Top TIFA Events for Aspiring Authors

Festival goers sitting around a table in lively discussion

The Toronto International Festival of Authors is a hotspot for heavyweights in the literary industry. Over 11 days, professionals will travel from all over the world to take part in this exciting opportunity to network and learn.

If you are an aspiring author, poet, illustrator or publisher, you don't want to miss these events.

Small Press, Big Ideas: A Roundtable

Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 5pm
Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre

Though called the "small press", these publishers shouldn't be underestimated for their huge impact on the industry. In this special presentation you'll hear from local leaders as they share the ins and outs of their section of the publishing world. Co-curated and moderated by Kate Siklosi, author and co-founding editor of Gap Riot Press, this roundtable discussion will feature rob mclennan, chapbook press founder and author of more than 30 trade books, among others.

Harlequin at 70: Featuring Maggie K. Black, Molly Fader and Stefanie London

Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 3pm
Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre

Hear from Maggie K. Black, Molly Fader and Stefanie London, three of Harlequin's successful authors, in a discussion about their books and experiences working with the publisher. Over 70 years, Harlequin has become one of the world's leading publishers of books for women, a feat that will be celebrated by the panel and audience in this special event.

GGBooks: A Festival Celebration

Sunday, October 27, 2019 - 4pm
Fleck Dance Theatre

The Governor General's Literary Awards is an annual opportunity to shed light on Canada's exceptional writers, illustrators and translators. On October 27, the finalists of the English-language fiction category will engage in a roundtable discussion that is sure to inspire and educate aspiring authors. The event will kick off with the presentation of the 2019 Harbourfront Festival Prize to Stuart Ross, in recognition of his contribution to the Canadian literary community. Join a star-studded cast of creators at this exciting event.

Black Box Session: Humber School for Writers, Love & Defiance Podcast

Friday, October 25, 2019 - 8pm
Main Loft, Harbourfront Centre 

All authors have at least one thing in common: a story to be told. But what shapes a story as it is written through their eyes? How does an author translate their intimate life experiences through their work? These questions and more will be addressed by 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize short listed author, filmmaker and Humber School for Writers Director, David Bezmozgis, in conversation with a an extraordinary young artist who has transformed experiences into meaningful art. This exciting event is a live taping for the Humber School for Writers’ Love & Defiance podcast.

Dress code: all black.

6th Annual Humber College Liberal Arts & Sciences Conference

November 2 & 3
Harbourfront Centre

In a series of educational plenary sessions, the 6th Annual Humber College Liberal Arts & Sciences Conference opens discussion on a wide variety of important and timely topics such as Feminism and Countercultures, Black Activism, Gay Rights, and Global Surveillance. For the first time, these sessions will be free and open to the public, providing an opportunity for all to learn from and engage with the experts who have made these topics their focus. Space is limited, so reserve your seat soon.

Ivy Award Presentation, Panel & Keynote with Fiona McCrae

Monday, October 28, 2019 - 3:30pm
Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre

Today, authors are provided many avenues towards a published book. In this keynote presentation, Fiona McCrae, Director and Publisher of Graywolf Press, speaks on the importance of the independent press. This event is a valuable opportunity to hear directly from McCrae, a publisher who has more than two decades of experience deciding who does, and who does not, get to be published by Graywolf Press.

Fiona McCrae, Director and Publisher of Graywolf Press

John Hartman’s “Many Lives Mark This Place” with Michael Crummey, Susan Swan and Guy Vanderhaeghe

Saturday, November 2, 2019 - 12pm
Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre

What connection does an author have with their surroundings? This question has inspired artist John Hartman in his newest project, Many Lives Mark This Place. In this portrait exhibition, Hartman celebrates Canadian authors by painting them in front of the environment that has inspired them through their work. In this special event, Hartman presents his paintings alongside the authors who inspired them, including Michael Crummey (The Innocents), Susan Swan (The Dead Celebrities Club) and Guy Vanderhaeghe (Daddy Lenin and Other Stories). Join us, and find learn more about what inspires great art.

Toronto Lit Up Launch of Launches

Saturday, November 2, 2019 - 5:30pm
Lakeside Terrace, Harbourfront Centre

The year-round Toronto Lit Up initiative provides Toronto authors with book release parties to celebrate their works and connect with local readers. The Launch of Launches event is an opportunity to kick off another year of this programme, alongside some of Canadian publishing's biggest names. This event is the perfect opportunity to gain information about Toronto Lit Up opportunities, while mingling with some important connections.

Festival goers sitting around a table in lively discussion

Hope Matters with Lee Maracle, Columpa Bobb and Tania Carter

Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 2pm
Lakeside Terrace, Harbourfront Centre

Hope Matters grew from a family of three eager poets who always dreamed of writing a book together. This long-awaited work is a passion project by sisters Columpa Bobb and Tania Carter, who partnered with their mother, award-winning author Lee Maracle. In this event, hear from all three poets as they speak on co-writing a work that delivers cohesion, yet manages to show their individual style.

Reading & Interview: Helena Janeczek and Whitney Scharer

Tuesday, October 29, 2019 - 6pm
Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre

Helena Janeczek (The Girl with the Leica) and Whitney Sharer (The Age of Light) prove their ability to write with vivid imagery through stories of two celebrated photographers. Hear from the authors in a live reading and discussion of how they develop such immersive work through their parallel newest works.

That's not all! All TIFA events will be attended by authors, publishers, Delegates and other industry professionals. Be sure to check out the full event listing for even more opportunities to learn and network.