TOK Toronto: 2020 Lineup

Due to the great success of our 2019 TOK symposiums, Diaspora Dialogues is proud to be bringing back a new lineup of conversations for TOK Toronto 2020 in partnership with Word On The Street.

We’ll be kicking off conversations with Sarena Parmer, Andrew Puper, Saleema Nawaz, Faye Guenther, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Sheung-King, Francesca Ekwuyasi and Canisia Lubrin.

On September 24th and 25th you can also join us for professional development sessions on Racialized Writers, Editing Process, Writing for the Theatre and a Masterclass in Fiction.

Introducing the TOK Toronto 2020 Lineup You Won’t Want To Miss:

The Kickoff Event

From Stage to Page: In Conversation with Sarena Parmar (September 21st)

Guillermo Verdecchia interviews playwright Sarena Parmar about her play The Orchard (After Chekhov), an adaptation of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, told through the lens of a Punjabi-Sikh family in the Okanagan Valley.

Professional Development Sessions:

Racialized Writers And Working With Editors (September 24th)

Join award-winning authors Catherine Hernandez and Arielle Twist for a much needed discussion on editing within publishing for QTBIPOC authors including how to advocate for one’s work and how to navigate the process.

The Editing Process (September 24th)

McClelland & Stewart’s Kelly Joseph will discuss what happens once you land your book deal; what the editing process is like, how long it will take, when books are scheduled to debut, how an agent lands a publisher, and more!

Writing For The Theatre (September 25th)

Are you a playwright looking to take their craft to the next level? A poet or prose writer curious about writing drama? Join Guelph Professor and one of Canada’s most celebrated playwrights, Judith Thompson, for DD’s masterclass in playwriting.

Masterclass in Fiction(September 25th)

Mastering both the basic elements of writing short-stories and novels, as well as how to subtly craft character, plot, POV, style, setting and dialogue, is the goal of both emerging and advanced writers. Join four-time novelistand Guelph CW MFA Coordinator Catherine Bush as we explore the art form that has captured the imagination of readers for centuries.


In Conversation with Saleema Nawaz and Andrew Pyper (September 26th)

Join Quebec Writers’ Federation Paragraphe winner Saleema Nawaz (Song for the End of the World) and internationally bestselling author Andrew Pyper (The Residence) for an in depth conversation on their newly released novels that cover tragedy, apocalypse and resilience. Moderated by Terese Mason Pierre.

In Conversation with Faye Guenther and Souvankham Thammavongsa (September 26)

Join Faye Guenther and Souvankham Thammavongsa for a dazzling conversation as they delve into their new short story collections covering culture, identity and coming of age. Guenther’s Swimmers in Winter (Invisible Publishing, Aug 2020) is a haunting and beautiful debut collection of short stories, and Souvankham Thammavongsa How to Pronounce Knife (Penguin Random House, April 2020) has since been nominated for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller. Moderated by CBC’s Ryan B. Patrick.

In Conversation with Sheung-King (September 26th)

Sheung-King’s debut novel, You Are Eating an Orange. You Are Naked (Book*hug Oct 2020) is an intimate novel of memory and longing that challenges Western tropes and Orientalism. Embracing the playful surrealism of Haruki Murakami and the atmospheric narratives of filmmaker Wong Kar-wai, Sheung-King’s novel is at once lyrical and punctuated, and wholly unique, and marks the arrival of a bold new voice in Asian-Canadian literature. From Toronto to Macau to Hong Kong, Tokyo and Prague, this unexpected love story takes readers on a journey that both questions and delights.

In Conversation with Canisia Lubrin and Francesca Ekwuyasi (September 27th)

Canisia Lubrin’s second collection, The Dyzgraphxst, moves to mine meanings of kinship through the wide and intimate reach of language across geographies and generations.

Francesca Ekwuyasi’s debut novel Butter Honey Pig Bread (Arsenal Pulp Press, Oct 2020) is an intergenerational saga about three Nigeran women; a story of choices and their consequences, of motherhood, of the malleable line between the spirit and the mind, of finding new homes and mending old ones, of voracious appetites, of queer love, of friendship, faith, and above all, family. It has just been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Moderated by Fiona Raye Clarke

That’s all for now folks!

We hope to see you at TOK Toronto 2020!