The word on the street is … there is a new writers’ group in town! On a sunny Sunday morning (September 23, 2018), they are heading to the Harbourfront Centre to join other authors, publishers, and associations at Canada’s largest book and magazine festival The Word on the Street Toronto.
They want to spread the word about who they are and why they are here for, in the heart of Toronto – to create community, to bring together newcomers, immigrants and immigrant descendants who share the same passion: The Written Word!
A little over three months old association counting 35 members (and growing) stands in the corner booth by the water, smiling at curious visitors, listening to…
‘I didn’t know you even existed!’
‘What a great idea!’
‘I’m a publisher. You will hear from us.’
‘Immigrants built Canada. Your voices matter.’
‘Where do I sign in to join you?’
‘We are interested in cross-marketing.’
‘I want to come and speak to your members.’
‘How can I help? Can I volunteer?’
IWA! Yes! The angels have heard our prayers and are sending our way people willing to help each other to get their stories out there into the world, who want to build the bridges between their heritage and their newly chosen home. The Immigrant Writers Association started as an idea in spring and has received the support of 13 co-founders since then, only to become an entity of its own, soaked in positive energy who attracts like-minded creative souls, writers who have relevant stories to share.
Who would have thought that The Immigrant Writers Association, IWA, would be participating at a second bookfair in its first six months of existence? After getting the taste for adventure at The Bookshelf in Newmarket, IWA feels confident to come to stand at the table with the big guys, The Word On The Street Toronto, Canada’s largest One-Day Book and Magazine Festival. IWA! Yes, we exist. Yes, we are doing it. Yes, we are here to stay.
With bright winking-at-you colors, the books displayed on IWA’s table attract avid readers of all ages, lovers of all genres. We have poetry, we have fiction, we have fantasy and sci-fi, we have children book, we have non-fiction. We have an upcoming anthology co-authored by our members.
We have published authors and we have upcoming ones. We have immigrants who have lived in Canada for a few years and immigrant descendants (who were born here). We have members who write in English or French, and we have members who still form their thoughts in their mother tongue. We have members from the GTA and we have members who live on the west coast.
We are diverse. We are inclusive. We are learning. We are sharing. We are helping. We support one another. We thrive together.
If you don’t believe my words, check at the pictures taken at IWA’s table with happy members, volunteers, future members, co-founders, and visitors. We have each other’s backs. We are not alone anymore. We belong. IWA. Together we stand on our journeys!
~ Andreea Dana Munteanu,
IWA Co-founder, Interim Executive Director