Literary Festival

September 23-25, 2016

Register now

Sept 23-25, 2016

North Words Literary Festival is back and hosted by Muskoka Authors Association.

Join Us In Muskoka

This anticipated literary event is kicking off at Deerhurst Resort!

Acclaimed Authors

This year’s festival will feature award-winning authors from across Canada.

Gala Dinner

Celebrate on Saturday evening at our Gala Dinner event!

Weekend Line-Up

Full Day Writing Workshop (Please note: this is priced separately from the the weekend passes)

Join Us For...
  • A presentation from the Humber Publishing Program
  • A Literary Agent Panel (Carolyn Forde of Westwood Creative Agency; Rachel Letofsky of the Cooke Agency; and Olga Filina of The Rights Factory)
  • Plus three Exciting Interactive Sessions with Authors and a Publisher


Writing with Prompts with Author, Catherine Bush

Have you ever been blocked in your writing or wished to break free of certain habits or push yourself further out of your comfort zone?  Catherine Bush will offer strategies for writers using various exercises and prompts geared to writers at all stages of their writing practice.  Prompts may include exercises to overcome inhibition, hone the art of paying attention, and the use of constraints to generate stories — all geared to help you go deeper, heighten your skill, open yourself emotionally, and find the play and liveliness that should be at the heart of all creative writing.

Close Encounters: The Art of Writing Collaboratively with authors, Dale R. Long and Tobin Elliott

Peter Straub on writing, The Talisman, with Stephen King: “I’d written the last sentence, and Steve said, ‘You know what?’ and he sat down and plugged in a long phrase between commas that enhanced that last sentence. Beautifully. We had this intense experience, which was very joyful. We just barrelled through. It was a profound experience.”

This intensive Master Class will help you:

  • Learn the various ways and styles of collaborative writing
  • Understand the dos and don’ts of collaborative writing
  • Determine what makes a good collaborative partner
  • Uncover tips and best practices to collaborate successfully
  • Know what to do if it doesn’t work

Tobin and Dale may even partner you up in class with small collaborative exercises.

Learn how two control freaks like Tobin and Dale have learned to happily and successfully collaborate and produce work that neither could have completed on their own.

Talking Your Books with Editor, Craig Pyette

In this session, experienced in-house editor, Craig Pyette, (Senior Editor of Penguin Random House) will explore the best ways to talk about your writing so editors, agents and others will listen. You’ll undertake exercises in refining the quick pitch, identifying your potential readership and knowing how much talk about your book is enough—and how much is too much. And since it’s hard to talk about pitching your writing without actually talking about your writing, he’ll also share some thoughts on how to put your best work forward.

With breakfast and lunch included, the event is a bargain at only $69 for the full day for MAA Members ($109 for non-members and $89 for Students and Participants in the 2016 Muskoka Novel Marathon).

Pitch Sessions with Literary Agents, Carolyn Forde, Rachel Letofsky & Olga Filina

For a nominal additional fee, participants who think their writing may be ready for the market will also have the rare opportunity to provide 10 pages of a manuscript for one-on-one review by a literary agent. Literary Agent Panel (Carolyn Forde of Westwood Creative Agency; Rachel Letofsky of the Cooke Agency; and Olga Filina of The Rights Factory).

“It’s tough to get your work before an agent these days – what a great opportunity for the creative and talented writers in our community,” says event coordinator Cindy Watson.

Booking a Pitch Session

First, take time to visit the specific agency website to ensure the agent you select is interested in your genre and that your submission is in the format required by them.

Then scroll down below the Festival registration buttons to select your agent and time slot.

PLEASE NOTE: You must be attending the Writers Workshop in order to book a session. After you register for your session, please submit your 10 pages and submission cover letter to attend@northwords.ca by September 1 in order to provide the agent of your choice enough time to review your work. Please indicate the agent you've chosen in your email.

If you have any questions about this process, please call Wendie at 705-646-3663

Includes continental breakfast and lunch.

OPENING NIGHT! Catherine the Greats

Enjoy our the Literary Festival opening evening with powerhouses Catherine Bush, Catherine Banks and Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer.

Cash bar and hors d’oeuvres combined with great literature. Who could ask for more?

Saturday Morning Funnies

Enjoy a scrumptious breakfast with award-winning humour authors Terry Fallis, Drew Hayden Taylor and Gary Barwin.

Great literature, entertainment and fabulous food – what better way to start the day?

Acting Out

Enjoy a lively mid-morning presentation and reading of the collaborative work of talented Canadian playwrights Anna Chatterton and Evalyn Parry.

Girls Gone Wild

Come be entertained and enlightened with acclaimed authors Janet Turpin-Myers and Alissa York.

They mesmerize their audiences with their wit and charm. Come be dazzled.

‘New’ Boys in Town

Enjoy a fabulous lunch with authors Craig Pyette (also senior editor of Penguin Random House) and Andrew Sullivan as they discuss their much-anticipated new books.

These new books are catching people’s attention. Come see why.

Gala Dinner


Enjoy a spectacular culinary experience with multiple award-winning authors and nominees, Alison Pick and Anthony De Sa.

Both authors will have you spellbound with their exceptional story-telling ability as they share their award-winning work.

Cash bar and sit-down dinner.

Sunday Brunch

Come enjoy Sunday brunch with author Brad Woods, Christina Kilbourne and Clem Martini as we explore storytelling and more.

‘New’ Girls in Town

Kick back and enjoy an enlightening Sunday with debut novelists, Christine Fischer Guy and Mia Herrara.

About Us

North Words Literary Festival is back! Hosted by Muskoka Authors Association, this anticipated literary event is kicking off at beautiful Deerhurst Resort the weekend of September 23-25.

The festival is a celebration of Canadian literature, providing a forum for inspiration and education in literature. The event features full rosters for both writers and readers.

We are pleased to announce that this year’s festival will feature award-winning and acclaimed authors from across Canada including: Alison Pick, Terry Fallis, Anthony De Sa, Catherine Bush, Alissa York, Janet Turpin-Myers, Drew Hayden Taylor and many more.

In addition to author presentations, panels, readings and book signings, the festival will also feature a full day workshop for writers, with well-known authors exploring the craft of writing.

The NorthWords Muskoka Literary Festival is an amazing community event which draws people from all over Canada and brings together people from all walks of life, united in their love of a story.

For Aspiring Writers

Are you an aspiring writer looking to get published?

Muskoka Author’s Association is hosting a full day writing workshop September 23rd  at Deerhurst Resort.  The event is open to anyone who wants to take their writing to the next level, learn the secrets to getting published in today’s tough market and/or get face-time with an agent.

Critically acclaimed authors Craig Pyette (Senior Editor with Penguin-Random House), Dale Long and Tobin Elliott will be facilitating this interactive workshop along with a publisher and literary agents from the Cooke Agency, The Rights Factory and Westwood Creative Artists.

With breakfast and lunch included, the event is a bargain for the full day ($69 for MAA Members, $89 for MNM 2016 Members and $109 for regular attendees). For a nominal additional fee, participants who think their writing may be ready for the market will also have the rare opportunity to provide 10 pages of a manuscript for one-on-one review by a literary agent.

“It’s tough to get your work before an agent these days – what a great opportunity for the creative and talented writers in our community,” says event coordinator Cindy Watson.

SpeakersThe festival is a celebration of Canadian literature, providing a forum for inspiration and education in literature. The event features full rosters for both writers and readers.

Alison Pick


Speaker phone here

Alison Pick is most recently the author of BETWEEN GODS, a memoir about depression, family secrets, and forging a new identity from the ashes of the pas

Read more

Alissa York


Speaker phone here

Alissa York’s internationally acclaimed novels include Mercy, Effigy (short-listed for the ScotiabankGiller Prize), Fauna and, most recently, The Naturalist.

Read more

Andrew Sullivan


Andrew F. Sullivan is from Oshawa, Ontario. He is the author of the novel WASTE (Dzanc Books) and the short story collection

Read more

Anna Chatterton


Anna Chatterton is a librettist, playwright and performer. She is a Playwright-in-Residence at Nightwood Theatre and Tarragon Theatre

Read more

Anthony DeSa


Anthony De Sa grew up in Toronto’s Portuguese community. His short fiction has been published in several North American literary magazines

Read more

Brad Woods


Brad Woods has told stories at festivals, theatres, conferences, prisons, churches and pubs all over North America and the UK. He tells traditional tales, literary classics and personal stories. Brad has told to all ages and in every type of venue imaginable.

Read more

Catherine Banks


Catherine Banks was inspired to begin writing plays after she saw a production of Michel Tremblay’s Les Belles-Soeurs.

Read more

Catherine Bush


Catherine Bush is the author of four novels. Her work has been critically acclaimed, published internationally and shortlisted for literary awards

Read more

Christina Kilbourne


Speaker phone here

Christina Kilbourne holds an Honours BA in English Literature and Anthropology from the University of Western Ontario and a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing and English Literature from the University of Windsor. She writes award-winning juvenile, young adult and literary fiction

Read more

Christine Fischer Guy


Christine Fischer Guy is a novelist and award-winning journalist whose debut novel, The Umbrella Mender, appeared in September 2014 with Wolsak& Wynn (Buckrider Books)

Read more

Clem Martini


Professor Clem Martini is equally at home writing for adults or young people, whether for live theatre, film or television

Read more

Craig Pyette


Craig Pyette is a senior editor at Random House of Canada, where he has worked for more than a decade.

Read more

Dale Long


Speaker phone here

Dale Long grew up with his nose buried in the worlds of Farley Mowat, Agatha Christie and Franklin W. Dixon (AKA Leslie McFarlane,et al.). In his teenaged years, J.R.R. Tolkien and Piers Anthony became his reading staples, later finding Dean Koontz, Stephen

Read more

Drew Hayden-Taylor


Speaker phone here

One of Canada’s leading Native playwrights and humourists, Drew Hayden Taylor has explored theatre, humour, First Nations’ philosophy, literature and identity. Originally from the Curve Lake First Nations, in Central Ontario, Drew has spent the last two decades travelling the world and

Read more

Evalyn Parry


Evalyn Parry is an award-winning theatre creator, songwriter, and spoken-word poet based in Toronto, Canada.

Read more

Gary Barwin


Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, multimedia artist and the author of twenty books of poetry, fiction and books for children

Read more

Janet Turpin Myers


Janet Turpin Myers is a Canadian novelist and poet. Her début novel, Nightswimming, published by Seraphim Editions, was released September 2013

Read more

Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer


Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer is the bestselling author of All The Broken Things, Perfecting, and the Nettle Spinner, as well as, the short story collection, Way Up. She is the recipient of the Sidney Prize for Fiction, and a Danuta Gleed Award. She was

Read more

Mia Herrera


Mia graduated from the University of Toronto’s Trinity College with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Book and Media Studies, and Cinema Studies. She obtained a Certificate in Creative Writing from Humber College.

Read more

Terry Fallis


Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of five national bestsellers, including his most recent, Poles Apart, all published by McClelland & Stewart (M&S). His debut novel, The Best Laid Plans, won the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and was crowned the 2011 winner of CBC Canada Reads as the “essential Canadian

Read more

Tobin Elliott


Tobin dug deep into Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert R. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert. Later, he moved on to Stephen King, Graham Masterton, John Farris, Stephen R. Donaldson and J.R.R Tolkien. Tobin has published three novellas and has had stories

Read more


Carolyn Forde


Speaker phone here

Carolyn Forde has been with WCA since 2005. She is both an agent with her own list of authors, and WCA’s International Rights Director

Read more

Olga Filina


After more than a decade as a sales manager and book buyer for both national and independent book store chains,

Read more

Rachel Letofsky


Rachel Letofskyjoined The Cooke Agency as a literary agent in 2010. Rachel is actively seeking ground-breaking and heart-breaking middle grade and YA titles in all genres

Read more


Choose Your Attendance PackageWeekend Passes include Friday evening through Sunday events. The Writing Workshop must be purchased separately from the Weekend Pass (please see options below).

Attendees enjoy preferred accommodation rates we negotiated at Deerhurst. Reserve directly using (800) 461-4393 and ask for the North Words preferred rate.

Or, choose a last minute cottage rental by visiting www.ontariocottagerentals.com for special North Words rates.

Please Note: Pitch Sessions MUST be purchased online using PayPal.
For all other events and passes, please write cheques to Muskoka Authors Association and accompany with a note to detail what you are registering for. Drop off at or mail c/o Watson Labour Law, 3 Manitoba Street, Bracebridge, ON P1L 1S4.

Full Weekend Pass


MNM 2016 Weekend Pass


MAA Member Weekend Pass


Student & Youth Weekend Pass

Or, attend a single session that interests you





Agent Pitch Sessions - Friday Workshop

Enjoy the agent panel of tips, details on what agents are looking for, an overview of agencies and some Q & A. Then do your own pitch at one of the available times below to an agent of your choice.

Carolyn Forde - Choose A Pitch Session

Olga Filina - Choose A Pitch Session

Rachel Letofsky - Choose A Pitch Session

1235 Deerhurst Dr Huntsville ONP1H 2E8705-646-5595 attend@northwords.ca

Get Directions

Contact UsWe would be glad to answer your questions!

Hosted by CREATIVE ONE® | Copyright © 2016 North Words Literary Festival.