Call for Artist Submissions: Author Talks / Spoken Word

Supercrawl’s Author Talks & Spoken Word Committee is pleased to release its Call for Submissions for 2020. Supercrawl is a free annual outdoor art and music festival in downtown Hamilton, showcasing a diverse and dynamic lineup of music, art, fashion, performance, talks, crafts, food and fun. Supercrawl 2020 will take place on James Street North from September 4–6, 2020.

What Are We Looking For?

Over the years, Supercrawl has presented local authors in a variety of ways, from online, on demand readings to vibrant spoken word street performances to more traditional author talks and signings.

We are looking for the best new books, fiction, non-fiction, poetry and drama by writers who know how to engage audiences and are intrigued by the ability to reach thousands of listeners in an outdoor presentation. We are also looking for dynamic spoken word artists or multi-genre literary performers who are comfortable performing in an exciting street festival setting.

Audiences are estimated at approximately 80,000 people over the duration of the performance day.

Fees & Resources

Supercrawl will pay all writers a reading fee (Canada Council rate) for presentations at the festival. Costs such as travel and accommodation, where necessary, may be covered and will be addressed on an individual basis. Artists will also have access to a production team to assist with staging, lighting and technical aspirations. Supercrawl will also be assigning significant resources to promotion of the event and selected artists leading up to the festival, and during the event. The festival will provide schedule signage, produce posters and handbills, and include programming details both in printed materials and on the Supercrawl website.

Dates & Location

Literary performances at Supercrawl 2020 will take place the evening of Friday, September 4, as well as during the afternoon and evening of Saturday September 5 and Sunday September 6.

Submission Package Requirements

Describe what makes the writer(s) you’re proposing a great fit for our open air festival in Hamilton. Include promotional material (catalogue copy, bio, blurbs, etc), to give us a sense of their particular strengths.

Remember for author talks, the committee needs to see the writing. Please forward ARCs or electronic review copies available. If a full manuscript is not available, let us know when it might be, and please consider sending us a sample.

For literary performers, please include the following as well:

  • Contact info (artist name, email, phone number);
  • Location (i.e. city/town, province/territory/state, country);
  • Website URL (if applicable);
  • Performer bio;
  • Links to high-quality MP3s (3-5) or audio streams or videos;
  • Links to press coverage; and
  • Notable performances (festival and otherwise) in the last three years.


Deadline for submissions: Friday, January 31, 2020 at 11:00pm ET.​

Late submissions will not be considered. Successful applicants will be contacted in April 2020.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Committee to receive clarification and/or additional information as needed to develop proposals.

Top: Nathan Ripley/Naben Ruthnum at Supercrawl 2019. Bottom: Hamilton Youth Poets at Supercrawl 2019

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