Field Trip: Word on the Street Toronto

This past weekend Team All Lit Up welcomed another Word on the Street in Toronto. The sunny but mild temperatures brought the book-browsing community out in tote-carrying droves to experience the day-long books fest that celebrates literary goods with a large exhibitor marketplace and quality event programming.


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Where we explore literary spaces.This year at WOTS, there was tons to cheer on and take in: a designated stage that brought together Indigenous authors like Lee Maracle and Waubgeshig Rice; Cree language lessons, timely discussions on representation in YA; exciting new poetry; a visual arts program that brought lit and art together; and so much more. (We were also thankful to the weather gods for not burning us with the sun this year.) At the All Lit Up booth we chatted with lots of avid readers and new readers and had a blast connecting with the community we’re thrilled to be a part of. While we regularly showcase a variety of rad books and authors to our All Lit Up readers, we love being able to geek out with our fans in person and say things like “Have you read Joshua Whitehead’s newest? It was just longlisted for the Giller!” and know the other person speaks our language.
A quarter of team ALU, Mandy and Lauren (l – r)
We loved handselling these beauties.More reasons WOTS is one of our favourite bookish days of the year:”Thanks to an eclectic job history, I’ve worked at a fair number of trade shows – from environmental ones to senior citizens ones to agrarian ones – but Word on the Street remains my favourite one to work. Think about it: book people are almost always introverts, but they’ll make their way to Toronto’s Harbourfront and browse, buy, and talk about books for hours. The last few years have been punishingly hot, too*, and it doesn’t seem to matter – out they come in droves, genuinely excited to discover and read an author they’ve never heard of before. The WOTS attendee shows how literature in Canada, despite our small size, can work: it’s built on unbridled interest and pure curiosity.*I’ve also worked the Vancouver WOTS festival (before it changed to WORD Vancouver), and the wind and rain that year didn’t stop the book and magazine lovers, either.” – Lauren “I’ve been attending WOTS for 11 years now; it’s become one of my favourite events of the year. I love chatting with people about books, and WOTS gives me the chance to hand sell my favourites and learn about new books from our patrons! We get new authors dropping in each year to say “Hi” and of course, we get to meet up with the publishers who make the trip in for the day. All in all, it’s hard to top WOTS in my books.” – Tan   
Our sales manager Tan being a cool dudeThat concludes another successful, fun-filled WOTS! We’ll be back again next year to help pack your totes. And if you’re in Vancouver, catch All Lit Up at WORD Vancouver in the Indie Publishers Tent on Sunday, September 30. * . * . * Word on the Street also takes place in Saskatoon, Lethbridge, and Halifax in September. For more Field Trip, click here