Monday, February 26, 2024

Lit-Tastic: gritLIT Announces Its 2023 Lineup

Hamilton’s best-known literary festival is growing.

Historically a four day festival, for 2023, the gritLIT festival has added an extra day to its already robust online and in-person offerings. Now in it’s ninth year, the festival of books and authors will take place from April 19-23. Over the course of the five-day period, book-lovers can participate in a total of 28 virtual and in-person events that promise interactions with 39 distinct authors across a range of genres.

The first two days of the event are dedicated exclusively to online programming. Without leaving home, audiences can participate in a different panel discussion, and interviews with authors each evening. For several of these authors, including Jessica John and Tsering Yangsom Lama, who are featured on the opening night of the Festival, it will be their first time speaking at gritLIT, as they each celebrate their debut novels.

In addition to new authors, this year’s festival also features several acclaimed Canadian writers. Catherine Hernandez will be featured on a panel focused on female experiences. Hernandez is best known for her debut novel Scarborough; an award-winning manuscript which later won first-runner-up for the People’s Choice Award at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. She will be joined by novelist and lawyer Reema Patel and moderated by Hamilton-based poet Anuja Varghese. At the Festival’s closing event on Sunday, April 23, Varghese will be celebrated as she officially launches her latest book, Chrysalis.

The Festival’s full in-person Saturday programming will conclude with a one-on-one interview between two acclaimed authors; Officer of the Order of Canada Ann-Marie MacDonald and editor, writer, playwright and radio host Susan G. Cole. The closing day of the Festival also showcases popular authors, with New York Times Bestselling Author Kelley Armstrong, and bestselling children’s author Zetta Elliott in a panel discussion.

Hamilton writers looking to learn and hone their craft and network with fellow writers and book-lovers will have plenty of opportunity throughout the Festival. Friday night’s Hamilton Writes, hosted by the Hamilton Arts Council‘s Megan Divecha welcomes local talents Nichole Fanara, Fareh Malik, Chris Pannell, Andrew F. Sullivan and Jamie Tennant. A Saturday night mixer promises book-themed challenges and prizes, while the Sunday showcases the work of playwrights Falen Johnson and Matt Murray, who have seen their work produced on Theatre Aquarius’ stage this season.

Tickets to this year’s gritLIT are now available online through EventBrite. Tickets can be purchased either as a pass for all online or in-person events, or individually per event.

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