Toronto Lit Up Book Launches

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 and March 2024, Toronto Lit Up has presented over 200 events featuring more than 250 Toronto authors and illustrators.

Toronto Lit Up book launches are open to the public and free to attend. The Spring season of Toronto Lit Up will take place between April and September 2024, and feature new works of fiction and non-fiction for adults and young people, poetry, memoir and drama, by debut and established Toronto authors.

October 2024 – March 2025 Call For Submissions

June 24, 2024 marks the opening of a new call for submissions period for Toronto Lit Up (TLU). This Call for Submissions is seeking book launches taking place between October 2024 and March 2025. Toronto-based authors and their publishers who are launching new books within these dates are invited to apply for participation in the Toronto Lit Up programme. 

The call for submissions closes at 5pm ET on August 2, 2024. 

Programme Benefits 

Toronto Lit Up participants will receive the following programme benefits:  

  • Financial support for a public book launch celebration taking place in Toronto within the season dates.  
  • Publicity support to promote the book launch celebration to the public. 
  • An honorarium fee for the author and select additional artists (performers, interviewers, hosts, etc.) participating in the book launch event.  

Eligibility Requirements 


  • All genres may apply, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose, short story, graphic novels, literature for young people, cookbooks, gardening books, sports-related stories, satire and much more.  
  • Books must be published within three (3) months of its anticipated launch event date. 


  • Authors must have been a resident of the City of Toronto for at least one year prior to their book launch date, and also be a current resident (defined as living in Toronto for at least eight months of the year). 
  • The City of Toronto is defined by its 1998 Amalgamation: Steeles Avenue to the north, Rouge River to the east, Lake Ontario to the south, and Etobicoke Creek/Highway 427 to the west. 
  • As TLU is a Toronto Arts Council (TAC) partnership, the programme 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. 

Launch Celebration Event: 

  • Events must take place between October 1, 2024 and March 31, 2025. Exceptions may be granted in the case of extenuating circumstances. 
  • Events may take place anywhere within the City of Toronto. 
  • Must be open to the public and free to attend.     
  • Event formats may include panel discussions, readings, one-on-one interviews, and/or interdisciplinary presentations held on-location or virtually. 


  • Publishers may submit more than one author per programme season. 
  • Publishers can be based anywhere as long as the author lives in Toronto. 

Eligible submissions will be reviewed and adjudicated by the Toronto Lit Up selection committee, composed of Ayesha Chatterjee (past president, League of Canadian Poets), Ian Keteku (OCAD University), Samia Madwar (The Walrus) and Hazel Millar (Book*hug Press). 


  1. Review the eligibility requirements 
  1. Respond to the call for submissions by completing an online proposal on or before Friday, August 2, 2024 at 5pm, ET. 
  1. Submit your proposal by completing the following Jotform link:  

What we ask you to include: 

  • Author name 
  • Author bio 
  • Debut author status 
  • Publisher 
  • Book title 
  • Book summary 
  • Genre 
  • Publication date 
  • Anticipated event details (e.g., type and format of event, tentative venue, dates and time) 



Follow along on social media at @festofauthors and through #TorontoLitUp  

Upcoming Events

The Committee

Each submission is reviewed by the Toronto Lit Up Committee, composed of Ayesha Chatterjee (past president, League of Canadian Poets), Ian Keteku (Creative Writing Instructor, OCAD U), Samia Madwar (Senior Editor, The Walrus), Hazel Millar (Co-Publisher, Book*hug) and Roland Gulliver (Director, Toronto International Festival of Authors).


Submissions for the programme open twice a year.

    • February 2024: Books launching April to September 2024

    • July-August 2024: Books launching October 2024 to March 2025

Programme Benefits

Financial Support

  • Event fee for elements such as venue cost, catering and other entertainment.
  • An honorarium for the author.
  • An honorarium for select additional artists, such as hosts, moderators, performers or interviewers participating in the book launch event.


  • Support from the Toronto International Festival of Authors, as well as the Toronto Arts Council.
  • Social media promotion for author and book, including photos and a Toronto Lit Up branded event graphic.
  • Featured in Toronto Lit Up programme promotion, digital and print.



Follow along on social media through #TorontoLitUp

Past Toronto Lit Up Authors

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

  • Mahak Jain & Anu Chouhan (Illustrator), Bharatanatyam in Ballet Shoes (Annick Press)
  • Robert McGill, Suitable Companion for the End of Your Life (Coach House Books)
  • Neil Besner, Fishing With Tardelli: A Memoir of Family in Time Lost (ECW Press)
  • Terri Favro, The Sister’s Sputnik (ECW Press)
  • Adrienne Todd, City of Sensors (Now Or Never Publishing)
  • S.L. Klassen, Menno-Nightcaps Cocktails Inspired by that Odd Ethno-Religious Group You Keep Mistaking for the Amish, Quakers or Mormons (TouchWood Editions)
  • Sonya Singh, Sari, Not Sari (Simon & Schuster)

  • Didier Leclair, Toronto, I Love You (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 Books)
  • 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 Revolutionby  (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)
  • Brooke Lockyer, Burr (Nightwood Editions)
  • George Elliott Clarke, Canticles III (MMXXII) (Guernica Editions)
  • Margaret DeRosia, Eight Strings (Simon & Schuster Canada)

  • Curtis Campbell, Dragging Mason County (Annick Press)
  • Patricia Scarlett, Blinded by the Brass Ring (Baraka Books)
  • Marcello Di Cintio, Best Canadian Essays 2024 (Biblioasis) 
  • Lisa Moore, Best Canadian Stories 2024 (Biblioasis) 
  • Bardia Sinaee & Anita Lahey, Best Canadian Poetry 2024 (Biblioasis)
  • Simon A.G. Spencer, Blood of Gods (Birthright, book 2) (Brain Lag)
  • Derwin Mak, Mecha-Jesus and Other Stories (Brain Lag)
  • Jennilee Austria-Bonifacio, Reuniting with Strangers: A Novel in Stories (Douglas & McIntyre)
  • Jillian Tamaki & Mariko Tamaki, Roaming (Drawn & Quarterly)
  • Camille Hernandez-Ramdwar, Suite as Sugar (Dundurn Press)
  • Daniel Innes & Christina Wong, Denison Avenue (ECW Press)
  • Evelyn Chick, For the Love of Cocktails (Figure 1 Publishing)
  • Sean Morley Dixon, The Abduction of Seven Forgers (Freehand Books)
  • Thao Lam, Happy Birthday to Me (Groundwood Books)
  • Carey Sookochef, The Remembering Stone (Groundwood Books)
  • Danila Botha, Things That Cause Inappropriate Happiness (Guernica Editions)
  • Jaypeetee Arnakak, The Woman and Her Bear Cub (Inhabit Media Inc.)
  • Kate Siklosi, Selvage (Invisible Publishing)
  • M. NourbeSe Philip, Zong! 15th Anniversary Edition (Invisible Publishing)
  • Sade Smith, Julie and the Mango Tree (Macmillan Publishers)
  • Lien Chao, Spiritual Pursuits and Other Stories (Mawenzi House Publishers)
  • Craig Shreve, The African Samurai (Scribner)
  • Mary Fairhurst Breen, Pride and Persistence: Stories of Queer Activism (Second Story Press)
  • Mai Nguyen, Sunshine Nails (Simon & Schuster)
  • Naila Keleta-Mae, Performing Female Blackness (Wilfrid Laurier University Press)
  • Jake Byrne, Celebrate Pride with Lockheed Martin (Wolsak and Wynn)
  • Zhang Ling, Where Waters Meet (Amazon Publishing)
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