TIFA colour divider

Toronto Lit Up Book Launches

About the Programme

Meet local authors and join them in celebrating the launch of new books! The Toronto International Festival of Authors has partnered with the Toronto Arts Council (TAC) on Toronto Lit Up: a multi-year initiative designed to spotlight local writers and empower them with career-building opportunities. Between April 2016 to June 2021, Toronto Lit Up has produced 119 events to launch 143 books by 212 Toronto authors.

Toronto Lit Up book launches are open to the public and free to attend. They take place throughout the year at venues across the city, however, since the spring of 2020, book launches have been delivered digitally in response to government and community safety measures against COVID-19.

Toronto Lit Up Logo, spotlighting Toronto writers

Summer/Fall 2021 Selections

We are pleased to announce the following new books by Torontonians will be featured during the summer/fall 2021 season of Toronto Lit Up, taking place between July and December:

Impact Women Writing After Concussion book cover
Impact: Women Writing After Concussion by Jane Cawthorne, Elaine Morin & Contributors
(University of Alberta Press)
J’Accuse…! by George Elliott Clarke
(Exile Editions)
The Marriage of Rose Camillieri by Robert Hough
(Douglas & McIntyre)
Coming to Canada by Starkie Mak
(At Bay Press)
THE NEXT SUPPER: The End of Restaurants as We Knew Them, and What Comes After by Corey Mintz
(PublicAffairs, Hachette Book Group)
Dying Times by Darlene Madott (Exile Editions)
Why I Was Late by Charlie Petch (Brick Books)
Alia Ceniza Rasul, Super Important Filipina Thoughts (ANAK Publishing Worker Cooperative Ltd.) book cover
Super Important Filipina Thoughts by Alia Ceniza Rasul
(ANAK Publishing Worker Cooperative Ltd.)
Charles C. Smith's search for eastman book cover
searching for eastman by charles c. smith (Mawenzi House)
Autowar by Assiyah Jamilla Touré (Brick Books)
Letters to Amelia by Lindsay Zier-Vogel (Book*hug Press)

These are the Stories by Christine Miskonoodinkwe Smith
(Kegedonce Press)

You can check out upcoming Toronto Lit Up book launches here.

See Previous Toronto Lit Up Authors (2016–2021)


  • Laurie D. Graham, Settler Education (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Tim Lilburn, The Names (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Jacob McArthur Mooney, Don’t Be Interesting (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Matt Rader, Desecrations (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Deb Loughead, The Secrets We Keep (Dundurn Press)
  • Mary Jennifer Payne, Finding Jade (Dundurn Press)


  • Kerry Clare, Mitzi Bytes (HarperCollins Canada)
  • Ralph Kolewe, Inspecting Nostalgia (Talon Books)
  • Jennifer LoveGrove, Beautiful Children with Pet Foxes (BookThug)
  • Kateri Lanthier, Siren (Vehicular Press)
  • Phoebe Wang, Admissions Requirements (Penguin Random House)
  • Catriona Wright, Table Manners (Vehicular Press)
  • Trevor Cole, The Whiskey King (HarperCollins Canada)
  • Joanna Goodman, The Finishing School (HarperCollins Canada)
  • Claire Cameron, The Last Neanderthal (Penguin Random House)
  • Barbara Gowdy, Little Sister (HarperCollins Canada)
  • Antanas Sileika, Barefoot Bingo Caller (ECW Press)
  • Julia Cooper, The Last Word (Coach House Books)
  • Stephanie Chambers, Jane Farrow, Maureen Fitzgerald, Ed Jackson, John Lorinc, Tim McCaskill, Tatum Taylor and Rahim Thawer, Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer (Coach House Books)
  • Pasha Malla, Fugue States (Penguin Random House)
  • Catherine Graham, Quarry (Two Wolves Press)
  • Domenico Capilongo, Send (Guernica)
  • Irene Guilford, Waiting for Stalin to Die (Guernica)
  • Robert Marrone, The New Vine (Guernica)
  • Diana Biacora, David Bradford, Nicole Chin, Simone Dalton, Dalton Derkson, Doyali Islam, Laboni Islam, Ian Kamau, Sofia Mostaghimi, Rudrapriya Rathore, Nadia Ragbar, Adnan Khan, Sanchari Sur, Shoilee Khan, Canisia Lubrin, Katheryn Wabegiji, Phoebe Wang and Chuqiao Yang, The Unpublished City (BookThug)
  • Robert Rotenberg, Heart of the City (Simon & Schuster)
  • Ayesha Chatterjee, Bottles and Bones (Knife Fork Books)
  • Shannon Bramer, Precious Energy (BookThug)
  • Adam Bunch, The Toronto Book of the Dead (Dundurn Press)
  • Shawn Hitchins, A Brief History of Oversharing (ECW Press)
  • Martha Baillie, If Clara (Coach House)
  • Camilla Grudova, The Doll’s Alphabet (Coach House)
  • Richard Atkinson and Joe Fiorito, The Life Crimes and Hard Times of Ricky Atkinson, Leader of The Dirty Tricks Gang (Exile Editions)
  • Erinne Paisley, Can Your Smartphone Change the World? (Orca Book Publisher)
  • Julie Roorda, A Thousand Consolations (Brindle & Glass)
  • Ayub Nuri, Being Kurdish in a Hostile World (University of Regina Press)
  • Ronna Bloom, The More (Pedlar Press)
  • Spencer Gordon, Cruise Missile Liberals (Nightwood Editions)


  • George Elliott Clarke, Locating Home (Tightrope Books)
  • Martha Batiz, Plaza Requiem (Exile Editions)
  • Michael Mirolla, The Photographer In Search of Death (Exile Editions)
  • Andrea Bain, Single Girl Problems: Why Being Single Isn’t A Problem to be Solved (Dundurn Press)
  • Dennis Lee, Good Night, Good Night! (HarperCollins)
  • Nathan Ripley, Find You In The Dark (Simon & Schuster)
  • Sarah Henstra, The Red Word (Grove Atlantic)
  • Ray Robertson, 1979: A Novel (Biblioasis)
  • Hadley Dyer, Here So Far Away (HarperCollins)
  • Brian Goldman, The Power of Kindness (HarperCollins)
  • Suzanne Zelazo, Lances All Alike (Coach House)
  • Ann Ireland, Where’s Bob? (Biblioasis)
  • Heather Cadsby, Standing In The Flock of Connection (Brick Books)
  • Degan Davis, What kind of man are you? (Brick Books)
  • Steve McOrmond, Reckon (Brick Books)
  • Kim Moritsugu, The Showrunner (Dundurn Press)
  • Diane Flacks, Unholy (Playwrights Canada Press)
  • Jenna Harris, Evalyn Parry and Carolyn Taylor, An Anthology of Queer Women’s Performance and Plays (edited by Moynan King, Playwrights Canada Press)
  • Robin Richardson, Sit How You Want (Signal Editions)
  • Michelle Brown, Safe Words (Palimpsest Press)
  • Adam Dickinson, Anatomic (Coach House)
  • Stevie Howell, I left nothing inside on purpose (Penguin Random House)
  • Daniel Perry, Nobody Looks That Young Here (Guernica Editions)
  • Julian Samuel, Radius Islamicus (Guernica Editions)
  • Uzma Jalaluddin, Ayesha Ever After (HarperCollins)
  • Ted Glenn, Riding Into Battle: Canadian Cyclists in the Great War (Dundurn Press)
  • Kenneth Oppel, Inkling (HarperCollins)
  • Claudia Dey, Heartbreaker (HarperCollins)
  • Lieu Boileau, Angela Britto, Fathima Cader, Rachel Chen, Aylan Couchie, Nehal El-Hadi, Ryanne Kap, Emily Macrae, Tea Mutonji, E. Martin Nolan, Oubah Osman, Deeepa Rajagopalan, Natasha Ramoutar, Zoe Imani Sharpe, Leanne Toshiko Simpson, Jennifer Tamanique Batler, DM St. Bernard, Wayne Salmon and Julia Zarankin, The Unpublished City – Volume II: The Lived City (BookThug)
  • Kirsten den Hartog, The Cowkeeper’s Wish: A Genealogical Journey (Douglas & McIntyre)
  • Dominique Bernier-Cormier, Correspondent (Gooselane Editions)
  • Catriona Wright, Difficult People (Nightwood Editions)
  • Anubha Mehta, Peacock in the Snow (Inanna Publications)
  • Glynis Guevara, Black Beach (Inanna Publications)
  • Apama Kaji Shah, The Scent of Mogra and Other Stories (Inanna Publications)
  • Renée Pellerin, Conspiracy of Hope: The Myth of Mammogram Screening (Gooselane Editions)
  • Christopher Dewdney, 18 Miles: The Epic Drama of our Atmosphere (ECW Press)
  • Jenny Yuen, Polyamorous (Dundurn Press)
  • A.G. Pasquella, Yard Dog (Dundurn Press)


  • Kat Verhoeven, Meat and Bone (Conundrum Press)
  • Farah Heron, The Chai Factor (HarperCollins Canada)
  • Tunchai Redvers, Fireweed (Kegedonce Press)
  • Linda McQuaig, The Sport and Prey of Capitalists (Dundurn Press)
  • Brian Francis, Break in Case of Emergency (HarperCollins Canada )
  • Andrew Kaufman, The Ticking Heart (Coach House Books)
  • Nur Abdi, The Somali Camel Boy (The Somali Camel Boy)
  • Leslie Shimotakahara, Red Oblivion (Dundurn Press)
  • Andrea Gunraj, The Lost Sister (Nimbus Publishing)
  • Adnan Khan, There Has to be a Knife (Arsenal Pulp Press)
  • Maureen Hynes, Sotto Voce (Brick Books)
  • Richard Teleky, The Hermit Says Goodbye (Exile Editions)
  • MT Kelly, I Do Remember the Fall (Exile Editions)
  • Rachel Manley, The Fellowship (Cormorant Books)
  • Rebecca Fisseha, Daughters of Silence (Goose Lane Editions)


  • Carolyn Bennett, Please Stand By (Now Or Never Publishing)
  • Kenneth Oppel, Bloom (HarperCollins Canada)
  • Laura McRae, Were There Gazelle (Pedlar Press)
  • Irina Moga, Sea Glass Circe (Amazon)
  • Paul Covello, I Am a Polar Bear & I Am a Beaver (HarperCollins Canada)
  • Sarah Kurchak, I Overcame My Autism and All I Got Was This Lousy Anxiety Disorder (Douglas & McIntyre)
  • Heather Babcock, Filthy Sugar (Inanna Publications)
  • Nina Munteanu, Diary in the Age of Water (Inanna Publications)
  • Ruth Panofsky, Radiant Shards: Hoda’s North End Poems (Inanna Publications)
  • Mary Rykov, some conditions apply. (Inanna Publications)
  • Tyler Pennock, Bones (Brick Books)
  • Munira Premji, Choosing Hope: 1 Woman, 3 Cancers (Mawenzi House)
  • Julia Zarankin, Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder: A Memoir (Douglas & McIntyre)
  • Sarabeth Holden, Please Don’t Change My Diaper! (Inhabit Media Inc.)
  • Lindsay B-e, The Cyborg Anthology (Brick Books)
  • Mike Prosserman, Building Unity: Leading a Non-Profit from Spark to Succession (ECW Press)
  • Dominik Parisien, Side Effects May Include Strangers (McGill-Queen’s University
  • Bryan Ratushniak, Aftermath: A Firefighter’s Life (Cormorant Books)


  • Ash Winters, Run Riot: Ninety Poems in Ninety Days (Caitlin Press)
  • Marissa Stapley, Lucky (Simon and Schuster Canada)
  • Catherine Graham, Aether: an out-of-body lyric (Buckrider Books)
  • Dakota McFadzean, To Know You’re Alive (Conundrum Press)
  • Andrea Scott, Controlled Damage (J. Gordon Shillingford
  • Anna Porter, Deceptions: A Helen Marsh Novel (ECW Press)
  • Jacob Scheier, Is This Scary? (ECW Press)
  • Dwayne De Rosario and Brendan Dunlop, DeRo: My Life (ECW Press)
  • Sami Alwani, The Pleasure of the Text (Conundrum Press)
  • S. K. Ali, Misfit in Love (Simon and Schuster Canada)
  • Adrian De Leon, Téa Mutonji and Natasha Ramotaur, Feel Ways (Mawenzi House)
  • Dayle Furlong, Lake Effect (Cormorant Books)
  • Dushy Gananapragasam and Suvendrini Lena, The Enchanted Loom (Playwrights Canada Press)
  • Liselle Sambury, Blood Like Magic (Simon and Schuster Canada)

Selection Committee

The Toronto Lit Up committee is made up of Ayesha Chatterjee (past president, League of Canadian Poets), Alison Jones (Quill and Quire) and Hazel Millar (Literary Press Group).

Programme Details

Note: Winter/Spring 2022 submissions are now closed. Check back soon for details about the next submission period.

Toronto Lit Up support includes promotional assistance and funding for qualifying book launch events that are open to the public and free to attend. The committee will consider a wide variety of event formats, including readings, interviews, panel discussions, and multi-disciplinary performances. In addition to supplementing event expenses, authors will receive a C$200 honorarium. Toronto Lit Up encourages publishers to include honorarium fees for any additional artists (performers, interviewers, hosts, etc.) in their event fee proposals.

After moving exclusively to virtual event formats in 2020, Toronto Lit Up will once again welcome submissions for book launch events that are held live and in person in 2022. Consideration will be given to health and safety event protocols and compliance with Toronto Public Health guidelines.

All submissions are reviewed and adjudicated by the Toronto Lit Up Committee. Decisions by the committee are final.


Toronto Lit Up will feature works from various genres, including: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose, short story, graphic novels, literature for young people, cookbooks, gardening books, sports-related stories, satire and much more. Publishers can submit more than one author for committee consideration for this programme.

As a programme funded by the Toronto Arts Council (TAC), Toronto Lit Up is designed to represent the residents of the City of Toronto and its equity priority groups, which include those who identify as persons of colour, deaf persons, persons with disabilities and persons living with mental illness, Indigenous, 2SLGBTQIAP, as well as other historically underserved writers. Self-published authors who identify with one or more of TAC’s equity priority groups and are members of The Writers Union of Canada are also welcome to apply.

Authors must meet ALL of the following criteria:

  • Must be a resident of the city of Toronto, living in the city for at least eight (8) months of the year.
  • Must have been a Toronto resident for at least one (1) year prior to the launch date.
  • The book publication date must be within three (3) months of the anticipated launch event date.

What to include with your submission?

  • Author name
  • Author bio
  • Book title
  • Genre
  • Publisher
  • Book summary
  • Publication date
  • Advanced readers copy/manuscript in PDF format
  • Anticipated event details (e.g., type and format of event, tentative venue, dates and time and COVID-19 site safety plan for in-person events)

How to Submit

Submissions are now closed. Check back soon for details about the next submission period.


Email: TorontoLitUp@festivalofauthors.ca

Follow along on social media through #TorontoLitUp

Anubha Mehta looking at book in 2018
Anubha Mehta / TLU 2018
Dr. Brian Goldman signing books in 2018 

Dr. Brian Goldman / TLU 2018
Jennifer Robson on stage in 2019 

Jennifer Robson / TLU 2019
Kenneth Oppel on stage in 2018 

Kenneth Oppel / TLU 2018

Martha Batiz holding book in 2019 

Martha Batiz / TLU 2019
Michael Fraser and George Elliot Clarke 2018 

Michael Fraser (L) & George Elliot Clarke (R) / TLU 2018
Pasha Malia reading Fugue States 2017 

Pasha Malla / TLU 2017
Unpublished City 2 Performing on stage 2018 

Unpublished City II / TLU 2018

Toronto Lit Up, TIFA and Toronto Arts Council logos
Toronto Lit Up logo with "Spotlighting Toronto Writers"
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