GritLit: Hamilton’s Own Literary Festival

The most wonderful time of the year has finally arrived, folks. It’s gritLIT! What the hell is gritLIT? you’re probably asking yourself right about now, and I wouldn’t blame you. Here’s the short answer: gritLIT is Hamilton’s own literary festival, now in its 13th year! Want a bit of a longer one? Here’s a breakdown:

What: A literary festival featuring some of the top writers across Canada
Where: Art Gallery of Hamilton (123 King St. W, Hamilton)
When: Thursday April 6th until Sunday April 9th; times vary
Who: Kerry Clare, Ivan Coyote, Guy Gavriel Kay, Scaachi Koul, Shari Lapena, Iain Reid, Diane Schoemperlen, Bev Sellars, Vivek Shraya, and so many more!
How: For more information regarding specific events and tickets, head on over to

Here are some incredible events that are happening throughout the week that we are super excited to be attending:

Thursday April 6th
War and Remembrance (8:00 pm): Two perspectives on war on its legacy, featuring Diana Bishop (Living Up to a Legend: My Adventures with Billy Bishop’s Ghost) and Leslie Shimotakahara (After the Bloom).

The Disappeared (9:30 pm): Gripping, unnerving stories about characters on the verge of disappearing from Iain Reid (I’m Thinking of Ending Things) and Rebecca Rosenblum (So Much Love).

Friday April 7th

Justice For All? (6:30 pm): A revealing look at the Canadian legal system and the people whose lives it affects. Featuring reporter Christie Blatchford (Life Sentence) and memoirist Diane Schoemperlen (This Is Not My Life). **Bonus: This event is hosted by The Paper Street Journal alumni Elizabeth DiEmanuele!  

Saturday April 8th
Reading in the Digital Age (12:30 pm): Author Merilyn Simonds (Gutenberg’s Fingerprint) and novelist/blogger Kerry Clare (Mitzi Bytes) examine how we enter the world of stories in the digital age.

Democracy (In)Action (6:30 pm): What if it is not our political system that is broken but our understanding of it? Dale Smith discusses his book The Unbroken Machine.

Anatomy of a Marriage (8:00 pm): An intimate look inside two imperfect marriages and their far-reaching consequences with Shari Lapeña (The Couple Next Door) and Kate Taylor (Serial Monogamy).

Sunday April 9th
Telling Our Own Stories (2:30 pm): Memoir author Denise Donlon (Fearless as Possible), poet Chris Pannell (Love Despite the Ache) and graphic novelist Teva Harrison (In Between Days) share three different approaches to telling their own stories. **Bonus: This event is hosted by The Paper Street Journal’s own Jesse Dorey! 

Drafts and Drafts (4:30 pm): Close out festival weekend by joining authors Wayne Grady, Merilyn Simonds, Marnie Woodrow and three Hamilton writers for a drink and readings from their latest works-in-progress.*

*Note: Drafts and Drafts takes place at Mills Hardware (95 King St. E), *not* the Art Gallery of Hamilton.

Planning on heading out to gritLIT? Let us know! We’d love to chat.