What is Spreading the Word?

Spreading the Word - It's about reading and writing, books and writers. It's eclectic, exciting, entertaining and thought provoking. The Vancouver Writers Fest's schools program offers K—12 students and teachers the rare opportunity to engage with internationally renowned writers at the Festival and in the classroom.


  • 34 events aimed at children and youth with exciting, engaging authors from Canada and around the world that are programmed with BC curriculum goals in mind
  • 6,000 student attendees from the Lower Mainland, the Sunshine Coast and Vancouver Island
  • 1,000 students in classrooms across the Lower Mainland and British Columbia
  • Reading with Writers: 20 author visits to schools-in-need in the Lower Mainland, offered free of charge to schools
  • Writer in Residence: 2, 1 week long residencies in outlying BC communities, during which authors connect with adults and children in workshops at schools and community centres 
  • A Youth Writing Contest, offering opportunities for young writers in grades 8 – 12 to get published

Here’s what teachers and students have to say about Spreading the Word: 

“The Writers Fest is always a great start of year field trip for my students. We come and enjoy the authors, the location and the food. I have never been disappointed with any of the authors we have seen and my students come away with an experience that although unfamiliar for most is enjoyed by everyone.”

Jennifer Jack, Teacher, David Thompson Secondary

"I learned tons from [Sebastian] de Castell! The information will surely help me in writing as I DO want to write a novel. I wish he could've stayed for the whole day!"

Student, Semiahoo Secondary 

"It was so great to have Darren (Groth) come to visit our classes. […] Darren was engaging, inspiring and certainly knowledgeable about his craft. He read from his book, talked about the characters he created and shared bits from his personal life too. Darren was comedic, which always captivates kids, and summarized his presentation through a game. They loved it. We'd love to have him back. "

Tom Craik, Teacher, Laura Secord Secondary 

"I thought the presentation was interesting. I loved the Some Things I’ve Lost book it was super cool."

Student, Lord Robert Annex, after Cybèle Young’s visit