25 Canadian Writing Conferences in 2018

– 25 Canadian Writing Conferences and Literary Festivals in 2018 –

I love attending Canadian writing conferences and literary festivals.

Every time I attend one, I feel like I’ve found my people. You know those people, right? They’re the ones who get excited at the smell of printing presses, they know every different kind of book-light available, and you often find them reading on the floor of bookstores and libraries (i.e. their natural habitat).

If this sounds like your tribe too, then checkout these 25 Canadian writing conferences and literary festivals.

1. Writers Workshop at the University of Guelph

March 3-4, 2018
McLaughlin Library, 3rd Floor
Cost: Free

“This two-day event is designed to provide hands-on practical tips and instruction for a wide variety of writing interests and needs. From creative writing to non-fiction, publishing to scientific journals, you’ll find it here.”

2. Blue Metropolis Festival

April 20-29, 2018
Montreal, Quebec
Cost: $25 to $60

“Brings together people from different cultures to share the pleasures of reading and writing, and encourages creativity and intercultural understanding.”

3. Frye Festival

April 21-28, 2018
Greater Moncton, New Brunswick
Cost: Free

“The Frye Festival is Canada’s only bilingual international literary festival and the largest literary event in Atlantic Canada.”

4. Elora Writers Festival

May 6, 2018
Aboyne Hall, Wellington County Museum and Archives, Elora
Cost: $25

“Festival 2018 authors are award-winners, award-nominees, multi-talented and literary-genre-bending.”

5. Wakefield Writers Festival

May 23-27, 2018
Wakefield, Quebec
Cost: $10 to $20

“Writers Fete is one of the most anticipated cultural and literary events in the region. We work purposefully to build a linguistically diverse program that showcases local and national francophone, anglophone, ethnic and indigenous literary talent.”

6. Canadian Writers Summit

June 14-17, 2018
Harbourfront Centre, Toronto
Cost: $125 to $425

“The Canadian Writers’ Summit (#CWS2018) is a super-conference jointly hosted by a cohort of Canadian writer organizations… #CWS2018 welcomes everyone and anyone interested in writing and publishing in Canada.”

7. CanWrite 2018

June 2018 (Final dates TBD)
Location TBD – last year, Toronto
Cost: $375 to $450

 “A program that meets the needs of writers at all stages of their careers.”

8. Read by the Sea Literary Festival

July 7, 2018
River John, Nova Scotia
Cost: Free

“A local, rural literary festival… to promote and foster appreciation for outstanding Canadian writing and literature.”

9. Elephant Mountain Literary Festival

July 11-14, 2018
Nelson, British Columbia
Cost: $10 to $75

“We’re a big-hearted event in a small-town setting: a readers’ and writers’ festival named for the mountain that overlooks beautiful Nelson, British Columbia.”

10. Lakefield Literary Festival

July 13-15, 2018
Lakefield Ontario
Cost: $0

“The Lakefield Literary Festival showcases Canadian authors and promotes the joy of reading and writing among children and adults.”

11. Festival of Words

July 19-22, 2018
Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan
Cost: $10 to $200

“The festival showcases literary talent from all over Canada including many award winners. Over the 4 days of the festival we have workshops for all ages, reading sessions, concerts, film, panel discussions, interviews, music, theatre, and even a slam poetry competition!”

12. Romancing the Capital

August 2-4, 2018
Ottawa, Ontario
Cost: $25 to

“Swag, Prizes, Fun Events, Interesting Panels, A Book Signing, along with plenty of smiles and laughter!”

13. Writers at Woody Point

August 14-19, 2018
Woody Point, Newfoundland
Cost: $10 to $40

“Our 2018 festival features an amazing group of writers from Newfoundland, the rest of Canada, and abroad.”

14. Eden Mills Writers Festival

September 7-9, 2018
Banks of the Eramosa River, Eden Mills, Ontario
Cost: $5 to $25

“Audiences of several thousand now come to the Festival each year from near and far to enjoy the unique mix of bucolic surroundings, great literature, and relaxed ambiance.”

15. The Word on the Street

September 2018
Communities across Canada
Cost: Free

“Each September, in communities coast to coast, the public is invited to participate in hundreds of author events, presentations, workshops, and to browse a marketplace that boasts the best selection of Canadian books and magazines you’ll find anywhere.”

16. PWAC’s 2018 Conference

September 20-23, 2018
Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Cost: TBD

“The Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) is an organization of non-fiction writers in Canada… kicking off with a welcome reception followed by two days of great Professional Development.”

17. Thin Air: Winnipeg International Writers Festival

September 21-29, 2018
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Cost: TBD

“Each September, the Winnipeg International Writers Festival welcomes writers from Canada and around the world for a week of readings, lectures, interviews, conversations, book launches, and other events.”

18. Kingston Writers Festival

September 26-30, 2018
Kingston, Ontario
Cost: $60 to $180

“Through readings, performance, onstage discussion and master classes, Kingston WritersFest fosters intellectual and emotional growth on a personal and community level and raises the profile of reading and literary expression in our community.”

19. Cabot Trail Writers Festival

September 28-30, 2018
Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia
Cost: $20 to $140

“Join fellow book-lovers for an event-packed weekend of laughter and up-close conversation with your favourite authors.”

20. International Festival of Authors

October 18-28, 2018
Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Cost: Free to $30

“Engage with the literature of our times, explore the world of books and get acquainted with the authors and their ideas… packed with readings, one-on-one interviews, thought-provoking panel discussions, special events and free book signings.”

21. Surrey International Writers Conference

October 19-21, 2018
Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel, Surrey, British Columbia
Cost: $75 to $649

“From beginning writer to widely published, this is the place to hone your skills, learn more about markets and network future sales.”

22. Bookfest Windsor

October (Final Dates TBD)
Capitol Theatre, Windsor, Ontario
Cost: $5 to $40

“We provide book lovers with awesome literary experiences and give readers an up-close-and personal connection to their new and forever favourite books and stories.”

23. Vancouver Writers Fest

October (Final Dates TBD)
Granville Island, Vancouver, British Columbia
Cost: TBD

“Words shape our worlds. They can delight, inspire, provoke, comfort and unite—as do the authors, journalists and poets who wield them.”

24. Wordfest

October (Final Dates TBD)
Calgary, Alberta
Cost: $500/platinum

“Wordfest sparks lively, illuminating and meaningful conversations between Calgary’s readers and the world’s most engaging writers.”

25. Wild Writers Festival

November 2018 (Final dates TBD)
67 Erb St. West, Waterloo, Ontario
Cost $15 to $135

“Join us for a celebration of the savage and free and its expression in poetry, the short story, and everything in between. Create, learn, discover and share the art of groundbreaking writing.”


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If you like Canadian Writing Conferences and Literary Festivals, you may also like these 6 facilitated writing retreats in Canada.

Canadian writing conferences literary festivals


Kat McNichol
About the Author

Kat McNichol is the Co-Editor for the Journal of Integrated Studies and the Editor-in-Chief of Dreamers Creative Writing. She is also a Director of Marketing-Communications in Waterloo and has spent the past 12+ years writing marketing copy for the high-tech industry. She holds a B.A. in English Literature, and an MAIS in Writing and New Media, and Literary Studies and she is currently completing a PhD in Career Writing at Tilburg University.


*This list of Canadian writing conferences and literary festivals will be updated as information becomes available.

*Did I miss any Canadian writing conferences or literary festivals? Let me know at kat@dreamerswriting.com.

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