Literary Events in Edmonton

There's a lot going on in E-town and EPL is happy to be a part of it. In addition to the awesome programs we initiate and deliver in our branches, we are also proud supporters and sponsors of many extraordinary literary events that happen throughout the year.


LitFest is a sprawling, joyous celebration of great writing about real things. We combine performances, panels, workshops and multi-disciplinary events, both at the Milner Library and throughout the capital region.  We showcase dozens of Edmonton authors each year, and offer workshops and panels to help develop the local writing community.

LitFest 2015 runs October 15-25, 2015.  Below are the events offered at the Stanley A. Milner Library.  Click here for a full listing of this year's events.

Date / TimeEvent Description

Fri. Oct. 16

7 p.m.

Ivan E. Coyote

Edmonton Public Library – Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre and Centennial Room

Ivan E. Coyote performs stories about their personal journey on the road to gender self-acceptance, with selections from the book Gender Failure (based on the acclaimed live show and book by Coyote and Rae Spoon). To continue the conversation after Ivan's presentation, follow us to Brittany's Lounge for an all-welcome, all-out gender queer open mic session. Brittany's Lounge is an 18+ venue. Hosted by Janelle Aker.

Sat. Oct. 17

10 a.m.

Workshop: Making the Jump from Magazine to Book

Edmonton Public Library – Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre and Centennial Room

While working as a magazine editor, Dan Rubinstein's thirst for journalistic adventure led to his book, Born to Walk: The Transformative Power of a Pedestrian Act. But the connections between his magazine work and this project go much deeper. In this workshop, Rubinstein will share his book's birth story, discuss the discipline required to write 80,000 words when you've never done anything longer than 5,000, and offer practical tips on proposal writing, funding your travel, blending research and reportage in long-form nonfiction, and DIY marketing. Hosted by AMPA.

Sun. Oct. 18

2 p.m.

Just Words #MMIW

Edmonton Public Library – Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre and Centennial Room 

Each year LitFest hosts a Just Words panel discussion on topics in social justice writing. This year, Just Words brings together Tanya Kappo (contributor from The Winter We Danced: Tales from the Idle No More Movement),Drew Hayden Taylor, and authors Shawna Ferris (Street Sex Work and Canadian Cities: Resisting a Dangerous Order) and Lori Shenher (That Lonely Section of Hell: Living Inside the Failed Investigation of A Serial Killer) to discuss the challenges, setbacks, and struggle to find justice for Canada's missing and murdered Indigenous women. During the event, we're pleased to present the Red Dress Photography Project in the Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre lobby. Learn more about the project here

Wed. Oct. 21

7 p.m.

Stalin's Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

Edmonton Public Library – Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre and Centennial Room

With access to KGB, CIA, and Soviet government archives, as well as the close cooperation of her subject's daughter, Rosemary Sullivan pieces together Svetlana Alliluyeva's incredible life. Epic in scope, Stalin's Daughter is a revolutionary biography of a woman doomed to be a political prisoner of her father's name. Sullivan explores a complicated character in her broader context without losing sight of her powerfully human story, and in the process opens a closed, brutal world that continues to fascinate. Presented with support of the Writers Guild of Alberta. Hosted by Myrl Coulter

Thurs. Oct. 22

7 p.m.

Me Artsy: Reflections on Aboriginal Art

Edmonton Public Library – Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre and Centennial Room

What inspires the artistic spirit? In Me Artsy, Drew Hayden Taylor explores this question and the myriad ways contemporary Indigenous artists express themselves through their work. Continuing in the same vein as his previous books, Me Funny and Me Sexy, Taylor draws together individual stories of First Nations artists to reveal both the unique and connected elements in their creative practices. Presented in collaboration with Alberta Aboriginal Arts and the Canadian Authors Association. Hosted by Christine Frederick.

Sat. Oct. 24

10 a.m.

Genre Jumping: CAA Workshop with Drew Hayden Taylor

Edmonton Public Library – Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre and Centennial Room

Drew Hayden Taylor has worn many hats in his career, from performing stand-up comedy to being Artistic Director of Canada's premiere Native theatre company. An award-winning playwright, journalist, short-story writer, novelist, television writer, and documentarian, he has dabbled in a bit of everything. In this workshop, he shares tips and stories on working in different formats and genres, and how aspiring writers can make the jump from page to stage to screen, or to wherever their words may take them. This workshop - five hours, with a meal break - is presented in partnership with the Canadian Authors Association, Alberta Branch. (Special $40 pricing for CAA Members and Festival passholders, available by booking through

Sat. Oct. 24

1 p.m.

The Femme Memoir Hour

Edmonton Public Library – Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre and Centennial Room

A discussion with memoir writers Miji Campbell (Seperation Anxiety), Ann Walmsley (The Prison Book Club), and Aspen Matis (A Girl in the Woods) on sharing personal stories and the inherent vulnerabilities they expose, as well as the surge in popular interest for stories about women's intimate lives, their traumas, and recoveries. Hosted by EPL Writer in Residence Elizabeth Withey

Sat. Oct. 24

3 p.m.

Road Trip Rwanda: A Journey into the New Heart of Africa

Edmonton Public Library – Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre and Centennial Room

Giller Prize winner and three-time recipient of the Leacock Medal for Humour, author Will Ferguson returns to travel-writing with Road Trip Rwanda. Renting “a big-ass SUV” with his friend and cohort Jean-Claude Munyezamu, the pair explore day-to-day life in a nation recovering from genocidal tragedy. From schoolyard soccer pitches to a cunning plan to get rich on passionfruit, Ferguson and Munyezamu discover a country reborn. The author and Mr. Munyezamu will be joined by dancers from the IZUBA Dance Troupe. Hosted by Steven Sandor of Avenue Magazine. Special thanks to the Edmonton Community Foundation and Penguin Random House for their support of the artists presented at this event. 

Sun. Oct. 25

2 p.m

Across Canada By Story: A Coast to Coast Literary Adventure

Edmonton Public Library – Stanley A. Milner Library Theatre and Centennial Room

Douglas Gibson’s theatrical stories about working as an editor with Canada’s literary giants have charmed audiences nationwide. Now, he returns to LitFest with Across Canada By Story, a journey from province to province featuring cameo appearances by the country’s eminent authors. Tune in for tales involving W.O. Mitchell, Alistair MacLeod, Pauline Gedge, Myrna Kostash, Andy Russell, Robert Kroetsch, Leonard Cohen, Ken McGoogan, Guy Vanderhaeghe, and more. A special introduction will be made by Edmonton author Myrna Kostash.

For a complete listing of events at all venues, visit

Listen to EPL's Amanda Bird on CBC RadioActive talk about:
• 2013 Overview
• Prairies/North Top 10

Each year, Canada Reads celebrates five Canadian books for three months online, on the air and at public events. It all leads up to a week-long show on CBC Radio hosted by Jian Ghomeshi. In this annual title fight, five celebrity panelists defend their favourite work of Canadian fiction. One by one, books are voted off the list, until one panelist triumphs with THE book for Canada to read.

This year, the country has been divided into five regions with Canadians recommending the novel they want to represent the place they call home. Each region will ultimately be represented by one book in the debates.




Canada Reads Regional Top 10s

Find them at EPL, then read 'em and vote! Vote for your favourite book in each region to help it make the Top 5! Polls close at 11:59pm ET on November 12.

Prairies & NorthB.C. & YukonOntarioQuebecAtlantic

Cool Water


Bow Grip


Alias Grace


De Niro's Game



Fall from Grace


Everything Was Good Bye




How to Make Love to a Negro


Anne of Green Gables

Late Nights on Air


Indian Horse


Clara Callan



Come, Thou Tortoise 



Monkey Beach


Far to Go





The Age of Hope




Fifth Business





The Diviners


One Good Hustle




Solomon Gursky Was Here


Glass Boys

The Englishman's Boy


Swamp Angel


Sweetness in the Belly


The Beautiful Mystery


No Great Mischief

The Garneau Block


The Canterbury Trail


The Amazing Absorbing Boy


The Darling of Kandahar


Ragged Islands

The Trade


The Cure for Death by Lightning


The Day the Falls Stood Still


The Tin Flute


The Bay of Love and Sorrows

Who Has Seen the Wind


The Golden Mean


The English Patient


Two Solitudes


The Town That Drowned

Want to learn more about Canada Reads? Visit the official site.