TOK 2020 Recap

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A big thank you to everyone who attended this years virtual TOK Toronto symposium! We couldn’t have made it happen without our amazing partners, attendees and speakers!

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Following the success of our TOK Toronto 2019 symposium, DD couldn’t wait put together another event filled with author talks and personal development workshops. We’d like to extend a big thank you to Word on the Street for partnering with us again this year!

The festival kicked off on September 21, 2020 with Guillermo Verdecchia interviewing playwright Sarena Parmar about her play The Orchard (After Chekhov), an adaptation of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, told through the lens of a Punjabi-Sikh family in the Okanagan Valley.

The event took place live via Word on the Streets Youtube channel. You can view the full talk here.

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On September 24, our first two development workshops took place. We started the day off with Racialied Writers and Working With Editors facilitated by Tea Mutonji, author of Shut You’re Pretty and Catherine Hernandez, author of Scarborough Tea and Catherine walked us through a much needed discussion on editing within publishing for QTBIPOC authors, including how to advocate for one’s work and how to navigate the process.

We continued with The Editing Process , hosted by McClelland & Stewart‘s Kelly Joseph. Kelly discussed what happens once you land your book deal; what the editing process is like, how long it will take, when books are scheduled to debut, how an agent lands a publisher, and more.

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Our final sessions on September 25 were taught by faculty members of our partner, the University of Guelph’s Creative Writing MFA.

Judith Thompson, one of Canada’s most celebrated playwrights, led us in Writing for the Theatre, a masterclass on playwriting for those looking to take their craft to the next level.

We wrapped up with Catherine Bush and her Masterclass in Fiction. Catherine discussed mastering both the basic elements of writing short-stories and novels, as well as how to subtly craft character, plot, POV, style, setting and dialogue.

In case you missed the personal development sessions, they will be released on TOK Magazines podcast.

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On September 26, we hosted three more author conversations with Word on the Street.

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The first conversation of the day was with authors Saleema Nawaz and Andrew Pyper moderated by Terese Mason Pierre. They discussed their newly released novels that cover tragedy, apocalypse and resilience.

You can view the full talk here.

Our next conversation was with Faye Guenther and Souvankham Thammavongsa as they delve into their new short story collections covering culture, identity and coming of age. Guenther’s Swimmers in Winter is a haunting and beautiful debut collection of short stories, and Souvankham Thammavongsa How to Pronounce Knife. Moderated by CBC’s Ryan B. Patrick.

You can view the full talk here.

We finished off the day with Sheung-King who spoke about his debut novel, You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked  is an intimate novel of memory and longing that challenges Western tropes and Orientalism. Moderated by writer and lawyer Fathima Cader.

You can view the full talk here.

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On September 27, we wrapped up the festival with one final conversation with Canisia Lubrin (The Dyzgraphxst) and Francesca Ekwuyasi (Butter Honey Pig Bread) who discussed their new novels. Moderated by Fiona Raye Clarke

You can view the full talk here.

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We can’t thank everyone enough for making TOK Toronto 2020 another success! We can’t wait to bring you all more literary events and festivals in the years to come!


View Tiara’s author profile.