Thursday, October 29, 2020

Toronto International Festival Of Authors 2020

 Welcome back bookworms! If you've been following me for a while, you'll know exactly what I'm about to share and discuss with this years Toronto International Festival Of Authors (TIFA) event that was held Virtually this year due to the pandemic. TIFA has been a festival that helps bring readers and authors together for an eleven day event with plenty of panels and discussions to choose from. This year the event is being held from October 22nd to November 1st. There are still many events to attend virtually and since it's all online, that means anyone from around the world this year can sit in and watch, which I think is AMAZING!

I've been able to attend quite a few events between work, and I have to say they have been pretty great! There have been a lot of discussions that have been talked about based off what we've been witnessing this year, and I think that it was a great way to open these discussions up even further, and to get people talking about what is happening in the world. I also have been enjoying listening to their writing process, how they deal with writers block, and so much more that I know many fellow writers love to listen about!

Apart from the video above, to give you some insight, there are all kinds of events this year that are virtual with Q&A sessions, poetry slams, author readings, open conversations and so much more! I feel like each year so far has been different for me, not only as a reader but also as a writer. I feel like each year has brought something incredibly new to the festival.

So personally for me, again this year as I have said in the past, I feel like there should be more of a YA audience happening. Especially since this year is virtual, I feel like this is the perfect time to bring some incredible YA authors MORE than what they currently have, because there are so many amazing and current authors who are writing exactly what kids these days need to be exposed to and reading!

I will say that this festival has catered to a lot of Kids events, as well as creating a College Masterclass which again, is geared to college students rather than the general public. I also think it would be great to have another panel geared towards Romance or Independently published authors, because that is another whole area that wasn't touched much or at all, and I think that would bring in a lot more viewers as well, in my opinion.

I did attend an event this morning that was called Fiction as a Tool for Resilience Building with Natasha Deen, Eric Walters, Erin Bow and Kathy Kacer which was AMAZING! They all talked about writing characters that children and teens can relate to, how children and teens have the ability to know they can push the limits and beat the issues they face daily.

"I want to create space to make you feel something." ~Natasha Deen

"We have a hunger for books that show us we can beat dragons." ~ Erin Bow

"We encourage our characters to confront whatever the issues are, and by extension, give the readers courage to confront their issues as well." ~ Kathy Kacer

"Do you want to protect the children, or prepare them." ~Eric Walters

Another amazing event I attended was Females on The Frontline with Emma Donoghue and Maaza Mengiste. This was a great panel to watch as both of their novels center around women being in the front of the issues, becoming their own hero to the story in some way or another.

An Evening With Margaret Atwood
 The Art Of The Picture Book
Females On The Frontline


I also watched an amazing panel of illustrators who discussed what it's like going from a blank page to a complete picture for children's books, and they even showed us their process. If you are curious, I've saved a bit on one into my Highlights feed on Instagram! Super cool to watch, and listen to how they create their illustrations both using simple pen and paper and some completely digital!

Another favourite was definitely last night listening and watching Catherine Hernandez discuss her newest novel Crosshairs. I absolutely LOVED everything about it! Listening to her read a bit of her novel, to even how she takes breaks and listens to what is needed... it was beautiful! And the fact that she lives pretty close to me and the reasons why she set it in Toronto/Canada was AMAZING!

Honestly, I could sit here all night long and talk to you about the events I've attended and what I took away from each and every one of them! I did ask the same question to many authors who had a like Q&A session after...

Q: What do you do if you wind up with "Writers Block?"

Catherine Hernandez: You're just misaligned with messages. You need to rest and realign. You're not a machine, you're a conduit. Don't force it.

Emma Donoghue: I will Research. It's not exactly writers block, you're just working on different parts of the story instead.

Maaza Mengiste: I take a shift in the process and work on something else.

Bridging The Gap Panel: Writing in not a linear path, you need to take breaks.

Well that's all for my coverage of the 41st Edition of Toronto International Festival of Authors! I hope you enjoyed it and be sure to check out their website and sign up for the many remaining panels and discussions happening until November 1st! Overall this has been a great year so far (Since there are still more panels coming up) and I think that there were a lot more discussions happening around the world, and I just love hearing all of the authors and creators discuss, read and share their words! Thank you again to the amazing team at TIFA for having me be a delegate once again for the festival! I can't wait to see what next year brings!

So until next time, Keep Reading!
Your Graduated Bookworm!! :)

No comments :

Post a Comment

Back to Top