Diaspora Dialogues (DD) supports diverse writers to turn their craft into a career through mentorship, professional development and opportunities to publish and present their work.

This includes:

Long Form Mentoring Programs (Toronto and Canada-wide) which match emerging writers with established writer/mentors to hone craft and ready a full-length manuscript for publication over the course of six months. Finished manuscripts are submitted to Canadian publishing houses. These programs have the highest successful rate in the country for alumni getting published.

Short Form Mentoring Programs in Toronto and Winnipeg, which enables emerging writers to receive feedback from a rotating writer-in-residence at Diaspora Dialogues over the course of a month.

DD Playwrights in Residence, which provides a six-month residency for an emerging playwright at theatre companies, including staged workshop readings

Professional Development and networking programs for writers who come through any of DD programs.

DD Multi-Disciplinary Performance Series, which produces 10-15 events each year in Toronto.

TOK Digital, a new online magazine launched in 2018.

TOK Symposiums in Winnipeg, Ottawa and Toronto, two-day events which include professional development workshops for emerging writers, industry mixers as well as public programming and podcast recordings.

Find out more about our core programs.


Our History

For thirteen years, DD has helped writers tell their own stories, in their own voices.

Our focus is on the development of both artist and audience, and on working toward redefining the “mainstream” in the arts sector, and ensuring it is as diverse as the country itself.

Catherine Hernandez. Lawrence Hill.  Mayank Bhatt. Mia Herrera. Ins Choi. Alyssa York. MG Vassanji. David Layton. Vincent Lam. Rawi Hage. Jen Sook Fong Lee. The list of writers who have been involved with DD is a long one – more than 700 writers and artists have participated as mentors or mentees, emerging playwrights or dramaturges, commissioned artists or panelists, readers or performers.

More than 400 new literary works have been created through DD programs, 200 events produced and a live audience well in excess of 150,000 Canadians has attended those events.

DD launched in 2005 with the partnership of Maytree and we are grateful to their generous support for a decade.

Diaspora Dialogues aims to bridge cultures, communities and art forms. We work almost exclusively in a partnership model, partnering with organizations that  share our commitment to foster literature as richly varied as the communities in which we live; celebrating the terrific writing already taking place, while widening established networks, assumptions or preoccupations to showcase exciting new perspectives and talent.

Programming partners include Nuit Blanche Toronto, The Word on the Street, Doors Open and many others.

We hope you’ll join us in the work of diversifying our pages and stages, and to help us continue to showcase talented new writers and artists across the country.

—Helen Walsh, President