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

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


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. 28-Nov. 5, 2023

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: April 22-30, 2023

Imaginarium Festival by Wordfest
Where: Calgary
​What it's about: Connecting Calgarians — and now the rest of the world — with life-changing ideas through events and shows featuring the world's best authors.
When: Oct, 11-15, 2023

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LitFest Alberta
Where: Edmonton 
​What it's about: A festival celebrating nonfiction featuring author panels, readings, live performances and writing workshops.
When: Oct. 12-22, 2023

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: March 31 to April 2, 2023

St. Albert Readers Festival (STARFest)
Where: St. Albert
What it's about: An annual celebration of writing, writers and reading .
When: Sept. 24 to Nov. 1, 2023

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. 23, 2023

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. 16-18, 202

British Columbia

Art & Words Festival
Where: Gibsons Public Market, Gibsons
​What it's about: Local artists, photographers, and authors of the Sunshine Coast Writers and Editors Society are paired together to prompt each other's creativity, resulting in stunning art and inspired accompanying literary works. There are interviews with the teams onstage, literary readings, an art exhibit, book and art sales, plus art and writers' workshops. The highlight of the Festival is the SCWES Book Awards for BC Authors contest awards ceremony with readings from prize-winning authors.
When: August 8-11, 2024

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 20-23, 2023

Elephant Mountain Literary Festival
Where: Nelson
​What it's about: A festival that features readings and discussion panels with Canadian authors.
When: Sept. 11-17, 2023

Growing Room Festival
Where: Vancouver
What it's about: A feminist literary festival that celebrates diverse Canadian writers and artists.
When: Hopes to return in 2024

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: May 4-27, 2023

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: April 27-29, 2023

Sidney Literary Festival
Where: Sidney
​What it's about: A festival bringing together readers and writers through a variety of programming.
When: April 3-5, 2025

Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts
Where: Sechelt
​What it's about: A festival that connects readers with Canadian writers.
When: Aug. 17-20, 2023

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. 16-22, 2023

Verses Festival of Words
Where: Vancouver
​What it's about: A celebration of words with cutting-edge live performances by writers and performers.
When: April 20-29, 2023

​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. 11-15, 2023

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. 12-16, 2023

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: May 17-19, 2024

​Word Vancouver
Where: Vancouver (Virtual)
What it's about: A celebration of writing and reading featuring both international and Canadian authors.
When: Sept. 8-23, 2023

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: March 8-9, 2024


Thin Air
What it's about: A festival curated by the Winnipeg International Writers Festival that highlights writers from Canada and around the world featuring readings, lectures, interviews and panel discussions.
When: Sept. 20-Oct. 18, 2023

New Brunswick

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: April 19-28, 2024 (25th Edition)

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: October 2023

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: June 2-4, 2023

Newfoundland & Labrador

Ochre Fest
Where: Ochre Pit Cove
What it's about: An annual celebration of Newfoundland and Labrador books, music, art, food and culture.
When: July 7-9, 2023

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: Aug. 11-13, 2023

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: Aug. 15-20, 2023

Northwest Territories

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: May 31 to June 5, 2023

Nova Scotia

AfterWords Literary Festival
Where: Halifax
What it's about: Writers and readers meet at a multi-day festival that includes readings, on stage conversations, panel discussions, workshops, programming for kids and teens, and celebratory events.
When: Oct. 29 to Nov. 5, 2023

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. 13-15, 2024

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 15, July 29 and Aug. 5, 2023

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 6-8, 2023

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, 2024


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: June 2-4, 2023

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. 12-15, 2023

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. 8-10, 2023

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: April 28 to May 5, 2024

gritLIT Festival
Where: Hamilton
What it's about: Annual four-day celebration of Canadian authors featuring a series of readings and themed events. The festival also holds readings at local schools including French language presentations.
When: April 19-23, 2023

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. 27 to Oct. 1, 2023

Lakefield Literary Festival
What it's about: A festival that celebrates Canadian authors featuring readings and events for children and adults.
When: July 19-20, 2024

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: Fall Oct. 25-29, 2023 / Spring May 2-5, 2024

Prince Edward County Reads 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: April 20-22, 2023

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. 16-17, 2023

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: May 27-28, 2023

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: Sept. 21 to Oct. 1, 2023

Where: Ottawa
What it's about: A bilingual festival featuring poetry of all traditions, styles and forms from local, Canadian and international poets.
When: March 18-26, 2023

Wild Writers Literary Festival
Where: Waterloo
What it's about: A festival where writers and readers come face-to-face.
When: Oct. 27-29, 2023

​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. 2-4, 2023

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 14, 2023


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 25-28, 2024

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: April 11-16, 2023

Knowlton Literary Festival
Where: Knowlton
What it's about: A festival celebrating the work of English-language writers from Quebec and across Canada. The program features features workshops, events on local history, readings by and interviews with writers.
When: Oct. 12-14, 2023

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: TBA 2023

Read Quebec Book Fair
Where: Montreal
What it's about: Annual festival that celebrates Quebec's English-language publishers and writers.
When: Nov. 3-4, 2023

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: May 24-28, 2023


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: July 18-21, 2024

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: Sept. 17, 2023


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: May 1-6, 2023