Michelle Good, Catherine Hernandez among featured writers at 2023 Toronto International Festival of Authors

The festival takes place from Sept. 21 - Oct. 1, with more than 200 events ranging from moderated conversations and readings to writing workshops and activities for kids.

The festival takes place from Sept. 21 - Oct. 1, with more than 200 events planned

A woman with white hair looks down. A woman with short black hair looks at the camera.
Michelle Good, right, and Catherine Hernandez are among the authors featured at the 2023 Toronto International Festival of Authors. (Silk Sellinger Photography, Noor Khan)

Michelle Good and Catherine Hernandez are on the star-studded line-up for this year's Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA).

A white-coloured book cover with Indigenous art that shows a drawing of a turtle. There is maroon and black colour text overlay that is the book's title and author's name.

TIFA is a festival with over 200 events ranging from moderated conversations and readings to writing workshops and activities for kids. The line-up features authors and artists from more than 20 countries. 

The Canadian presence is strong, including Good, a Cree writer, lawyer and member of Red Pheasant Cree Nation in Saskatchewan. She is the author of Five Little Indians, which won several awards, including Canada Reads 2022 and the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction. It follows the stories of five residential school survivors and how they cope with the past and move forward. Her latest book, Truth Telling: Seven Conversations About Indigenous Life in Canada, is a series of essays that explores the Indigenous experience. 

Hernandez will also participate in a conversation at TIFA. Her first novel, Scarborough, tells the story of a tight-knit community and its challenges and was a finalist for Canada Reads 2022. It was adapted for film in 2021 and won eight Canadian Screen Awards. Her second novel, Crosshairs, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award. The Story of Us is her most recent novel, which follows a Filipino worker who leaves her family to start a life in Canada. 

A light blue book cover with purple and orange silhouette of Russian nesting dolls.

Other celebrated Canadian authors attending include Margaret Atwood, Billy-Ray Belcourt and Sarah Polley.

Atwood is the writer of several acclaimed books including The Handmaid's Tale, Alias Grace, Oryx and Crake and The Edible Woman. She has won numerous awards for her work including the Governor General's Literary Award, the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Man Booker Prize. Her most recent book, Old Babes in the Woods is a collection of short stories.

Belcourt is a writer from Driftpile Cree Nation. His most recent book, A Minor Chorus, was longlisted for the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize and follows an unnamed narrator who abandons his thesis and goes back to his hometown, where he has a series of intimate encounters bringing the modern queer and Indigenous experience into focus.

Belcourt's debut poetry collection, This Wound is a World won the 2018 Griffin Poetry Prize, the 2018 Indigenous Voices Award for most significant work of poetry in English and was a finalist for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for poetry

LISTEN | Billy-Ray Belcourt about his book A Minor Chorus:  
Billy Ray Belcourt talks to Ryan B. Patrick about his novel, A Minor Chorus.

Sarah Polley is a Canadian screenwriter, director, actor and author. She was nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay of her film Away from Her, which she adapted from the Alice Munro story The Bear Came Over the Mountain. Her book, Run Towards the Danger, is a collection of personal essays about her experiences in the industry. It won the 2022 Toronto Book Award. 

The festival also features emerging Canadian writers William Ping, author of Hollow Bamboo, and Janika Oza, author of A History of Burning

Prominent international authors and artists attending include Irish writer Anne Enright, American writer Richard Ford, Russian-American writer and journalist Masha Gessen and Japanese manga artist Makoto Yuikmura.

TIFA takes place from Sept. 21 - Oct. 1. Tickets, as well as the complete list of authors and events, are available on its website


Talia Kliot is a multimedia journalist currently working at CBC Books. She was a 2023 Joan Donaldson Scholar. You can reach her at

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