Literary events in Ontario
Discover new and old books at book fairs and connect with authors and publishers in the literary community. Whether you want to join a writing workshop to practise your craft or hear well-known writers speak about their books and writing process, participating in these literary events can offer knowledge and inspiration for all bibliophiles.
Greater Toronto Area (GTA)
One of Canada’s biggest literary events, the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) has attracted thousands of local and international visitors for more than 40 years.
This 11-day festival welcomes thousands of authors from over 100 countries, including Nobel Laureates and numerous other award winners. Join fellow avid readers in book launches, artists’ talks, readings, performances, special award celebrations and more.
TIFA also features mini-festivals such as the MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival, Toronto Lit Up and the official TIFA Book Club.
To attend TIFA, get a single day pass for $19.99 on weeknights or $39.99 on weekends. Alternatively, buy a multi-day pass for $65.99 on weekends or $249.99 for access to the full festival. Buy your pass online.
Date: Thursday, September 21 to Sunday, October 1, 2023
Location: Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto
Don’t miss the Toronto Antiquarian Book Fair if you love reading or collecting vintage books and maps. A wide selection of Canadian, American and British booksellers will be on hand, with incredible and rare books, prints, maps, ephemera and other paper works on display.
This book fair is free to attend with general admission to the Art Gallery of Ontario. The AGO general admission is $25. Admission is free to those under 25 and AGO members.
Date: Friday, October 20 to Sunday, October 22, 2023. Friday: 5:00–9:00 p.m., Saturday: 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto
Running since 1990, The Word On The Street (WOTS) Toronto is Canada’s largest free book and magazine festival, attracting over 200,000 visitors every year.
This unique Toronto literary festival has hosted hundreds of author readings, with a focus on promoting books by Canadian and Indigenous authors and publishers. In addition to the free annual street festival, WOTS hosts year-round literary programming to celebrate storytelling, ideas and imagination.
Participate in a variety of activities designed for book lovers, such as panel discussions, writing and publishing workshops, book fairs and children’s interactive activities. Independent authors, small presses and writing associations are featured in exhibits, where you can browse and chat about their works. Virtual workshops and podcasts are also available for those who can’t make it in person.
Date: Stay tuned for the 2024 dates and times
Location: Queen’s Park Crescent, Toronto
As Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and storytellers, The Festival of Literary Diversity engages readers and inspires writers by focusing the attention on underrepresented and marginalized voices.
This annual event is held in Brampton’s historic downtown, where writers talk about the challenges they face in crafting stories that ask hard questions, push literary boundaries and foster acceptance and equality. The festival schedule includes a wide range of virtual and in-person events for people of all ages, such as a reading challenge, kids’ festival, author visit series and monthly online webinars.
All of the spaces used at this festival are wheelchair accessible, with ramp or ground-level entrances. You’ll also find gender-neutral restrooms, accessibility parking spaces and e-buttons on doors.
Details: Buy tickets for the festival online. Get a day pass for $50, a weekend pass for $90 or a festival pass for $120.
Date: Sunday, April 28 to Sunday, May 5, 2024
Location: The Rose Theatre, 1 Theatre Lane, Brampton
York, Durham and Headwaters
Named after Lucy Maud Montgomery’s famous quote “I am simply a book drunkard,” The Book Drunkard Festival is an all-ages book festival that showcases the power of the written word.
One of the top book events in the York region, this festival is run by Blue Heron Books and features works by literary legends. You’ll have the chance to participate in unique experiences like “A Dining Experience” with beloved home cook TV personality Mary Berg and the “Weekend Writer’s Retreat” with philosopher and writer Wendy O’Brien.
Events are held at several locations around the city, including Blue Heron Studio, Uxbridge Music Hall and Wooden Sticks Golf Club.
Details: Buy tickets for individual events online or at the door. Alternatively, there are three different admission packages available for $165. Check the “Tickets” section on the website for more information.
Date: Sunday, September 10 to Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Location: Multiple venues in Uxbridge
Hamilton, Halton and Brant
Established in 2004 by local Hamilton writer Krista Foss as a small, intimate event, gritLIT soon grew into a dynamic, large-scale literary festival.
Enjoy a variety of fun writing discussions hosted by talented authors, with wine, music, games and plenty of laughter. Attend in-person readings, panels or interviews or join special writing workshops over Zoom. In addition to readings at the Staircase Theatre, this event includes readings at schools across Southwestern Ontario.
Details: Tickets must be purchased online in advance.
Date: Keep an eye out for gritLIT’s 2024 dates.
Location: The Staircase, 27 Dundurn Street North, Hamilton
Immerse yourself in books and creativity with talented authors during the Burlington Literary Festival.
This book festival features exciting events like an intimate writer’s workshops, panel discussions and storytelling gatherings, held in-person and online. These events are hosted by an array of local and bestselling authors. In the past, well-known writers like Elamin Abdelmahmoud, Lynda Monk and Rod Carley have made guest appearances.
All events are free to attend, but you have to register in advance on the website.
Date: Stay tuned for information about the 2024 festival.
Location: Burlington Public Library, Central Branch, 2331 New Street, Burlington
Bring your kids to meet Canadian authors, illustrators and storytellers at the Telling Tales Festival.
This popular children’s book festival invites homegrown Canadian writers to connect with their younger fans and new audiences with presentations and workshops. It’s run by schools, libraries and volunteers who are passionate about raising the next generation of avid readers.
During its history, this two-day event has featured over 290 literary authors and delivered more than 660 presentations to a live audience of over 65,000 kid and adult spectators. Famous Canadian authors like David A. Robertson, Esi Edugyen and Kenneth Oppel have made appearances.
Details: Register to attend the Telling Tales Festival through the website. Attendance is free.
Date: Saturday, September 16 to Sunday, September 17, 2023, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Location: Royal Botanical Gardens, Hendrie Park, 680 Plains Road West, Burlington
Huron, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington
Hear and read works in a variety of genres at the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival.
Having run every September since 1989, this annual writers’ festival takes over the charming village of Eden Mills. On the festival Sunday, the streets are closed to traffic so visitors can sit on blankets or lawn chairs to hear readings from established and emerging Canadian writers. From the riverbank and grassy gardens to accessible outdoor venues, spend an idyllic afternoon listening to great readings from more than 60 writers.
Enjoy snacks and light meals from food trucks and vendors on the licensed patio and stroll through the marketplace on the town’s main street, which showcases a bookseller and author’s signing tent.
Date: Friday, September 8 to Sunday, September 10, 2023
Location: Multiple venues across Eden Mills
Celebrate literature with fellow book lovers and recognized authors at the Wild Writers Literary Festival.
Writers from across Canada are brought together at this three-day literary festival. Meet award-winning authors like Helen Knott, Kyo Maclear, Elizabeth Ruth, Alicia Elliott, Vincent Lam and more while they discuss their latest works and the writing process.
Listen to short readings and participate in writing workshops. Don’t forget to visit the book table, supplied by Words Worth Books, who will be selling all the books written by the festival’s featured authors.
Details: Buy individual tickets and festival passes online. Prices for tickets vary by events, so check the website for more details on the specific event you’d like to attend.
Date: Friday, October 27 to Sunday, October 29, 2023
Location: Balsillie School of International Affairs, 67 Erb Street West, Waterloo
Inspired by Alice Munro, one of Canada’s most renowned storytellers, the Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story supports emerging local writers and Canadian authors.
This annual two-day festival features author talks, performances, masterclasses and panels at locations around Huron County, where Alice Munro spent most of her life.
Many of the short stories presented are centred on the surrounding rural landscape that influenced Alice Munro’s writings. Bring the little ones to the Alice Munro Festival for Kids. Youth and adult writers can enter their works of fiction in the short story contest for a chance at a cash prize.
During its history, this festival has showcased multiple bestselling Canadian authors such as Margaret Atwood, David Bergen, Michael Ondaatje and Mona Awad.
Details: Tickets for this festival can be purchased online.
Date: Check back for information on the 2024 festival.
Location: Multiple venues across Huron County
Ignite your imagination at the Ottawa International Writers Festival.
Politics, poetry, science, music and history are just some of the diverse genres of works that will be featured and read aloud during this biannual festival. From writing workshops to hosting presentations by Nobel Laureates, exciting events promote creativity and encourage a love of reading and self-expression for people of all ages.
Details: Buy tickets online or at the door if the event is not already sold out. General admission tickets start at $25 and senior (65+) or student tickets at $20.
Date: Wednesday, October 25 to Monday, October 30, 2023
Location: 201 Pères-Blancs Avenue, Vanier
Over 60 Canadian and international authors will attend this year’s Kingston WritersFest.
With a focus on literary works that challenge the reader and the literary art form with revolutionary ideas, presentations and structures, this five-day festival honours great fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels and other hybrid and experimental works. Writers can sign up for the immersive writing boot camp taught by critically acclaimed authors and book lovers can check out over 45 literary events held by the festival.
Date: Wednesday, September 27 to Sunday, October 1, 2023
Location: 209 Wellington Street #202A, Kingston
From poetry events to fiction readings, panel discussions and book signings, there’s something for everyone at Bookfest Windsor.
This festival introduces Canadian authors and their books to residents and students of Windsor and southwestern Ontario. Attend live author readings and speak with the authors about their writing at numerous locations around the city.
Don’t miss out on the Books and Brunch event, where you can listen to the words of the festival’s featured authors while dining on upscale dishes at Fourteen Restaurant and Sky Lounge.
Details: Get tickets for specific events or a full festival pass for access to every event online. Ticket prices range between $10 and $45. The Books and Brunch event is not included in the full festival pass and requires a separate ticket.
Date: Thursday, October 12 to Sunday, October 15, 2023. Thursday: 6:30–9:00 p.m., Friday: 7:00–9:00 p.m., Saturday: 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. and Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.
Location: Multiple venues across Windsor
Kawarthas and Northumberland
For over 25 years, the Lakefield Literary Festival has brought writers and readers together to bond over a love for all things literature.
The festival’s mission is to showcase Canadian authors and nurture the joy of reading in both children and adults. Bring your kids to free children’s books readings in the downtown Cenotaph Park, while adult author reading events take place at the United Church on Regent Street. Both are followed by a reception and author signings.
Celebrated authors like Margaret Atwood, Michael Enright, Charlotte Gray, Wayne Johnston and Canadian Indigenous authors have entertained audiences in the past. Local student writers are also welcome to enter the festival’s annual writing contest and have the chance to see their work published in the Contest for Young Writers e-book.
Details: Admission costs $35 for individual events or get a pass to all the events for $90.
Date: Stay tuned for the 2024 dates.
Haliburton Highlands to the Ottawa Valley
The vibrant literary community in Haliburton comes together each year for the annual Bookapalooza, which promotes storytelling of all genres and forms.
The celebration kicks off with a speech by Chris Stephenson, the CEO of Haliburton County Public Library, on the first evening of the event. Afterwards, browse through more than 50 exhibitors of books, CDs and gifts, plus participate in spirited discussions with fellow book lovers and writers.
Details: Listen to educational presentations on various topics, delivered by local writers like Fay Martin and Sharon Beaucage-Johnson. If you’re bringing the kids, drop them off at the Children’s Book Nook. Four incredible Canadian children’s authors will be providing live readings.
Date: Friday, September 15 and Saturday, September 16, 2023, Friday from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: Minden Curling Club, 50 Prentice Street, Minden
Northern Ontario’s premier writing festival, Wordstock Sudbury Festival, invites readers and writers alike to share their love for the written word.
This annual literary festival focuses on amplifying a wide range of Canadian voices, particularly Northern Ontario authors, who write about issues like accessibility, reconciliation and diversity.
If you’re a budding writer, join the sessions to hone your writing craft or participate in conversations about change. Youth writers can enter the Youthwords Writing Contest for the chance to win a cash prize. Previous festivals have also hosted children’s authors readings and masterclasses for kids interested in writing or spoken word poetry.
Details: Stay tuned for information about this year’s admission pricing.
Date: Thursday, November 2 to Saturday, November 4, 2023
Location: 109 Elm Street, Greater Sudbury
Enjoy discovering new books and engaging in lively discussions with French writers at Salon du livre du Grand Sudbury, a French-language book fair and festival.
With the goal of promoting Francophone culture, language and education, this organization features workshops, conferences and fun activities for French-speaking visitors of all ages. Its literary program includes a flagship annual event, a book fair and a “reading marathon” challenge for families.
Details: Tickets for the annual literary event can be purchased on the website.
Date: Check back for more information about the 2024 event.
Location: 27 Larch Street, Sudbury
Last updated: November 3, 2023