Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997

Pay what you can for this event

Thank you for your interest in our programming! If you are able to make a donation it would be greatly appreciated. Tax receipts will be provided for donations of $20 or more. We hope you enjoy this event!
Other Amount:

Podcast Episode 1

Fear itself

with Andrew Pyper, Craig Davidson and Stephen Graham Jones

Fear itself

with Andrew Pyper, Craig Davidson and Stephen Graham Jones
Andrew Pyper
Craig Davidson - Photo by Kevin Kelly
Stephen Graham Jones

Why do we love scary stories? Has the pandemic changed the way we think about horror? Are we more or less willing to take a fictional walk into the darkness during these difficult times? 


Andrew Pyper's latest novel, The Residence, is a gripping and terrifying horror story based on true events. The year is 1853. President-elect Franklin Pierce is traveling with his family to Washington, DC, when tragedy strikes. In an instant, their train runs off the rails, violently flinging passengers about the cabin. But when the great iron machine finally comes to rest, the only casualty is the President-elect’s beloved son, Bennie, which casts Franklin’s presidency in a pall of sorrow and grief. When First Lady Jane Pierce brings in the most noted Spiritualists of the day, the Fox sisters, for a séance, the barrier between this world and the next is torn asunder. Something horrible comes through and takes up residence alongside Franklin and Jane in the walls of the very White House itself.


Craig Davidson, the bestselling author of The Saturday Night Ghost Club and Canada Reads-finalist Precious Cargo, returns with Cascade,  a story collection crackling with craft and kinetic energy. Set in in the Niagara Falls of Davidson's imagination known as "Cataract City," the superb stories of Cascade shine a shimmering light on this slightly seedy, slightly magical, slightly haunted place. The six gems in this collection each illuminate familial relationships in a singular way: A mother and her infant son fight to survive a car-crash in a remote wintry landscape outside of town. Fraternal twins at a juvenile detention centre reach a dangerous crisis point in their entwined lives. A pregnant social worker grapples with the prospect of parenthood as a custody case takes a dire turn. A hard-boiled ex-firefighter goes after a serial arsonist with a flair for the theatrical even as his own troubled sister is drawn towards the flames. These are just some of the unforgettable characters animating this stellar collection of tales--Davidson's first in 15 years, since Rust and Bone, which inspired a Golden Globe-nominated film.


Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians by Bram Stoker Award-winner Stephen Graham Jones, follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.


A limited number of signed books are available from our friends at Perfect Books.


The Ottawa International Writers Festival is supported by generous individuals like you. Please consider subscribing to our newsletter and making a donation to support our programming and children’s literacy initiatives.



Join Wait List

Fear itself

Notify me if new tickets come available for this event

Number of tickets:

Fear itself

Please RSVP to help us gauge interest in our programming and be reminded when this event premiers