Rod is the author of GRIN REAPING (2022), KINMOUNT (winner of the Silver Medal for
Best Regional Fiction from the 2021 Independent Publishers Book Awards and one of ten books
longlisted for the 2021 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medallion for Humour), and A Matter of
Will (finalist for the 2018 Northern Lit Award for Fiction). His short stories and creative non-
fiction have appeared in Broadview Magazine, Cloud Lake Literary, Blank Spaces Magazine, the
non-fiction anthology 150 Years Up North and More, the Carter V. Cooper 2022 Short Fiction
Anthology, and HighGrader Magazine. He was short-listed for the 2021 Exile Quarterly’s Carter
V. Cooper Short Fiction Prize. Rod is also an award-winning director, teacher, and actor, having
directed and produced over 135 theatrical productions to date, including 15 adaptations of
Shakespeare. He was the 2009 winner of TVO’s Big Ideas/Best Lecturer competition. He is an
alumnus of the Humber School for Writers and resides in North Bay, ON.
Giles Blunt grew up in North Bay, Ontario, and is the author of the acclaimed crime fiction series featuring John Cardinal. The most recent Cardinal novel, By the Time You Read This, was a Globe and Mail Best Book and was nominated for the Duncan Lawrie Dagger, the most prestigious crime fiction award in the world. After spending twenty years in New York City, Giles Blunt now makes his home in Toronto.
Lindsey L.E. Carmichael
At some point, every kid starts asking “Why?”. Lindsey Carmichael never stopped. As a PhD candidate, she uncovered new reasons why arctic foxes are the coolest; as a forensic scientist, she found out why bears sometimes get away with murder. As a writer, she follows her sense of wonder to the “whys” of subjects as diverse as nature, the environment, medicine, and technology.
The award-winning author of more than 20 STEM books for children and young adults, Lindsey writes to spark her readers’ curiosity and ignite their imaginations. Packed with “oh wow!” and “I never knew that!”, her books reveal the process of discovery and the stories behind the science. A popular speaker, Lindsey’s school visits encourage inquiry and kindle a love of life-long learning. Publishing under the name L. E. Carmichael, Lindsey loves beaches, platypuses, and all things fantasy. She’s fascinated by the moment when facts reveal truth.
Michael Christie brings us a magnificent novel of inheritance, sacrifice, nature and love that takes its structure from the nested growth rings of a tree, Greenwood spans generations to tell the story of a family living and dying in the shadows cast by its own secrets. With this breathtaking feat of storytelling, Michael Christie masterfully reveals the tangled knot of lies, omissions and half-truths that exists at the root of every family’s origin story. Greenwood was long-listed for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
Tim Cook is the Great War historian at the Canadian War Museum, as well as an adjunct professor at Carleton University. In 2008 he won the J.W. Dafoe Prize for At the Sharp End and again in 2018 for Vimy; Shock Troops won the 2009 Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction. In 2013, Cook received the Pierre Berton Award for popularizing Canadian history. He is a member of the Order of Canada. He will launch his newest book at our festival: The Fight for History is about the efforts to restore a more balanced portrait of Canada's contribution in the global conflict. This is the story of how Canada has talked about the war in the past, how we tried to bury it, and how it was restored. This is the history of a constellation of changing ideas, with many historical twists and turns, and a series of fascinating actors and events.
Katie Daubs is a reporter at the Toronto Star. She won a National Newspaper Award in 2012, with three additional nominations, and in 2016 she won a William Southam Journalism Fellowship. Born in Forest, Ontario, and a graduate of Carleton University, she lives in Toronto. This is her first book.
Alicia Elliott is a Tuscarora writer living in Brantford, Ontario. She has written for Globe and Mail, CBC, Hazlitt and many others. She's had essays nominated for National Magazine Awards for three straight years, winning Gold in 2017, and her short fiction was selected for Best American Short Stories 2018, Best Canadian Stories 2018, and Journey Prize Stories 30. Her first book, A Mind Spread Out On The Ground, is a national bestseller, and was shortlisted for the 2019 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction.
A two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of seven national bestselling novels, including his latest, Albatross, all published by McClelland & Stewart. The Best Laid Plans was the winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour in 2008, and CBC’s Canada Reads in 2011. It was adapted as a six-part CBC-Television miniseries, as well as a stage musical. The High Road was a Leacock Medal finalist in 2011. Up and Down was the winner of the 2013 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award, and was a finalist for the 2013 Leacock Medal. His fourth novel, No Relation, was released in May 2014, debuted on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list, and won the 2015 Leacock Medal. His fifth, Poles Apart, hit bookstores in October 2015, was a Globe and Mail bestseller and was a finalist for the 2016 Leacock Medal. One Brother Shy was released in May 2017 and became an instant bestseller. His seventh novel, Albatross, was a number one national bestseller a week after it was published and remained on the bestsellers list for months. The Canadian Booksellers Association named Terry Fallis the winner of the 2013 Libris Award as Author of the Year.
Genevieve is full-time writer and photographer living in Ottawa, Canada, with her husband and two children. Her first memoir, Her Own Wild Winds, was released in September of 2016, and her work can also be seen in publications such as The Good Mother Project, Oprah.com, Love What Matters, and Her View From Home. She is currently utilizing her skills as a writer, editor, and writing coach with The Round Table Companies to help others bring their own beautiful stories to life.
Andrea Gunraj is the author of novel, The Lost Sister (which Margaret Cannon called ‘superb’ in her Globe and Mail mystery column!) as well as The Sudden Disappearance of Seetha (Knopf Canada). She is also a contributing essayist to the collection Subdivided: City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity (Coach House Books). She lives in Toronto and, beyond writing, she’s passionate about communications, public education, and accessible technology for social change. Andrea works at the Canadian Women's Foundation.
Sharon Hampson & Randi Hampson
For more than forty years, Sharon Hampson, a member of Canada's much-loved trio of family entertainers Sharon, Lois & Bram, has entertained families across North America. When Lois stepped away from performing in 2000, Sharon & Bram carried on as a duo. Through their touring, their gold, platinum and multi-platinum recordings, their critically acclaimed television series The Elephant Show and Skinnamarink TV, they have sung their way into the hearts and homes of young and old alike.
Following Bram’s retirement and with his encouragement, Sharon, along with her daughter Randi are continuing to share the music of Sharon, Lois and Bram with fans and friends, old and new.
Sharon and her daughter, Randi, have been singing together since Randi was three. Randi is the co-author of Sharon, Lois & Bram’s Skinnamarink and the Producer of Sharon & Bram’s recently released Juno Nominated recording, Sharon & Bram and Friends. Randi’s song lyrics and voice can be heard on several of the album's tracks and fans had the chance to see her performing live, countless times throughout Sharon & Bram’s 2019 tour. Sharon and Randi are excited to be singing the songs of Sharon, Lois & Bram with a new generation of musical friends.
Adan Jerreat=Poole is a reader and writer who loves all things fantasy and feminist. They are a PhD candidate at McMaster University studying disability and queerness in popular culture. Adan lives in Kingston with their cat Dragon. The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass is their debut novel.
Stéphane Larue was born in Longueuil in 1983. He received a master’s in comparative literature at Université de Montréal and has worked in the restaurant industry for the past fifteen years. He lives in Montréal. The Dishwasher is his first book.
Barbara Reid is the bestselling author and illustrator of more than a dozen picture books, and the illustrator of over twenty five. She has won the Ezra Jack Keats Award, the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People, The Governor General’s Award for Illustration and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award. In 2013 she became a member of the Order of Canada, and in 2015 she was named Honorary Chair of Family Literacy Day. Her book Picture the Sky won the 2018 CBC Fan Choice Award and was shortlisted for the 2018 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. Barbara lives in Toronto, Ontario.
ANN SHORTELL, born in Kingston, is an award-winning non-fiction author. She published her debut novel CELTIC KNOT, the first of a series of Clara Swift Tales, in 2018. HER AWARDS INCLUDE: Bronze Medal Independent Publisher Book Awards FICTION-CANADA EAST for CELTIC KNOT A Clara Swift Tale, 2019; Sarton Women’s Book Award finalist in Historical Fiction for CELTIC KNOT A Clara Swift Tale; 2018 INDIES Book Of The Year Award finalist in Multicultural Fiction for CELTIC KNOT A Clara Swift Tale, 2018.
Originally from Newfoundland, Heather Smith now lives in Waterloo, Ontario. Her middle-grade novel, Ebb & Flow, was short-listed for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award and was the winner of the 2019 TD Canadian Children's Literature Award. Her picture book, The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota’s Garden, was recently named the winner of the 2019 Freeman Book Award for Children's Literature. Heather has written several other books for young people including her award-winning novel, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe. Heather's Newfoundland roots inspire much of her writing.
Amy Spurway was born and raised on Cape Breton, where, at the age of 11, she landed her first writing and performing gigs with CBC Radio. She has worked as a communications consultant, editor, speech-writer, and performer. Her writing has appeared in Today's Parent, the Toronto Star, Babble, and Elephant Journal. She lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. Amy’s most recent book Crow is witty, energetic, and crackling with sharp Cape Breton humour, a story of big twists, big personalities, big drama, and even bigger heart.
Jesse Thistle brings us his extraordinary and inspiring debut memoir From the Ashes. Once a high school dropout and now a rising Indigenous scholar, Jesse Thistle chronicles his life on the streets, overcoming trauma and addiction to discover the truth about who he is. Jesse is Métis-Cree, from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and an assistant professor in Métis Studies at York University in Toronto. He won a Governor General’s Academic Medal in 2016, and is a Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Scholar and a Vanier Scholar. He lives in Toronto.