History & Vision
The Vancouver Writers Fest ignites a passion for books and ideas.
The Vancouver Writers Fest connects readers of all ages to writers and ideas that enlighten, engage, and entertain.
We shape conversations through live and online experiences, featuring established and emerging writers, from Canada and around the world, whose work is compelling and diverse.
The Vancouver Writers Fest is one of North America's premier literary events, presenting an annual six-day Festival in late October and the Incite reading series in the spring. The Festival was inaugurated in 1988 by founding Artistic Director Alma Lee. In 2010, the Festival was named as the best large literary festival in Canada, by the Canadian Tourism Commission.
Currently under the artistic direction of Hal Wake, the Writers Fest attracts the world's best writers to Vancouver. Each October, internationally renowned and undiscovered authors mingle with 16,000 readers of all ages in intimate, informal settings on Granville Island, an urban oasis in the heart of Vancouver. In its 26 year history the Festival has presented luminaries such as Martin Amis, Margaret Atwood, Maeve Binchy, Peter Carey, Eleanor Catton, Roddy Doyle, Timothy Findley, Tomson Highway, John Irving, P.D. James, Thomas Keneally, Andrea Levy, Frank McCourt, Rohinton Mistry, David Mitchell, Alice Munro, Michael Ondaatje, J.K. Rowling, Salman Rushdie and Carol Shields. Please browse the Festival audio archives to sample highlights from past events.
The Writers Fest’s twice-monthly reading series Incite is presented in partnership with Vancouver Public Library from January to May. The series, which is free to the public, features a wide range of Canadian and international authors in events for readers and is based downtown at the VPL’s Central Library. Writers featured at Incite have included Conrad Black, William Gibson, Vincent Lam, Ami McKay, W. H. New, Joyce Carol Oates, Noah Richler, Bernhard Schlink and Johanna Skibsrud.
The VWF also presents special events throughout the year featuring the best of Canadian and international writers.
Spreading the Word, the Writers Fest's schools program, presents acclaimed writers from around the world to more than 5,000 K-12 students at the Festival and in the classroom, in English and in French. Corporate and private support helps us offer outreach programs to schools and subsidized tickets to children, youth and adult learners who would otherwise be unable to attend.
The Vancouver Writers Fest is a registered non-profit, charitable organization which operates with the support of public sector funding, ticket sales, advertising revenue, corporate sponsorships and donations.