Articles and Q&As
"I know that I and so many others are really craving ritual—a way to ground the spiritual in the physical and to forge community—and the arts can be a powerful way to do that."
Read our Q&A with Alisha Kaplan, author of Qorbanot: Offerings, published by SUNY Press.
"At its heart, the novel explores the intersection of power and gender (including sexual harassment and sexual violence), and power and wealth."
Read our Q&A with Helen Walsh, author of Pull Focus, published by ECW Press.
"Because there is no text, I had to really think of how the illustrations could carry enough information and emotion to help the reader understand what is happening."
Read our Q&A with Jo Ellen Bogart, author of Anthony and the Gargoyle, published by Groundwood Books.
"I always say that Candace is an anti-hero avatar for any woman who ever wanted to throw a bad guy up against a slushie machine at the 7-11. And I include myself in that group."
Read our Q&A with C.S. O'Cinneide, author of Starr Sign, published by Dundurn Press.
"For this book, along with extensive reading, watching clips, and learning from astronauts, I also attended Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. It was an amazing experience and I learned so much. One of the things I learned there was that I could never be an astronaut! I just don't have the stomach for it!"
Read our Q&A with Eric Walters, author of Houston, Is There a Problem?, published by Orca Book Publishers.
"Thank god for the fact that when I feel like writing something I just do it. I’ve published poetry, a book about fasting, a book about the impact of hydroelectric infrastructure on indigenous communities in northern Manitoba, a novel in the form of a string quartet, essays, prose poems, fragments of fiction, anything you can think of. I don’t particularly feel bound by the issue of genre, nor do I worry overly about who is going to read or like what I put out."
On September 16, Silmy Abdullah, Kazim Ali, and Kamal Al-Solaylee join us for Where is Home?, a panel discussion sponsored by Cogeco.
Get to know our panelists, including what they read for fun, the music they listen to while writing, and more.
Read the interviews now.
"As an adult, I started researching the concept of ancestral memory through my training as a dancer. Modern dance pioneer Martha Graham called it ‘blood memory’, though the idea can be found in ancient cultures all over the world. Recent discoveries in epigenetics confirmed what my intuition had been telling me for so long: we carry knowledge of the past in our bodies, especially when it’s related to trauma. Ancestral inheritance became one of the main threads in the book, related to the mother-daughter relationship of Maeva and Leidah."
Read our Q&A with Michelle Grierson, author of Becoming Leidah, published by Simon & Schuster Canada.
"It is humbling to transition from award-winning English authoress to bumbling Anishinaabemowin learner. But, language reclamation is such an important part of healing. I knew that I wanted Mii maanda ezhi-gkendmaanh / This Is How I Know to be a bilingual text. Nan Froman, editor at Groundwood Books, nurtured this idea. Together, we debated the strengths of a bilingual Anishinaabemowin-English edition or simultaneous separate Anishinaabe and English editions. Together, we forged a team – Alvin, Alan, Mary Ann – to enliven this dream."
On Thursday August 26 at 8:00 p.m. EST, don't miss Zoe Whittall in conversation with Emily Austin, Shashi Bhat and Uzma Jalaluddin for the panel discussion Women, Interrupted.
In advance of our event, get to know these incredible authors in our feature flipbook: Who She Is. Emily, Shashi, Uzma and Zoe share their favourite emoji, the working title of their memoirs, the item they never leave home without, and more!
"I hope readers will be inspired to pursue their own dreams with the same passion Anne did, fight injustice wherever they see it, as Anne did, and come to love giraffes as much as she does, if they don't already!"
Read our Q&A with Kathy Stinson.
"It seemed unfair to grant humans the only audible and intelligent agency, and if hummingbirds could speak among themselves, so should wild boars and scorpions.This was not a restrictive choice but a freeing one. It allowed nature to take its proper place in the beating heart of the story."
Read our Q&A with Nicholas Ruddock.
"The sifakas I studied are snowy white with maroon patches on their legs and arms that make them look as though they are wearing a coat and trousers. I used to follow them for hours through the forests."
Read our Q&A with Keriann McGoogan.
"A few years ago, I was asked by good friends to help them start their family. As a gay man of a certain age (I was about to turn 40), it wasn’t something I ever thought I would get to do. The whole process was fascinating and brought up so many questions and emotions. I knew I wanted to write everything down and spin my thoughts into a fictional story that explored what it means to be a “father” when you’re a gay man, as well as the different ways queer people create family."
Read our Q&A with Christopher DiRaddo.
"My hope is that by being out about sharing experiences with my main character, I create space for other people with similar challenges. They had to figure out how to be an adult without their blood family. I wrote about the idea of being able to start over again, aiming to create more space in the world and less shame about methods that people use to survive."
Read our Q&A with Rae Spoon.
If you've admired our 2021 festival artwork, you're already familiar with the work of Miki Sato, a freelance illustrator who uses a variety of different papers, fabric, and embroidery to create beautifully layered and textured illustrations.
In advance of the release of Sunny Days, her second collaboration with author Deborah Kerbel, we spoke with Miki about her work as illustrator.
In advance of our Indians on Vacation book club event on October 8, panelists Terry Fallis, Drew Hayden Taylor and Karen McBride share their past experiences with book clubs, their favourite Thomas King books, and what they most enjoy about his writing.
"I love the humour in King's writing. He is a master at using humour as a different, non-traditional, but no less powerful way to frame and examine important issues. He knows that humour, if wielded skillfully, can be just as trenchant an instrument of social comment as anger and rage. And few are as skillful with purposeful humour as Thomas King." -Terry Fallis
If you've had a chance to see any of our events for children, you're familiar with the work of Theresa Barker-Simms and Cassie Standish, our outstanding ASL Interpretation team. In advance of our event with Kenneth Oppel, which will feature ASL Interpretation, we spoke to them about their interpreting experience and their collaborative process.
In celebration of our incredible local literary community, we spoke to local writers Kim Davids Mandar, Candace de Taeye, Wendy Gruner, Lisa Hirmer, Marilyn Kleiber (aka J.M. Tibbott), Jean Mills and C.S. O'Cinneide as well as publisher Jeremy Luke Hill of Gordon Hill Press about their new releases, the inspiration for their work, and what's coming up next for
"It was my first validation that I could write something interesting to other readers. . . . It convinced me that I had something worthy to say. Afterward, I pushed forward writing my novel. I knew I could do it."
We check in with past EMWF contest winners andrea bennet, Russell Fralich, Dean Gessie, Phyllis L. Humby, Rene Meshake, Marion Reidel and Julia Zarankin, all of whom are now published authors. They share their advice for those starting to submit to contests, how the experience of reading at the festival impacted their trajectory as writers, and what we can expect from their new books.
"I don’t understand how we as people became so unwilling to hear or understand each other. Despite everything we were taught generations ago, we seem to now prefer conflict and stubbornness. It’s present in the words we use. Poetry, song, spoken word, and performance all play with that - and we need more of those things if we are to survive." -Tyler Pennock on how this particular point in time has influenced their poetry.
Read our exclusive Q&A with a selection of the poets reading as part of our upcoming poetry showcase "Hot Nights. Cool Poets."
"I realized that we’re all going to die. That sounds glib, but it’s kind of true. I wanted to write a collection of sudden stories that was unified by a single thematic preoccupation. A big one, something sufficiently mystifying to keep me out of my depth." – John Gould on what sparked the idea for his new book of short, short stories.
"Even though it’s inevitable, the end of our own existence or that of anyone we love is barely possible to grasp. A person’s presence, once real, is not easily wiped away. How do you tackle such an intractable contradiction? I have written a book about a dead loved one, and I hardly know."– Anita Lahey, author of The Last Goldfish, on why we avoid talking openly about death.
Inspired by our panel discussion "On Being Alive", we've put together a reading list of four recently released memoirs.
"In 2017, I spent six weeks alone in the countryside of Norwich, UK, working on my first book. I had almost zero human interaction, and I only conversed with a few cows and a donkey called Button. I attended his 30th birthday celebration. It was bizarre but wonderful." – Lindsay Wong on needing to be alone to write.
Read our exclusive Q&A with "In the Lead" panelists Sheena Kamal, Rob Shapiro and Lindsay Wong.
"It's a crazy spaghetti twirl, and for the most part, you have to grit it out. Staying power is everything. Also, comparing yourself to others is a nightmare: it's an early mistake to do this, and I've learned to stay in my lane and trust that I'm doing my best." - Roz Nay on common traps for aspiring writers.
Read our exclusive Q&A with Thrill Her panelists Samantha Bailey, Roz Nay and Amy Stuart, who share insights on the writing life, what they're currently reading, and where they get their ideas.