
Where: Edmonton 
​What it's about: A festival celebrating nonfiction featuring author panels, readings, live performances and writing workshops.
When: Oct. 17-27, 2019

People's Poetry Festival
Where: Calgary
What it's about: An interactive festival that provides a creative introduction to poetry for the curious and seeks to make poetry accessible to all.
When:  Oct, 25-26, 2019

Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival
Where: Banff
What it's about: North America's largest mountain festival, with firsthand tales of record-breaking ascents, remote journeys and expeditions from the people who lived it: authors, photographers, filmmakers, and adventurers from around the globe.
When: Oct. 26-Nov. 3, 2019

Edmonton Poetry Festival
Where: Edmonton
​What it's about: A celebration of poetry and spoken word, featuring a wide range of artists and poetic styles.
When: TBA, spring 2020

British Columbia

Elephant Mountain Literary Festival
Where: Nelson
​What it's about: A festival that features readings and discussion panels with Canadian authors.
When: TBA, summer 2020

Infusion YA Book Festival
Where: Vancouver
​What it's about: A festival that celebrates YA novels and aims to bring young readers together for a weekend of fun and adventure
When: TBA, summer 2020

Denman Island Readers and Writers Festival
Where: Denman Island
​What it's about: A festival that brings readers and writers together with readings, panel discussions and workshops.
When:  July 18-21, 2019

Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts
Where: Sechelt
​What it's about: A festival that connects readers with Canadian writers.
When: Aug. 15-18, 2019

LiterAsian
Where: Vancouver
​What it's about: A festival that celebrates the works of Asian Canadian writers and artists with readings, panel discussions and workshops.
When: Sept. 27-28, 2019

​Word Vancouver
Where: Vancouver
What it's about: A celebration of writing and reading featuring both international and Canadian authors.
When: Sept. 24-29, 2019

​Victoria Festival of Authors
Where: Victoria
What it's about: A festival bringing together readers and writers through readings, discussion panels and workshops to develop their own craft.
When: Oct. 2-6, 2019

VCON
Where: Vancouver
What it's about: In addition to games, costumes and other popular culture topics there are writer workshops, a multi-author book launch event and many panels aimed at science fiction and fantasy writers, editors and publishers.
When: Oct. 11-13, 2019

Whistler Writers Festival
Where: Whistler
What it's about: The program includes short seminars, a workshop series for new and emerging writers on various topics of craft, panel discussions, reading events for the general public and a literary cabaret combining music and readings.
When: Oct. 17-20, 2019

Vancouver Writers Fest
Where: Vancouver
What it's about: A celebration of authors, poets, spoken word performers and graphic novelists through readings, forums and discussions.
When: Oct. 21-27, 2019

Words on the Water
Where: Campbell River
What it's about: A festival celebrating reading and writing with panel discussions, readings and a literary cabaret.
When: TBA, spring 2020

Growing Room Festival
Where: Vancouver
What it's about: A feminist literary festival that celebrates diverse Canadian writers and artists.
When: March 11-15, 2020

The Creative Ink Festival
Where: Vancouver (Burnaby)
What it's about: Designed to be inclusive for all levels of writing, the festival is a chance to hone your craft while gaining new motivation through panels, presentations and workshops.
When: March 15-17, 2020

LitFest New West
Where: New Westminster
​What it's about: A celebration of writers featuring readings, storytelling, workshops, discussions and an amateur writing contest.
When: TBA, spring 2020

Sidney Literary Festival
Where: Sidney
​What it's about: A festival bringing together readers and writers through a variety of programming.
When: TBA, spring 2020

North Shore Writers Festival
Where: Vancouver
What it's about: A celebration of Canadian literature featuring a local author's book fair, a literary trivia night and readings.
When: TBA, spring 2020

Verses Festival of Words
Where: Vancouver
​What it's about: A celebration of words with cutting-edge live performances by writers and performers.
When: TBA, spring 2020

Word on the Lake Writers' Festival
Where: Salmon Arm
What it's about: All levels of writers can network with other writers plus readers. The festival provides an opportunity to learn from, and meet with, some of Canada's very successful authors.
When: TBA, spring 2020

Atlin Lit Up
Where: Atlin
What it's about: Festival offers author readings, workshops and presentations, as well as one-on-one manuscript pitch sessions.
When: July 12-14, 2019

Manitoba

Winnipeg International Writers Fest
Where: Winnipeg
​What it's about: A festival that highlights writers from Canada and around the world featuring readings, lectures, interviews and panel discussions.
When: Sept. 22-30, 2019

New Brunswick

Word Feast
Where: Fredericton
​What it's about: A bilingual festival that includes author visits to schools, panels, workshops and readings by local and national writers.
When: Sept. 16-22, 2019

Fog Lit Festival
Where: Saint John
​What it's about: A festival recognizing the achievements of Canadian writers with events, workshops, panel discussions and readings for all ages.
When: Oct. 9-13, 2020

Frye Festival
Where: Moncton
​What it's about: A bilingual festival that brings together authors, poets and playwrights from around the world for debates, readings and workshops.
When: TBA, spring 2020

​WordSpring
Where: Quispamsis 
​What it's about: A festival that offers writing workshops, readings by national and local authors, book launches, open mic sessions and networking opportunities.
When: TBA, sprig 2020

Newfoundland & Labrador

Winterset in Summer Literary Festival
Where: Eastport
​What it's about: A festival featuring drama, music and the visual arts with national and international stars for interviews with writers.
When: August 8-11, 2019

Writers at Woody Point
Where: Woody Point
​What it's about: A festival that features musical performances by acclaimed musicians with a mix of author readings and other arts events.
When: August 13-18, 2019

The Literary Tour NL
Where: Various locations/St. John's
What it's about: A roving festival that brings four to eight authors to different towns and cities within the province with a grand finale event in St. John's that hosts local authors. Each stop consists of author readings, panel discussions and bookstore.
When: July and August 2019

Northwest Territories

NorthWords
Where: Yellowknife
What it's about: Several events for writers, visiting authors and community members including panel discussions and writing workshops for all ages.
When: TBA, spring 2020

Nova Scotia

Port Medway Readers' Festival
Where: Port Medway
What it's about: This literary festival is an opportunity for readers to listen to and meet writers in an informal and friendly fishing village setting.
When: July-August 2019

The Word On The Street
Where: Halifax
​What it's about: A celebration of reading and writing with author events, presentations, workshops and a marketplace featuring Canadian books and magazines.
When: Sept. 14, 2019

The Cabot Trail Writers Festival
Where: Cape Breton
​What it's about: A celebration of readers, writers and literature with readings, workshops, panel discussions and music.
When: Oct 4-6, 2019

Lunenburg Lit Festival
Where: Lunenburg
What it's about: The festival highlights writers and local stories, is a fun, relaxed environment with discussion panels and readings. Authors, performers, podcasters come and talk about literature.
When: Sept. 26-28, 2019

Read by the Sea Literary Festival
Where: River John
What it's about: A literary festival bringing Canadian authors and poets to Nova Scotia's rural North Shore.
When: July 2019

Ontario

Lakefield Literary Festival
Where:
 Peterborough
What it's about: A festival that celebrates Canadian authors featuring readings and events for children and adults.
When: July 10-12, 2020

Voices of Today
Where: Toronto
​What it's about: A festival designed to bring together youth poets from all across the nation featuring workshops, open mics and showcases.
When: Aug. 20-24, 2019

Women Killing It Crime Writers' Festival
Where: Picton
What it's about: The festival features diverse Canadian female crime writers, newcomers and well-established, from many parts of Canada. Events include workshops and panels with plenty of chance for interaction between readers and the guest authors.
When: Aug. 30-Sept. 1 2019

Eden Mills Writers Festival
Where: Eden Mills
​What it's about: A festival that highlights readings from some of Canada's finest writers and exciting new talents.
When: Sept. 6-8, 2019

Words in the Woods - Dunedin Literary Festival
Where: Dunedin
What it's about: A free, family friendly event with lots of things for the whole family.
When: Sept. 14, 2019

Telling Tales Festival
Where: Rockton
What it's about: A festival that promotes children's stories and a love of reading, while raising awareness and support for literacy projects.
When: Sept. 15, 21, 22, 2019

The Word On The Street
Where: Toronto
​What it's about: A celebration of reading and writing with author events, presentations, workshops and a marketplace featuring Canadian books and magazines.
When: Sept. 21-22, 2019

Kingston Writers Fest
Where: Kingston
​What it's about: A five-day festival with approximately 50 events, hosting some 70 authors. The festival offers author readings, interviews and discussions, writers' studio master classes, food and beverage events, and more.
When: Sept. 25-29, 2019

Stratford Writers Festival
Where: Stratford
What it's about: With panel discussions, educational workshops and literary lunches, the Stratford Writers Festival brings hundreds of readers and writers together around a common bond: their passion for stories.
When: Oct. 18-27, 2019

BookFest Windsor
Where: Windsor
​What it's about: A book fair that includes panels, discussions, readings, meet-and-greets and conversations with authors.
When: Oct. 17-22, 2019

Toronto International Festival of Authors
Where: Toronto
​What it's about: A festival featuring Canadian and international authors with readings, interviews, panel discussions, special events and interactive presentations.
When: Oct. 24-Nov. 3, 2019

Ottawa International Writers Festival
Where: Ottawa
​What it's about: A festival that celebrates reading and writing through workshops, school events, interviews and panel discussions.
When: Oct. 24-29, 2019

Appetite for Words Festival
Where: Stratford
What it's about: Festival is a partnership between the Stratford Writers Festival and the Stratford Chefs School and features authors who have written about food in their novels.
When: Oct. 25-27, 2019

​Canadian Festival of Spoken Word
Where: Peterborough
​What it's about: A festival celebrating Canadian spoken word and poetry through panels, showcases, workshops and other events.
When: Oct. 13-19, 2019

Wild Writers Literary Festival
Where: Waterloo
What it's about: A festival where writers and readers come face-to-face.
When: Nov. 1-3, 2019

Indigenous Writers' Gathering
Where: Toronto
​What it's about: An annual conference with panels and discussions celebrating excellence in Indigenous storytelling and literature.
When: TBA, summer 2020

​Wordstock Sudbury Literary Festival
Where: Sudbury
​What it's about: A festival featuring readings and panels with authors, poets, playwrights, screenwriters and songwriters.
When: Nov. 1-3, 2019

VerseFest
Where: Ottawa
What it's about: A bilingual festival featuring poetry of all traditions, styles and forms from local, Canadian and international poets.
When: TBA, spring 2020

1000 Islands Writers Festival
Where: Gananoque
What it's about: A celebration of Canadian authors featuring living room sessions, panel discussions, workshops, meal engagements and sessions for seniors living in assisted care.
When: April 23-26, 2020

gritLIT
Where: Hamilton
​What it's about: A festival that brings in writers, poets and graphic novelists from across the country for readings, workshops, conversations and literary entertainment.
When: TBA, spring 2020

Prince Edward County Authors Festival
Where: Picton
What it's about: A series of readings, panel discussions and book signings that celebrate Canadian literature while focusing on emerging writers.
When: TBA, spring 2020

Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD)
Where: Brampton
​What it's about: A festival where readers can engage with experienced artists who reflect diversity — and how it plays a fundamental role in our local and national identity — through readings, performances, panels, discussions and professional development workshops.
When: TBA, spring 2020

Festival of Trees
Where: Toronto
What it's about: Canada's largest literary event for young readers. Festival includes workshops, author signings, and other exciting activities that celebrate the shared experience of reading.
When: May 12-14, 2020

Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story
Where: Wingham
What it's about: An annual literary festival that honours Alice Munro and nurtures emerging writers through workshops and onstage presentations that celebrate the short story.
When: TBA, spring 2020

Quebec

Blue Metropolis International Literary Festival
Where: Montreal
​What it's about: A multilingual festival featuring Canadian and international authors with readings, interviews and panel discussions.
When: April 2020

imagiNation Writers' Festival
Where: Quebec City
What it's about: A variety of literary events such as readings, discussions and book signings will allow you to meet your favourite writers and discover emerging artists.
When: TBA, spring 2020

Wakefield Writers Festival des écrivains La Pêche
Where: Wakefield
​What it's about: A bilingual festival that showcases local and national francophone, anglophone and Indigenous literary talent.
When: TBA, May 2020

MTL YA Fest
Where: Montreal
What it's about: Young adult book festival, their goal is to connect teens with their favourite authors through panel talks, discussions, games, etc.
When: May 26, 2019

Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Festival of Words
Where: Moose Jaw
What it's about: A festival that holds workshops for all ages. It also features readings, concerts, film, panel discussions, interviews, music, theatre and a slam poetry competition.
When: TBA, summer 2020

The Word On The Street
Where: Saskatoon
​What it's about: A celebration of reading and writing with author events, presentations, workshops and a marketplace featuring Canadian books and magazines.
When: TBA, summer 2020

Yukon

Yukon Writers Festival
Where: Whitehorse
​What it's about: A literary festival produced by Yukon Public Libraries, Public School Branch and Yukon Science Institute.
When: TBA, spring 2020

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