Regional Conferences & Retreats

Regional Writing-Related Events

Due to Covid-19, the traditional schedule of literary conferences, writing retreats, etc, has been disrupted. Many have been cancelled, rescheduled, or redesigned. The best (and only reliable) way to learn about these events in this chaotic time is to google their web pages. Have a suggestion for an event that should be included on our list? Email it to us at [email protected]

WordsFest: From the website: “During the first weekend of November each year, Words brings the Southwestern Ontario region together for a celebration of creative ideas, artistic expression, and cultural diversity. Words features emerging and established writers from London, Canada, and beyond, showcasing new works and provocative ideas to spark debate and ignite the imagination. Though London has fostered some of our country’s most inspirational writers and ideas, Words is the first major festival to bring public visibility to our past literary achievements while looking ahead to a new generation of creative voices. The Festival was created to foreground London as a centre of creativity and literary excellence.”

Souwesto Book Expo: The Souwesto is the part of the WordsFest event dedicated to regional authors, with a retail area and workshops.

CanWrite! The Canadian Authors Association’s annual CanWrite! conference is designed for aspiring, emerging and accomplished writers alike.

ComicCon (Toronto): This massive annual celebration of all things speculative and fantastic is hosted every year in Toronto. It features an enormous array of exhibitors, presentations, workshops, and celebrity guests.

Forest City ComicCon: A London celebration of nerd culture featuring costumes, vendors, panels, board games, video game tournaments.

ComicCon (London): Another London-area pop-culture celebration, focused on sci-fi, comics, celebrity guests and more.

GenreCon: A multi-genre convention with a focus on comics, cosplay, games and toys,

Ad Astra: Based in Toronto. From the website: “Ad Astra is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run, weekend-long, science fiction, fantasy and horror event with a focus on authors and other creative professionals.”

Windsor International Writers Conference: From the website: “Join us at the friendliest and liveliest writer’s conference around. You’ll have the chance to meet other writers, learn the craft of writing and tricks of the trade. We’ll explore the ethics of writing and how to tell a really good story. We’ll examine writing for minorities and cultures. Be inspired by the best of the best authors in the business. Oh, and we’ll have some publishers and agents hanging around, just in case you might want to meet them as well.

Eden Mills Writers’ Festival: The annual Eden Mills Writers’ Festival includes readings by poets, authors, and other writers at various outdoor venues throughout the village. I

The Lakefield Literary Festival: In commemoration of Margaret Laurence, Catharine Parr Traill, Susanna Moodie and our community’s ongoing literary heritage, the Lakefield Literary Festival showcases Canadian authors and promotes the joy of reading and writing among children and adults.

Word on the Street Toronto: From their website: “Participate in hundreds of author readings, discussions, and activities, and shop in a marketplace that boasts the best selection of Canadian books and magazines you’ll find anywhere. There is plenty to see and do at Canada’s largest FREE book and magazine festival!”

Alice Munro Short Story Festival: The Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story (AMFSS) stages an annual literary festival that honours Alice Munro and nurtures emerging writers through workshops and onstage presentations that celebrate the short story.

International Festival of Authors Toronto: “Toronto’s International Festival of Authors (IFOA) is a celebration of words and ideas, of writers and readers. The Festival brings together the world’s best writers of contemporary literature for 11 days of readings, interviews, artist talks, round table discussions, public book signings and a number of special events.”

GritLIT Hamilton’s Readers & Writers Festival: GritLIT is Hamilton’s annual literary festival, a celebration of Canadian authors. Since its inception in 2004, the festival has built a reputation with readers in the Golden Horseshoe as a place to get up close and personal with their favourite authors and to discover new voices.

Pelee Island Writing Residencies: Taking part in a Pelee Island writing retreat gives authors the opportunity to focus on their work, free of distraction. The retreat price includes accommodations, meals, and workshops, with the time and space needed to work on a manuscript, while benefiting from inclusion in a creative community. Each retreat offers writers the chance to work on their own and also take part in facilitated workshop sessions, which will combine group discussion and individual text critiques. The retreat will include master classes.