Support Our Northern Literary Culture

NorthWords NWT is a non-profit organization that supports and promotes literary arts in the Northwest Territories. Since 2006, the NorthWords Writers Festival has showcased some of Canada’s finest writers at our signature summer event, the nationally acclaimed annual NorthWords Writers Festival. NorthWords is managed by an eight-member volunteer Board of Directors and a part-time Executive Director.

Based in Yellowknife with events in Fort Smith and Hay River, the festival showcases established and emerging northern and indigenous writers. In addition, we welcome prominent national authors.

The four-day festival is held the first weekend in June. It is one of Canada’s most widely respected literary festivals, attracting upwards of 700 local and visiting participants.

Past participants have included:

  • Cherie Dimalene (author of bestselling award winner The Marrow Thieves)
  • Lee Maracle (award-winning author of critically acclaimed literary works including Sojourner’s and Sundogs and recipient of the Officer of the Order of Canada award)
  • Richard Van Camp (critically acclaimed author of The Lesser Blessed and many more)
  • Douglas Coupland
  • Kathy Reichs (Annelies Poole has mentioned to me that Kathy was here one year)
  • Drew Hayden Taylor ( award-winning playwright, and author of Motorcycles & Sweetgrass )
  • Lawrence Hill (author of The Illegal & the Book of Negroes )
  • Elizabeth Hay author of 2007 Giller Prize winner Late Nights on Air ) 2019 Confirmed Festival Participants
  • Billy Ray Belcourt (winner of the 2018 Canadian Griffin Poetry Prize) coming for the 2019 festival

As a non-profit organization, we depend on the generosity of forward-thinking businesses to help host the NorthWords Writers Festival, an event that enriches, promotes and celebrates the unique culture of the NWT.

Whether you support NorthWords through corporate sponsorship, an in-kind contribution or as a volunteer, your participation shows your commitment to northern literature, arts, and creativity.