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The AfterWords Literary Festival, a registered charity, takes place each year in Kjipuktuk/Halifax.

The festival was co-founded by Ryan Turner and Stephanie Domet, and in the fall of 2019 its inaugural edition (a four-day festival across six venues with a combination of readings, conversations, panel discussions, workshops, and celebratory events) featured twenty writers from across Canada, the United States, and abroad.  

In 2020 and 2021, due to COVID-19, the festival went online and presented a similar slate of writers, including New York Times bestselling author Roxane Gay and Booker-nominated novelist Avni Doshi. The festival also hosted widely acclaimed Canadian authors such as Lawrence Hill, Katherena Vermette, Souvankham Thammavongsa, and Sheila Heti. 

AfterWords 2021 also marked the festival's third year in a row partnering with CBC Radio, which broadcasted festival events, like Shelagh Rogers' conversation with author and comedian Mark Critch, to a national audience. Additionally, 2021 included the festival’s expansion to YA programming and the creation of the annual AfterWords Virtual Writers’ Conference.  

We celebrate our festival on the unceded and traditional homeland of the Mi’kmaq People. We do land acknowledgements as a part of the reconciliation process. In order for this festival to exist, for Canadians to enjoy the lives that we do, Indigenous people were removed, displaced, and killed. This truth is an uncomfortable one, but one that is necessary to face if we, as fellow Canadians, are to understand our whole history. 

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