The Emerging Writers Reading Series

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Welcome Mahak Jain and Marcia Walker as the New Hosts and Organizers of The Emerging Writers Reading Series

The Emerging Writers Reading Series is returning with new hosts and a new location in fall 2017! Originally founded by Jess Taylor in 2012, the EW Reading Series has been on hiatus since June of 2016. Marcia Walker and Mahak Jain are reviving the reading series whose readers have gone on to win awards, place their work, publish books, and gain further recognition as the up-and-coming writers of Canada.


The EW reading series is currently accepting submissions for readers:



Mahak Jain is the author of the picture book Maya, which was a CBC Best Book of the Year, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, and a CCBC Best Book for Kids and Teens starred selection. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in The Journey Prize Stories 28, PRISM international, The New Quarterly, Joyland Magazine, The Humber Literary Review, and Room Magazine. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph. Born in Delhi, she has also lived in Dubai, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Montreal. She currently resides in Toronto.



Marcia Walker’s writing has appeared in Prism international, Room, Event, Antigonish Review, University of Toronto Magazine, The Globe and Mail, CBC radio and The Broken Social Scene Story Project by House of Anansi. She has been shortlisted for Prism’s fiction and non-fiction prize and was a finalist for the Lascaux Fiction award. Her play, Recess, was part of Nightwood’s Write From the Hip playwright development program and the 2016 Groundswell Festival. She is the 2016-2017 Jessie London Writer-in-residence.


Our new team looks forward to reading your submissions!

With excitement about our new season,

Jess Taylor


The EW Reading Series

Last EW Show at Duffy’s Tonight

Tonight is the last ever Emerging Writers Duffy’s show. Please come on out and celebrate four and a half years of programming with us!

June 2016 Flyer

See you tonight!

For a full press release regarding the end of the series, please see below.



Jess Taylor


The EW Reading Series

The EW Reading Series Ceases Event Programming Post July 2016

The EW Reading Series Schedules Last Events for June and July


With sadness yet great optimism for the future, The Emerging Writers Reading Series has decided to discontinue its programming for the 2016-2017 season. A collective of dedicated volunteers runs the EW Reading Series, and in order to make room to start new projects, focus on our careers, and develop our own creative work, we have made the hard decision to shut down our programming at Duffy’s Tavern starting this summer.


The EW Reading Series was founded by Jess Taylor in January of 2012, with our first show running in March 2012. Since then, we have featured four new writers a month, excepting August and December, and have given exposure to past readers through our BIG on Bloor festival and to poets with our yearly installation at PULP: Paper Art Party. We have also continued to promote the work of our past readers as they have grown from new writers to writers with awards and published books.


In 2013, Sofia Mostaghimi joined the Emerging Writers team as Fiction Curator and assisted with every event. Mostaghimi will go on as an organizer, high school teacher, and writer of fiction. Ralph Kolewe was our dedicated show photographer for several years and showcased excellent photos of each month’s readers. Recently, he also began filming interviews of our readers, helping to archive each month’s performers.


In January 2015, Hannah Peck, Jessica Bebenek, and Amanda Childs joined our team. Jessica Bebenek stepped into the role of Poetry Curator, a role, which she held until leaving to pursue her MA in Creative Writing at Concordia University. Prior to this role, Bebenek often volunteered as a photographer for EW and always brought her positive energy to the EW community. She is still enrolled at Concordia University where she is finishing her degree.


Hannah Peck began as our Special Projects Assistant, working on our BIG on Bloor festival and PULP: Paper Art Party, as well as new initiatives like our online interview series. Peck stepped into the role of Poetry Curator upon Bebenek’s departure. She continues to write poetry and is currently working as a psychotherapist both at a clinic and through her own private practice.


Amanda Childs joined Emerging Writers as our Social Media/PR Representative and provided support for every show, coordinated and maintained our social media accounts, spearheaded our interview series, and did outreach for Emerging Writers. Childs continues to write poetry and creative work and also continues in the field of publicity, where she now works as a full-time Sales Coordinator for a catering company.


We would also like to thank our volunteers over the past four and a half years: Suzanna Derewicz, Magdalena Wolak, Annick MacAskill, Andrew Brobyn, Adam Zachary, Kieran O’Brien, Nicole Chin, Faith Arkorful, Hannah Brown, Johnathan Fahey, Shannon Page, Marsha Courneya, Victoria Hetherington, Thomas Dearnley-Davison, Lauren Mitchell, Jeremy Hanson-Finger, Jane Ozkowski, Suzanne Sutherland, Naomi Freeman, Zani Showler, Daria Garvrilina, Vicki Zhang, Bardia Sinaee, Matthew Walsh, Stephanie Coffey, Steve Cassidee, Nicole Royer, and Nadia Ragbar.


Thank you as well to the coordinators of BIG on Bloor and PULP: Paper Art Party, especially Rotem Yaniv and Michelle Senayah who allowed Emerging Writers to be more than a traditional reading series.


Thank you to the Toronto Arts Council and Ontario Arts Council who allowed us to pay our readers a regular amount and give them more money than we would be able to on our own. These first paycheques have meant a lot to our performers. And especially, thank you to our dedicated audience members for making Emerging Writers an enjoyable place to be and for your loyalty over four and half years.


Emerging Writers will continue to promote the successes of our past readers and continue to use our website and social media as a resource for new and emerging writers. We hope that a community member will take over the space at Duffy’s Tavern and start something new there, as we are grateful for this longstanding relationship with Duffy’s.


The EW Reading Series will run our last regular event on Tuesday, June 14th and will run our BIG on Bloor Festival event on Saturday, July 23rd and Sunday, July 24th. Our next event is Tuesday, May 10, 2016.



Sopping September Readers in Conversation

Check out Star Spider, Marcus Creaghan, and Andre Forget in conversation!



Nightstands: What EW Team Members Are Reading- Sofia Mostaghimi, Fiction Curator

We’re going to start a new feature on our website called Nightstands, showcasing what EW Team Collective Members are currently reading. If you’re an emerging writer who doesn’t know where to start to find some good literature to read or you want to get a feel for the taste of the EW Collective Members or you just love books, Nightstands is for you!

I used to want to be the sort of person who begins a thing then finishes that thing then neatly moves on to starting the next thing, finishes it, starts, finishes, starts, finishes, and so on.


Head Fiction Curator Sofia Mostaghimi’s nightstand

My nightstand here obviously tells a different story. Which I’m actually OK with now. I’d even recommend reading lots of books at once. That way, you’ve got various options for your various moods, states, whims, and desires.

I’ve got four books on the go right now:



–        The Nest by Kenneth Oppel (children’s lit; good for when I’m super sleepy or hungover)


–        Hunger by Lan Samantha Chang (for when I’m in a short story, non-committal sort of mood)


–        Both Flesh and Not by David Foster Wallace (for my morning commute when I’m mentally alert and still capable of complex thought)

–        Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (for when, at 600 pages in, I feel like visiting old friends).


Remember: book lovers never go to bed alone.

Bye now.

Sofia Mostaghimi

Head Fiction Curator

Juicy January! We kick Off 2016 This Tuesday!

Hi everyone!


The first show of 2016 is this Tuesday!

Juicy Jan

Hope to see you all there!


The EW Reading Series Presents BIG on Bloor Feature Readers in Conversation!

Hi again everyone!


In August, we ran our BIG on Bloor Past Readers Showcase again with new readers as “feature readers”! This year we hosted Ben Beauchemin, Canisia Lubrin, and Jesse Eckerlin as our readers. Unlike last year, the sun was out and shining, which made everyone have a wonderful weekend. Check out our feature readers in conversation with Amanda Childs.



As always thanks to PULP for getting us involved in the Card-Yard and in BIG on Bloor!


For The EW Collective,

Jess Taylor

Administrative Director


The EW Reading Series Year in Review: Part 1

Hi everyone!


It’s been an amazing year for past EW readers. They’ve been scooping up award nominations and publishing books like crazy. Several of our readers signed book deals in 2015 as well. We’ll be getting to all the upcoming books you can expect from our past readers in one of our next posts.

2015 Books From Our EW Readers

Ben Ladouceur and Jon Chan Simpson both published books with Coach House Books for their 2015 Spring Season. Both Ladouceur’s Otter and Chan Simpson’s Chinkstar did well with reviews and coverage, and Ben Ladouceur’s book ended up on the National Post N99 list this year!


Liz Howard‘s Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent by McClelland and Stewart was released this past April as well, and was met with huge acclaim! Her book was one of two by past EW Readers that were nominated for the Governor General’s Award, along with Kayla Czaga’s Fall 2014 release For Your Safety Please Hold On from Nightwood Editions. Howard’s book also was featured on the Globe 100 Best Books List this year.

Liz Howard.jpeg


Chad Campbell, one of our very first readers from March 2012, also released his first collection of poetry, Laws & Locks through Vehicule Press’s Signal Editions.

BookThug also published one of our past readers in their Spring 2015 season; Jimmy McInnes published his first book of poetry, A More Perfect [.



The fall 2015 season also saw a huge number of past readers published, especially in poetry!


James Lindsay published Our Inland Sea  with Wolsak and Wynn this fall. Coach House Books published Andy McGuire’s Country Club with their fall poetry line-up, and Laura Clarke published Decline of the Animal Kingdom with ECW Press this October.


Clarke had already attracted the attention of prize juries by winning the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award in 2013.  Her Decline of the Animal Kingdom was featured on multiple book lists this season, most notably The National Post’s N99 and The Globe 100. 


EW readers still published a lot of prose this fall with Kevin Hardcastle publishing his story collection, Debris, with Biblioasis and Andrew Battershill publishing his debut novel, Pillow, with Coach House Books. Both books received great reviews and are lively first releases! Battershill, Hardcastle, and I actually all toured our debuts around Southern Ontario and Montreal this fall.


Did we miss someone? Have new news about an Emerging Writer? Let us know! Email and we’ll update our followers with a post!

Regular Content Now on EWREADING.COM, Starting with Jewelled June Interviews!

Hi everyone!


I’ve been sitting on a ton of content for EW lately… We have interviews, both video and written, news stories about this past year, and just general updates! So while we’re off for December, we’ll be posting content regularly for you. Please check back here daily!


Starting out we have an interview for Jewelled June! The background audio is a little shaky, but this gets better in our later interviews. Everyone was charming and so much fun to interview.


Also, submissions are open for 2016. As usual, we’ll probably book submissions up all at once in the new year, so get a submission in while we still have spots available.

We’re constantly looking for volunteers, especially for people interested in Social Media/PR.


Have a great night!


PULP 2014 Digital Book Released

Hi everyone! We’ve released our PULP 2014 Digital Book! It’s filled with the writing of poets who participated in our installation last year along with photos of the art installations that filled the Great Hall!

This Saturday is PULP: Paper Art Party 2015! Come on out to see this year’s installation!