Canadian writers move book launches, readings and festivals online

As Canadians stay inside, here's a list of book events taking place online.

As Canadians stay indoors, writers are sharing their work online in the form of readings, book launches, festivals and Q&As. Here's a collection of them.

CBC Books has also created a list of readings by Canadian children's writers.

This list will be updated regularly. It was last updated on March 26, 2020.

Readings | Book launches | Q&As | Festivals


Mike Commito

Mike Commito posted a video of him reading from his book Hockey 365 on his Twitter account. Commito is a Canadian historian who specializes in hockey.

Hockey 365 looks at interesting moments in hockey history, one day at a time.

Genevieve Graham

Genevieve Graham is a bestselling historical fiction writer. Her books include Promises to Keep, At the Mountain's Edge and Come From Away.

On her YouTube channel, she reads the first chapter of The Forgotten Home Child, which is based on true events. 

Carolyn Harnanan

Carolyn Harnanan shared her short story A Hallelujah Story on YouTube. It was inspired by Leonard Cohen's song Hallelujah.

Guy Gavriel Kay

A Brightness Long Ago is a novel by Guy Gavriel Kay. (CBC)

 Guy Gavriel Kay has published 14 novels, many of them historical fantasy. His Fionavar Tapestry fantasy series has sold over a million copies worldwide since being published in the 1980s. Some of Kay's other titles include Children of Earth and SkyTiganaRiver of Stars and his most recent novel, A Brightness Long Ago, set in a world evoking early Renaissance Italy with themes of destiny, love and power.

He posted readings on Vimeo, including from Tigana, Under Heaven and SarantiumYou can see the readings here.

J.R.H. Lawless

Always Greener is a novel by J.R.H. Lawless. (Uproar Books)

Nova Scotia writer J.R.H. Lawless will be posting readings from his dark sci-fi comedy, Always Greener, on Fridays. This debut novel is set in 2072, at a time when television is broadcast straight to people's eyeballs. The hottest show is a reality show that offers a life of luxury to the person who can prove they have the worst life.

Find Lawless's weekly readings on his publisher's YouTube channel or website.

Hannah Mary McKinnon

Hannah Mary McKinnon is a suspense writer based in Oakville, Ont. Her books include Sister Dear, Her Secret Son and The Neighbours.

McKinnon is reading the first chapters of other people's books on Facebook Live. She started with Samantha Bailey's Woman on the Edge.

Geoffrey Morrison & Matthew Tomkinson

Geoffrey Morrison & Matthew Tomkinson posted a video reading from their co-written book Archaic Torso of Gumby. Archaic Torso of Gumby is a short story collection that explores popular culture.


Poetry champion rob mclennan is curating a series of online poetry readings on his journal periodicities and on YouTube

Above is Manahil Bandukwala, an Ottawa-based Pakistani poet and visual artist reading her work, 10 Resolutions for 2020 and The Farthest Mosque. Bandukwala has published two chapbooks: Paper Doll and Pipe Rose.

Jerry Rideout

Jerry Rideout shared a reading from his essay collection My Life in Short Form. My Life in Short Form collects stories from Rideout's time living in rural Newfoundland.

Joanne Vannicola

Actor Joanne Vannicola shared a reading from their memoir All We Knew But Couldn't Say on YouTubeAll We Knew But Couldn't Say, describes enduring physical and emotional abuse and how they moved on and shaped an identity with resilience and determination.

Book launches

Michael DeForge

Familiar Face is a comic by Michael DeForge. (Drawn & Quarterly, Matthew James-Wilson)

Michael DeForge is a Toronto-based creator who has won awards for comics like Leaving Richard's Valley, Dressing and Lose #1. His latest, Familiar Facewas released this month.

In the book, a constant flow of radical updates from the government throw citizens into turmoil. At the government's department of complaints, the narrator of Familiar Face sorts through an endless pile of citizen-reported issues that range from trivial to heartbreaking.

DeForge is hosting a live book launch on Twitch on April 2 at 8 p.m. ET. More details can be found here.

Katherine Fawcett

Katherine Fawcett is doing a book launch online for The Swan Suit, a book of fairy tales.

Fawcett lives in B.C. and previously published the book, The Little Washer of Sorrows. Watch her book launch on Facebook live on March 18.

Ida Linehan Young

The Liars is a novel by Ida Linehan Young. (@idalinehanyoung/Facebook, Flanker Press)

Ida Linehan Young is a writer from Newfoundland, which is where her stories are set. Her books include The Promise and Being Mary Ro. 

She will be reading the first chapter of her next release, The Liar, on Facebook Live. The reading takes place on March 20.

Benjamin Perrin

Overdose is a nonfiction book by Benjamin Perrin. (Claudia Ho Lem, Viking)

Benjamin Perrin is a law professor at the University of British Columbia and was a criminal justice advisor to former Prime Minister Stephen Harper. His book Overdose, to be published on March 31, is about the opioid crisis in Canada.

He'll be hosting a virtual book launch on April 16, which includes an online Q&A. Find out the details here.


Waubgeshig Rice

CBC Radio host Waubgeshig Rice is the author of the apocalyptic novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow

He'll be hosting a live Q&A on his Facebook page about his book and how it relates to current times.



The Festival of Literary Diversity will host its annual events online from April 30 to May 3. The virtual festival will include webinars and other events held with 2020 participants. Everyone who has purchased tickets will have their money refunded.

All virtual events will be closed-captioned and provided free of charge.

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