Join the Toronto International Festival of Authors and Caitlin Press in celebrating the release of BIG: Stories about Life in Plus-Sized Bodies edited by Christina Myers through a Toronto Lit Up launch!
Let us know you’re coming! Please RSVP at the link below.
Pop culture stereotypes, shopping frustrations, fat jokes, and misconceptions about health are all ways society systemically rejects large bodies. BIG is a collection of personal and intimate experiences of plus size women, non-binary and trans people in a society obsessed with thinness. Revealing insights that are both funny and traumatic, surprising and challenging, familiar and unexpected, 26 writers explore themes as diverse as self perception, body image, fashion, fat activism, food, sexuality, diet culture, motherhood and more. These stories offer a closer look at what it means to navigate a world designed to fit bodies of a certain size (sometimes literally) and, in turn, invites readers to ask questions about—and ultimately reconsider—our collective and individual obsession with women’s bodies.
Contributors include Emily Allan, Shadoe Ball, Elizabeth Cook, Jo Jefferson, Heather M. Jones, Tara Mandarano, Amanda Scriver and other writers from across Canada, the US and the UK.
Toronto Lit Up is a three year initiative, spearheaded by the Toronto International Festival of Authors and the Toronto Arts Council, designed to spotlight Toronto’s writers and empower local artists with career-building opportunities. Click here for more information.
Emily Allan is a freelance writer, editor and equality consultant whose work deals with intersectional feminism and body politics. Born and raised on a little island in British Columbia, she relocated in 2018 from Vancouver to Toronto, where she now runs a small writing group, affectionately and accurately named Snack Club. She holds a BA in anthropology and political science and an MA in anthropology from the University of British Columbia.
Shadoe Ball is a writer and artist from Sudbury, Ontario, who lives in Toronto. She was diagnosed with binge eating disorder at twenty- eight years old. Through group therapy programs, a HAES-informed nutritionist and a lot of self-discovery, she learned healthier coping mechanisms for stress and anxiety, such as flexing her creative muscles. She is thrilled to be included in this anthology and is eager for opportunities to connect with big ideas and curious people.
Elizabeth Cook is an aspiring author who lives in a suburb of Toronto with her spouse and two children, Sully and Fitz, but will continue to call the Big Land, Labrador, her home. She believes sunrise is the best time of day and popcorn is a legitimate meal.
Jo Jefferson is a Toronto-based queer writer and parent who grew up in Nova Scotia. Their essay, “How I (Finally) Became a Genderqueer Parent,” was included in Caitlin Press’s anthology Swelling with Pride. Their first novel, Lightning and Blackberries, was released by Nimbus Publishing in 2008. When they’re not writing or swimming, Jo hangs out with their kids, works at a community centre, explores the world and facilitates workshops with creators of all ages.
Heather M. Jones lives in Toronto with her husband, two young sons and two indignant cats. She can usually be found arguing with strangers on the internet or watching just one more episode on Netflix. You can follow Heather on Twitter and Instagram at @hmjoneswriter and on Facebook at /hmjoneswriter. To see more of her work, please visit hmjoneswriter.com.
Tara Mandarano is a Pushcart Prize–nominated writer and editor based in Canada. Her work has been featured on the front page of the Huffington Post and has also appeared in Reader’s Digest, Chatelaine, Today’s Parent and Canadian Living. She is also a chronic illness and mental health advocate. Please visit taramandarano.com to see more of her writing, or follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @taramandarano.
Amanda (Ama) Scriver is a freelance journalist and body image advocate best known for being fat, loud, and shouty on the Internet. Her writing work has appeared on Buzzfeed, The Washington Post, FLARE, Greatist, Healthline and Thrillist. She lives in Toronto with her partner and is currently working on her first book, a memoir, focused on body image and trauma.