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Ottawa International Writers Festival launches virtual fall season in partnership with Library and Archives Canada and Ottawa Public Library

Aug 17 2020

OTTAWA – In conjunction with the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada, the Writers Festival is pleased to announce that beginning on August 18 it will offer an exciting season of podcasts, pre-recorded long-form conversations and live events to animate the literary scene in the National Capital Region and beyond.

“While it is impossible to convene in person celebrations as we have for the past twenty-three years, we are moving into the digital world to serve our audiences and to bring them the in-depth interviews, readings, and conversations that have become the hallmark of our Festival,’ says artistic director Sean Wilson. “We have transformed part of our Festival office into a recording studio and are looking forward to reconnecting with Festival Members and meeting new audiences.”

Danielle McDonald, CEO of Ottawa Public Library said “OPL’s long-standing partnership with Writers Fest and Library and Archives Canada has allowed us to bring exciting high-calibre literary and author events to Ottawa and make them available to a larger-than-ever audience of readers and book enthusiasts. We’re delighted to continue this rich programming through virtual channels and know that Ottawans will find inspiration and enjoyment in the remarkable line-up of events planned for the 2020 season.”

The first event of the season is a book launch of Ottawa’s own internationally renowned Frances Itani with her new novel The Company We Keep on August 18th. Emma Donoghue will be live on August 24th, followed by Lev Grossman on August 31.

The pre-recorded long-form conversations kick off on August 23 with two stellar talents: Billy-Ray Belcourt, the youngest ever winner of the Griffin Prize, whose latest book, The History of My Brief Body, seeks to reconcile the world he was born into and the world that could be; and Gaia Vince with her bestselling Transcendence: How Humans Evolved Through Fire, Language, Beauty and Time. On August 30, the conversation continues with Thomas King and his novel Indians on Vacation, and Anne Applebaum will share insights on her latest, The Twilight of Democracy.

The podcast series begins on August 21 with "Fear Itself" featuring Andrew Pyper and Craig Davidson, followed by "Surviving and Thriving" with Elaina Martin and Joanne Vannicola on August 28.

A limited number of signed books will be available from Perfect Books on Elgin Street. As an added bonus, Festival Members can request personalised signatures from participating authors and will get their usual discount on all books ordered.

More details soon on writersfestival.org and stay tuned for September events.


For more information:

Sean Wilson, Artistic Director

Ottawa international Writers Festival


(613) 299-3665


Ottawa Public Library