Wreck Our Brand: The Scream unFestival

Poor decision making has been an important part of The Scream’s programming philosophy since its inception (case-in-point: we named it “The Scream”), so this year we invite you to carry on this spirit without us. Introducing The Scream unFestival, a chance for us tired Scream organizers to watch you do all the heavy lifting by organizing a Scream event of your own. We're only organizing two more shows - an opener and the Mainstage - but we invite you to fill in the empty dates with an event of your choosing. It could be a reading, a workshop, a new lit series, an homage to the festival, a remounting of your favourite event, a critique of our lousy programming and lack of sound literary values, a protest against our elitist corporatism or whatever comes to mind.

There are no restrictions, only caveats:

  • The Scream cannot fund your readers or your event. You’re on your own.
  • The Scream cannot provide staff, volunteers or organizational assistance. Feel free to approach Screamers independently if you’d like.
  • You don't need Bill’s permission to organize something. You just need to ask him for the login for this page (at bill@thescream.ca ). Once you get it, feel free to pencil (or type) yourself in. Feel free to hold your event in secret if you want to wipe off our establishment stink!
  • We will try to promote your event as we can, but no promises. This page will serve as its own promotion. Use The Scream in your event title if you think it'll juice your attendance. It's never worked for us, but there's always a first time!
  • Please try to avoid our two nights - Thursday July 7th and Monday, July 11th. Consider it a favour to us.
  • Having said that, be emotionally prepared for conflicts. There's been early interest in the concept, so free nights between July 4th and 10th may be at a premium. Conflicts aren't the worst thing, however, a thousand flowers blooming and all that. As well - there's nothing preventing you from scheduling your event outside of Scream week (perhaps other than a lack of good sense, and we've already covered that).
  • Don't compromise – do something that you care about. If I've learned anything doing the Scream it's how surprisingly difficult it is to pursue things that matter in literature. Pleasing too many people is the surest path to mediocrity. Do something awesome instead.

So, you've read the terms-and-conditions above and got your naked ChatRoulette reading of Ulysses (“NoBloomersDay”) all set up. What do you do now?

Simple - get login information from bill@thescream.ca, login in, click the "edit" tab that will appear, and vandalize the entry below with your event info. Don't worry if you don't know all your details yet - put any TBAs, solicitations and vague thoughts in the body of entry and update them as details emerge. We'd recommend organizing something between July 4th and 10th, but there's no real reason why you'd need to stick to those dates. HAVE AT IT!


Your event
WHEN: Sometime.
WHERE: Somewhere.
WHAT: Something wicked.
WHO: Some excellent artists.

Mercury event in resonance with the Scream
WHEN: Wednesday, July 6th, 8 p.m.
WHERE: Linux Caffe, 326 Harbord Street (at Grace, a short walk south from Christie Subway station)
WHO: confirmed readers: Richard Truhlar, Guy Ewing, and Brian Dedora
ORGANIZER: The Mercury Press

Pivot Wrecks Scream, starting with its Artistic Directors
WHEN: Wednesday, July 6th @ 8:00PM
WHERE: The Press Club (850 Dundas Street West)
WHAT: Toronto's friendliest series hosts a pre-Scream Pivot with Scream Artistic Directors past and present Bill Kennedy, Peter McPhee, and Matthew Remski.
ORGANIZER: Sachiko Murakami for Pivot Readings at the Press Club (pivot.readings@gmail.com)
LINK: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=157790280958209

WHEN: Thursday, July 7, 2011, 8 p.m.
WHERE: The Lounge @ 99 Sudbury Street
WHAT: Recreations, reflections, and responses to 19 years of The Scream
WHO: Gerry Shikatani, Jessica Westhead, Tony Burgess, Derek McCormack, Kevin Connolly, Lisa Foad, Stuart Ross, Tamara Romanchuk, The Emergency Response Unit, Tom MacKay, Evan Munday, and more!
ORGANIZER: The Scream Literary Festival

Evie Christie, Malcolm Sutton & Jacob Wren
WHEN: Friday July 8th, 6:00 - 7:00 pm
WHERE: Parkdale Public Library
WHAT: Three dynamic writers read from their recent work, inspired by the Scream in High Park's call for an "unFestival". Jacob saw on the internet that it would be the last Scream in High Park ever, realized he hadn't read in Toronto in a really long time, and asked a few of his favourite local writers to join him. A rare event.
WHO: Evie Christie, Malcolm Sutton, Jacob Wren

Variations on a Scream: Mobile Street Mic
WHEN: Friday, July 8th @ 7pm-?
WHERE: Starting in Bellevue Square, and traveling through Kensington Market & downtown Toronto.
WHAT: The Steel Bananas Art Collective will be meandering the streets of Toronto armed with a wagon, microphone, and Polaroid camera, inviting passersby to take a moment to offer "Variations on a Scream" and improvisational poetry on the street. Each poet-for-a-moment will be photographed for a large piece to be presented to the Scream organizers, in appreciation for their years of work and dedication.
WHO: Passersby, chance meetings with closeted or not-so-closeted poets, and YOU.
ORGANIZER: The Steel Bananas Art Collective

Meet the Presses SCREAMING Chapbook Market
WHEN: Saturday, July 9, noon - 5 pm
WHERE: Clinton's Tavern, 693 Bloor Street West
WHAT: The Meet the Presses collective celebrates the final Scream Festival with a stapled, folded, stitched, and trimmed chapbook market! Some of us believe the chapbook is the natural and friendly form for publishing poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Come join us and check out this stubborn resister of eBooks and spines!
WHO: BookThug, Emergency Response Unit, Gesture Press, Proper Tales Press, Serif of Nottingham, Underwhich Editions and lots more presses from Ontario and perhaps further!
ORGANIZER: Meet the Presses (meetthepresses@gmail.com)

The Wrecking Ball
WHEN: Saturday, July 9th, 8pm
WHERE: The Hard Luck Bar, downstairs
WHAT: Experimental poets share the stage with heavy metal bands. A literary demolition derby. Collaborative elements encouraged.
WHO: poets: angela rawlings, Damian Rogers, Chris Doda, Dani Couture
bands: Sylvus/ Vilipend/ Ein Traum
ORGANIZER: Natalie Zina Walschots
Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=223564044329429

WHEN: Monday, July 11, 2011, 7 p.m.
WHERE: High Park Amphitheatre, High Park
WHAT: The one that started it all – 12 readings under the High Park stars
WHO: Gary Barwin and Gregory Betts, Christian Bök and Darren Wershler, Margaret Christakos, Dani Couture, Sheila Heti and Misha Glouberman, Aisha Sasha John, Shawn Micaleff, Angela Szczepaniak, Hugh Thomas, Nick Thran, Mark Truscott, and mystery guests …
ORGANIZER: The Scream Literary Festival


WHEN: Friday July 8th or Saturday, July 9th, 7pm
WHERE: Sneaky Dee's (unconfirmed)
WHAT: Experimental poets share the stage with heavy metal bands. A literary demolition derby.
WHO: TBA (I have ideas though)
ORGANIZER: Natalie Zina Walschots