Chiaroscuro Reading Series in Toronto – Wednesday, July 17!

Don’t miss The Chiaroscuro Reading Series at its Toronto location, ROUND venue, on Wednesday, July 17th!

With readings by Caitlin LauraSu J Sokol, and Una Cassandra Verdandi! And music as always by the astonishing Kari Maaren! Join us for a hot summer evening. Wear flowy clothes and drink cocktails while listening to some great genre authors!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019, starting at 8 pm
ROUND venue
152a Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T 2L5 (map)

RSVP for the event here:

June 26 – ChiSeries Windsor: Koja, Laforet, Johnston!

The Chiaroscuro Reading Series returns to Windsor with a night of readings, music and mayhem! (Alright, maybe not mayhem, but we thought it best to add it in. Sort of like a disclaimer.)

WHEN: June 26, 2019, 8-10 p.m.

WHERE: Phog Lounge, 157 University Ave W, Windsor, Ontario N9A 5P4

With readings from:

Kathe Koja!
Christian Laforet!
Timothy S. Johnston!

As well as live music from George Manury!

The evening will be hosted by hotshot writer, Ben Van Dongen!

Books will be available for purchase and signing.

And as always, Phog Lounge will be more than happy to wet your whistle.

Be there or be square!

The Chiaroscuro Reading Series hosts authors in the SF, fantasy and horror genres once a month in Toronto, and quarterly in Ottawa, Winnipeg, Calgary, Windsor, Peterborough and Guelph. We bring you writers of fiction and poetry in science fiction, fantasy, horror, magic realism, folklore & fairy tale. We also conduct workshops related to genre fiction and publishing.

The ChiSeries is sponsored in part by grants from the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council – Conseil des arts de l’Ontario, ChiZine Publications and donations from attendees. Bakka-Phoenix Books is the official bookseller.

Spring Launchy Launch, May 8 – NEW VENUE!

You’re coming to our Spring Launchy Launch event on May 8, right? The one featuring awesome readings from Troy Harkin, Brent Hayward, Brian Hodge, Courtney Løberg, Dave Silverberg, and Kate Story, right? (Remember to RSVP on our Facebook event page to let us know you’re coming!)

Well, update your calendar – we’re moving to a new venue!

You’ll have to change your plans only slightly – the event is moving to the Handlebar, just across the street. Here are the deets:

Spring Launchy Launch
7 pm on Wednesday, May 8
Handlebar, 159 Augusta Ave., Toronto (map)

Can’t get much simpler than that – the Handlebar is just a hop, skip, and stumble away from our original venue.

See you there!

April 17 – ChiSeries Toronto: Harkin, Parisien, Richardson, Silverberg!

The Chiaroscuro Reading Series Toronto Branch hosts authors in the SF, fantasy and horror genres, the third Wednesday of every month in the ROUND venue in Kensington Market. Hosted by Sandra Kasturi. Ukelele by Kari Maaren.

April 17, 8:00 p.m.

Round Venue, 152a Augusta Ave., Toronto, Ontario M5T 2L5

It’s National Poetry Month! And to celebrate, we have a great line-up of four poets with new books!

  • Troy Harkin‘s first poetry book, Casting Shadows is out this April from KQP/ ChiZine Publications.
  • Dominik Parisien is a writer, editor, and poet. He is the author of the chapbook We, Old Young Ones (Frog Hollow Press) and his recent work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Fiddlehead, The Humber Literary Review, Riddle Fence, Arc Poetry Magazine, and various other journals. He is also the co-editor, with Navah Wolfe, of The Mythic Dream, Robots vs Fairies, and The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, which won the Shirley Jackson Award. His latest project is Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction, with Elsa Sjunneson-Henry. Dominik is a disabled, bisexual, French Canadian. He lives in Toronto.
  • Sarah Pinsker‘s fiction has won the Nebula & Sturgeon Awards, and she has been a finalist for the Hugo and other awards. Her first collection, Sooner or Later Everything Falls Into the Sea (Small Beer Press) comes out March 19, 2019, and her first novel, Song For A New Day (Berkley), will be published in September 2019. She grew up in Toronto and currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland.
  • Dave Silverberg‘s new book of poetry As Close to the Edge Without Going Over will be published by KQP/ChiZine in 2019, his first collection of sci-fi and speculative poetry. David is a poet, theatre artist, journalist, editor, event organizer and producer. He is the artistic director and founder of Toronto Poetry Slam, and was the director of two Canadian Festivals of Spoken Word in Toronto. He edited the Canadian spoken word anthology Mic Check (Quattro Books) and has performed his spoken word poetry across the world, including Vancouver, Montreal, London (UK) and Paris. His first solo theatre show Jewnique debuted in May 2018. His non-fiction work has appeared in The Washington Post, BBC News, The Globe & Mail, Vice, Broken Pencil, Quill & Quire, NOW Magazine and many more.


The ChiSeries is sponsored in part by grants from the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council – Conseil des arts de l’Ontario, ChiZine Publications and donations from attendees. Bakka-Phoenix Books is the official bookseller.

Note that the Round Venue is not currently accessible – it is on the second floor, up a flight of stairs.

Chizine Publications Spring Launchy Launch! May 8, 2019

The launchiest spring launch ever! Join us for ChiZine’s annual event as we celebrate our spring titles! Including imprints KQP, ChiGraphic and ChiTeen!

Note the venue change!

Join us at 7 pm on Wednesday, May 8, at Handlebar, 159 Augusta Ave., Toronto (map) – a fully accessible location

Food & drink: Nibblies provided, possibly some free cocktails…
Cost: free to attend!
Guests: please invite anyone you like!
Child friendly: Er, probably not. Even if just because of certain people’s potty mouths.

This event features:

Casting Shadows by Troy Harkin
Broken Sun, Broken Moon by Brent Hayward
Skidding Into Oblivion by Brian Hodge
My Favourite Girl that I Never See by Courtney Løberg
As Close to the Edge Without Going Over by Dave Silverberg
Antilla: Seer and Sacrifice by Kate Story

See you there!

ChiSeries Peterborough, March 19: the Ottawa Invasion!

Join us for The Chiaroscuro Reading Series, Peterborough Branch for quarterly readings of SF, Fantasy and Horror! Hosted by Sandra Kasturi.

This month we’re getting an invasion of Ottawa writers! With Kate Heartfield, Derek Künsken, and Matt Moore.

The Garnet
231 Hunter St W
Peterborough, ON K9H 2L1

Free to attend (pass the hat for donations).

The ChiSeries Peterborough is sponsored in part by the Ontario Arts Council and ChiZine Publications, as well as by donations from attendees.

Chiseries Toronto, February 20: Toronto 2033 vs You Ess Eh!

Celebrating SPACING Magazine‘s special “Toronto 2033” issue, edited by Jim Munroe, with contributors Madeline Ashby, Kristyn Dunnion and Elyse Friedman reading. Plus special guest Brian Kirk from south of the border! We can throw some health care at him!

Round Venue
152 Augusta Ave.
Toronto, ON M5T 2L5

MADELINE ASHBY is a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She is represented by CookeMcDermid and UTA. She has worked with Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, The Atlantic Council, the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, Changeist, and others. Her essays have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity, MISC Magazine, and FutureNow. She is the author of the Machine Dynasty novels. Her novel Company Town was a Canada Reads finalist.

KRISTYN DUNNION’s powerful Tarry This Night (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2017) is set during a new American war, about a polygamous cult leader and his followers. The Dirt Chronicles (2011), a queer punk kick in the pants, was a Lambda Literary Award finalist and ALA Over the Rainbow Selection. Recent short fiction appears in many fine journals. A provocative performance artist and heavy metal bassist, Dunnion is also a committed arts educator to at-risk youth in Toronto.

ELYSE FRIEDMAN is a Toronto-based author and screenwriter. Her writing has been short-listed for the Trillium Book Award, The Toronto Book Award, the Relit Award and numerous National Magazine Awards. Elyse’s short fiction has appeared in Best Canadian Stories and The Journey Prize Anthology, and her story, The Soother, won the Gold National Magazine Award for fiction. She has written two feature films, one of which premiered at TIFF, the other at the Sundance Film Festival.

BRIAN KIRK is an author of psychological horror. His debut novel, We Are Monsters, was a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award. And his short fiction has been published in many notable magazines and anthologies alongside several New York Times best selling authors. His latest novel, Will Haunt You, has been called one of the most anticipated horror novels of 2019, although reading it comes with a dire warning. Connect with him through his website at Don’t worry, he only kills his characters.

Ottawa June Event: Ursula Pflug, L.X. Beckett & John Haas

DATE: June 5th

TIME: 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Facebook event link


ChiSeries Ottawa welcomes L.X. Beckett and Ursula Pflug, plus Ottawa’s John Hass!

Summer is here! At least, it should be. Let’s raise a glass to the warm weather (or spit in the eye of endless, dreary spring) and listen to three great authors read from their work!

Come by early for drinks or dinner downstairs in the venue! Readings start at 7.

As always, ChiSeries is free to all—no tickets, no registration, no cover at the door.

Reader bios

Ursula Pflug‘s fiction has been appearing internationally for decades, in Lightspeed, Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Postscripts, Leviathan, LCRW, Now Magazine, Bamboo Ridge, The New York Review of Science Fiction and more. Her eight novels, short story collections and edited anthologies have been endorsed by Tim Wynne-Jones, Candas Jane Dorsey, Charles De Lint, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Jeff VanderMeer. Her work has been taught in universities in Canada and India, and she has collaborated extensively with filmmakers, playwrights, dancers and installation artists. Her latest book is the near future YA novella Mountain. Visit her on the web at

John Haas is a Canadian author living in Ottawa with his supportive wife, who gives him time to write and two wonderful sons, who give him motivation. His fiction appears in such places as recent anthologies UnCommon Horror & Spring into SciFi, and the upcoming 5th Spectral Book of Horror. In October 2018 his short story “Skin Deep” will be produced as a podcast by Manor House. His first novel The Reluctant Barbarian was published by Renaissance Press in 2017. The sequel The Wayward Spider will also be published by Renaissance.

Toronto author and editor L.X. Beckett writes fiction by day and then creeps out at night to beat up wayward manuscripts. Her superpowers are amplified by fine prose, strong espresso, and world-saving technologies. (They are, tragically, severely diminished by ordinary pizza.) Lex has a website at and loves to be followed on Twitter at @LXBeckett. She’s probably reading this over your shoulder right now.

Ottawa May Event: Alexandra Renwick & Kelly Robson

DATE: May 8th

TIME: 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Facebook event link


ChiSeries Ottawa returns from its spring-slumber with Kelly Robson and Alexandra Renwick! Let’s all shake of these long winter blues and get together to welcome summer.

As always, ChiSeries is free to all—no tickets, no registration, no cover at the door.

Reader bios

Kelly Robson is an award-winning short fiction writer. In 2017, she was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her novella “Waters of Versailles” won the 2016 Aurora Award and was a finalist for both the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. She has also been a finalist for the Theodore Sturgeon Award and Sunburst Award. Her book Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach debuted in March to rave reviews. After 22 years in Vancouver, she and her wife, fellow SF writer A.M. Dellamonica, now live in downtown Toronto..

Alexandra Camille Renwick was designed in Canada, built in California, and released in Texas. Under various iterations of her name she has written dozens of short stories, including award-nominated collection Push of the Sky, which got a starred review in Publishers Weekly and was a selected read for the Powell’s Books SF Book Club. Her genre-elastic fiction draws from a mixed Caribbean/Scandinavian heritage and a bohemian childhood shaped by a folklore scholar, a painter, and a Norwegian grandma with a penchant for classic SF.

Resident of both US & Canada, Renwick hops between noir, SF, mythpunk, and literary fabulism somewhere between Portland, Austin, and Ottawa, where she currently resides in the historic Timberhouse.

Next Ottawa Event: Our Annual Holiday Bash

DATE: December 12th

TIME: 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Facebook event link

Before we descend into a “big cold, white, dark, dull, empty, never-ending, kill-me-now” (to borrow from Pontypool) winter, let’s have a bash!

No readings this time, but geeky vendors selling geeky gifts for your geeky loved ones:
* Bundoran Press
* Mirror Comics
* Renaissance Press
* Stone Cold Creations
* JenEric Designs
* Little Witch Press

And more!

What’s “And more!” mean? How about:
* Geek joke telling contest (rules below)
* Readings of Lost Myths by Claude Lalumière
* “Writers at the Improv” improv contest

Plus raffles and door prizes, including (with images below):
* An uncorrected and unpublished proof of Red Planet Blues by Robert J. Sawyer
* A signed and numbered boxed edition of Cuckoos Egg by C.J.Cherryh
* A bundle of anthologies from Bundoran Press: Blood and Water, Strange
Bedfellows and Second Contacts
* A bundle of first books from Bundoran Press: Right to Know (Edward Willett), Transient City (Al Onia), Breakpoint: Nereis (Alison Sinclair), Stars Like Cold Fire (Brent Nichols)
* A poster by Dominic Bercier (Mirror Comics)
* 4 kids books by Susan J. Atkinson from Little Witch Press
* Monstrous Little Voices: New Tales From Shakespeare’s Fantasy World with a story by Kate Heartfield
* A t-shirt from Renaissance Press
* DeadRoads by Robin Riopelle
* A copy of  Sky Road Walker plus a poster by S.M. Carrière
* A complete set of Lost Myths by Claude Lalumière and Rupert Bottenberg
* The last 4 issues of Lackington’s Magazine

Before you’re forced to socialize with your co-workers at dreary office parties and then endure the endless bickering of your family, come out to celebrate with the Ottawa speculative fiction community!

Geek joke telling contest

Tell your best geek joke and the audience will pick the winner. We’ll have slips for voting and everyone gets three votes. Place them all on one person or spread them out, it’s up to you!

If you have a joke, but aren’t comfortable in front of a crowd, let one of the ChiSeries folks know and we’ll tell it for you.

The prize

The winner gets $10 cold hard cash plus we will publish the winning joke on the ChiSeries website. This means you can use it in your writing resume!

The Rules

* No need to sign up in advance – we’ll have a sheet at the event
* 90 second maximum, please
* One joke per person (if you want to do more than one joke, you might need to buy raffle tickets, donate, or something else that we’ll figure out later)
* You can be ribald, but please don’t be dirty just for dirty’s sake
* Anything that is intolerant, exclusionary or insulting will not only get you disqualified, but bounced from the venue

Images for some of our door prizes

Artwork by Dominic Bercier





T-Shirt from Renaissance Press