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Zadie Smith, widely recognized as one of the finest and most influential authors writing in English today, joins the Vancouver Writers Fest for an evening of unforgettable storytelling.
Brent Butt is one of the most well-known stand-up comedians of the past five decades. He joins the Vancouver Writers Fest with his riveting debut novel, HUGE.
Celebrate the finalists of the 2023 Scotiabank Giller Prize, as they kick off the Festival with the cross-Canada Between the Pages tour.
Cherie Dimaline digs into her writing process, her passion for storytelling, and what inspired her latest works: Funeral Songs for Dying Girls and Into the Bright Open. Grades 8–12.
Multi-award-winning author and artist Jon Klassen will delve into his new book, The Skull. This is a fun morning for little ones right before Halloween. Grades 1–3.
Tanya Lloyd Kyi, a beloved guest of the Festival and author of more than 25 books for kids, reveals tips for debating in respectful—and effective—ways. Grades 4–7.
When life takes a tricky turn, sometimes it’s difficult to know which path to forge. Three authors share their stories of challenge and resilience. Grades 4–7.
Three exceptional performers—D Fretter, fanny kearse, and Em Nimetz—share poems about love, art, justice, and more. Grades 8–12. Hosted by Jillian Christmas.
Jon Klassen and Ben Clanton, beloved illustrator-authors of children’s literature share their new work with students. Grades 1–3.
In this masterclass for little ones, author Kirsten Pendreigh and illustrator Crystal Smith come together to describe how a story becomes a book. Grades 1–3.
Prepare to feel goosebumps with these tales of hauntings and mysteries from bestselling writers Joel A. Sutherland and Natasha Deen. Grades 4–7.
Brothers Ian and Will Ferguson have teamed up once again, after their hugely bestselling How to Be a Canadian, to deliver a gripping thriller: I Only Read Murder.
Alicia Elliott (And Then She Fell) and Carrie Mac (Last Winter) speak to the process of writing about mental health, mental illness, and its relationship to family and community.
Books within books, protagonists who are also their authors, plot twists about the narrator: three authors with anticipated new books in this style explore the joys of such playfulness and the literary challenges of subverting common styles.
Looking for books to keep you up at night when you decide to read “just one more chapter”? Three of the world’s most celebrated thriller writers join us on stage to talk about craft, mystery, crime, and plots that get your pulse racing.
Jillian and Mariko Tamaki, the critically acclaimed and Caldecott Medal-winning graphic novelists, join us with their new book Roaming. For graphic novel fans, or readers who are just exploring the genre after falling in love with Ducks, this promises to be a future classic.
Patrick deWitt is the perfect poster child for aspiring writers. Since dropping out of high school to focus on becoming a writer, he’s won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and been a finalist for the Booker and Giller Prizes. He joins us to discuss his latest work, The Librarianist. Moderated by Bill Richardson.
These books consciously deal with the weight of inheritance, whether it’s inheriting story, self-mythology, or trauma. How do we make sense of what’s been passed down to us? Three lauded novelists discuss just this with our Guest Curator Elamin Abdelmahmoud.
Three exceptional performers—D Fretter, fanny kearse, and Em Nimetz—share poems about love, art, justice, and more. Grades 8–12. Hosted by Jillian Christmas.
Students will be on the edge of their seats hearing from writers who have produced three of the creepiest YA books of the season! Grades 8–12.
Three authors who have captivated people of all ages with their art and storytelling will offer a truly mesmerizing morning for little ones. Grades 1–3.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Tui T. Sutherland will take students through her creative process in this masterclass. Students will leave with practical tips and a lot of inspiration to embark on their own projects. Grades 4–7.
Andrea Warner’s Rise Up and Sing is an inspiring introduction to activism and social justice for young teens. She’s joined on-stage by musicians Missy D, Kimmortal, and Chris Reed/Continental Breakfast. Grades 8–12.
One of the staples of our children’s programming here at the Festival, Ashley Spires will keep kids laughing while learning about insects. Grades 1–3.
Each of these books showcases the hidden strengths in nature—and in us. Kids will be amazed by the abilities of owls and turtles, and inspired by Firefox, who’s surrounded by animals on her own adventures. Grades 4–7.
Vancouver-based author Sarah Suk is known for her gripping, atmospheric YA novels. She’ll share her latest work, The Space between Here & Now, and her writing insights with students in this informative, engaging masterclass. Grades 8–12.
Cherie Dimaline and Jen Ferguson are two of the biggest names in YA. Both write about Indigenous teens and the struggles they face, whether in this world or others. This is a chance for students to discover more about admired authors, and hear about their brand new books. Grades 8–12.
Three of the most lauded and creative Indigenous writers speak to the process of writing their poignant, nuanced, exceptionally moving stories; the strength of Indigenous women at the heart of their latest works; and the nuance of beauty and heartbreak interwoven in stories and life.
Now a staple of the Festival, this interactive, unpredictable workshop offers writing tips, tricks, and cues from five members of UBC School of Creative Writing’s illustrious department.
Good short stories can share expansive truths with the smallest details. Each of these authors offer mesmerizing insights into what it means to be human in their collections.
They say that a friend is someone who knows you and loves you anyway. Three thought-provoking authors speak to the beauty of unusual company and surprising friendships, as shared in their latest works.
There are plenty of things for women to be terrified about—from reproductive rights erasure to violence in rising temperatures, to wrinkles, friendship betrayals, and even things that go bump in the night. These three hugely popular writers share what makes for a gripping read, in a discussion likely to be warm, funny, and ever so clever.
Each of these writers analyze their relationship to Blackness from different vantage points and from different ends. In what promises to be a fascinating, powerful discussion, they will share why they write about Black experience, whether through memoir, historical analysis, or cultural criticism, and their relationship to Blackness.
Anne Berest, one of Europe’s most celebrated authors, will speak with Marsha Lederman about family history and secrets in the face of abject destruction.
In spite of centuries of persecution, Hollywood stereotypes, and cultural misunderstandings, witchcraft is seeing a renaissance, and more and more women are exploring the power and feminism steeped in this practice. Our authors will talk with Guest Curator Elamin Abdelmahmoud about why the concept of the witch is such a fertile playground for writing.
Our Good Reads events feature books of the season that can’t be put down. Each of these new YA titles offers captivating stories that share important topics with youth. Grades 8–12.
The Sueño Bay Adventures graphic novel series, by Nancy & Mike Deas, teaches kids about environmentalism, friendship, and home, and regularly receives starred reviews. Nancy and Mike will take students on a magical romp through strange, fascinating places. Grades 2–4.
Writer, cultural commentator, podcast host, and this year’s Guest Curator Elamin Abdelmahmoud shares some of his tips and tricks on storytelling and presenting in this masterclass, perfect for budding producers, writers, and media makers. Grades 8–12.
Three books for middle grade readers will underscore how our differences are nothing to be ashamed of, imparting a strength that comes from just being you. Grades 4–7. Moderated by France Perras.
Looking to pop culture to create meaning in our own lives is an important part of every adolescent journey—and beyond. Two engaging, insightful authors touch on elements of pop culture with Festival Guest Curator Elamin Abdelmahmoud. Grades 8–12.
Tui T. Sutherland’s Wings of Fire series is a #1 New York Times bestseller topping the lists for 122 weeks in total. Tui will reveal her inspiration behind this epic fantasy series and what her success has felt like as she creates such imaginative, bold worlds. Grades 4–7.
Ben Clanton, New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, will show budding artists how he begins his drawings, and how those drawings can tell emotive stories. Grades 2–4.
Step into worlds never before fathomed with three YA fantasy writers who use magic realism and new realms to reveal valuable insights about navigating teenage years—and society—with strength and fairness. Grades 8–12.
Rueben George of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation shares the story of the spiritual, cultural, and political resurgence of a nation taking action to reclaim their lands, waters, law, and food systems in the face of colonization in his memoir, It Stops Here. Join us for this important conversation.
Snow White meets Eyes Wide Shut in Mona Awad’s Rouge—a surreal descent into the dark side of beauty, envy, grief, and the complicated love between mothers and daughters. Don’t miss what’s sure to be a fun, clever evening of conversation.
If we could rewrite history, what injustices would we right? We may not have time machines (yet) but writing about history at least offers the chance to recast historical figures in a more complex light. These three authors do just this with their captivating works that offer a new perspective on the past.
Lauded author Celeste Ng—whose work has sold millions of copies worldwide and been published in more than 30 languages—will speak to her work to date… and what comes next.
A highlight of last year’s Festival, lyrics night is back! We Truly Madly Deeply loved the 90s when many of us were Livin’ La Vida Loca. Hosted by Elamin Abdelmahmoud, celebrated authors read their favourite lyrics from the era like they’re still in Vogue.
The climate crisis is here, and as we grapple with what this means (and what to do about it), some writers offer warnings of what comes next in their fiction. This is Cli-Fi and it’s here to stay.
The past is always fertile ground for rich stories, expansive epics, and high-stakes drama, but the very best writers of historical fiction also remind us of the shared humanity of people across the centuries. Four of the most celebrated writers of this genre—all of them bestsellers and award-winners—speak to just this within their latest works.
Whether you’re reminiscing over nights on the dance floor when slip dresses and Doc Martens were in style, or simply want to move to the beat after sitting immersed in the rest of our events, our 90s Dance Party is sure to bring a smile to your face. Featuring DJ Ice B on the turntables.
Our modern state is a precarious one and these three writers offer very different approaches to exploring and analyzing our age of decline through memoir, cultural commentary, and a novel.
These three authors have led remarkable lives, and their memoirs are enveloping tapestries of storytelling about family and belonging. They’ll speak to ties across generations, the complexity of identity in the face of historic ills and colonialism, and more.
Each year, this event showcases authors you may not have heard of but whose debut fiction is buzzworthy—and likely appears on some of the biggest prize lists in the country. That is to say: you heard them here first, folks! Discover these remarkable voices.
Book banning is on the rise. In the United States, 2,532 books were banned in 2021/22. Marsha Lederman speaks with three writers whose works remind us that human rights should be non-negotiable, in literature and beyond.
Each of these authors combine the unexpected—either writing in many genres across works, or blending multiple genres in one book. We delve into these kaleidoscopic offerings before a ceremony for the VMI Betsy Warland Between Genres Award.
Update: This is now a free, online event, which can be watched at any time from October 16–22! Physicist, AI risk expert, and international AI security consultant Jérémie Harris joins us with his new book, Quantum Physics Made Me Do It: A Simple Guide to the Fundamental Nature of Everything.
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Indigenous Voices Awards, Carving Space shares works of its finalists over the past five years. We welcome Carleigh Baker and three contributors to the anthology, and former finalists of the Awards.
These literary works may delve into very different circumstances, but at the heart of each are women protagonists navigating complexity to build their own futures in bold and sweeping narratives.
An Oprah pick, a Giller Prize-winner, and on just about every eligible prize shortlist or Best of the Year list, Suzette Mayr’s The Sleeping Car Porter was one of the biggest literary sensations of recent years. She’ll discuss the journey with Jael Richardson.
Celebrating international authors and discovering writers from different cultures is one of the many highlights of the Festival, and this year we delve into works from Latin American writers. Each offers fascinating, heady insight into the lives of women.
Entrancing, surprising, and memorable: The Poetry Bash is a gateway to discovering new-to-you poets or hearing your favourites.
Lauren Groff’s visit to the 2021 Festival was electric, humorous, and insightful. All the more reason to be excited by this intimate event with the three-time National Book Award finalist discussing her latest book, The Vaster Wilds.
John Freeman’s latest anthology explores Conclusions in all their forms. This year, the tables turn and the editor will be interviewed about this latest release in the series, by issue contributor, friend, and award-winning author Omar El Akkad.
Author and English Professor Y-Dang Troeung passed away in 2022 after completing her brilliant book Landbridge. Four revered writers, friends, and colleagues of the author and academic celebrate her work and share more about her life.
“The voice of the resistance” is just another accolade that public intellectual, feminist, multi-award winning writer, environmentalist, and human rights activist Rebecca Solnit can add to her global recognition. In this intimate interview, she speaks to her lifelong work as an activist and feminist.
In this important, prescient event, writers, and artists explore what it means to be Chinese in North America. They explore threats to Chinese North American heritage, community, and wellbeing including spreading gentrification across Vancouver, Toronto, and San Francisco, home to the largest Chinese diasporic populations in the West.
Field Notes from Biblioasis are slim, pocket-sized books with insightful forays into topics of importance. They’re as brilliant as they are concise. Four authors of recent Field Notes will each speak to the subject of their book and passion.
The premise of our Good Reads event each year is simple: hear from three authors of must-read, unputdownable books.
Three of the best loved names in CanLit sit down with longtime friend of the Festival, Marsha Lederman, to discuss their latest works.
That tiny detail which holds insight into the most expansive of experiences; despite their spare canvases, short stories are often profound. This is certainly the case for these three, deeply creative collections.
Intellectual, versatile, and brilliant: these three writers’ works are perfect examples of how poetry can expand our consciousness.
Why are we so drawn to stories of crime? And is it harmless entertainment, or something more sinister? Three authors of crime novels or works about the impact of crime explore why we love the dastardly.
Michelle Good has moved and inspired millions of people with Five Little Indians, which won Canada Reads, a Governor General’s Literary Award, an Amazon First Novel Award, and more. She joins us to speak about her new non-fiction work, Truth Telling.
Silvia Moreno-Garcia produces highly-original works across genres and worlds. Her latest, Silver Nitrate, is a fabulous meld of Mexican horror movies and Nazi occultism.
Lorna Crozier (After That) and Susan Musgrave (Exculpatory Lilies) are two of the most celebrated poets in Canada. In conversation with former Artistic Director of the Festival, Hal Wake, they speak to their deeply moving latest collections.
Naomi Klein’s new book, Doppelganger: A Trip into the Mirror World, braids elements of tragi-comic memoir, chilling political reportage, and cobweb-clearing cultural analysis. Tickets for this event are sold by The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. Click here to purchase your tickets.
It’s a formula that never fails: combine six acclaimed and award-winning authors with one band and a table of friends for a night of exceptional art and delight.
These two authors have sold hundreds of thousands of copies in more than 40 countries. Clearly, their subject matter resonates with readers across the globe: that of the psychological terrors found in the most mundane parts of our lives.
Christina Sharpe’s Ordinary Notes is a dazzlingly inventive, intellectually bracing exploration of pain and beauty, private memory and public monument, art and complexity in contemporary Black life. She speaks with David Chariandy.
A revitalized take on our Sunday Brunch, Food for Thought presents six authors exploring topics at the forefront of our minds. Guests will also enjoy a continental breakfast as they listen.
Marsha Lederman will separately interview three of the most talked-about international writers on our roster. his is an opportunity to be immersed in conversation with women of world repute.
These three thriller writers use the everyday to cast tales of mystery and intrigue, showing that all is not what it seems in our complex world.
Join us at this free event to celebrate the latest work from The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University: emerge 23: The Writer’s Studio Anthology.
Our authors discuss the role art can play in our personal and public lives, and the joys of paying a little more attention to the beauty surrounding us.
The Afternoon Tea is always special: a chance to immerse in readings from a lineup of bestselling, award-winning and celebrated authors while savouring a high tea selection of treats with friends.
What can we do to truly engage with this pivotal moment for humankind and our planet? Three of the most revered contemporary non-fiction writers speak about the climate crisis… and what comes next.
For years, viewers across the country tuned into the The Rick Mercer Report to spend their evenings with Rick Mercer and Jann Arden. They’ll reunite in Vancouver to toast each other on the publication of each of their new books. Tickets for this event are sold through the Chan Centre. Click here to purchase your tickets.
Celebrated Cree artist Kent Monkman and his long-time collaborator Gisèle Gordon join us with The Memoirs of Miss Chief Eagle Testickle: A True and Exact Accounting of the History of Turtle Island—a genre-defying work that will remake readers’ understanding of the land called North America.