Since 1992, the Humber School for Writers has been providing jet fuel for the literary mind and developing a literary coterie to assist in take-off. The experience has always been intense and exhilarating, and this year will be no different.
Join us in celebrating the Writers Workshop alongside renowned faculty including David Bezmozgis, Wayson Choy, Michael Helm, Shari Lapena, Vincent Lam, Donna Morrissey, Dawn Promislow, David Adam Richards and Robert Rotenberg. Antanas Sileika hosts.
Gill Deacon will moderate the round table, What We Talk About When We Talk About Writing, with faculty of the workshop including Samantha Harvey, Lawrence Hill, Isabel Huggan, Joe Kertes, Tim O’Brien and Alison Pick.
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David Bezmozgis is an award-winning writer and filmmaker. David’s stories have appeared in numerous publications including The New Yorker, Harpers, and Zoetrope All-Story. He is the author of Natasha and Other Stories (2004), The Free World (2011) and The Betrayers (2014). He has been twice-nominated for the Giller Prize and in the summer of 2010, he was included in The New Yorker's 20 Under 40 issue, celebrating the twenty most promising fiction writers under the age of forty. David's two feature films are, Victoria Day, which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and Natasha, an adaptation of the title story from his first book.
Wayson Choy’s bestselling debut novel, The Jade Peony, shared the Trillium Book Award for best book in 1995 and won the 1996 City of Vancouver Book Award. Its companion novel, All That Matters, also won a Trillium Book Award and was shortlisted for the 2005 Giller Prize. His first memoir, Paper Shadows, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, the Charles Taylor Prize and the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize. Choy presents his second memoir, Not Yet, about the bonds of love and family that sustain us, framed by Choy’s own two near-death experiences.
Gill Deacon is an award-winning broadcaster and bestselling author. Her portfolio includes several prominent roles at CBC, including host of CBCTV’s Code Green, weekly arts correspondent for CBC News Morning, host of CBC’s flagship daytime show, The Gill Deacon Show, and guest host for CBC Toronto’s Here and Now. Deacon is also the author of the national bestsellers There’s Lead in Your Lipstick and Green for Life. She currently sings in a Toronto band called The Circumstantialists.
Samantha Harvey is the author of three novels, The Wilderness, All Is Song and most recently Dear Thief, which was published in September 2014. She has been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and won the AMI Literature Award and the Betty Trask Prize. Dear Thief was longlisted for the Baileys Prize and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, and was shortlisted for the 2015 James Tait Black Memorial Prize. She lives in Bath, UK, and teaches creative writing at Bath Spa University.
Michael Helm is the author of The Projectionist, a finalist for the Giller Prize, In the Place of Last Things, a finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and a regional Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Book, and Cities of Refuge, a Globe and Mail Book of the Year. His writings on fiction, poetry, and photography have appeared in North American newspapers and magazines, including Brick,where he serves as editor. He teaches at York University in Toronto and lives in Dundas, ON. In After James, a failed poet attempts to solve the mystery of his stolen identity.
Lawrence Hill is the award-winning and internationally bestselling author of The Book of Negroes, which was made into a six part TV mini-series. His previous novels, Some Great Thing and Any Known Blood, became national bestsellers. Hill’s non-fiction work includes Blood: The Stuff of Life, the subject of his 2013 Massey Lectures, and Black Berry, Sweet Juice, a memoir about growing up black and white in Canada. He presents his fourth novel, The Illegal. He lives with his family in Hamilton, Ontario, and Woody Point, Newfoundland.
Isabel Huggan is a writer of fiction, personal essays and poetry. Her memoir Belonging: Home Away From Home won the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction in 2004. For nearly 20 years she has been a mentor in the Humber School for Writers correspondence program, and she joins the festival as an instructor for the Humber Writers Workshop. For most of the year she lives in the south of France where she has established a Writer's Retreat in her old stone barn
Joseph Kertes was born in Hungary, but escaped with his family to Canada after the revolution of 1956. Kertes founded Humber College's creative writing and comedy programs. He was until recently Humber's Dean of Creative and Performing Arts and is a recipient of numerous awards for teaching and innovation. His first novel, Winter Tulips, won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour. Boardwalk, his second novel, and two children's books, The Gift and The Red Corduroy Shirt, met with critical acclaim. His novel, Gratitude, won a Canadian National Jewish Book Award and the U.S. National Jewish Book Award for Fiction. Kertes's latest novel is called The Afterlife of Stars. It was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice. He is the most recent winner of the Harbourfront Festival Prize.
Dr. Vincent Lam is from the expatriate Chinese community of Vietnam, and was born in Canada. Dr. Lam did his medical training in Toronto. Dr. Lam's first book, Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures, won the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and was adapted for television and broadcast on HBO Canada. The Headmaster's Wager, Dr. Lam's first novel, about a Chinese compulsive gambler and headmaster of an English school in Saigon during the Vietnam War, was long listed for the 2013 IMPAC Dublin Prize, shortlisted for the 2013 Commonwealth Book Prize, and was a finalist for the 2012 Governor General's Prize.
Shari Lapena worked as a lawyer and as an English teacher before turning to writing fiction. She has written two award-winning literary novels, and The Couple Next Door is her suspense debut.
Donna Morrissey is the award-winning author of five adult novels—Kit’s Law, Downhill Chance, Sylvanus Now, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, What They Wanted, and The Deception of Livvy Higgs—as well as the Gemini Award–winning screenplay Clothesline Patch. Morrissey grew up in The Beaches, a small fishing outport in Newfoundland, and now lives in Halifax. She presents The Fortunate Brother, a story about loss and secrets.
Tim O’Brien received the National Book Award in Fiction in 1979 for his novel Going After Cacciato. In 2005 The Things They Carried was named by the New York Times as one of the twenty-two best books of the last quarter century. It received the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award in fiction and was a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In 2013, O’Brien received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Pritzker Military Library. O’Brien’s short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Atlantic, Esquire, Playboy, and Harper’s. His novels have sold more than six million copies and have been translated into more than 20 languages.
Alison Pick was the 2002 Bronwen Wallace Award winner for the most promising young writer in Canada. She has published three acclaimed volumes of poetry, and her first novel, The Sweet Edge, was a Globe and Mail "Best Book". Her second novel, Far to Go, was nominated for the Man Booker Prize, won the Canadian Jewish Award for Fiction, and was named a "Top Ten of 2010" book by the Toronto Star and NOW Magazine. It was also published internationally to acclaim. Her memoir, Between Gods, was published internationally, was a finalist for the BC National Award for Nonfiction, a Globe and Mail "Best Book" of 2014, and a national bestseller. She presents Strangers With The Same Dream.
David Adams Richards is one of Canada’s preeminent writers. He is one of few writers in the history of the Governor General’s Literary Awards to win in both the Fiction (Nights Below Station Street) and Literary Non-fiction (Lines on the Water) categories. Over his extensive career, his fiction has won the Canadian Authors Association Award, the Alden Nowlan Award for Excellence in English-Language Literary Arts, the Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Awards for Author of the Year and Fiction Book of the Year. The author lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He will present Principles to Live By.
Robert Rotenberg is one of Toronto’s top criminal lawyers and the author of several bestselling novels, including Old City Hall, The Guilty Plea, Stray Bullets, and Stranglehold. He lives in Toronto. Visit him at RobertRotenberg.com or follow him @RobertRotenberg.
Antanas Sileika is the author of four works of fiction. His first collection of stories, Buying on Time, was shortlisted for the Leacock Medal for Humour and the Toronto Book Award as well as serialized on CBC Radio’s Between the Covers. Woman in Bronze and Underground were both listed among the 100 books of the year by the Globe and Mail, and the latter has been optioned for film. Antanas is the former director of the Humber School for Writers. He lives in Toronto, Ontario. He presents The Barefoot Bingo Caller.