Kingston WritersFest adds Afghanistan to its list of discussions during 13th Annual Festival

September 17, 2021 – for immediate release – Kingston, Ontario – Kingston WritersFest, taking place virtually  Wednesday, September 22 – Sunday, September 26, 2021, has announced a shift in topic for one of the festival’s most  popular events The Big Idea.  

The event, co-presented by The Walrus, has consistently welcomed festival goers to a standing room only event since  2012. In this unscripted year, the 13th annual WritersFest will address a situation unfolding before our eyes – the  ongoing crisis of Afghans seeking to escape violence and come to Canada. KWF will welcome moderator Carol Off (All We Leave Behind: A Reporter’s Journey Into the Lives of Others), Syrian author, activist and refugee Hassan Al Kontar (Man at the Airport: How Social Media Saved My Life – One Syrian’s Story), Bilal Sarwary, an Afghan journalist  who was based in Kabul and reported on Afghanistan for 20 years before he fled with his family after the Taliban seized  power, and others in a discussion of Canada’s role and responsibility in helping refugees. 

-- Journalist and Author Carol Off 

The Big Idea takes place September 25 @ 6:30pm - 8:00pm. Pre-registration, along with the festival’s additional 25  events is through  

Kingston WritersFest will also offer marquee events like Author! Author! and The Robertson Davies Lecture, presenting  three-time Governor General Award Winner Guy Vanderhaeghe (Autumn Into Winter), and Camilla Gibb (The Relatives),  respectively, adding online chat options for the KWF community to reconnect during the events. The Book Lovers’  Banquet (an evening production of the popular Book Lovers’ Lunch) will see Ben McNally return with his daughter to  pass on enticing recommendations of what to add to your “to-read” pile. 

Jocelyne Saucier (And Miles to go Before I Sleep), Eden Robinson (The Trickster Trilogy), and Festival favourites Thomas  King, Helen Humphreys, André Picard, and Steven Heighton are among the 40-author line up. The return of an online  edition of the KWF Writers Retreat will add an additional dozen events in the form of writers’ studio master classes and  seminars to this year’s Festival programming. 

Kingston WritersFest has established itself not only as a prime Kingston cultural event, but also as one of the top literary  festivals in Canada. The Festival aims to explore the ideas that shape our world, warm our hearts, and stir our  imaginations through writers’ studio master classes, author readings, and unscripted discussions that celebrate culture,  history, imagination, diversity and originality. For the full line up of events, and author bios please visit our website,

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  • Dinah Jansen
    published this page in News 2021-09-18 09:02:12 -0400