Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 7:30 PM
Competition, Performance: Free Events | Year-Round

Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre

235 Queens Quay West
Toronto M5J 2G8
Cost: FREE (pre-registration is encouraged)

Toronto’s favourite night of improvisational storytelling returns

Get ready for an interactive night of storytelling as teams of emerging writers, representing our region’s best creative writing programs, will compete by improvising stories on stage. The audience will prompt the teams with story-starter scenarios, and their imaginations will take it from there.

The First Place winning team will receive a cash prize of $1,000 and publication of their story on The Second Place team will take home a cash prize of $500.

Judging this year’s competition are: Harbourfront Festival Prize winner Joseph Kertes, award-winning author Becky Blake, and Toronto Star Books Editor, Deborah Dundas. Richard Scrimger will emcee.

The competing teams include: 

  • University of Guelph (winner of Lit Jam 2019)
  • University of Toronto Scarborough

Get a taste for Lit Jam, by checking out some of our previous winning stories, here:

Registration is FREE. Let us know you’re coming by clicking the “Purchase Tickets” button, below.


  • Becky Blake

    Becky Blake is a two-time winner of the CBC Literary Prize (for non-fiction in 2017 and short fiction in 2013). Her stories and essays have appeared in publications across Canada, and her first novel, Proof I Was Here, was published by Wolsak & Wynn’s Buckrider Books in Spring 2019. Becky teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Education. She is currently working on a second novel and a memoir-in-essays.

  • Deborah Dundas

    Deborah Dundas became the Books Editor at the Toronto Star after reviewing books for the paper for more than 15 years. She has worked in the media for more than 25 years – including stints as a books editor, but also in business, lifestyle, and national and city politics. She's worked at CTV and TVO, both as an editor/producer and reporting, interviewing or producing shows on emerging artists, popular writers and literary powerhouses. She's also lived and worked in Northern Ireland. She feels that the books beat is the perfect marriage of her diverse experience and interests.

  • 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.  

  • Richard Scrimger

    Richard Scrimger is the award-winning author of more than 20 books, mostly for children. He teaches at the Humber College School For Writers, and is a frequent speaker and workshop leader. Recent novels feature an irresistible superhero and the back end of Laura Secord’s cow. Visit him at Do not follow @richardscrimger