to May 5

The Festival of Literary Diversity

I’m thrilled to be taking part in my favourite literary festival again! The Festival of Literary Diversity is held in downtown Brampton. Specific event locations below. For tickets and more info, visit their website here.

Saturday, May 4
11:00am - 12:10pm
Rose Theatre
Join me for a workshop on character creation.

Saturday, May 4
1:30pm- 2:40pm
Rose Theatre
The world is here: Novels navigating love and conflict
Moderated panel with Uzma Jallaludin, Manjushree Thapa, and Josh Scheinart

Sunday, May 5
Peel Art Gallery, Museum, and Archives (PAMA)
Breakfast conversation between Manjushree Thapa and myself.

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to May 8

French River Creative Writing Retreat

I will be one of the guest authors at the 8th annual Write on the French River Creative Writing Retreat, at the  Lodge at Pine Cove in French River, Ontario. I’ll only be there for a couple of nights but this is a 6 day retreat, limited to 25 writers, with guest authors like me and instructors as well. Nature. Culture. Gourmet meals. Gorgeous accommodations. May 3 -8, 2019. Applications are due April 5. More details here.

Note: there is a bursary for young authors (age 35 or younger). APPLY!

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to Mar 11

Growing Room Festival

I’ll be taking part in three events at the Growing Room Festival in Vancouver.

Sunday, March 10
Kinship Bonds: The Love that Holds
Red Gate Revue Stage, 4:30pm – 6:30pm

Panelists: Sharon Bala, Jessica Johns, Arielle Twist, Katherena Vermette
Moderator: Amber Dawn

Body & Soul
Native Education College, 7:30pm – 9:30pm
Sharon Bala, Meharoona Ghani, Amanda Leduc, Betsy Warland
Susan Scott

Monday, March 11
Invisible Womxn
Red Gate Revue Stage, 4:30pm – 6:30pm
Panelists: Sharon Bala, Whitney French, Sara Graefe, Arielle Twist
Moderator: Maureen Medved

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7:00 PM19:00

Scrabble Fundraiser

I’ll be speaking and reading a little from The Boat People at the The Central Okanagan Refugee Committee’s Scrabble Tournament. This is a fundraiser that supports the Committee’s private sponsorship program. Funds raised will help the Committee sponsor two refugees who are part of the LGBTQ community, two family reunifications, and a family escaping persecution in Yemen. This is such a wonderful cause and I’m honoured to take part.

First United Church
Kelowna, BC
Friday, March 8
7pm to 9pm

For more information or to register for the event, call 778-754-1669 or email

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2:00 PM14:00

Provost's Conversation Series

Provost's Conversation Series
University of Minnesota
Coffman Memorial Union Theater
300 Washington Avenue SE
Minneapolis, MN

I’ll be giving a keynote speech on borders, belonging, and the lessons of history at the Coffman Memorial Union Theater at the University of Minnesota. This event is part of the Provost’s Conversation Series, a semester-long speakers series that uses literature and conversation to examine the complexities of immigration.

There will be books for sale and I’ll signing copies of The Boat People after the talk.

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7:30 PM19:30

The Port Authority at Broken Books

Broken Books
245 Duckworth Street
St. John’s, NL
7:30pm - 9:00pm

This is my LAST event of the year and I’m so thrilled to share it with members of my writing group, The Port Authority. Four of us have published novels in the past 12 months and we’re going to be reading a bit from each of our books and as a bonus one of us will also be reading from our short story collection, Racket. Along with me and my book, the other authors will be:

Melissa Barbeau (The Luminous Sea)
Jamie Fitzpatrick (The End of Music)
Carrie Ivardi (Racket)
Susan Sinnott (Catching the Light)

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to Sep 30

Cabot Trail Writer's Festival

All events will be held at the Gaelic College, at the beginning of the St. Ann’s Bay loop of the Cabot Trail—the Artisans’ Loop.

Opening Night Readings
Friday, September 28
7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m
I'm reading with Linda Spalding and Madeleine Thien after the break at 8:50pm

Fiction Workshop
Saturday, September 29
11am - 12:30pm
I'm running a workshop on character (my favourite topic): how you create them and how you give life to them on the page

The Spark: Where Ideas Begin
Saturday, September 29
I'm in conversation with Phonse Jessome and Joanne Schwartz

Writing History: Confronting and Imagining the Past in Fiction
Sunday, September 30
I'm in conversation with Linda Spalding and Madeleine Thien

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to Sep 23

Word on the Street Toronto

Saturday, September 22
Harbourfront Centre Studio Theatre, Toronto
I'll be in conversation with Catherine Hernandez, author of the novel Scarborough.

Audible Presents Great Books
Sunday, September 23
Harbourfront Centre, Toronto
I'll be reading and answering questions about The Boat People

All information about the festival is on their website.


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6:30 PM18:30

Literary Quest: Westbeth Edition

Westbeth Gallery
55 Bethune Street, New York
Buy tickets here

The artist-residents of this New York cultural institution open their homes and workspaces for intimate salon-style readings and conversations with authors from the PEN World Voices Literary Festival, followed by cocktails in their legendary gallery. I'll be reading at this super cool event along with authors: Nachoem Wijnberg, Rupert Thomson, Ashley Hay, Susan Kuklin, Basma Abdel Aziz, Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, Trifonia Melibea Obono, Sharon Bala, Demian Vitanza, Alicia Kopf, Hadi Nasiri, Kanchana Ugbabe, Ayse Kulin, Mariko Tamaki and Leni Zumas.

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7:00 PM19:00

Pier 21 Reads in Halifax

I'm going back to where it all began, to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21/ Quai 21. I'll be giving a talk about the book. A Q&A and book signing will follow. The event is free and you can register and get more details on Eventbrite.

Date: Wednesday, April 4
Time: 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Location: Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, Kenneth C. Rowe Hall
Language: Presented in English
Cost: FREE

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7:00 PM19:00

An evening to open your eyes

CBC's Canada Reads and Weekend AM are hosting a free event at the Association for New Canadians in St. John's, NL. I'll be on stage doing a reading and in conversation with CBC's Heather Barrett and there will be other people sharing their own arrival stories as well. Also: food and live music! The event is being recorded and will be broadcast on Weekend Arts Magazine.

Location: The Association for New Canadians Training Centre
19 Smithville Crescent
Parking: There's a lot in front of St. Pius IX church/ behind Rennie's River Elementary school. From there you take the outdoor stairs which are located the side of the building closest to St. Patrick's Mercy Home. These stairs are the ones that are further from St. Pius IX church. The event will be around the back of the building.

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