Hundreds of book lovers of all ages and backgrounds swarmed the The Bram and Bluma Appel Salon at The Toronto Reference Library for back-to-back nights that celebrated Ontario’s top literary talent. (There is SO MUCH!)

On Tuesday evening, everyone was welcome to attend the Trillium Award Readings and Reception. On Wednesday, loyal fans returned to celebrate the award recipients. Brecken Hancock won the Trillium Poetry Award for Broom Broom, her first book of provocative and raw poetry. Playwright Kate Cayley took home the Trillium Book Award for her first book of short stories, How You Were Born. Up against world-renowned authors like Margaret Atwood and Thomas King, this year’s winners offer tremendous inspiration for all aspiring, emerging and notable writers.

What we loved most about the festivities was how inviting they were to all. Tickets were free and distributed on a first come, first served system. And how cool is it to have a party in the library? As soon as the doors opened, we were greeted with delicious food stations, a bar with red and white wine, and a coffee and tea table lined with colourful desserts. With our mug of tea and plate of cookies, we took a seat and listened as each author in attendance read riveting excerpts from their books. With such a diverse range in content, sometimes the room erupted into laughter, while other readings tackled horrifying events that nearly had us in tears.

Above all, the celebrations honouring our home-grown talent left us very excited to read and inspired to write. Congratulations to all the finalists and to Brecken and Kate for the big wins: you make us very proud to call Ontario our home.

To find out more about the Trillium Awards and check out all the finalists, go to OMDC’s website.