Each year on Open Book, we have the pleasure of hosting the winning pieces from the The Ontario Book Publishers Organization's (OBPO) What's Your Story? writing contest. WYS is a unique literary competition that focuses on the inner suburbs of Toronto (Etobicoke, East Toronto, North York, and Scarborough), vibrant neighbourhoods that are full of talented writers and that are often overlooked in mainstream 'Toronto literature'.
The OBPO is excited to announce its third annual series of literary events in support of What’s Your Story? The events will take place in the spring and fall of 2018 in the neighbourhoods spotlighted by WYS, and these reading and writing events will help to provide Toronto residents with access to its dynamic literary scene. Please see below for the full schedule of events.
The winning pieces from WYS include four emerging, unpublished, and established writers from each neighbourhood. In addition to their publication on Open Book, they will also appear in a print anthology and will be performed at the events.
“For our third year of What’s Your Story?, we’re bringing the best of the best,” said Holly Kent, Executive Director of the Ontario Book Publishers Organization. “The winning writing is fantastic, and we’re planning development and networking features for prospective writers along with wonderful performances for readers. We’re so excited about What’s Your Story? 2018.”
Claire Hopkinson, Director & CEO of Toronto Arts Council, was also enthusiastic about their investment in and support of WYS. “The initiative is a celebration of the talent in our city; an opportunity for writers to be inspired by their neighbourhood, for community members to come together to meet local writers, learn the craft of writing through workshops, and express their own work through open mic opportunities.”
Each event is a partnership with four of Toronto’s Local Arts Service Organizations and involves a mix of readings, creative writing workshops, ‘speed dating’ with Canadian publishers, open mic periods, and other activities to engage writers and readers across the city. For 2018, Scarborough Arts and North York Arts are teaming up to present a larger event featuring the winning writers from those neighbourhoods.
2018 What's Your Story? Literary Events Line Up:
What’s Your Story, Etobicoke? in partnership with Arts Etobicoke
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 6:30 – 8:30 pm, The Assembly Hall
Featuring authors Teri Vlassopoulos, Lynne Golding, Mary Breen, Andrew Anthony, and host Alissa York
What’s Your Story, North York and Scarborough? in partnership with North York Arts, Scarborough Arts and the Toronto Public Library
Saturday, June 9, 2018 1:00 – 3:30 pm, Victoria Village Public Library
North York Authors: Lucy Black, Sylvia Warsh, Laura Mullin, and Asheda Dwyer
Scarborough Authors: Alexandra Leggat, Natasha Ramoutar, and Nicole Bayes-Fleming
What’s Your Story, East Toronto? in partnership with East End Arts
September 14 – 16, 2018 as part of the Weekend of Words (date and location to be announced)
Featuring authors Lesley Krueger, Liz Muir, Emily Gillespie, and Nicole Julia Saltz