2024 Festival:
October 21–27

25. Bestselling Teen Fiction for a Reason

25. Bestselling Teen Fiction for a Reason

Cherie Dimaline and Jen Ferguson are two of the biggest names in YA—and no wonder. Cherie’s debut The Marrow Thieves captured imaginations across the continent for its bold dystopian vision and has become a modern classic. Jen’s debut won a Governor General’s Literary Award and has made her a favourite of teachers, librarians, and readers ever since. Both write about Indigenous teens and the struggles they face, whether in this world or others. They’ll each speak about their writing journey to date, their passion for YA literature, and how their mesmerizing ideas take shape. This is a chance for students to discover more about admired authors, and hear about their brand new books: Funeral Songs for Dying Girls and Into the Bright Open by Cherie Dimaline, and Those Pink Mountain Nights by Jen Ferguson. Grades 8–12. Moderated by Molly Cross-Blanchard.

This event is presented in partnership with Talking Stick Festival and organized in collaboration with the Canada Council for the Arts to celebrate the finalists and winners of the Governor General’s Literary Awards.

Event Participants:

Molly Cross-Blanchard

MOLLY CROSS-BLANCHARD is a white and Métis writer and editor born on Treaty 3 territory (Fort Frances, ON), raised on Treaty 6 territory (Prince Albert, SK), and living on the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples (Vancouver, BC). She currently teaches Creative Writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Cherie Dimaline

CHERIE DIMALINE is an author from the Georgian Bay Métis Community. Her book The Marrow Thieves won the prestigious Kirkus Prize for Young Readers' Literature, the Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature, and the Governor General's Literary Award, among others. Its sequel, Hunting by Stars, was published in 2021 to great acclaim, and has been selected as Book of the Year from NPR, Indigo, and Kobo, and is a Good Morning America Buzz Pick. In 2023, she published two new books, VenCo and Funeral Songs for Dying Girls.

Jen Ferguson

JEN FERGUSON is Michif/Métis and white and has a PhD in English and creative writing. Her debut novel, The Summer of Bitter and Sweet, received great acclaim. She lives in Cedar Rapids, IA, and teaches at Coe College. Visit her online at jenfergusonwrites.com.