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On July 26, 2022, the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) announced that 21 new books have been selected to be part of the latest season of Toronto Lit Up, a joint initiative with Toronto Arts Council that spotlights Toronto writers and provide career-building opportunities through book launch celebrations. The latest Toronto Lit Up season will take place between July 2022 and March 2023, and feature new works of fiction and non-fiction for adults and young people, poetry, memoir and drama, by debut and established Toronto authors.

The authors and new books selected for the new Toronto Lit Up season are:

Didier Leclair, Toronto, I Love You (translated to English by Elaine Kennedy) (Mawenzi House)
Pamela Mordecai, de Book of Joseph (Mawenzi House)
Curtis Carmichael, Butterflies in the Trenches: The Hood, an Epic Bike Ride, and Finding Inspiration (Synergy)
Sophie Jai, Wild Fires (HarperCollins Canada)
Khashayar Mohammadi, WJD (Gordon Hill)
Emily Saso, Nine Dash Line (Freehand Books)
Diane Borsato with illustrations by Kelsey Oseid, Mushrooming: The Joy of the Quiet Hunt – An Illustrated Guide to the Fascinating, the Delicious, the Deadly and the Strange (Douglas & McIntyre)
Tanya Turton, Jade Is a Twisted Green (Dundurn Press)
Nancy Lam, The Loyal Daughter (At Bay Press)
Robert Priest, If I Didn’t Love the River (ECW Press)
Daniel Scott Tysdal, The End Is in the Middle: MAD fold-in poems (Icehouse Poetry)
Sam Shelstad, Citizens of Light (TouchWood Editions)
Danee Wilson, Murder at San Miguel (Radiant Press)
S.K. Ali, Love from Mecca to Medina (Simon & Schuster Canada)
Jon S. Dellandrea, The Great Canadian Art Fraud Case: The Group of Seven & Tom Thomson Forgeries (Goose Lane Editions)
Elaine Kachala, Superpower? The Wearable-Tech Revolution (Orca Book Publishers)
Chris MacDonald, The Things I Came Here With: A Memoir (ECW Press)
Elizabeth Gillian Muir, An Unrecognized Contribution: Women and Their Work in 19th-Century Toronto (Dundurn Press)
Natasha Adiyana Morris, The Negroes Are Congregating (Playwrights Canada Press)
George Elliott Clarke, Canticles III (MMXXII) (Guernica Editions)
Brooke Lockyer, Burr (Nightwood Editions)

Book launch events will take place at venues throughout Toronto. Event dates and details will be posted throughout the season at FestivalofAuthors.ca/Toronto-Lit-Up. As always, Toronto Lit Up events are open to the public and free to attend.

“Toronto Lit Up continues to provide invaluable opportunities for Toronto writers to enjoy well-deserved time in the spotlight, along with the resources to celebrate and promote their publishing accomplishments. Toronto Arts Council is pleased to partner with TIFA as we applaud twenty-one accomplished authors participating this season, reflecting a wealth of diverse and compelling stories” – Claire Hopkinson, Director & CEO, Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation

“It’s an honour for us to continue to celebrate local Toronto authors and be a part of showcasing the diversity of the city’s vibrant literary landscape. We are particularly delighted that many of this season’s launches are scheduled to be in-person after many, many months of virtual launches. Congratulations to all the authors launching new books this year. We look forward to receiving – and greatly encourage – new submissions when the next call opens this fall.” – Ayesha Chatterjee, Toronto Lit Up committee member.

This is an extended season of Toronto Lit Up, which takes into account that many book launches were delayed during the past two years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All submissions were reviewed by the Toronto Lit Up Committee, composed of Ayesha Chatterjee (past president, League of Canadian Poets), Alison Jones (Quill and Quire) and Hazel Millar (Literary Press Group).

Toronto Lit Up is produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

ABOUT TORONTO LIT UP

Toronto Lit Up is a multi-year initiative, started in 2016 by the Toronto International Festival of Authors and Toronto Arts Council, to spotlight Toronto writers and empower local artists with career-building opportunities. Between April 2016 and June 2022, Toronto Lit Up has presented 137 events to launch 161 books by 236 Toronto authors. Launches are always open to the public and free to attend.

See Events

Learn More

Toronto Lit Up website banner featuring 8 of the 21 selected books. Has the text "Toronto Lit Up July 2022-March 2023"

As the official presenter of MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival, Kobo Plus is offering Toronto International Festival of Authors guests, friends and supporters an opportunity to try Kobo’s all-you-can-read subscription service.

Choose from hundreds of thousands of popular, classic and original titles for only $9.99 a month.

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Toronto International Festival of Authors book logo        Kobo Plus Read logo with All-you-can-read ebooks on any device tagline

If you are looking to make the most of the recent summer weather, be sure to drop by MOTIVE Crime and Mystery Festival, presented by Kobo Plus, this weekend! The Toronto International Festival of Authors will be taking over Harbourfront Centre’s waterfront campus with free outdoor activities for mystery fans of all ages.

From thought-provoking discussions to riveting readings, there will be a lot going on Saturday and Sunday. Below is a rundown of the wonder and mystery to expect at the beautiful lakeside location.


Kobo Cabana Reading Lounge

Be sure to visit our friends at the Kobo Cabana Reading Lounge! The welcoming space will have a charging station, comfy couches and some delicious treats. It’s the perfect place to relax, get book recommendations and chat with other crime and mystery fans.

West Lawn – Saturday, June 4 at 11am – 7pm

West Lawn – Sunday, June 5 at 11am – 7pm

Pitch Perfect

Join writers Alan Brand, Bruce Madole, Scott McKinnon and Hope Thompson as they pitch book ideas to a panel of publishing industry experts. Pitching may sound like a stressful process, but it’s all in good fun. After their pitches, the judges will provide constructive, positive feedback on the writers’ ideas. The event will take place inside Harbourfront Centre. Tickets are free with registration.

Main Loft – Sunday, June 5 at 6:30pm

Critical Conversations: Ethics of Crime Writing

At the outdoor stage on Harbourfront’s west lawn, authors Marcie Rendon, Beverley McLachlin and Ryan Gattis will explore the nuances and ethical implications of how crime, criminals and police are represented in the genre. In conversation with Robert Rotenberg, they will discuss their writing choices, as well as their ongoing work to better the criminal justice system. The Critical Conversation series is presented in partnership with the Provocation Ideas Festival.

Outdoor Stage – Saturday, June 4 at 2pm

Meet Me in the Yard: Audio Installation

As you enter MOTIVE’s hub of outdoor activities, an interactive audio installation will you greet you. Take a snapshot of the QR codes to hear different experiences of incarceration. There are a total of five stories being shared, so be sure to explore the entire space. Presented by Trophy, in partnership with Provocation Ideas Festival.

North Orchard – Saturday, June 4 at 1–6pm

TIFA Kids & Family Fun

The TIFA Kids & Family tent will have fun for the whole family! There will be board games, colouring and other free activities to enjoy all weekend long.

Outdoor Tent – Saturday, June 4 at 11am – 7pm

Outdoor Tent – Sunday, June 5 at 11am – 7pm

Crime Writers of Canada Book Signings & Readings

The Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) is joining MOTIVE with free readings and book signings. See authors like James Arnett, Nate Hendley, O’Cinneide, Robert Rotenberg, Lynne Murphy, Dianne Scott and many more throughout the weekend as they read from their books on the outdoor stage. Afterward, head to the CWC tent to meet authors from all over Canada.

Check out their weekend lineup:

Book Signings at the Outdoor Tent – Saturday, June 4 at 11am – 7pm

Readings on the Outdoor Stage – Saturday, June 4 at 6pm

Book Signings at the Outdoor Tent – Sunday, June 5 at 11am – 7pm

Readings on the Outdoor Stage – Sunday, June 5 at 2pm

Toronto Crime Tours

Drop in to hear the true crime stories of Toronto’s past! Presented by Toronto Crime Tours, theirs are the only crime tours in Canada hosted by retired Detectives. Hear stories that are both fascinating and frightening like the Clowns vs. Firefighters Riot of 1855, the tragic case of the Shoeshine Boy and the notorious Boyd Gang. No walking or registration required.

Outdoor Tent – Saturday, June 4 at 1pm – 6 pm

Outdoor Tent – Sunday, June 5 at 1pm – 6 pm

Indigo Bookstore

While the books may not be free, browsing them sure is! Explore Indigo’s Bookstore in the Marilyn Brewer Community Space inside Harbourfront Centre all weekend. From cozy mysteries to chilling thrillers, true crime to police procedurals, the bookstore will be stocked with all the must reads in crime and mystery.

Marilyn Brewer Community Space – Friday, June 3 at 4–9:30pm

Marilyn Brewer Community Space – Saturday, June 4 at 10am – 9pm

Marilyn Brewer Community Space – Sunday, June 5 at 10am – 9pm

Ask the Expert

Two crime-writing experts will be on the outdoor MOTIVE stage to discuss the latest trends in the genre. On Saturday, New York Times journalist and crime fiction expert Sarah Weinman will be chatting about all things true crime. Then on Sunday, Globe & Mail crime fiction reviewer, Margaret Cannon, will be taking a look at the crime genre through a Canadian lens. Don’t miss these great conversations!

Ask the Expert: Sarah Weinman – Saturday, June 4 at 3:30pm

Ask the Expert: Margaret Cannon – Sunday, June 5 at 3:30pm


Want to see the full schedule? Check it out here.

Picture of the MOTIVE ad on the North Wall at Harbourfront Centre

The inaugural MOTIVE Festival, from the Toronto International Festival of Authors, is almost here! Featuring nearly 100 authors from Canada and around the globe, over 40 in-person events, and a variety of free outdoor events all weekend long, MOTIVE offers a lot to see and do.

No need to sleuth for clues on how to make the most of MOTIVE, because we’ve put together your ultimate guide to making the most of your June 3–5 weekend.


Get tickets early

While it may be tempting to wait until the last minute to get tickets, we recommend getting them before it’s too late! Be sure to browse the schedule and book your tickets in advance to guarantee your spot to meet the incredible authors joining us for readings, conversations and book signings.

Explore an entire event series

Along with single interviews and readings, MOTIVE offers several series of events that bring world-class authors and experts together to discuss fascinating themes that can’t be unpacked in just one session. Four events explore the politics and societal effects of real-life crime and mysteries under the banner name, Critical Conversations. Several Masterclasses demonstrate key facets of crime writing, while The Re-Read series explores genre classics through the eyes of contemporary crime writers. Learn from the best and get a new perspective on topics all in one weekend. Browse events here.

See it all with the All-Access Pass

Can’t decide what to see at MOTIVE, or want to spend all weekend with us? Get yourself an All-Access Pass! These passes grant you one admission to nearly all MOTIVE events (Masterclasses excepted). Once you book a pass, you can then register for all the events you wish to see at no extra charge by following the instructions in the confirmation email.

Take advantage of the student and youth discount

Attending events can be hard on a student budget, but with TIFA’s student and youth (aged 25 and under) discount, you can get tickets to a regular MOTIVE event for only $12.50. While it doesn’t apply to Masterclasses, there are over 40 in-person events where you can save money and still get to see your favourite authors.

Invite your book club and save

Bring your book buddies to the waterfront, listen to fascinating conversations and enjoy the outdoor ambiance of a waterfront festival. From cozy mysteries to chilling thrillers, there are plenty of events to suit a variety of reading preferences. Book Clubs can save 25% on ticket prices when booking five or more tickets to the same event, by calling the Harbourfront Centre Box Office 416-973-4000 (choose option 1).

Plan your way to Harbourfront Centre  

Plan your way to Harbourfront Centre before you leave, to avoid unnecessary troubles. You can find directions for getting here by train, TTC, car and foot here.  

If you are travelling to MOTIVE from Toronto Pearson International Airport, take advantage of TIFA’s UP Express discount. Use the code Motive22 on www.upexpress.com to get 25% off the adult rate.  

COVID-19 safety

After two years of virtual events and changing rules about COVID-19 safety, it’s understandable that you may have questions about safety protocol for MOTIVE. Following Ontario provincial health guidelines, as of May 2, Harbourfront Centre has lifted its mandatory masks and vaccination policy for visitors, but strongly recommends visitors continue to wear masks while on campus and inside venues. A mandatory vaccination policy for Harbourfront Centre and TIFA employees, as well as volunteers, continues to be in effect. Hand sanitization stations are available throughout the campus. For more information about health and safety at Harbourfront Centre, please visit: HarbourfrontCentre.com/safety

Check your email for your tickets

Once you have purchased tickets to see your favourite authors, keep a watchful eye on your email. All tickets will be sent via email. You will need your e-ticket to access the event. If you don’t see it in your inbox, be sure to check your spam or junk folder.

If you have any questions about tickets, reach out to Harbourfront Centre’s box office at 416-973-4000 or tickets@harbourfrontcentre.com.

Enjoy free activities all weekend

Harbourfront Centre’s campus will be buzzing with activity on June 4 and 5 with readings, book signings, activities and scavenger hunts. Everyone is welcome to scope out the fun at the TIFA Kids tents, Crime Writers of Canada meet and greets, Kobo Cabana Reading Lounge, Toronto Crime Tours stories and more! Don’t forget to stop by Indigo’s Festival bookstore to browse the collection of thrilling reads.

Join the conversation

Ask a question, take a picture or share your Festival experience with us on social media! Follow @FestofAuthors on:

Instagram
Twitter
Facebook

Don’t forget to use #MotiveTO in your posts.

Buy the books

TIFA’s official booksellers are ready to get books into your hands! Whether it’s an ebook, audiobook, hardcover or paperback, Kobo and Indigo have everything you need to be well-read. Browse Kobo’s online catalogue at any time here, and be sure to drop by the Marilyn Brewer Community Space inside Harbourfront Centre to get your hardcopies at the Indigo Bookstore.


Have a question? See if it is answered on our FAQ page or email us at support@festivalofauthors.ca.

Browse the full schedule of MOTIVE events, readings and conversations here.

If you can’t join us in person at Harbourfront Centre, be sure to check out the 14 free, digital events available until June 8 here.

Opportunities are ripe for aspiring crime and mystery writers at MOTIVE Festival, presented by Kobo Plus. The newest literary celebration from the Toronto International Festival of Authors offers many ways to meet like-minded booklovers and learn from the world’s best authors.

From insightful conversations to hands-on classes, MOTIVE audiences can gain award-winning advice on how to take their next step in the publishing process. Here is a collection of activities worth considering to further your writing career.


Creative Writing Masterclasses

Doug Johnstone
Photo credit: Duncan McGlynn.

Sit down with acclaimed authors and industry experts for a MOTIVE Masterclass, where hands-on lessons dive into crafting compelling stories and perfecting the art of editing. Each leading their own class, Torontonian Marissa Stapley, Scottish author Doug Johnstone and UK publisher Karen Sullivan will share a facet of their expertise in an intimate 90-minute session in Harbourfront Centre’s Main Loft. Whether you sign up for all or just one, be sure to bring your questions about plotting, writing and publishing for these experts to tackle. All writing levels are welcome.

Get tickets:

Masterclass: Marissa Stapley on the Heart of Character Development (Friday, June 3 at 6pm ET)
Masterclass: Doug Johnstone on Killer Editing (Saturday, June 4 at 4pm ET)
Masterclass: Karen Sullivan on the Path to Published (Sunday, June 5 at 4pm ET)

Pictured: Doug Johnstone.

Ask the Experts

Sarah Weinman's headshot

Crime-writing experts Margaret Cannon and Sarah Weinman will take the MOTIVE stage to field your questions about writing tools and trends and Canadian reading recommendations. Don’t miss this chance to ask the experts your biting crime-genre queries at these free, outdoor presentations.

Events:

Ask the Expert: Sarah Weinman (Saturday, June 4 at 3:30pm ET)
Ask the Expert: Margaret Cannon (Sunday, June 5 at 3:30pm ET)

Pictured: Sarah Weinman.

Pitch Perfect

Carolyn Forde, the new IV Programme Committee Chair, headshot

Ever wonder what it’s like to pitch a book idea? TIFA and the Crime Writers of Canada invite you to be a fly on the wall to witness a live pitch session in action. Pitch Perfect is a showcase of writers pitching their ideas to a panel of judges. Be prepared to jot down some notes as the panel of publishing experts provide constructive feedback on their ideas. This event is free with registration.

Event:

Pitch Perfect (Sunday, June 5 at 6:30pm ET)

Pictured: Pitch Perfect judge Carolyn Forde, Partner, Senior Literary Agent and International Rights Director at Transatlantic Agency.

The Re-Reads

Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles book cover

What better way to become a great writer than to learn from the classics? TIFA’s Re-Read series is back for MOTIVE, featuring award-winning writers , Kurdo Baksi, Mark Billingham and Val McDermid taking a look at famous books and authors who have captivated readers for decades and made a substantial impact on the crime and mystery genre. From Agatha Christie to Stieg Larsson, you’ll learn how prolific authors broke the rules to make the genre their own.

Get tickets:

The Re-Read: Val McDermid on Agatha Christie (Saturday, June 4 at 1pm ET)
The Re-Read: Kurdo Baksi on Stieg Larsson (Saturday, June 4 at 1:30pm ET)
The Re-Read: Mark Billingham on Dashiell Hammett (Sunday, June 5 at 1pm ET)

 

Hear from Debut Authors

Ramona Emerson's headshot
Photo credit: Ungelbah Dávila-Shivers.

Debut authors were aspiring writers not too long ago, and are a great resource for learning about the publishing industry right now. Join debut authors Ramona Emerson, Wanda Morris and Nita Prose at MOTIVE to learn about their books and publishing process, and get advice on how to jump from aspiring to published.

Get tickets:

Secrets & Lies: Wanda Morris & Chris Pavone (Sunday, June 5 at 6:30pm ET)
The Maid: Nita Prose (Sunday, June 5 at 7pm ET)
Paranormal Plotlines: Ramona Emerson & Stuart Neville (Sunday, June 5 at 7:30pm ET)

Pictured: Ramona Emerson.

Book Signings

A fan getting their book signed at TIFA’s 2017 Festival.

Meet your favourite authors in person throughout the weekend at MOTIVE book signings, which take place after most ticketed events and at the Crime Writers of Canada tent. It’s an opportune time to interact one-on-one and ask that quick burning question. Be sure to check individual event pages for details on book signings.

Events:

Crime Writers of Canada Tent (Saturday and Sunday starting at 11am ET)
In-Person Events (June 3–5)


Looking for more? Browse the full MOTIVE schedule here.

Wanda Morris's headshot

Meet some of Canada’s best crime writers live and on stage at the MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival, which marks the exciting return of in-person programming for the Toronto International Festival of Authors. MOTIVE runs from June 3 to 5.

Learn how these masters of the whodunit build immersive worlds, indelible characters and clockwork plots that will keep you turning the page late into the night. Just keep the light on!


Linwood Barclay

Linwood Barclay's headshot
Photo credit: Ellis Parrinder.

Linwood Barclay is an American-born Canadian author whose New York Times bestselling novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages and sold millions of copies around the world. Notable books include No Time for Goodbye, which The Daily Express called “a fast-moving rollercoaster of a read,” and Trust Your Eyes, a finalist for the Crime Thriller Book Club Best Read from the Crime Thriller Awards. Barclay’s newest novel, Take Your Breath Away, delves into the cold case of Brie Mason, a woman who mysteriously disappeared six years ago. When Brie’s lookalike returns, her husband Andrew must uncover a trail of accusations, lies and murder. Join master of suspense, Linwood Barclay, as he discusses his infectious new thriller.

Linwood Barclay will participate in the following events:

Take Your Breath Away: Linwood Barclay
Sunday, June 5 at 1:30pm ET, Harbourfront Centre Theatre

Rabbit Hole: Mark Billingham with Linwood Barclay
Saturday, June 4 at 5pm ET, Harbourfront Centre Theatre

Ian Hamilton

Ian Hamilton headshot
Photo credit: Iden Ford.

Ian Hamilton is the Canadian author of the acclaimed Ava Lee and Uncle Chow Tung series. The Water Rat of Wanchai won the Arthur Ellis Award for best first crime novel, The Disciple of Las Vegas was shortlisted for the Barry Award and The Wild Beasts of Wuhan was shortlisted for the Lambda Award for best lesbian crime/mystery novel of 2013. BBC Culture named Hamilton as one of ten mystery writers from the last 30 years who should be on your bookshelf. In The Sultan of Sarawak, Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant Ava Lee travels to Malaysia on the trail of the powerful Chong family, who have a criminal stranglehold over the province. Join Ian Hamilton as he discusses his brilliant heroine and intricately crafted plots.

Ian Hamilton will participate in the following event:

The Sultan of Sarawak: Ian Hamilton
Sunday, June 5 at 1:30pm ET, Brigantine Room in Harbourfront Centre

Robyn Harding

Robyn Harding's headshot
Photo credit: Tallulah.

Robyn Harding is a Canadian author of many books, including The Party, which was an international bestseller, and The Swap, which reached #1 on both the Globe and Mail and Toronto Star bestseller lists. In The Perfect Family, Harding crafts a fast paced and character-driven thriller that explores the lives of Thomas and Viv Adler and their well-mannered children. When their Porsche is pelted with eggs, it sets off a cascade of attacks against the wealthy family. The police dismiss these as the work of bored teenagers, but the terrified Adlers begin to investigate on their own, only to discover family secrets better left hidden. Join Robyn Harding as she discusses her twisty, page-turner of a novel.

Robyn Harding will participate in the following event:

The Perfect Family: Robyn Harding
Saturday, June 4 at 2pm ET, Brigantine Room in Harbourfront Centre

Thomas King

Thomas King's headshot
Photo credit: Harlen Bigbear.

Thomas King is the Canadian-American author of Green Grass, Running Water; The Truth About Stories; The Back of the Turtle; Indians on Vacation; and the DreadfulWater mysteries. He has won numerous awards, including the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the RBC Taylor Prize and the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. King’s latest crime novel, Deep House, continues the adventures of Cherokee ex-cop Thumps DreadfulWater, who has found peace in small-town Chinook, only to stumble upon a body at the bottom of a treacherous canyon. Join Thomas King as he lays out the clues with his signature wit and wry humour.

Thomas King will participate in the following event:

Deep House: Thomas King with Shelagh Rogers
Saturday, June 4 at 7:30pm ET, Harbourfront Centre Theatre

Shari Lapena

Shari Lapena headshot

Canadian Shari Lapena is the bestselling author of The Couple Next Door, A Stranger in the House and An Unwanted Guest. Her books have sold seven million copies in 38 territories around the world. In her latest thriller, Not a Happy Family, Lapena delves into the lives of a rich and seemingly happy family in upstate New York. When Fred and Sheila Merton are brutally murdered the night after Easter Dinner, suspicion falls on their three adult children. Could one of them be a psychopath, and wouldn’t the other siblings know? Join Shari Lapena as she untangles this web of secrets, greed and revenge.

Shari Lapena will participate in the following event:

Not a Happy Family: Shari Lapena
Friday, June 3 at 6pm ET, Brigantine Room in Harbourfront Centre

Beverly McLachlin

Beverley McLachlin headshot
Photo credit: Jean-Marc Carisse.

Beverley McLachlin is a Canadian crime writer and #1 national bestseller for her book, Full Disclosure, which was shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Best First Crime Novel Award. She is also Canada’s longest-serving Chief Justice. Her novels combine thrilling plot twists with realistic courtroom scenes that have been used in law schools to show how trials really work. In McLachlin’s latest bestseller, Denial, brilliant defence attorney Jilly Truitt must use all her legal acumen to untangle the truth in a bizarre “mercy-killing” case. Join Beverley McLachlin as she discusses her process for creating a gripping mystery.

Beverley McLachlin will participate in the following events:

Denial: Beverley McLachlin
Sunday, June 5 at 11am ET, Brigantine Room in Harbourfront Centre

Critical Conversation: The Ethics of Crime Writing
Friday, June 4 at 2pm ET, Outdoor Stage

Nita Prose

Nita Prose's headshot
Photo credit: Dahlia Katz Photography.

Nita Prose is a Canadian author whose debut novel, The Maid, was a #1 national and New York Times bestseller, and was also a pick for the Good Morning America and Cityline book clubs. Molly Grant is a young woman who struggles with social queues. She takes a job as a hotel maid, delighting in her orderly surroundings. However, when Molly comes upon the body of rich and infamous Charles Black during her rounds, her unusual demeanor makes her the prime suspect for the police. Join Nita Prose as she lays out her Clue-like mystery and hear her unique perspective on the publishing world as an editor-turned-author.

Nita Prose will participate in the following event:

The Maid: Nita Prose
Sunday, June 5 at 7pm ET, Harbourfront Centre Theatre

Marissa Stapley

Marissa Stapley's headshot
Photo credit: Dahlia Katz.

Canadian Marissa Stapley is a journalist, magazine editor and bestselling author of The Last Resort, Things to Do When It’s Raining and Mating for Life. Her newest book, Lucky, was a New York Times and national bestseller, and was a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick. Meet Lucky Armstrong, a talented grifter who is on the run from the police. When Lucky buys a lottery ticket on a whim, she discovers it is worth millions. Only problem, how to collect her winnings without being arrested? Join Marissa Stapley on this rollercoaster ride of a heist novel that interrogates the ideas of punishment, redemption and forgiveness.

Marissa Stapley will participate in the following events:

Lucky: Marissa Stapley with Hannah Mary McKinnon
Saturday, June 4 at 2pm ET, Harbourfront Centre Theatre

Masterclass: Marissa Stapley on the Heart of Character Development
Friday, June 3 at 6pm ET, Main Loft in Harbourfront Centre

Crime Writers of Canada

Crime Writers of Canada logo

After seeing your favourite Canadian mystery writers live on Harbourfront stage, sleuth out the Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) Tent and meet them in-person. CWC is a national non-profit for Canadian crime and mystery writers. All day Saturday and Sunday, authors will be signing books and chatting with fans. The tent and readings are some of the many free, outdoor events at MOTIVE this year, including readings, discussions and activities for the whole family.

Crime Writer of Canada Tent
Saturday, June 4 at 11am to 7pm ET, west lawn at Harbourfront Centre
Sunday, June 5 at 11am to 7pm ET, west lawn at Harbourfront Centre

Crime Writers of Canada Readings
Saturday, June 4 at 6pm ET, Outdoor Stage
Sunday, June 5 at 2pm ET, Outdoor Stage

Linwood Barclay's headshot as the featured image

From June 3 to 5, Toronto International Festival of Author’s inaugural MOTIVE Festival will take you on a worldwide crime and mystery tour as authors from around the globe gather at Harbourfront Centre. After two years of only virtual events, we are excited to celebrate the buzz of activity and wide variety of conversations, readings and special performances together again.

With storytellers from Germany, Iceland, Scotland and more, don’t miss this rare opportunity to see these incredible authors in person.


Mark Billingham (UK)

Mark Billingham's headshot
Photo credit: Steve Best.

Mark Billingham is an English writer known for his bestselling Inspector Thom Thorne novels, which Sky 1 adapted into a hit series. He has twice won the Theakston’s Old Peculier Award for Crime Novel of the Year. In his latest standalone thriller, Rabbit Hole, Billingham follows ex-cop and long-term patient Alice Armitage as she investigates a murder in her acute psychiatric ward. Will Alice be able unravel the mystery without succumbing to her lingering PTSD? Get the scoop on this latest novel as he sits down with Canadian bestselling author Linwood Barclay in person at MOTIVE.

Mark Billingham will participate in the following event:

Rabbit Hole: Mark Billingham with Linwood Barclay
Saturday, June 4 at 5pm ET, Harbourfront Centre Theatre

Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers in Concert
Saturday, June 4 at 7:30pm ET, Concert Stage at Harbourfront Centre

The Re-Read: Mark Billingham on Dashiell Hammett
Sunday, June 5 at 1pm ET, Main Loft in Harbourfront Centre

Val McDermid (Scotland)

Val McDermid's headshot
Photo credit: KT Bruce.

Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year Award and the CWA Golden Dagger Award, Scottish author Val McDermid has sold over 17 million books around the world. In her newest novel, 1979, McDermid introduces rookie reporter Allie Burns, who must navigate the newsroom boys’ club while investigating a terrorist plot close to home. Join Scotland’s Queen of Crime in person at MOTIVE for discussions about her writing, Agatha Christie and a special performance.

Val McDermid’s Festival appearance is generously supported by Scottish Books International.

Val McDermid will participate in the following events:

The Re-Read: Val McDermid on Agatha Christie
Saturday, June 4 at 1pm ET, Main Loft in Harbourfront Centre

Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers in Concert
Saturday, June 4 at 7:30pm ET, Concert Stage at Harbourfront Centre

1979: Val McDermid
Sunday, June 5 at 1pm ET, Brigantine Room in Harbourfront Centre

Adrian McKinty (Ireland / US)

Adrian McKinty's headshot
Photo credit: Leah Garrett.

Irish author Adrian McKinty has written over a dozen crime novels and is the winner of the Edgar Award, the International Thriller Writers Award and the Ned Kelly Award. In The Island, his latest novel and soon to be Hulu series, McKinty explores a family vacation gone horribly wrong. Separated from her new husband and surrounded by murderous locals, what will one woman do to keep her step-children safe?

Adrian McKinty will participate in the following event:

The Island: Adrian McKinty
Saturday, June 4 at 11:30am ET, Lakeside Terrace at Harbourfront Centre

Melanie Raabe (Germany)

Melanie Raabe's headshot
Photo credit: Marina Rosa Weigand.

Winner of the Stuttgart Crime Fiction Award, Melanie Raabe is a German author and journalist whose work has been published in over 20 countries. Her latest novel, The Shadow, spent 18 weeks on the Der Spiegel bestseller list. After a homeless woman prophesises the date when Norah Richter will kill a man “with good reason and of your own free will,” Norah must decide whether she should hate someone she has never met.

Melanie Raabe’s Festival appearance is generously supported by Goethe-Institut.

Melanie Raabe will participate in the following event:

Chiller Killers: Melanie Raabe & Max Seeck
Saturday, June 4 at 11:30am ET, Brigantine Room in Harbourfront Centre

Book & Brötchen with Melanie Raabe & Elizabeth Renzetti
Sunday, June 5 at 11:30am ET, Goethe-Institut Toronto 

Lilja Sigurðardóttir (Iceland)

Lilja Sigurðard's headshot

Lilja Sigurðardóttir is an award-winning Icelandic author, playwright and scriptwriter. The first novel in her bestselling Reykjavík Noir Trilogy, Snare, was shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger, while the third, Cage, won Best Icelandic Crime Novel of the Year and was a Guardian Book of the Year. Her latest thriller, Cold as Hell, follows Áróra as she returns home to find her estranged sister, who has gone missing in the midnight sun of the Icelandic summer.

Lilja Sigurðardóttir’s Festival appearance is generously supported by Icelandic Literature Centre.

Lilja Sigurðardóttir will participate in the following event:

Sisters in Search: Kellye Garrett & Lilja Sigurðardóttir
Saturday, June 4 at 2pm ET, Studio Theatre in Harbourfront Centre


Virtual Events

If you won’t be in Toronto for #MotiveTO, or you are, but are looking for some events to watch from home, you can also check out these international authors virtually at festivalofauthors.ca/motive.

Javier Cercas (Spain)

Javier Cercas's headshot
Photo credit: LM Palomares.

Javier Cercas is an internationally acclaimed Spanish novelist and columnist. Cercas’s books have been translated into over 30 languages, while Soldiers of Salamis has sold more than a million copies worldwide. In his latest novel, Even the Darkest Night, convict-turned-cop Melchor Marín must uncover the truth about a brutal double murder in the remote town of Terra Alta. Learn from this master storyteller from the comfort of home as Cercas discusses his elegantly constructed thriller.

Javier Cercas will participate in the following event:

Even the Darkest Night: Javier Cercas
Saturday, June 4 at 8pm ET, Virtual Event

Tica Morgan (Netherlands)

Tica Morgan's headshot
Photo credit: Duco de Vries.

Bestselling Dutch crime novelist Tica Morgan brings her experience as a police-investigator to her acclaimed Inspector Zoe Janssen thrillers. In the series’ upcoming fourth novel, Hell’s Gate, Inspector Janssen must investigate a new mystery on the small islands of southern Netherlands. Join Tica Morgan for this special event, presented by Kobo Plus, as she discusses her new book, fascination with the crime genre and experience being published in multiple languages.

Tica Morgan will participate in the following event:

Hell’s Gate: Tica Morgan
Friday, June 3 at 5pm ET, Virtual Event

Fuminori Nakamura (Japan)

Fuminori Nakamura's headshot

Fuminori Nakamura is a Japanese author best known for The Thief (2010), his critically acclaimed first novel to be translated into English. Winner of the prestigious Ōe Prize and David L. Goodis Award, Nakamura creates fascinating puzzle box narratives that feature tantalizing strangers and enigmatic acquaintances. “Turn this page, and give up your entire life,” he writes in his latest novel, My Annihilation, a disturbing dissection of what motivates a killer. Join the master of the literary noir virtually as he discusses this journey into the darkest corners of the human mind.

Fuminori Nakamura will participate in the following event:

My Annihilation: Fuminori Nakamura
Sunday, June 5 at 12:30pm ET, Virtual Event

Ilaria Tuti (Italy)

Ilaria Tuti's headshot

Ilaria Tuti is an Italian author and winner of the Gran Giallo Città di Cattolica literary prize for her short story The Pagan Child. Tuti’s novels evoke her love of nature and Italy’s rich history. In The Sleeping Nymph, her highly anticipated next instalment of the Teresa Battaglia series, Superintendent Battaglia must travel to one of Italy’s most untouched regions to investigate a decades-old murder.

Ilaria Tuti’s Festival appearance is generously supported by Istituto Italiano di Cultura.

Ilaria Tuti will participate in the following event:

The Sleeping Nymph: Ilaria Tuti
Saturday, June 4 at 10am ET, Virtual Event

Emma Viskic (Australia)

Emma Viskic's headshot

Critically acclaimed Australian author Emma Viaskic has won the Ned Kelly Award, five Davitt Awards and has twice been shortlisted for the CWA Dagger Award. Her books are published worldwide and are frequently listed among the best crime novels this decade. In Those Who Parish, the hotly anticipated conclusion to the Caleb Zelic series, Viskic places her Deaf protagonist on an isolated island community under threat from a sniper. Will Caleb find his drug addicted brother before the sniper does?

Emma Viskic will participate in the following event:

Those Who Parish: Emma Viskic
Sunday, June 5 at 8pm ET, Virtual Event


See the full list of #MotiveTO authors and events here.

Melanie Raabe's headshot as the blog banner

The Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) today announced the author lineup and programming for MOTIVE presented by Kobo Plus, Canada’s newest and largest crime and mystery writing festival, taking place June 3 to 5, 2022 based at Harbourfront Centre. Marking TIFA’s return to in-person programming after two years of digital presentations, the inaugural edition of MOTIVE features nearly 100 authors from Canada and around the world, with over 40 ticketed events, 13 free digital events, plus free outdoor events and activities all weekend long. Tickets are now on sale online and through the Harbourfront Centre Box Office by phone at 416-973-4000. 

“This Festival is the realization of a two-year dream: when I arrived in Toronto I was struck by how passionate Canadian readers were for crime and mystery books. So it feels fitting to return to live, in-person events with the launch of MOTIVE, and to share this exceptional lineup of authors with audiences,” said Roland Gulliver, Director, Toronto International Festival of Authors. “From cozy crime to police procedural, psychological thriller to Nordic Noir, the crime and mystery genre has created some of the world’s best storytellers who offer perspectives on the world and explore contemporary social issues through captivating narratives.”

“We are thrilled to work with TIFA to bring the MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival to life. As one of the most popular genres on the Kobo Plus all-you-can read subscription service, we have experienced first-hand how passionate readers are for the genre,” said Bart Roberts, Director, Kobo Plus. “Readers who get hooked on mystery want to read everything they can uncover and we’re pleased to offer stories from the best criminal minds in the world for one low monthly fee. Kobo Plus makes it easy to read as many books as you want, to explore new mysteries risk-free, and discover international authors you may not otherwise have found.”

MOTIVE is generously supported by Presenting sponsor Kobo Plus, International sponsor Icelandair and Official booksellers Rakuten Kobo and Indigo.

Ticket prices for MOTIVE start at $16.50+HST ($12.50 for students and youth aged 25 and under). Digital events, The Hidden, and a selection of outdoor activities will be free.

Browse the Programme

Read the Press Release


MOTIVE general banner

In February, the Toronto International Festival of Authors announced a new series of events called The New Embassy. Featuring spoken word, poetry, fiction and non-fiction, theatrical readings, music and dance performed by a roster of influential Canadian artists, the five digital events provide an incredible opportunity to watch an array of artists speak their truth and push the boundaries of storytelling.

To get insight into their work, we asked The New Embassy artists about how they challenge themselves and break the mould of what’s expected. Read what they had to say below.


Kama La Mackerel

The New Embassy: Beautiful Journeys March 18 at 7pm

Kama La Mackerel headshot
Photo credit: Noire Mouliom.

“I challenge myself by trying to always deepen my own relationship to my artistic practice. The notion of risk and risk-taking, for me, is first and foremost a relationship to myself, a relationship I hold with my work, with my artistic voice, where I strive to go deeper into my research, into my inquiry and in the artistic forms that this inquiry can take. There lies the challenge for me.

I try not to think or focus on what is happening “in the field.” I turn to the field as a way of inspiring myself, to keep my ear to the ground, to be engaged with the work of my peers. But when it comes to challenging myself, it is always in relation to my own practice. It is about expanding my own mould, the one within which I am working, so I never get too comfortable.”

Sze-Yang Ade-Lam

The New Embassy: Beautiful Journeys March 18 at 7pm

Sze-Yang Ade-Lam headshot
Photo credit: Dahlia Katz.

“I don’t necessarily think of challenging myself as an impetus, more so I am interested in sharing a truth about myself that deeply resonates with me, and literally feels like it’s moving me, by rattling my bones and setting my heart and spirit free.

Breaking the mould is not something I consider when creating work, but I am aware that the mould of what is expected of me is very narrow. So, in a sense existing in this world the way I do already breaks the mould. When I say I am nonbinary, people often think it is referring to gender only, but there are so many binaries (race, sexuality, body type, class), and boxes that cannot contain the truth of who I am, & I no longer wish to abide by them. When creating I think mostly of my unique truth and humanity, and let the boxes shatter where they may.”

Aedan Corey

The New Embassy: The Brave and The Vulnerable – March 25 at 7pm

Aedan Corey's headshot

“I believe I challenge myself as an artist by tackling topics that would generally be uncomfortable to discuss publicly, within my art. Expressing myself has always come with some difficulty, and art has been a way to move past that.

Generally, I don’t ever really consider it as breaking the mould of what’s expected. Rather my intention when touching on these topics is to let others within my communities know that they are not alone.”

Dainty Smith

The New Embassy: The Brave and The Vulnerable – March 25 at 7pm

Dainty Smith headshot
Photo credit: Gesila Azorbo.

“I’m continually challenging myself as a performer and writer by asking myself: am I telling a whole story, a story that includes contradictions and multiplicity, and makes space for grief, pain and joy and hope?

I am not interested in breaking the mould, that has nothing to do with me or my work and I can’t let myself get distracted by that.

I am interested in making my own singular and authentic contribution to culture and storytelling.”

Tallan M.D.

The New Embassy: Creativity in Collective Solitude – April 28 at 7pm ET

Tallan Alexander headshot

“I challenge myself by learning things that are just too difficult for me to do. I am obssesed with form, absence, context and emptiness. The vastness of space and how to capture it in art. I challenge myself mostly by learning the works of great masters of the past, and they teach me various lessons about the creation of the sublime.

I think understanding the mould in great depth is a pre-condition for breaking it, and I do not presume such a depth of understanding. While it is amusing to thwart the expectations of the audience I am more concerned with verisimilitude and divinity. Many of the existing moulds and structures are very fine for creating sublime and uncanny effects, but in truth I do break rules where it is natural or within the logic of the work to do so. But I take no special pride in trailblazing, I view myself as a continuation of many other greater artists than myself and find my practice a humbling one.” 


Learn more about The New Embassy digital series, running from February to April, 2022, here.

Today, the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA)announced the Spring 2022 Season of Toronto Lit Up, a joint initiative with Toronto Arts Council to spotlight Toronto writers, and also opened the call for submissions for the programme’s next season. The Spring Season, taking place now through to June, will feature digital and in-person events that celebrate the launch of eight new books by nine local authors/illustrators.  

The selected authors and books for the Spring 2022 Season are: 

July 2022 – March 2023 Season Call For Submissions

As of today, the call for submissions is open for the next season of Toronto Lit Up, which will take place between July 2022 and March 2023. This is an extended season, taking into account that many book launches were delayed during the past two years as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Torontonians who will be published authors within the season dates, and their publicists, are invited to apply to the programme for book launch support. Submissions will be accepted between April 1 and 30, 2022.

All submissions will be reviewed by the Toronto Lit Up Committee, composed of Ayesha Chatterjee (past president, League of Canadian Poets), Alison Jones (Quill and Quire) and Hazel Millar (Literary Press Group).  

Click here for more information


Toronto Lit Up logos

Toronto Lit Up banner with "Spring 2022 Selection" and the featured book titles displayed.