Wednesday, February 21, 2018 - 7:30 PM
: Year-Round

Lakeside Terrace, Harbourfront Centre

235 Queens Quay West
Toronto M5J 2G8
Cost: FREE

Students from four creative writing programs collaborated on five-minute stories as part of the IFOA’s Lit Jam at Harbourfront on February 1, 2017.

Toronto’s favourite literary contest, Lit Jam, returns in 2018!

Get ready for an interactive night of storytelling where teams comprised of emerging writers from various creative writing programs will compete by improvising stories on stage. The audience will lead them with story starters and scenarios! CBC’s Gill Deacon will emcee.

Confirmed judges include acclaimed authors Joseph Kertes (The Afterlife of Stars), Nino Ricci (Lives of the Saints) and Karen Connelly (The Change Room). We are delighted to welcome teams from creative writing programs of York University, Humber College, University of Guelph and Ryerson University.

The winning team will receive a cash prize and publication of their story on

Check out the 2017 Lit Jam winning story here.

Free admission. RSVP here!

Meet the teams:

Team Guelph:
Kris Bone, Kaitlin Ruether and Ambika Thompson

Team Ryerson:
Benson McDaniel, Phil Johnston, Doran Brooks and Alannah Moniz

Team York:
Katherine Pilon, Joshua Kim-Bath and Alvin Wong

Team Humber:

Salma Hussain, Adam Elliott Segal and Daniel Goldsmith


  • Karen Connelly

    Karen Connelly is the author of eleven books of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, the most recent being the novel, The Change Room, published by PenguinRandomHouse. The Change Room has been called “revolutionary” and “boundary-breaking” in its treatment of women’s sexuality. Connelly is also the author of the acclaimed novel The Lizard Cage, which was the winner of Britain’s Orange Broadband New Novelist’s Prize, shortlisted for the Kiriyama Prize, and compared, in the New York Times Book Review, to the work of Mandela, Solszhenityn and Mandela. Set in a prison in Myanmar, the novel was banned in that country for almost a decade and finally published there in translation last year. Touch the Dragon, her nonfiction travelogue about living in Thailand as a teenager, won the Governor General’s Award and was a Canadian bestseller for over two years. She has also received the Pat Lowther Award for her poetry. Her works have been translated into fourteen languages and published in seventeen countries. She lives with her family in Toronto and, during the summers, in Greece.

  • Gill Deacon

    Gill Deacon is an award-winning broadcaster and bestselling author. Her portfolio includes several prominent roles at CBC, including host of CBCTV’s Code Green, weekly arts correspondent for CBC News Morning, host of CBC’s flagship daytime show, The Gill Deacon Show, and guest host for CBC Toronto’s Here and Now. Deacon is also the author of the national bestsellers There’s Lead in Your Lipstick and Green for Life. She currently sings in a Toronto band called The Circumstantialists.

  • Joseph Kertes

    Joseph Kertes founded Humber College's creative writing and comedy programs. He was until recently Humber's Dean of Creative and Performing Arts and is a recipient of numerous awards for teaching and innovation. His first novel, Winter Tulips, won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour. Boardwalk, his second novel, and two children's books, The Gift and The Red Corduroy Shirt, met with critical acclaim. His novel, Gratitude, won a Canadian National Jewish Book Award and the U.S. National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. His latest novel, The Afterlife of Stars, has been described by Miriam Toews as his “masterpiece” and was named a notable book by the NY Times Book Review. Kertes is the 2017 recipient of the Harbourfront Festival Prize. His latest novel is called Last Impressions.  

  • Nino Ricci

    Nino Ricci is the author of award-winning novel The Origin of Species and of the Lives of the Saints trilogy, adapted as a miniseries starring Sophia Loren. Ricci's most recent novel is Sleep, published in the fall of 2015. Ricci has been a recipient of the Alistair MacLeod Award for Literary Achievement, of York University’s Pinnacle Achievement Award, of the Engel/Findley Award for a Writer in Mid-Career, and of an honorary doctorate from the University of Windsor. In 2011 he was appointed a member of the Order of Canada. He lives in Toronto with his wife, writer Erika de Vasconcelos, and their children.