Word on the Street

10 Toronto authors to check out at the Word on the Street festival

Although the city’s beloved book festival Word on the Street is virtual again this year, there are plenty of literary happenings to get excited about. The festival runs online from Sept. 16-26. Here are our top 10 Word on the Street authors from Toronto to check out:


1. S. Bear Bergman

On Sept. 25 at 4 p.m., Bergman, a writer, storyteller, activist, and the founder and publisher of the book press Flamingo Rampant, is part of a panel discussion dubbed How to Be Human: Illustrated Wisdom for Modern Times.


2. Liz Howard

On Sept. 17 at 8 p.m., award-winning poet Liz Howard, author of Letters in a Bruised Cosmos, will be featured in a panel discussion with Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang, poetry editor for Arc Poetry Magazine.


3. Zoe Whitall

On Sept. 26 at 4 p.m. Word on the Street will be hosting a conversation with Giller-shortlisted author Zoe Whittal, whose latest novel is entitled The Spectacular.


4. Andre Alexis

Another award-winning Toronto writer, Andrew Alexis, will be featured in conversation at an event on Sept. 25 at 8 p.m. Alexis won the Giller Prize for his wildly inventive novel Fifteen Dogs and his latest is entitled Ring, dubbed a fresh take on the romance novel.


5. Sheena Kamal

On Sept. 21 at 2 p.m., check out the panel discussion Murder She Wrote: Family, Truth, and Social Justice, which features four writers Andrea Gunraj , Sheena Kamal, Dorothy Ellen Palmer, and Angela Misri.


6. Uzma Jalaluddin  

Uzma Jalaluddin is the author of Ayesha At Last, described as a “revamped Pride and Prejudice set in a close-knit Toronto Muslim community.” She will be featured in an event scheduled for Sept. 21 at 5 p.m entitled Dreams of Home: Stories of Community & Connection.


7. Antonio Michael Downing

On Sept. 25, at 1 p.m. The Word On The Street is presenting the panel Looking Inwards: Memoir, Art & Identity featuring authors Antonio Michael Downing, Brad Fraser, and Errol Ranville.


8. Louisa Onomé

Nigerian-Canadian writer of books for teens and adults, Louise Onomé will be featured as part of the panel session Dreams of Home: Stories of Community & Connection on Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. along with Uzma Jalaluddin, Sarah Suk, and Danny Ramadan.


9. Catherine Hernandez

Author Catherine Hernandez, whose last novel Scarborough was adapted to film and just premiered at TIFF last month, will be featured as part of the 2021 Toronto Book Awards on Sept. 22 at 7 p.m.


10. Kamal Al-Solaylee

Kamal Al-Solaylee’s latest book is Return. On Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. The Word on the Street presents the panel discussion Diaspora Dialogues: In Conversation with Kamal Al-Solaylee & Tamas Dobozy.

Article exclusive to TRNTO