The Word on the Street Toronto 2021 Virtual Festival Returns

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The Word on the Street Toronto Staff
The Word on the Street Toronto Staff

Fall is around the corner and for booklovers like me, this means The Word on the Street 2021 is almost here! Of course, I have loved attending the WOTS Festival in person at Harbourfront Centre and prior to that Queen’s Park, perusing new books amidst the golden-amber and burnt orange leaves draped the lawn; however, due to the pandemic, the festival will be held online again this year. But not to worry as there are several stimulating events at the book festival for the literature-inclined planned this year. The Word on the Street Toronto 2021 Virtual Festival takes place from September 16-26, 2021 so mark your calendars!

The Word on the Street Toronto Staff
The Word on the Street Toronto Staff

Featured Books at WOTS Toronto 2021

If you are a fellow bibliophile you get excited by learning about new books. Here are some of the books that will be featured at WOTS 2021:

Hench by Natalie Zina Walschots, published by HarperCollinsCanada

Anna works as an office admin for criminals, but when she gets an interesting assignment, things quickly go awry, leaving her injured. She gets laid off and learns to use social media to tell her story.

Ring by Andre Alexis, publisher Coach House Books

Gwen and Tancred seem to be a match made in heaven.Gwen’s mother, Helen Odhiambo Lloyd, gives her a ring that has been passed down from generations. This is no ordinary ring; it gives the owner the power to change three things about her beloved.



Pebble Swing by Isabella Wang, published by Harbour Publishing

A debut collection of poetry that explores language and family histories, including the aftermath of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Wang, an immigrant Vancouver author who grasp of Mandarin is weak, explores Vancouver’s everyday, environmental politics and notions of home.

The Spectacular by Zoe Whittall, published by HarperCollinsCanada

Three generations of women live without traditional familial structures. Twenty-two-year-old Missy plays in a band and has one night stands in every town she performs. Forty-something Carola is involved in a sex scandal at the yoga centre where she has been living while Ruth, 83, plans to return to the Turkish seaside village where she spent her childhood.

Red X by David Demchuk, published by Penguin Random House Canada

Men are disappearing from Toronto’s gay village, but due to systemic inaction at the hands of the police, the serial killings continue until the number of missing men grows too large to ignore.

The Case for Basic Income: Freedom, Security, Justice by Jamie Swift and Elaine Power, published by Between the Lines

COVID-19 has crippled the job market. Many Canadians are struggling to get by with precarious labour and stagnant wages. Jamie Swift and Elaine Power examine the politics behind the idea of a basic income for all and argue that wealth should be built by society, not individuals.

Author Signings

Some of the authors appearing at WOTS 2021 will be available for book signings:
Bakka-Phoenix Books, 84 Harbord Street, September 18, 2021

12 p.m. – Samantha Garner, author of The Quiet Is Loud
2 p.m. – David Demchuk, author of Red X
4 p.m. – Natalie Zina-Walschots, author of Hench

Page & Panel: The TCAF Shop, 789 Yonge Street, September 24, 2021

12 p.m. – Brian McLellan, author of Complete the Quest: The Poisonous Library
1:30 p.m. – Sami Alwani, author of The Pleasure of the Text
3 p.m. – Shira Spector, illustrator of Work for a Million
4:30 p.m. – Selena Goulding, author of Red Rock Baby Candy



Panel Discussions and Interviews

The Word on the Street Toronto 2021 features many panel discussions and one-on-one interviews with award-winning authors. Below are only some of the panel discussions and interviews at WOTS 2021:

Sept. 20, 2021, 5 p.m. – 6 p.m. – Hopeful Apocalypse: Climate Fiction for the Cautious Optimist – Emily Brewes, Premee Mohamed, Rebecca Silver Slayter

Sept. 21, 2021, 8 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. – The Case for Basic Income: A Conversation with Jamie Swift and Elaine Power with moderator Cheri DiNovo

Sept. 22, 2021, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. – Celebrating the 2021 Toronto Book Awards. Catherine Hernandez, Catherine Graham, Faye Guenther, Justin Ling, Kim Echlin, Rinaldo Walcott

Sept. 24, 2021, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. – Family Secrets: Three Thrilling Page-Turners – Gail Anderson-Dargatz, Ashley Audrain and Robyn Harding with moderator Laurie Petrou

Sept. 25, 2021, 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. – Workshop: Writing Character-Driven Stories with Alix Ohlin

Sept. 25, 2021, 7 p.m. – 7:45 p.m. – Return of the Trickster – A Conversation with Eden Robinson with moderator Lisa Bird-Wilson

Sept. 25, 2021, 8 p.m. Р8:45 p.m. РRing: A Conversation with Andr̬ Alexis in conversation with Jos̬ Teodoro

Sept. 26, 2021, 4 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. – The Spectacular: A Conversation with Zoe Whittall

I hope you have made note of the events you would like to attend online. Check out The Word on the Street Toronto 2021 website to learn about all of this year’s events. Happy reading!

You may be interested in reading “Bored? Read These Life Changing Nonfiction Books“.

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