Léonicka speaks

The publishing industry is in flux. Traditional methods of engaging book-lovers are no longer working. To stay relevant, literary events must shift their programming to meet the needs of their changing audience.

These days, no conversation about literature or publishing is complete without a discussion of diversity and equity. Book-lovers who were previously relegated to the side-lines of the industry are increasingly powerful and loudly demanding diversity in Canadian literature

But it’s not enough to simply rehash a “Why is diversity important?” panel every year. The audience is smart enough to recognize these lackluster attempts and reject them. The only way to attract, engage, and retain an audience is with consistent and creative diversity programming.

That’s where I come in.

Since 2011, I have spoken to people all over Canada about diversity in Canadian literature. I’ve spent years listening to their concerns and frustrations with the industry and their visions for more inclusive literature. In 2014, I created a space for these conversations with a weekly Twitter chat using the hashtag #DiverseCanLit. In these conversation I learned to go beyond the superficial “Why is diversity important” question to more substantive conversations about solutions and the needs of marginalized readers and writers.

I can bring these conversations to your literary event. I introduced #DiverseCanLit to CBC Radio Here and Now’s rush hour audience. At the inaugural Toronto International Book Fair, I spoke on the Diversity, DJs, and DIY panel. For three consecutive years, I moderated discussions on diversity in publishing at BookCampTO hosted by the Canadian Book Professionals’ Association (CanBPA). And in 2014 I moderated a panel on Diversity in Sci-Fi and Fantasy hosted by the Friends of the Merril Collection at the Lillian H. Smith library.

Attendants consistently tell me and the event organizers that my discussions are the most stimulating and thought-provoking of the event. They stay past the end of the sessions to get more information about how to get involved and to stay informed about future events. This is the kind of engagement that’s possible when I speak directly to the audience’s needs.

If you want relevant, engaging programming about diversity in publishing and literature, hire me. I’m available to:

  • speak alone or on a panel
  • moderate panels, discussions and workshops
  • develop sessions about diversity, tailored specifically to your event and your audience

Don’t spend another year looking for gimmicks to expand your audience. Email me right now at connect@leonicka.com to book me for your event.