2024 Festival:
October 21–27
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Incite: Unforgettable Short Stories

Presented in partnership with Vancouver Public Library.

Short stories pack infinite ideas, questions, character explorations, and worlds into deceptively slim packages. Discover some of the season’s best in new short fiction at this Incite event featuring three intriguing releases. Our award-winning guests will speak with VWF Artistic Director Leslie Hurtig.

Vincent Anioke’s stunning debut story collection offers a nuanced exploration of masculinity, religion, marginalization, repressed (queer) desires, and self-expression through the lens of (un)conditional love. Set largely in Nigeria, the stories in Perfect Little Angels capture the shocking violence and confrontational drama in the power dynamics—between headmasters and students, brothers and sisters, mothers and sons—that shape our lives.

Floods and wildfires, toxic culture, billionaires in outer space, or a purse-related disaster while on mushrooms—in today’s hellscape world, there’s no shortage of things to worry about. Last Woman, the new collection of short fiction by Carleigh Baker, wants you to know that you’re not alone. With sharp wit, these stories delve into fear for the future, intergenerational misunderstandings, and the complexities of belonging.

Death by a Thousand Cuts from Shashi Bhat is a breathtaking, sharply funny collection about the everyday trials and impossible expectations that come with being a woman. A writer discovers that her ex has published a novel about their breakup. An immunocompromised woman falls in love, only to have her body betray her. And when a woman begins to lose her hair, she embarks on an increasingly nightmarish search for answers. 

Books will be for sale at the event courtesy of Book Warehouse, a division of Black Bond Books. Can’t make the event time? Register for the livestream option and we’ll send you a link to watch the recording! 

Join us for Incite all season, in-person or online! This readings series offers conversations with celebrated authors and emerging talents every two weeks from January to June. Incite is free and open to all

Participants and Speakers

Vincent Anioke

VINCENT ANIOKE is a writer and software engineer born and raised in Nigeria and now living in Waterloo, Ontario. His short stories have appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, The Rumpus, The Masters Review, and Passages North. He won the 2021 Austin Clarke Fiction Prize and was a finalist for the 2023 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers from the Writers’ Trust of Canada. Perfect Little Angels (publishing with Arsenal Pulp Press in spring 2024) is his first book.

Carleigh Baker

CARLEIGH BAKER is an nêhiyaw âpihtawikosisân /Icelandic writer who lives as a guest on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Skwxwu7mesh, and səl̓ilwəta peoples. Her work has appeared in Best Canadian Essays, The Short Story Advent Calendar, and The Journey Prize Stories. She also writes reviews for the Globe and Mail and the Literary Review of Canada. Her debut story collection, Bad Endings (Anvil, 2017) won the City of Vancouver Book Award, and was also a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Award, the Emerging Indigenous Voices Award for fiction, and the BC Book Prize Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award.

Shashi Bhat

SHASHI BHAT is the author of the novels The Family Took Shape, a finalist for the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, and, most recently, The Most Precious Substance on Earth, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for fiction. Death by a Thousand Cuts is her first book of short fiction. Her stories have won the Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize and been shortlisted for a National Magazine Award and the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, and appeared in such publications as Hazlitt, The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, Best Canadian Stories, and The Journey Prize Stories. Shashi holds an MFA from the Johns Hopkins University and a BA from Cornell University. She lives in New Westminster, B.C., where she is the editor-in-chief of EVENT magazine and teaches creative writing at Douglas College.