Program

The NAKED HEART program has 4 session types:
PANELS: A panel is a group of speakers who discuss a topic with a moderator and some audience participation.
WORKSHOPS: Our workshops focus on building skills, insight and knowledge. They are often interactive and are led by someone experienced and skilled on their topic.
READINGS: This is your classic literary event – it is a gathering of writers reading brief selections of their writing. There may be time for audience questions at the end.
BOOK EVENTS: We have two book events happening during NAKED HEART. These events are free for everyone.


You can see the most updated schedule of events HERE


PANEL TOPICS

ALEX SANCHEZ: IDENTITY, INSPIRATION & IMPACT
Groundbreaking and award-winning youth fiction author Alex Sanchez (Rainbow Boys) shares with us the highs and lows of his craft and his career.


BENDING THE GENRES OF SCI-FI, FANTASY, THRILLER & MYSTERY
How do you queer these established genres? What are the current trends in this genre? How do readers respond and what are sales like when you bend the genre?
David Demchuk
J.M. Frey
Michael Lyons


BLACKNESS IN BOOKS
Black writers reflect on Blackness in their work and share with us which Black authors have influenced their growth.
Larry Duplechan
Sedina Fiati
Tiq Milan 


BUILDING INTERGENERATIONAL BRIDGES: A CONVERSATION
How do we honour our elders? How do we support our youth? How do we listen to each other when we don’t feel heard? We’ll explore these questions and more.
Jia Qing Wilson-Yang
Prathna Lor

Susan G. Cole
Wayson Choy


FEEDING & FREEING HUNGRY GHOSTS: IN DEEP WITH SHYAM SELVADURI
Shyam Selvaduri
reflects on his recent novel, The Hungry Ghosts which explores how racial, political and sexual differences can tear apart both a country and the human heart until the ghosts are fed and freed.


FIRST-PERSON PLEASURE: NON-FICTION SEX WRITING
Sex writing climaxes to a whole new level when you are both the subject and the writer. We’ll hear about these authors’ challenges, ethics and experiences.
Jon Pressick
Katie Sly
Mike Miksche
Star


HOWLING AGAINST ASSIMILATION
We are surrounded by forces that will temporarily accept us on their hetero/capitalist/patriarchal terms. These writers reflect on the work they create that opposes people that want us to give up our soul for the illusion of safety.
Catherine Hernandez
Kaleigh Trace
Peter Kingstone


HYPHENS & HYBRIDS
Writers share how their experience as a cultural hybrid impacts their writing, their audience and their success.
Keith Garebian
Tamai Kobayashi
Yvonne Fly Onakeme Etaghene


LIKE IT IS: NON-FICTION & MEMOIR WRITING
This group of writers offer advice and insight on writing non-fiction and memoirs, including tips on their process and discovering their audience.
S Bear Bergman
Sarah Liss

Hugh Brewster
Denise Benson


INDIGENOUS DREAMING
Two-Spirited, Indigenous & Métis writers discuss the importance of identity in their creative work and reception in Canada.
Adam Garnet Jones
Cole Forrest
Gein Wong
Giles Benaway
Mahlikah Awe:ri


MY INSPIRATION, MY RECOMMENDATIONS
These authors let us in on the secret of what inspires them. They will also tell us who’s on their list of “Top 5 Must-Read” authors.


QUEER LOVE
Is there a queer love? Is there a queer way to write about love? Queer writers explore what it means to tell our love stories.
Ben Ladouceur
Dani Couture
Larry Duplechan
Tara-Michelle Ziniuk


SELF-PUBLISHING – THE HOPE AND THE HORROR
These self-published authors share their tips and tricks, reveal their biggest disasters and rewards, and let us in on the most important lessons they’ve learned about self-publishing.
Akhaji Zakiya
Nia King
Sarah Bertrand
Vivek Shraya


SPECTRUMS OF SANITY – MENTAL HEALTH & THE WRITER
Writers openly share their struggles, successes and strategies when mental health becomes a source of creativity or crisis in the writing process.
Clementine Morrigan
geoff
Jordaan Mason
JP Larocque
Zoe Whittall


THE CRUCIBLE OF TRAUMA
Trauma and creation have a complex, paradoxical relationship. Trauma can drive or inhibit creativity. Story can heal or trigger trauma. These writers reflect on their own complex relationships with trauma and words.
Amber Dawn
Jaene F. Castrillon
Shaunga Tagore
Zahira Kelly


TO PRINT OR TO POST?
What’s more profitable, more successful, more satisfying and more labour-intensive: posting your writing online or printing your work on the page? Writers who have done both explore their relationship with the result.
Kim Katrin Milan
Susannah Betts
Nichola (Nicki) Ward


WHAT WE LOOK FOR: THE PUBLISHER SPEAKS
In this panel, representatives from a variety of presses tell us what they are looking for when they make their choices about what to publish.
Couch House Books
Metonymy Press
Tightrope Books
and more!


WRITING AS RESISTANCE
What role does writing play in liberation and resistance to oppression in the 21st century? Do words lead to action or prolong our inaction? Activists and writers discuss these questions.
Lynx Sainte-Marie
nina malaya
Troy Jackson
Sky Gilbert

WORKSHOP TOPICS

THE CONTRACT with Lawyer Sheetal Nanda
Entertainment lawyer Sheetal Nanda gives a one hour presentation, followed by a Q&A on what’s in a typical contract between writers and publishers – and what you need to know before you sign your rights away.

GET THE WORD OUT! with Farzana Doctor
This workshop covers self-promotion, including book trailers, social media, working with a publicist, touring, blogging, and launches. This is for writers at any stage of their career. including those not-yet-published.

IN OUR VOICES: WRITING ORAL HISTORIES with Jackson Wright Shultz
LGBTQI communities often use stories to share information and give advice to one another. Be a part of that tradition and come learn the basics of collecting, transcribing, and writing stories using voices from our communities.

PITCH PERFECT with Jeffrey Round
Lambda Award-winner Jeffrey Round, author of the Dan Sharp mystery series, offers tips and insights on how to make your book a must-grab title for agents, editors and publishers.

Participants are encouraged to submit a one-page description of a work-in-progress (to jeffreyk9@rogers.com) up to one day prior to the session for possible dissection and discussion.

HAIL YEAH MARY: EXPLORING FAITH IN QUEER CHARACTERS with Marnie Woodrow
The spiritual lives of characters are just as important as their other biographical details. Learn to write characters of greater depth by exploring, through exercises and discussion, the beliefs (and non-beliefs) of major and minor players in your work.

NAVIGATING THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY with Zoe Whittall
You’re finished your manuscript, or maybe you think you are, but you’re not sure what to do next. Helpful tips on grant writing, crafting submissions, finding the right publisher and/or agent, and other practical tips for the emerging fiction writer who wants to take it to the next level.

WRITE LIKE YOU MEAN IT with Kristyn Dunnion
Kristyn Dunnion facilitates an innovative workshop that integrates social justice with concrete writing activities, helping you create a sustainable, vital, and individual practice.

INTRODUCTION TO 2 SPIRITED LITERATURE with Giles Benaway
Learn about the emergence of 2 Spirited literature in North America and encounter key 2 Spirited writers who have shaped Indigenous literature with the strength of their visions. This workshop will provide you with an overview of 2 Spirited literature with special emphasis on Canadian Indigenous writers.

HARDCORE HEARTS with Debra Anderson
This is a writing workshop on the hottest thing you can remember. We’ll explore themes of queer love, loss, & desire with a variety of short, hands on writing exercises that unleash inspiration & build writing muscles.

VOLCANO FARMING with David Benjamin Tomlinson
An activation.  An interaction.  An intervention.  A workshop about the craft of cultivating inspiration, about engaging the wilds of creativity with courage, honesty, freedom and full permission.  Most importantly, this is a conversation about how to start… and how to finish.  Volcano Farming is for anyone who wants to be a more active partner in the creative relationship

README with Trevor Campbell
What do you need to tell your story? This workshop invites participants to test a storytelling tool that can be used to document and share their experiences in the hopes of developing more accessible, dynamic and empowering methods of storytelling and archiving.

OWENA OHNE:KA: A WATER WRITING WORKSHOP with Mahlikah Awe:ri and Gein Wong
Ohne:ka runs through us. In us. Ohne:ka is us. This profound spirit connection we have with water is a powerful creative energy for knowing; owning and sharing our Owena; our story. This workshop will explore the four direction water teachings of Water is Spirit; Water is Sentient; Water is Healer, and We are Water Stewards; through spoken word; visualization; creative writing; movement and ceremony.

WRITING FROM THE HEART: Creative Writing for Survivors of Trauma with Alex Cafarelli
Writing enables us to kvetch, share our stories, start revolutions, and to heal. As LGBTQ trauma survivors, our self-protective tendency can be to “check out”; writing is one way to check back in with our embodied self. With a strong commitment to confidentiality and craft,  the Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) workshop method, we will tap into our deep inner writing voices, past the critic, and into the stories our hearts wish to tell.

ON LIBEL with Marcus McCann & HG Watson
Libel is one of the few ways that writers often end up in court. Libel is a false statement about an identifiable person which is injurious to their reputation. Join us as we learn more about this topic and how to protect yourself.

WRITING AS PRACTICE with Karishma Kripalani
In this interactive session, we will develop and expand ways to bring an embodied mindfulness into our writing practice. Together we will explore internal process, compassionate listening, and connection to ourselves and each other.

READINGS
Our 10+ readings will be released on Thursday September 17th.

BOOK LAUNCHES

We will have two book events:
Thursday October 15th 8pm at Glad Day Bookshop
QUEER AND TRANS ARTISTS OF COLOR by Nia King. With special guests Vivek Shraya and Kiley May! This is a FREE event. More info HERE.

Friday October 16th 8pm at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
DISRUPTING QUEER INCLUSION: Disrupting Queer Inclusion: Canadian Homonationalisms and the Politics of Belonging, edited by Suzanne Lenon and OmiSoore Dryden. This is a FREE event. More info HERE.

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