10 Local Authors to See at the Festival

10 Local Authors to See at the Festival

6:43am

Saturday, February 24, 2024

The 44th edition of the Toronto International Festival of Authors is just around the corner, running from September 21 to October 1, and over 200 authors will be attending! While international is in our name, we have many local authors — almost 50 authors are from right here in the GTA! We have a variety of events highlighting the city we call home, including: Toronto, je t’aime / Toronto, I Love You from our TIFA Kids programme and Write the Neighbourhood, three events featuring commissioned readings from authors in Toronto Lit Up, a joint initiative with the Toronto Arts Council designed to spotlight local writers and empower them with career-building opportunities. Here are just a few of the Torontonians whom you can see at the Festival!


Jaypeetee Arnakak

Jaypeetee Arnakak's headshot

Jaypeetee Arnakak is a linguist, translator and educator. He is the editor of Unikkaaqtuat Qikiqtaninngaaqtut, a collection of 33 versions of traditional stories, transcribed from oral recordings of ten Inuit elders from two High Arctic communities, Arctic Bay and Igloolik. He has also adapted several traditional Inuit stories into children’s storybooks. 

Jaypeetee Arnakak will be appearing the in the following events:

Stories from Nunavut, with Jaypeetee Arnakak & Ceporah Mearns

Adriana Chartrand

Adriana Chartrand's headshot

Adriana Chartrand is a mixed-race Native woman, born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her father is Red River Métis (Michif), born and raised in the Métis community of St. Laurent, and her mother is a mixed white settler from Manitoba. She currently works in the film industry in Toronto. 

Adriana Chartrand will be appearing in the following event:

Adriana Chartrand & Marie Hélène Poitras: Ordinary Monsters

Catherine Hernandez

Catherine Hernandez's headshot
Photo credit: Noor Khan

Catherine Hernandez (she/her) is a queer woman of Filipino, Spanish, Chinese and Indian descent who married into the Navajo Nation. Her first novel, Scarborough, was a finalist for Canada Reads 2022, and the film adaptation, for which she wrote the screenplay, won eight Canadian Screen Awards. Her second novel, Crosshairs, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award. 

Catherine Hernandez will be appearing in the following event:

Kevin Chen & Catherine Hernandez: Rise Up, Rise Up

Camille Hernández-Ramdwar

Camille Hernández-Ramdwar's headshot

Camille Hernández-Ramdwar is an author, scholar and independent consultant. Her debut collection of short stories Suite as Sugar was published by Rare Machines/Dundurn Press in 2023. Camille is Associate Professor Emerita at Toronto Metropolitan University where for over 20 years she engaged in teaching, writing, research and activism concerning anti-racism and Caribbean Studies in Canada. She divides her time between Toronto and Trinidad. 

Camille is participating in Write the Neighbourhood and has written a commissioned piece about what makes Toronto home.

Camille Hernández-Ramdwar will be appearing in the following event:

Christine Estima & Camille Hernández-Ramdwar: Casual Brutalities

Write the Neighbourhood with Jake Byrne, Camille Hernández-Ramdwar and Kate Siklosi

Farah Heron

Farah Heron's headshot

Farah Heron is a critically acclaimed writer of romantic comedies for adults and teens. Her books have been praised in Entertainment Weekly, Oprah Magazine, Style Magazine, Buzzfeed, the Globe and Mail and more, and have been named as best books of the year by CBC books, USA Today and NPR.

Farah Heron will be appearing in the following event:

Farah Heron & Zoe Whittall: I Knew You Were Trouble

Janika Oza

Janika Oza's headshot
Photo credit: Yi Shi

Janika Oza is the winner of a 2022 O. Henry Award and the 2020 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Award. Her stories and essays have appeared in publications such as The Best Small Fictions 2019 AnthologyCatapultThe Adroit JournalThe Cincinnati Review and Anomaly, among others. She is a Features reader for The Rumpus and a 2020 Diaspora Dialogues long-form fiction mentee.

Janika Oza will be appearing in the following event:

Diaspora Dialogues: The Sweep of History

Zalika Reid-Benta

Zalika Reid-Benta's headshot

Zalika Reid-Benta is the author of Frying Plantain, which won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and the Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for Literary Fiction, longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and it was shortlisted for many others. Zalika served on many juries including the Giller and the Amazon First Novel Prize. Zalika’s second book, River Mumma, a magical realist novel inspired by Jamaican folklore, was released by Penguin Canada in August 2023. 

Zalika Reid-Benta will be appearing in the following event:

Diaspora Dialogues: Beneath The Surface

Hana Shafi

Hana Shafi's headshot
Photo credit: Bali Singh

Hana Shafi is a writer and artist who illustrates under the name Frizz Kid. Her art and writing explore themes such as feminism, body politics, racism and pop culture. Her first book, It Begins With The Body was selected by CBC books as one of the best poetry books of 2018. Her second book, Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty: Affirmations for the Real World, a compilation of essays and illustrations, came out in 2020. Hana and her family immigrated to Mississauga from Dubai in 1996, and she now lives in Toronto with her two cute, but sometimes annoying, cats. 

Hana Shafi will be appearing in the following event:

Kevin Chong & Hana Shafi: Rooting For the Anti-Hero

Craig Shreve

Craig Shreve's headshot
Photo credit: Jay Crews

Craig Shreve was born and raised in North Buxton, Ontario, formerly a popular terminus on the Underground Railroad. He is a descendant of Abraham Doras Shadd, the first Black person in Canada to be elected to public office, and Mary Ann Shadd, the pioneering abolitionist, suffragette and newspaper editor/publisher.

Craig is participating in Write the Neighbourhood and has written a commissioned piece about what makes Toronto home.

Craig Shreve will be appearing in the following events:

Craig Shreve: A Lost Samurai

Write the Neighbourhood with Jennilee Austria-Bonifacio, Brooke Lockyer, Craig Shreve and Carey Sookocheff

Carey Sookocheff

Carey Sookocheff's headshot
Photo credit: Emily Doukogiannis

Carey Sookocheff is the author and illustrator of Lost Things, Wet and Solutions for Cold Feet and Other Little Problems. She is also the illustrator of the Buddy and Earl series, written by Maureen Fergus. She lives in Toronto, Ontario with her family and her dog, Rosie. 

Carey is participating in Write the Neighbourhood and has created a commissioned illustration about what makes Toronto home.

Carey Sookocheff will be appearing in the following events:

Skipping Down Memory Lane, with Carey Sookocheff

Write the Neighbourhood with Jennilee Austria-Bonifacio, Brooke Lockyer, Craig Shreve and Carey Sookocheff


See the full list of #FestofAuthors23 events here!

The 44th edition of the Toronto International Festival of Authors is just around the corner, running from September 21 to October 1, and over 200 authors will be attending! While international is in our name, we have many local authors — almost 50 authors are from right here in the GTA! We have a variety of events highlighting the city we call home, including: Toronto, je t’aime / Toronto, I Love You from our TIFA Kids programme and Write the Neighbourhood, three events featuring commissioned readings from authors in Toronto Lit Up, a joint initiative with the Toronto Arts Council designed to spotlight local writers and empower them with career-building opportunities. Here are just a few of the Torontonians whom you can see at the Festival!


Jaypeetee Arnakak

Jaypeetee Arnakak's headshot

Jaypeetee Arnakak is a linguist, translator and educator. He is the editor of Unikkaaqtuat Qikiqtaninngaaqtut, a collection of 33 versions of traditional stories, transcribed from oral recordings of ten Inuit elders from two High Arctic communities, Arctic Bay and Igloolik. He has also adapted several traditional Inuit stories into children’s storybooks. 

Jaypeetee Arnakak will be appearing the in the following events:

Stories from Nunavut, with Jaypeetee Arnakak & Ceporah Mearns

Adriana Chartrand

Adriana Chartrand's headshot

Adriana Chartrand is a mixed-race Native woman, born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Her father is Red River Métis (Michif), born and raised in the Métis community of St. Laurent, and her mother is a mixed white settler from Manitoba. She currently works in the film industry in Toronto. 

Adriana Chartrand will be appearing in the following event:

Adriana Chartrand & Marie Hélène Poitras: Ordinary Monsters

Catherine Hernandez

Catherine Hernandez's headshot
Photo credit: Noor Khan

Catherine Hernandez (she/her) is a queer woman of Filipino, Spanish, Chinese and Indian descent who married into the Navajo Nation. Her first novel, Scarborough, was a finalist for Canada Reads 2022, and the film adaptation, for which she wrote the screenplay, won eight Canadian Screen Awards. Her second novel, Crosshairs, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award. 

Catherine Hernandez will be appearing in the following event:

Kevin Chen & Catherine Hernandez: Rise Up, Rise Up

Camille Hernández-Ramdwar

Camille Hernández-Ramdwar's headshot

Camille Hernández-Ramdwar is an author, scholar and independent consultant. Her debut collection of short stories Suite as Sugar was published by Rare Machines/Dundurn Press in 2023. Camille is Associate Professor Emerita at Toronto Metropolitan University where for over 20 years she engaged in teaching, writing, research and activism concerning anti-racism and Caribbean Studies in Canada. She divides her time between Toronto and Trinidad. 

Camille is participating in Write the Neighbourhood and has written a commissioned piece about what makes Toronto home.

Camille Hernández-Ramdwar will be appearing in the following event:

Christine Estima & Camille Hernández-Ramdwar: Casual Brutalities

Write the Neighbourhood with Jake Byrne, Camille Hernández-Ramdwar and Kate Siklosi

Farah Heron

Farah Heron's headshot

Farah Heron is a critically acclaimed writer of romantic comedies for adults and teens. Her books have been praised in Entertainment Weekly, Oprah Magazine, Style Magazine, Buzzfeed, the Globe and Mail and more, and have been named as best books of the year by CBC books, USA Today and NPR.

Farah Heron will be appearing in the following event:

Farah Heron & Zoe Whittall: I Knew You Were Trouble

Janika Oza

Janika Oza's headshot
Photo credit: Yi Shi

Janika Oza is the winner of a 2022 O. Henry Award and the 2020 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Award. Her stories and essays have appeared in publications such as The Best Small Fictions 2019 AnthologyCatapultThe Adroit JournalThe Cincinnati Review and Anomaly, among others. She is a Features reader for The Rumpus and a 2020 Diaspora Dialogues long-form fiction mentee.

Janika Oza will be appearing in the following event:

Diaspora Dialogues: The Sweep of History

Zalika Reid-Benta

Zalika Reid-Benta's headshot

Zalika Reid-Benta is the author of Frying Plantain, which won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award and the Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for Literary Fiction, longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and it was shortlisted for many others. Zalika served on many juries including the Giller and the Amazon First Novel Prize. Zalika’s second book, River Mumma, a magical realist novel inspired by Jamaican folklore, was released by Penguin Canada in August 2023. 

Zalika Reid-Benta will be appearing in the following event:

Diaspora Dialogues: Beneath The Surface

Hana Shafi

Hana Shafi's headshot
Photo credit: Bali Singh

Hana Shafi is a writer and artist who illustrates under the name Frizz Kid. Her art and writing explore themes such as feminism, body politics, racism and pop culture. Her first book, It Begins With The Body was selected by CBC books as one of the best poetry books of 2018. Her second book, Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty: Affirmations for the Real World, a compilation of essays and illustrations, came out in 2020. Hana and her family immigrated to Mississauga from Dubai in 1996, and she now lives in Toronto with her two cute, but sometimes annoying, cats. 

Hana Shafi will be appearing in the following event:

Kevin Chong & Hana Shafi: Rooting For the Anti-Hero

Craig Shreve

Craig Shreve's headshot
Photo credit: Jay Crews

Craig Shreve was born and raised in North Buxton, Ontario, formerly a popular terminus on the Underground Railroad. He is a descendant of Abraham Doras Shadd, the first Black person in Canada to be elected to public office, and Mary Ann Shadd, the pioneering abolitionist, suffragette and newspaper editor/publisher.

Craig is participating in Write the Neighbourhood and has written a commissioned piece about what makes Toronto home.

Craig Shreve will be appearing in the following events:

Craig Shreve: A Lost Samurai

Write the Neighbourhood with Jennilee Austria-Bonifacio, Brooke Lockyer, Craig Shreve and Carey Sookocheff

Carey Sookocheff

Carey Sookocheff's headshot
Photo credit: Emily Doukogiannis

Carey Sookocheff is the author and illustrator of Lost Things, Wet and Solutions for Cold Feet and Other Little Problems. She is also the illustrator of the Buddy and Earl series, written by Maureen Fergus. She lives in Toronto, Ontario with her family and her dog, Rosie. 

Carey is participating in Write the Neighbourhood and has created a commissioned illustration about what makes Toronto home.

Carey Sookocheff will be appearing in the following events:

Skipping Down Memory Lane, with Carey Sookocheff

Write the Neighbourhood with Jennilee Austria-Bonifacio, Brooke Lockyer, Craig Shreve and Carey Sookocheff


See the full list of #FestofAuthors23 events here!

6:43am

Saturday, February 24

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