Meet Ayelet Tsabari, Writer in Residence

January 15, 2018 | TPL Staff

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Ayelet_Tsabari Jonathan Bloom photographer

Photo by Jonathan Bloom

Are you an aspiring writer? Join Ayelet Tsabari, award-winning author of The Best Place on Earth, as she leads workshops, gives presentations and an interview, hosts panel discussions, and provides one-on-one appointments as Toronto Public Library's Spring 2018 Writer in Residence.

The Best Place on Earth

The Best Place on Earth was not only her debut story collection, but it won the Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature and the Edward Lewis Wallant Award, and was long listed for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. The book was a "New York Times Book Review" Editors’ Choice, a Kirkus Reviews" Best Book of 2016, and has been published internationally to great acclaim.  

Her memoir in essays, "The Art of Leaving", is due to be published in 2019 with HarperCollins Canada. Excerpts from the book have already won a National Magazine Award, a Western Magazine Award, and an Edna Staebler Award. She has also won a Chalmers Arts Fellowship, and is currently working on a novel, also under contract with HarperCollins Canada.

Tsabari was born in Israel to a large family of Yemeni descent. She grew up in a suburb of Tel Aviv, and travelled extensively throughout South East Asia, Europe and North America. In 1998, Ayelet moved to Vancouver, Canada, where she studied film and photography in Capilano University’s Media Program. She directed two documentary films, one of which won an award at the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films. She wrote her first story in English in 2006.

She is a graduate of Simon Fraser University’s The Writer’s Studio, and the MFA Program in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph. Tsabari teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Studies.

Click here for an interview with Tsabari

Call for Manuscript Submissions - CLOSED !!

Manuscripts will no longer be accepted, as our maximum number of submissions (25) has been exceeded.


Program Launch: Meet Ayelet Tsabari, Writer in Residence
Monday, February 5, 7 pm Beeton Hall, Toronto Reference Library
Meet Ayelet Tsabari. After a reading, the event will conclude with Questions and Answers. Free. No registration required.

Workshops: Writing Immigration Memoirs: Drop in Workshops
Saturdays, February 17, March 3, 17, 31, April 21, 10 am, Discussion Room, Toronto Reference Library
Tsabari will lead informal, drop-in workshops that teach you how to write from life, followed by writing, sharing and discussion. Specifically geared to newcomers whose native language is other than English. Free workshops. No registration required.


[From top left to bottom left: Ayelet Tsabari, Meaghan Strimas, Nailah King and Alicia Elliott]

Panel Discussion: Getting Published in Literary Magazines
Thursday, March 8, 6:30 pm, Beeton Hall, Toronto Reference Library
Tsabari will lead a panel discussion of editors from literary magazines (Alicia Elliott, Creative Nonfiction Editor at The Fiddlehead, Associate Nonfiction Editor at Little Fiction/Big Truths, and a consulting editor with The New Quarterly; Nailah King, a member of the Room magazine editorial collective; Meaghan Strimas, editor at The Humber Literary Review). She will also share insights gained from submitting her work. She will also share tips from other writers who contributed to her guide, The Writer’s Guide to Publishing in Literary Magazines and Entering Contests. Free. No registration required.

Interview: Exchanging Notes: The Interview with Ayelet Tsabari, Writer in Residence
Thursday, March 15 6:30 pm, Hinton Learning Theatre, Toronto Reference Library
Free. No registration required. For further information please contact [email protected].


[From top left to bottom left: Ayelet Tsabari, Chelene Knight, Jan Redford and Kamal, Al-Solaylee]

Panel Discussion: Writing Memoir
Wednesday, April 4, 6:30 pm Atrium, Toronto Reference Library
Tsabari will lead a panel of authors who have written memoirs (Kamal Al-Solaylee, author of Brown and Intolerable, Jan Redford, author of End of the Rope and Chelene Knight, author of Dear Current Occupant). They will share their stories and struggles with the genre and offer insights and advice. After a reading by each author, there will be time for Questions and Answers. Books will also be available for purchase and signing. Free. No registration required.

Workshop: Wish You Were Here: Evoking Place in Memoir - FULL !!
Saturday, May 5, 9:30 am, Discussion Room, Toronto Reference Library
Tsabari will lead a workshop on techniques for writing about place in your memoir, and to thinking of place as a potential character in our work. Examples and guided exercises included. Space is limited to 20 participants. Full. Registration is now closed.

Presentation: Ten Tips for Writing Great Memoirs  - NEW DATE!!
Monday, May 14, 6:30 pm, Beeton Hall, Toronto Reference Library
Tsabari will give a presentation on how to turn lived experience into literary art. Learn to locate the stories of your life in your lives, apply fiction techniques to enhance your work, and experiment with form, structure, tense and voice. Free. No registration required.

Brochures & Flyers

Download WIR Ayelet Tsabari Brochure Spring 2018

Download WIR Ayelet Tsabari flyers - no Submission flyer

Find out more on our Writer in Residence page.

The Writers' Room

Authors and writers working on projects are encouraged to apply for access to the The Writers' Room at Toronto Reference Library. Equipped with four desks, lots of outlets, Wi-Fi and a lounge, this creative space offers a quiet and convenient place to work with ready access to the Reference Library collections and to librarians for research support. 

With thanks to Ayelet Tsabari