Canadian Authors Association–Toronto presents:

Virtual Pub Night!

Thursday, December 10 
7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Via Zoom
FREE and open to all 

It’s been a long, masked-up, locked-down kind of year. But Authors–Toronto has brought together writers month after month for quality programming. We even launched our own Podcast! Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and have everyone pour themselves their favourite beverage.

Let’s get to know one another a little better. What’s everyone working on? New publishing opportunities in the offing? Pandemic tales to tell? Writers are all about sharing stories. Not a member, but thinking of joining CAA–Toronto? Come on out and meet the people who could become your new writing buddies.

Remember: Zoom cats are welcome. You may even catch a glimpse of WyeldChild’s hairless Sphynx roaming her owner’s shoulders.

Hope to see everyone there!

NaNoWriMo Write-In Event!

Hosted by JF Garrard, Chris Gorman, and Brandi Tanner.

Thursday, November 26, 2020
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Via Zoom
FREE and open to all 

NaNoWrimo (National Novel Writing Month) is an annual November event in which authors dedicate themselves to write daily with the goal of hitting 50,000 words by the end of the month.

We all know that finding time to write is hard. Events like NaNoWriMo can help give us focus and challenge us to make the time. In normal years, we would get together at a coffee shop for a group writing session to help us meet our goals. This year, we invite you to grab your drink of choice and join us around our virtual coffee table!

Canadian Authors–Toronto co-president JF Garrard, Member-at-Large Chris Gorman and Membership Coordinator Brandi A. Tanner will host this Write-In Event for members and fellow writers who are participating in NaNoWrimo. 

The majority of the time will be dedicated to writing, however, we will chat about writing for a few minutes before starting the timer. This is an informal event designed to help us feed off of each other’s creative energies and you are free to come and go for breaks as needed.

Canadian Authors Association–Toronto Celebrates Indie Author Day!

Indie Author Day, on Saturday November 7, 2020, is a special day dedicated to celebrating the contributions and achievements of Indie Authors. This event brings together local indie authors, writers, and readers for a day of education, networking, workshops, and more. Canadian Authors–Toronto is excited to be participating as an official host of the 5th annual Indie Author Day in 2020!

 Program Details

4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EST — Journey on Becoming an Indie Author

Canadian Authors–Toronto co-president JF Garrard (Dark Helix Press) will host a panel with fellow execs and authors Ed Seaward (Fair, Porcupine’s Quill), Lee Parpart (Iguana Books), and Chris Gorman (Dawn of Magic, Friesen Press) to examine different paths on becoming an indie author. The panel will cover methods of publishing, including traditional, hybrid and self-publishing, along with their advantages and disadvantages. Other topics include marketing, getting books into libraries, developing your author platform and more.

 Program Details

5:00 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST — CAA Member Indie Author Readings

Please join in to hear fantastic works presented by CAA­­­–Toronto authors. Each author will read for five minutes.

Reader Bios: 

Gavin Barrett was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, and immigrated to Toronto from Hong Kong in 1996. Understan (Mawenzi House, 2020) is his first collection of poems. His poetry has been published in a Penguin India anthology and reputed literary journals. The Tartan Turban Secret Readings series, which he runs with novelist Mayank Bhatt, focuses on giving racialized writers a stage. He is cofounder of Barrett and Welsh, a branding and advertising agency that specializes in creating inclusion through communications. gavin barrett

Ariane Blackman is the author of two poetry collections, No One Sleeps (LyricalMyrical Press, 2013) and The River Doesn’t Stop (Aeolus House, 2018) and a novel, The Unexpected Journeys of Lawrence Tyrone (LE Press, 2018). She is the co-editor of Juniper, an on-line poetry publication.

Guglielmo D’Izzia is an actor and writer who hails from Sicily. His artistic pursuits have led him to some of the greatest cities in the world: Rome, New York City, and now Toronto. The Transaction, his debut novel, won the 2016 Marina Nemat Award and was a finalist of the 2020 International Book Awards Literary Fiction Category. He was also nominated “Most Promising Author” 2020 by The Miramichi Reader.

R.A Morris holds a Master of Environmental Studies from York University and has lived and worked in Honduras, Fort Good Hope, and the territorial capital of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. Beyond What Separates Us is his first novel. He lives in Toronto.

A. B. Neilly is a writer, playwright, philosopher, astrologer and magician. Her publications include novels for children, articles, short stories, and blogs. Her YA novel, Kalala, will be published by Prometea Press. Her play The Seer has been performed at the Toronto Queer Festival and Magicians was selected for the Big Ideas Festival. abneilly.com

Michael Newman is the author of the historical fiction novel Between These Walls, published by Friesen Press. He is a retired real estate executive, born in Hungary, the son of holocaust survivors. He lives on Toronto’s waterfront with his wife and spends his time travelling and writing. Between These Walls is his debut novel, with a sequel in the works.

Uta Sojat was born and raised in Germany and immigrated in 1973. After retiring from her career teaching gifted elementary school students, Uta followed her passions of travel, photography, and writing. She has written three coffee table books about Rajasthan, India. Her novel, Chandkoor’s Journey, tells a cross-cultural love story and immerses readers in Rajasthani culture. www.uta-sojat.com

Canadian Authors Association–Toronto presents:

Poetry and Ways of Seeing 
a virtual workshop 
hosted by

Thursday, October 29, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Via Zoom

About “Poetry and Ways of Seeing”

Poetry is the art of seeing—the art of emotion—the art of putting/mixing words together to  open a different door in our imagination—a place where we can let go the ordinary—or where we can truly see the ordinary—the microscopic and the macroscopic—a falling into freeform but still finding that secret entrance to an emotional core.

“We don’t see things the way they are—we see them as we are.” The Talmud

There are many ways to strip ourselves from our usual ways of being and seeing. In this workshop we will use the enigmatic and fascinating imagery of Tarot cards to see where they take us.

After a brief introduction by Pamela, Ariane will lead participants through writing exercises that will begin with written prompts and then progress to Tarot Card prompts. Participants will have an opportunity to read the poems they create.

Ariane Blackman is a writer and poet who loves the unexpected. Her published works include two books of poetry—No One Sleeps (LyricalMyrical Press, 2013) and The River Doesn’t Stop (Aeolus House, 2018)—and a novel, The Unexpected Journeys of Lawrence Tyrone (LE Press, 2018). She is co-editor of Juniper, an on-line poetry publication.

Pamela Yuen was born to Hong Kong migrants in rural Ontario. She is an expressive writing facilitator with the Toronto Writers’ Collective and serves on the executive committee of Canadian Authors Association–Toronto. Recordings of her spoken word poetry can be heard through Brickyard, an audio-visual hub of Brick Books.

Canadian Authors Association–Toronto Open Mic Night 

17 Spots for Author-Toronto Members to Read

Tuesday, September 22, 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

ONLINE via Zoom.

FREE and open attendance for all.

CAAEvents programming is back after a short summer break! We begin with a chance for Author-Toronto members to present their work. This month, up to 17 members will have the opportunity to read on Zoom, whether fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. Wow fellow members with your current work-in-progress or finished material that you are currently trying to get published.

Canadian Authors Association–Toronto is proud to sponsor:

The LiterASIAN 2020 festival

LiterASIAN is an annual conference based in Vancouver, BC, which celebrates Pacific Rim Asian Canadian writing and started as a community-building initiative of the Asian Canadian Writers Workshop (ACWW). ACWW books are available here.

This year’s theme is “Quiet No More” and features both Asian and non-Asian writers/editors.  LiterASIAN has an incredible line up of guests with a full schedule of events, including panel discussions, readings, workshops, Q&A’s with authors, and a virtual book club. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, LiterASIAN 2020 goes virtual!  

When: August 15 – August 30, 2020.

Be Brave on Stage featuring Charlie Petch

When: Thursday, June 25, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Where: online via Zoom

Registration required.

FREE and open to all


About Be Brave Onstage:

Do you have a fear around performance? When someone puts a mic in front of you, do you freeze? Then Zoom in for #CAAEvents’ latest program, an online workshop with theatre director and slam coach, Charlie Petch.

In this online workshop you’ll learn things like: how to adjust your computer mic like a pro, the best way to read off the page, and even how to celebrate embarrassment. As Charlie Petch asks: “What if what we are supposed to be embarrassed about is actually incredible?”

CHARLIE PETCH is an award-winning playwright, spoken word artist, haiku deathmaster, host and musical saw player. Petch has toured their spoken word theatre piece, “Mel Malarkey Gets the Bum’s Rush,” which got Best of 2017 from Electric City Magazine for the radio play accompanying album Odes & Acts. They have a Libretto, “Medusa’s Children,” forthcoming with Opera Q. They have published books with Wordpress and LyricalMyrical and poems with Descant, The Toronto Quarterly, Matrix and oratorealis journals. They will be publishing a full-length poetry book with Brick Books in Fall 2021. Petch is the creative director of “Hot Damn It’s a Queer Slam,” a multi-city touring poetry slam series. They were also the 2017 Poet of Honour for Spoken Word Canada, winner of the Golden Beret prize for Spoken Word, a member of the League of Canadian Poets, and a Youth Mentor with TDSB Creates. 

Success in Independent Publishing with
Ann Shortell & Michael Newman

Thursday, May 28, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

#CAAEvents programming continues unabated despite the COVID quarantine, bringing published authors directly to your couch. This month we’ll be joined by two independently published novelists who will share their writing and publishing journeys, as well as read from their work.

Ann Shortell is the winner of the 2019 Whistler Independent Book Awards for her novel Celtic Knot. Her mystery story, based on an infamous Canadian murder, the assassination of D’Arcy McGee, is Ann’s homage to the Irish storytelling tradition.

Michael Newman, the son of Holocaust survivors, has always had an interest in World War II. Learn how the seeds of his novel, Between These Walls, were planted during a 2012 visit to Berlin, Germany.

Both novelists were published through FriesenPress and will share with us why they chose to self-publish and some of the details of their journey along the way.

There will also be an exciting Q&A with Ann and Michael where you can gain valuable insights to assist you on your writing journey.


Canadian Authors Association–Toronto Celebrates National Poetry Month

Thursday, April 23, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

ONLINE via GoToWebinar

As we enter Month Two of the COVID quarantine, we’d all be forgiven for curling up in a ball and having a good cry. But there are other options as well — wonderful ones — and they don’t require you to leave your couch. 

For this month’s #CAAEvents program we’ll be joined online by two fabulous Toronto poets who will read from their work, talk about craft, and show us some new ways to celebrate the poetry that’s all around us.

Catherine Graham will kick things off with a craft talk on the topic of “Making and Breaking Patterns in Poetry.” In it, she’ll weave together some reflections on process with readings drawn from her six books of poetry, and hopefully also give us a taste of her forthcoming book, Æther: an out-of-body lyric, which is due out in 2020 with Wolsak & Wynn/Buckrider Books. 

Next we’ll hear from Terese Mason Pierre, who will reveal a hot-off-the-press #booklook and read selections from her 2019 chapbook, Surface Area (Anstruther Press). 

What’s a booklook? It’s a fun method for A.) coping with covid, and B.) engaging with books through craft and visual art, including makeup artistry. Terese will spend her time during the first part of our event creating a booklook in response to her own chapbook or another cover — it will be a surprise! Check out Terese’s Twitter feed at @teresempierre to find out more and see samples of her work. We’ll see “before” and “after” versions of Terese’s booklook and listen to her read several poems.

Next we’ll hear a small selection of poems from our invited open mic guests, Authors–Toronto members Pamela Yuen, Susana Molinolo, and Ariane Blackman. Pamela and Susana recently co-authored a poem that’s forthcoming in a British anthology about the novel virus and self-isolation, and they’ll share that with us. Ariane will surprise us with a selection from one of her two books of poetry.

Lastly, we’ll have a Q&A with all five poets. Feel free to ask them anything about their poetry, craft, booklooks, co-writing poems, or getting published. 

This event is free for all, but we encourage you, if you can, to make a donation to a local food bank or another favourite charity, or order a meal from a local restaurant, to help keep businesses afloat during these incredibly tough times. 

More about our featured guests:

Catherine Graham’s sixth poetry collection, The Celery Forest, was named a CBC Best Book of the Year and was a finalist for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. Michael Longley praised it as “a work of great fortitude and invention, full of jewel-like moments and dark gnomic utterance.” Her debut novel Quarry won an Independent Publisher Book Awards gold medal for fiction, “The Very Best!” Book Awards for Best Fiction and was a finalist for the Sarton Women’s Book Award for Contemporary Fiction and Fred Kerner Book Award. Recent publications include: Arc Poetry MagazineEvent MagazineGlasgow Review of Books and The Malahat Review. She teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto where she won an Excellence in Teaching Award. A previous winner of the Toronto International Festival of Authors’ Poetry NOW award, she leads their monthly Book Club and is also an interviewer for By-the-Lake Book Club. Her work has been translated into Serbo-Croatian, Greek, Bangla, Mandarin and Spanish and she has appeared on CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers. Æther: an out-of-body lyric appears in 2020 with Wolsak & Wynn/Buckrider Books and her second novel, The Most Cunning Heart, appears in 2021 with Palimpsest Press. Visit www.catherinegraham.com @catgrahampoet

Terese Mason Pierre is a writer, editor and organizer. Her work has appeared in the The Temz ReviewCanthiusThe PuritanQuill and Quire, and Strange Horizons, among others. She is currently the poetry editor of Augur Magazine, a Canadian speculative literature journal. Terese has also previously volunteered with Shab-e She’r poetry reading series, and facilitated creative writing workshops. Her 2019 chapbook, Surface Area, was published by Anstruther Press. Terese lives and works in Toronto. Visit http://www.teresemasonpierre.com/  @teresempierre

Pamela Yuen is a Toronto poet and writer, born in rural Ontario to Hong Kong migrants. She is an expressive writing facilitator with the Toronto Writers Collective. Hear her recent prize-winning performance for Brick Books and visit @peameala.

Susana Molinolo is a Toronto poet, mom, and local activist whose community work focuses on creating socially cohesive communities and vibrant, resilient neighbourhoods. Susana is a fundraising volunteer with Building Roots Toronto and the new programs chair of Authors–Toronto. Visit @foodplayground.

Ariane Blackman is a writer, poet and tourist who loves when the unexpected shows up in her travels. Her poetry works include, No One Sleeps, a chapbook published by LyricalMyrical Press in 2013 and The River Doesn’t Stop, published by Aeolus House in 2018. Her novel, The Unexpected Journeys of Lawrence Tyrone, was published by LE Press in 2018. Visit https://akblackman.com/ @akblackman1.

You are invited to the 24th session of The Tartan Turban Secret Readings curated by The Canadian Authors Association — Toronto Branch.

Featuring Stedmond Pardy, Nur Abdi, Ingrid Palmer, Jen Frankel, Pamela Yuen and Sunil Tantirige reading on the theme of love.

The Tartan Turban Secret Readings aim to promote Canadian multicultural writing and Canadian Authors Association’s Toronto Branch is curating the Secret Readings event on February 27, 2020.

Date/Time: February 27, 2020, 7pm-10pm

Address: Barrett and Welsh Marketing Agency
577 Kingston Road, Suite 301, Toronto, M4E 1R3

Free Tickets Link via EVENTBRITE (space is limited)

Guest Bios

Stedmond Pardy is a left-handed, self-educated poet, originally from the Lakeshore Mimico area, but now residing in…Tartarus, He quotes “An Artist is an Instrument through which the universe reveals itself” & “word poetry is for Everyman, but soul poetry alas, is not heavily distributed” are the words he TRIES to live by. His first collection The pleasures of this planet. Arent enough will be released by Mosaic in 2020.

Nur Abdi grew up in the territory now known as Somaliland. In the 1980s, when a civil war was raging in Somalia, he sought refuge in Canada and became a citizen in 1994. Opposing the repressive government ruling Somalia at the time, Abdi wrote articles in newspapers and magazines. He lives in Toronto. The Somali Camel Boy (Mawenzi House, 2019) is his first novel.

Ingrid Palmer’s writing is largely inspired by her intersecting identities as an androgynous woman of colour with a disability and experience of the child welfare system. Common themes include self-love, acceptance, awareness, and discovery. She is the CEO and founder of Lignum Vitae Virago — a motivational consulting campaign that seeks to shift individuals and organizations into transformational action. She is passionate about elevating marginalized voices and bringing authenticity to acts of inclusion.

Jen Frankel recently moved from the east end to Hamilton where she is suddenly in demand as a director and performer — mostly back in Toronto! She is the author of the Blood & Magic series, Undead Redhead, and the short story collection Feral Tales. Her latest publications include stories in the anthologies Futuristic Canada and Canadian Dreadful, and Amazing Stories magazine.

Pamela Yuen is a Toronto poet and writer, born in rural Ontario to Hong Kong migrants. She is an expressive writing facilitator with the Toronto Writers Collective.

Sunil Tantirige was born and raised in Sri Lanka. He completed his BASc in Chemical Engineering at the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka and then continued his studies at the University of Toronto, where he completed an MASc and a PhD in Engineering. He has worked for over 25 years in the Canadian nuclear industry, specializing in nuclear reactor safety. His first book, The House of a Thousand Memories (Iguana Books) is a story of a boy growing up in Sri Lanka in the 60s and 70s. It is one father’s attempt to record his family’s history for his son and posterity before it is lost to the shifting sands of time.

For updated information and author headshots, follow Tartan Turbin’s Facebook group and Facebook event page.


Open mic:

Anyone attending is welcome to read or perform (if you are a musician) in our open mic sessions. If you are a writer or musician who would like to perform in the open mic session, we ask that you listen in to at least one session to get the flavour of the evening and join in on your next visit. To participate in TTSR #24, please contact JF Garrard, CAA-Toronto Branch Co-President (hello at jfgarrard.com). This allows her to line up readers and manage the evening efficiently.

The ambience at these readings is intimate, extremely informal and very supportive. Readers are given 4 minutes in total, including a brief introduction to themselves and their work. They may read any form of creative writing (fiction/poetry/drama/screenplay) – or a work of reportage or creative non-fiction. The Tartan Turban Secret Readings is not a lecture or motivational speaking series, so no academic or self-help works, please.

There are detailed open mic guidelines posted in the FB group.

Open mic readers who have published works they would like to offer for sale are free to mention it on finishing their readings.

We look forward to meeting you and hearing you read!

The Journey – A Group Writing Session

When: Thursday, January 30, 7–9 p.m.

Where: Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) Spadina, 192 Spadina Avenue
Alterna Savings Room, Ground Floor (please note new room)

Event description

“Fiction writers are strange beasts. They are, like all writers, observers first and foremost. Everything that happens to and around them is potential material for a story, and they look at it that way.”
— Terry Brooks, Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life

Whether you are a published author, a hobbyist writer, or an aspiring author, it’s sometimes good to break the mold. As the  grey, cold, and snowy months of winter settle in, Authors–Toronto invites you to leave your warm and toasty fire and your cozy PJs behind and join your fellow Toronto-area writers on Thursday, January 30. We are hosting a group writing workshop that will push your writing boundaries and break the doldrums of winter by giving you the opportunity to co-author a short story with other authors around you. 

Over the course of this two-hour session, we will separate into small groups that will afford us an opportunity to see how something as simple as venturing out to a workshop can explode into a vibrant story, allow us to see how others’ creative processes work, and encourage us to incorporate them into our own daily practices. Using small prompts from The Writer’s Toolbox and your own unique observations and experiences from your journey to the workshop, we will be writing a story called, “The Journey” — a tale of a reclusive (or not!) author leaving their house in the dead of winter for a destination yet to be discovered. The details are up to you and your group…this is just a brief framework to get you started!

Afterwards, we will have an opportunity to share our stories with the group to receive feedback. We will then have a short time to take that feedback and make any updates we wish. Stories will be posted on the Canadian Authors–Toronto website and Facebook page.

Don’t miss this stress-free and exciting evening of fellowship with writers who are also finding their way in our great city. 

Please pay extra attention on your journey from your doorstep to CSI Spadina. Everything you see might be an inspiration that could spark an amazing character, setting or plot detail for your story! We recommend bringing your favourite notebook and pen or pencil to be able to jot down what inspires you both on the way and at the session, but please feel free to bring your laptop or other device. Note that because this is a group writing activity in a time-sensitive setting, we will be providing brainstorming cheat sheets and paper in case you don’t want to share your notebook or computer. 

Various books, including two donated by Porcupine’s Quill Press and three brought back from Book Expo in New York City by our fearless co-prez JF Garrard; a $25 gift certificate to any Oxford Properties shopping centre, donated by Oxford Properties; and a $10 Starbucks gift certificate.