Call for execs

Canadian Authors Association’s Toronto branch is looking for volunteers to serve at the executive board level. Volunteering is an excellent opportunity to build your résumé, network with fellow writers, and develop new skill sets. Commitment on the executive committee involves monthly meetings at the branch level along with other assigned tasks which may include facilitation of events, attending National level meetings, social media campaigns and other work to promote branch happenings. 

We also have shorter duration and ad hoc volunteer opportunities.

For more details about volunteering with the Toronto branch, please email TOpresident1 at canadianauthors.org

AGM and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Write-In Event!

Thursday, November 25, 2021

7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Via Zoom

FREE and open to all

CAA-TO members are especially encouraged and requested to attend this AGM, as we will be voting in at least one new executive committee member, and hopefully one or two others, depending on the response to our recent calls for volunteers

Register in advance for this meeting:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


AGM 7:00 – 7:30pm

There will be a brief review of the Toronto branch’s activities over the past year, a report of finances, and election of the executive for 2021-22. Canadian Authors Association members: please help us make quorum by attending this short but important meeting.

Canadian Authors–Toronto co-presidents JF Garrard and Lee Parpart will host this quick AGM before the write-in begins.

WRITE-IN EVENT 7:30pm – 9:30pm

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. 

Each year on November 1, hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand new novel. The NaNoWrimo site offers word counters, digital badges of encouragement, sponsor discounts and community forums. More details about NaNoWrimo can be found here: https://nanowrimo.org/about-nano

Everyone in the Canadian Authors Association is invited to spend two hours dedicated to writing even if you are not participating in NaNoWrimo. The purpose of this event is to either kickstart writing projects or to continue them.

The breakdown for this event is as follows:

  1. 10 min discussion of what everyone is writing
  2. 25 min writing session
  3. 5 min break
  4. 10 min Word Wars — winner receives $5 Amazon.ca gift card
  5. 25 min writing session
  6. 5 min break
  7. 10 min Word Wars — winner receives $5 Amazon.ca gift card
  8. 20 min writing session
  9. 10 min closing comments

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!

Questions can be directed to JF Garrard, Co-president of the CAA Toronto branch, hello at jfgarrard.com. Requests for information about volunteering with the branch or serving on the executive committee can be directed to co-president Lee Parpart at TOpresident1 at canadianauthors.org.

Book Marketing 101 with The Idea Shop

Thursday, October 28, 2021 7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. EST ONLINE via Zoom

For many authors, the most important thing in the work is writing their book. However, in this competitive age of publishing, marketing is a must if an author wants to find their readers. Book marketing is about creating awareness among consumers for a specific book, among millions published annually. The goal of marketing, of course, is to generate book sales. Canadian Authors–Toronto has invited The Idea Shop to do a “Marketing 101” talk with our members to give some helpful marketing tips to help your book find its audience. 

Chris Houston, the Marketing Guru of The Idea Shop, has over 20 years of experience in the publishing industry. He’ll share his tips for marketing novices and stories about his best marketing campaigns, and explain why it’s important to let the world know that you have a unique book that they need to discover! 

Chris was also recently interviewed on The Artsy Raven podcast (episode #5) about writing and publishing. Click on this link to hear him share more marketing ideas: https://jfgarrard.com/arpodcast/

BIO: Chris Houston is a 20-year publishing industry veteran and book lover who has worked as a marketer for some of the biggest publishers in the world, including Penguin Random House, Scholastic and DK Publishing, as well as being a Marketing Director for Coles, Chapters and Indigo. He is now the driving force behind The Idea Shop, a one-stop shop for fresh new ideas on how to promote creative endeavors of all kinds, from books to podcasts. The Idea Shop can be heard each month on Sauga 960 AM radio. To contact the Idea Shop on how your book can be marketed to the world, find Chris at https://theideashop.ca/

Canadian Authors Association–Toronto presents: Open Mic Night

15 Spots for Canadian Authors-Toronto Members to Read

Wednesday, September 29, 7:30 p.m. to 9:05 p.m. ONLINE via Zoom

FREE and open attendance for all! Reading slots for members only. Registration required.

Do you remember the days of returning to school when your first assignment was to write: “What I did on my summer vacation”? Well, after a summer break, #CAAEvents is back to have some fun and provide Canadian Authors–Toronto members a chance to show everyone what they wrote on their summer vacation. Whether your draft is dripping wet or sun-drenched and ready to publish, come share it with your fellow members. This month up to 15 members will have the opportunity to read. But remember, you must request a slot to read by email as well as registering on Zoom.

The Making of a Giller Winner

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM EDT via Zoom

Join us for a lively summer conversation between author Ian Williams and his editor Anne Collins. 

To close out the 2020–21 season, Canadian Authors–Toronto and Editors Toronto are joining forces to bring back our popular series showcasing award-winning authors in conversation with their exceptional editors. On Wednesday, June 23, at 7:00 pm, our Zoom program event will feature Ian Williams, winner of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and Anne Collins, his editor. 

Ian Williams is a multiple award–winning poet and fiction writer. His work explores the complicated inequalities of race and class with compassion, intelligence, and wit. Anne Collins, a renowned editor and author herself, and recipient of the Ivy Award, is the executive editor of Random House Canada and VP of Penguin Random House Canada. 

Join us for an illuminating conversation exploring the author–editor relationship from acquisition through to the submission of the final draft. Ian Williams will read from Reproduction and offer a sneak peak of his upcoming nonfiction work, Disorientation, which will be coming out in September. This event will be moderated by Editors Toronto co-chair Catherine Dorton. Q&A to follow.

More about the speakers:

Ian Williams is the author of the novel Reproduction, winner of the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize; Personals, which was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award; Not Anyone’s Anything, winner of the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada; and You Know Who You Are, a finalist for the ReLit Prize for poetry. In 2020 he published his latest poetry collection, Word Problems, winner of the Raymond Souster Award. In fall 2021 he will release Disorientation: The Experience of Being Black in the World.

Williams is associate professor of English at the University of Toronto, where he completed his doctorate. He spent four years teaching poetry in the Creative Writing Department at the University of British Columbia. In 2014–2015 he was the Writer-in-Residence for the University of Calgary’s Distinguished Writers Program. He has held fellowships or residencies from Vermont Studio Center, the Banff Center, Cave Canem, and the National Humanities Center. Born in Trinidad, Williams grew up in Brampton, Ontario, and has worked in Massachusetts and Ontario.

Anne Collins is the executive editor of Random House Canada and VP of Penguin Random House Canada. Before she was hired to rebuild the Random House Canada imprint in 1998, she was a magazine editor, a journalist, and an author who won the Governor General’s Literary Award for nonfiction for In the Sleep Room: The Story of the CIA Brainwashing Experiments in Canada. In 2009 she became publisher of both Random House Canada and Knopf Canada, stepping down in January 2021 to concentrate on editing. 

Her work as an editor reflects her admiration for writers who push themselves to the brink of their capacities and creativity, no matter the form. She publishes and edits a broad range of authors including Jann Arden, Julian Barnes, Gary Barwin, Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Douglas Coupland, Roméo Dallaire, Cherie Dimaline, Chris Hadfield, Wayne Johnston, Robert Kolker, Shaena Lambert, Amanda Leduc, Annabel Lyon, Linden MacIntyre, J.B. MacKinnon, Ami McKay, Tessa McWatt, Sean Michaels, Alexandra Morton, Jo Nesbø, Jodi Picoult, Richard Powers, Eden Robinson, Sarah Weinman, Ian Williams, and Alissa York. In 2019 she became the eighth recipient of the Ivy Award, which honours extraordinary contributions to Canadian publishing.

A Canadian Authors–Toronto & Dark Helix Press joint event

Belief Book launch & Asian Heritage Month celebration

May 27, 2021, 7:30 p.m. EST to 9:00 p.m. EST

To watch Youtube recording of the event click here

Canadian Authors–Toronto has partnered with Dark Helix Press, an indie press based in Toronto, to celebrate the book launch of a new Asian Canadian anthology, Belief. This anthology is a compilation of Ricepaper Magazine submissions—short stories, poetry, and nonfiction by writers of Asian descent from across the world. The theme that binds the collection is “belief,” a notion personal to each individual sharing a piece of themselves in their works. Each author shares a conviction of truth shaping the reality of life in the Asian diaspora.  

For this event, a number of authors who contributed to this anthology will be sharing a short reading of their piece. This includes Joy Kogawa, Silvia Leung, Moni Brar, Changming Yuan, Kathy Quyen Pham, Nastasha Alli, Bianca Weeko Martin, Kevin Wong, Karen-Luz Sison, Emi Sasagawa,  Carmen Chan and Michelle Zhang. The event will be hosted by JF Garrard, writer, editor, President of Dark Helix Press and co-president of Canadian Authors Association’s Toronto branch.

Full author bios and pictures listed on Belief book webpage: http://www.darkhelixpress.com/acww/belief/

Flash Fiction Workshop With June Rogers

Thursday, April 22, 7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. EDT
Online via Zoom, FREE and open attendance for all

“For sale: baby shoes. Never worn.”

Ernest Hemingway’s famous piece was perhaps the first flash fiction story ever written. In 2009, flash fiction, typically between 50 and 1,500 words, emerged as a new genre with only about 15 literary journals publishing this very short form. Today, there are more than 700 sites and magazines publishing work in this evolving form.

What, exactly, is flash fiction? What are its elements and peculiarities? How is it different from a regular short story? To learn the answers to these questions, and write your own piece of flash fiction, join us on April 22 for a workshop led by fellow-CAA member June Rogers.

June has published several pieces with Brilliant Flash Fiction and 101.org. She will provide a brief overview and then lead attendees through a 30-minute writing exercise based on a written prompt or image. Members who wish to read their 100-word (or less) piece may do so. Q&A will follow.

Tips From Across the Table: An Author-Editor Roundtable

Thu 25 Mar 2021 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM EDT 


The relationship between an author and their editor is something that can powerfully influence a piece of writing. Our next program, Tips from Across the Table: An Author-Editor Roundtable on Thursday, March 25, at 7:30 pm, will open the door to fostering the best possible works and, ideally, getting them onto the bestseller’s list. 

This joint presentation with Canadian Authors–Toronto and Editors Toronto will bring together writers and editors to discuss writing strategies, editing tricks and best-kept publishing secrets. 

About our panellists:

Morgan Christie’s work has appeared in Room, Aethlon, Moko, Obra/Artifact, Blackberry, and BLF Press, among others, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her poetry chapbook Variations on a Lobster’s Tale won the 2017 Alexander Posey Chapbook Prize (University of Central Oklahoma Press). She has also released the poetry chapbook Sterling (CW Books) and the full-length short story manuscript These Bodies (Tolsun Publishing). Her most recent poetry chapbook, when they come (Black Sunflowers Press), is featured in the Forward Arts Foundation’s National Poetry Day exhibit. (A copy of when they come will be given away as a digital door prize to one lucky winner during our event).

Jessica de Bruyn is a freelance substantive editor and writing coach. She works directly with independent authors and has worked with a variety of literary agencies. Jessica is the in-house editor at SoYouWanttoWrite.org and a judge for the Ink & Insight Writing Contest. She is also a co-host for the podcast Pub Hub, which is a behind-the-scenes look at the publishing industry, and is the programs chair for Editors Toronto.

Jeremy Lucyk began his (fourth) career as a professional editor in 2009. He has worked freelance and in-house for publishers large and small, and directly with authors across multiple fields and genres. A graduate of both the University of Toronto and Centennial College, he has taught editing in the latter’s Publishing: Book, Magazine & Electronic program since 2015.

Terese Mason Pierre is the author of chapbooks Surface Area (Anstruther Press, 2019) and Manifest (Gap Riot Press, 2020). She is the co-editor-in-chief of Augur Magazine, a speculative fiction journal. She lives and works in Toronto, Canada.

Our moderator will be Lee Parpart, Toronto writer and editor, literary editor at Iguana Books, and co-president of Canadian Authors Association’s Toronto branch.

Open Mic Night

14 Spots for Canadian Authors-Toronto Members to Read

Thursday, February 25, 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

ONLINE via Zoom

FREE and open attendance for all

Reading slots for members only


After a short holiday break, #CAAEvents programming is back with another chance for Canadian Authors–Toronto members to present their work. This month, up to 14 members will have the opportunity to read their fiction, non-fiction, or poetry on Zoom. Whether you want to read your published work, newest work ready for publication, or a work-in-progress, we invite you to share it with your fellow members.