Kingston WritersFest continues digital format for 2021

Thomas King, August into Winter by Guy Vanderhaeghe and Eden Robinson will all feature at this year’s Kingston WritersFest. Images via Kingston WritersFest.

Kingston WritersFest is presenting their week-long festival online for the second year in a row. Running from September 22-26, 2021 the festival brings a fresh and diverse lineup to the literary festival.

The 13th annual festival is offering a mix of free and paid events on the Zoom platform over the course of the five days, according to a media release dated Tuesday, Jul. 27, 2021. A full event lineup can be found at

Highlights of the events, as stated in the release:

Kingston WritersFest announced three-time Governor General Award Winner Guy Vanderhaeghe discussing his new book Autumn Into Winter. Vanderhaeghe was announced alongside Giller Prize short lister Camilla Gibb (The Relatives), Jocelyne Saucier (And Miles to go Before I Sleep), Eden Robinson (The Trickster Trilogy), and Festival favourites Thomas King, Helen Humphreys, André Picard, and Steven Heighton, among others.

The return of an online edition of the popular Writers Retreat was also announced, naming Kim Echlin (Speak, Silence), Amber Dawn (My Art is Killing Me), and Mark Anthony Jarman (Czech Techno) among this year’s faculty for the popular writers’ studio master classes.

Newly appointed Artistic Director Aara Macauley, said the focus of the festival this year is to embrace and celebrate the unexpected, and to showcase what makes a festival event unique. “This is not just an author reading from the page or a lecturer talking at you,” Macauley said. “It is spontaneous, genuine, and dynamic… it’s unscripted. It’s your chance to have your burning questions answered and see what makes your favourite authors tick.”

Macauley is not new to the process of programming the Festival, having been promoted from her 5-year tenure as Operations Director in 2020. The organization said she is keeping true to the spirit of the festival – continuing to offer a balance of political, historical, and social subjects by non-fiction authors with a wide array of fiction, poetry, and multi-disciplinary work from both award-winning and emerging authors

Kingston WritersFest will continue to present marquee events like Author! Author! and The Robertson Davies Lecture, presenting Guy Vanderhaeghe, and Camilla Gibb, respectively. The Book Lovers’ Banquet (an evening production of the popular Book Lovers’ Lunch) will see Ben McNally return with enticing recommendations of what to add to your “to-read” pile, and The Big Idea with journalist and author Carol Off will continue to challenge our complacency with the status quo, this year exploring our national identity with the question, Is Canada Nice?

Kingston WritersFest has established itself not only as a prime Kingston cultural event, but also as one of the top literary festivals in Canada, according to the release. The organizers said the Festival aims to explore the ideas that shape our world, warm our hearts, and stir our imaginations through writers’ studio master classes, author readings, and unscripted discussions that celebrate culture, history, imagination, diversity and originality.

For the full lineup of events, and author bios please visit the festival website,  

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