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Join us for three amazing, pre-festival partner events!


Wednesday, April 1st

Battle of the Books with the Hamilton Public Library
7:00 pm at Central Library (Wentworth Room – 1st floor)
gritLIT once again joins forces with the HPL to present our fourth annual Battle of the Books. Come watch ten well-known local personalities discuss, debate and mud-sling in defense of their favourite titles from the 2015 Evergreen Reading List. Hosted by CHCH anchor Annette Hamm.


Thursday, April 9th

Poetry with HPC
7:00 pm at Homegrown Hamilton
Join Gary Barwin and Deanna Young for an evening of award-winning poetry at our pre-festival partner event with the Hamilton Poetry Centre.


Sunday, April 12th

LitLive Partner Event
7:30 pm at Homegrown Hamilton
gritLIT joins forces with Hamilton’s long-running LitLive reading series for an evening of readings encompassing everything from octogenarian adventurers to serial killers to our national obsession with hockey. Readers include Elizabeth Bachinsky, M.A.C. Farrant, Janet Hepburn, Stephen Smith and Michael Lista.


Then, come see us at the Art Gallery of Hamilton for an unforgettable weekend of readings, discussions and workshops.


Thursday, April 16th

Chapbook Launch Party
7:00 pm
Winners of our 2014 gritLIT Short Story and Poetry competitions share their work as we mark the launch of the annual gritLIT chapbook.

The Life Bohemian
8:30 pm
Celebrate la vie boheme! Heather O’Neill and Elyse Friedman share their tales of the lives and legacies of struggling artists. Come dressed in your best Bohemian garb for a chance to win a Bryan Prince, Bookseller gift certificate, and join us after the reading for music, cash bar and free goodies.


Friday, April 17th

The True North
7:00 pm
Explore the rugged and dangerous wonders of Northern Canada with award-winning authors James Raffan and Kathleen Winter.

Homes and Native Lands
8:30 pm
Richard Wagamese, Krista Foss and Tasneem Jamal present their intensely powerful novels exploring our relationships to our ancestral lands.


Saturday, April 18th

Literary Salon with Richard Wagamese
10:30 am at the Sheraton Hotel
Join national-award-winning author Richard Wagamese for coffee and tea, light refreshments, and lively discussion about books, writing and more. This event takes place at the Sheraton Hotel, Ferguson Room, 2nd Floor.

Workshop: Looking Into the Abyss
10:30 am
This workshop offers an in-depth look at how to write fictional villains who are both evil enough to be terrifying and complex enough to be real. Led by Giller-Prize-finalist Russell Wangersky.

Workshop: How to Catch a Polar Bear
12:00 pm

Winner of numerous geographical awards, James Raffan has been keeping journals of his wilderness travels since early days as a Boy Scout in Guelph, Ontario. No one was more surprised than he was when one of these journals morphed into his first bestselling book, Summer North of Sixty. Since then, journal keeping has been an integral part of his personal writing process but also something that he loves to share in his encounters with others interested in capturing the essence of experience through creative journal keeping. How to Catch a Polar Bear is a hands-on workshop that explores journal keeping as a first step in the writing process.

Workshop: It’s All About Character
12:00 pm
Alison Pick, bestselling author and nominee for the prestigious Man Booker Prize, leads a lively and participatory workshop about character development in fiction. Come prepared to have fun and leave with an enhanced understanding of how to create dynamic, three-dimensional characters.

Secrets and Lies
1:30 pm
Alison Pick and Alison Wearing share true-life tales about secrets that can tear families apart and their own journeys of discovery and acceptance.

Short…Not Always Sweet
3:00 pm
Discover the art of short-storytelling with three masters of the craft: Kathleen Winter, Heather O’Neill and Denise Roig.

The Capitalist Regime
7:00 pm
Author Richard Swift discusses his controversial book and his assertion that finding alternatives to capitalism is no longer a leftist academic issue – it is a planetary necessity.

Monsters – Human and Otherwise
8:30 pm
Be thrilled and amazed by literary tales of terror from Andrew Pyper, Russell Wangersky and Claire Cameron.


Sunday, April 19th

Workshop: Flying with Butterflies
12:00 pm
Some people love doing public talks and readings, but many would rather crawl under the lectern with a glass of wine. Drawing on her experience as both an acclaimed author and an award-winning performer of one-woman shows, Alison Wearing offers insights and inspiration for ‘flying with the butterflies’ that can fill our stomachs when we stand in front of an audience, and she shares techniques for presenting literary work in engaging and enjoyable ways. This workshop is designed for anyone who would like to become more comfortable performing their work in public.

Unearthing the Past
1:30 pm
Christine Fischer Guy and Stephen Marche offer up compelling stories of odyssey, discovery and long-buried regrets.

Men of International Mystery
3:00 pm
Let acclaimed mystery writers David Rotenberg and Ian Hamilton transport you from Namibia to Shanghai with their electrifying tales of conspiracy and criminal underworlds. Then, join us in the Fisher Gallery for meetings with some famous literary detectives and a chance to win amazing prizes.

Closing Night with Steel City Stories
7:30 pm
Some of Hamilton’s best storytellers close out the festival with stories inspired by the word and concept Epilogue.