Stephen King and Owen King to Headline PEN Canada Benefit

By | April 26, 2013 at 10:01 am | 26 comments | News | Tags: , ,



 April 16, 2013 

Toronto – Thirty-nine years, 50 books, and 350 million copies into his literary career, Stephen King will discuss the writing life with his son, first-time novelist Owen King on the opening night of the 34th International Festival of Authors.

In his only scheduled Canadian appearance, Stephen King and his son, Owen King, will headline PEN Canada’s annual benefit to take place on Thursday, October 24th, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. in the Fleck Dance Theatre at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto. Award-winning mystery writer Louise Penny will moderate the discussion.

“We are thrilled that Stephen and Owen King are supporting the work of PEN,” said Charlie Foran, President, PEN Canada. “The evening promises to be a rare glimpse of an intimate father-son conversation about life and art.”

Stephen King will present his new novel, Doctor Sleep, which returns to the characters and the territory of his first best-selling hardcover novel, The Shining, including the now middle-aged Dan Torrance. Owen King will present his debut novel, Double Feature, which explores the creative life and the complicated relationship between a B-movie actor and his filmmaking son.

Tickets to the event are $100 with all proceeds going to PEN Canada. Advance tickets will be available to PEN Patrons and the International Festival of Authors Patrons at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16th by calling the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416-973-4000. Tickets for the general public will be available on Thursday, April 18th at 1:00 p.m. by calling the box office or by visiting For information on how to become a PEN Canada Patron call 416-703-8448. For information on how to become a Patron of the International Festival of Authors call 416-973-4760.

About the authors

Owen King is a graduate of Vassar College and the MFA program at the Columbia University School of the Arts. He is the author of Double Feature: A Novel and We’re All in This Together: A Novella and Stories. His writing has appeared in Fairy Tale Review, Guernica, One Story, and Prairie Schooner, among other publications. Owen has also taught creative writing at Columbia University and Fordham University and is a working screenwriter with a script in development by the producer of Winter’s Bone. He is married to the novelist Kelly Braffet.

Stephen King was born in Portland, Maine in 1947, the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. He made his first professional short story sale in 1967 to Startling Mystery Stories. In the fall of 1973, he began teaching high school English classes at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels. In the spring of 1973, Doubleday & Co., accepted the novel Carrie for publication, providing him the means to leave teaching and write full-time. He has since published over 50 books and has become one of the world’s most successful writers.

Stephen lives in Maine and Florida with his wife, novelist Tabitha King. They are regular contributors to a number of charities including many libraries and have been honored locally for their philanthropic activities.

Louise Penny is the New York Times and Globe & Mail bestselling author of the Chief Inspector Gamache crime novels of which How the Light Gets In is the most recent, set in Quebec and translated into 25 languages. Her books have won the American Anthony, Agatha, Barry and Macavity awards, the Canadian Arthur Ellis and the British Dagger. CBC Television is turning her works into a series of films. Louise lives with her husband Michael outside a village in southern Quebec.


Media Contacts:

Sasha Chapman, Event Chair, sasha[at] or 416-971-5004 ext. 240

Tasleem Thawar, Executive Director, PEN Canada, tthawar[at] or 416-703-8448 ext. 24

PEN Canada is a nonpartisan organization of writers that works with others to defend freedom of expression as a basic human right, at home and abroad. PEN Canada promotes literature, fights censorship, helps free persecuted writers from prison, and assists writers living in exile in Canada.

International Festival of Authors

Each October, the IFOA presents a wide range of readings, round table discussions, on stage interviews, book signings and a number of special events featuring the most exciting authors in contemporary literature. Administered by Authors at Harbourfront Centre, this year’s 34th annual IFOA takes place from October 24 to November 3, 2013.

Photo credits: Stephen King (Shane Leonard);  Owen King (Danielle Lurie)

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  1. Jason Shayer (4 years ago)

    Hello, will there be a signing at this event?

    • Brendan de Caires (4 years ago)

      Hi Jason, Yes, there will be a one-hour book signing with 400 signed copies of Doctor Sleep for sale.

      • Booness (4 years ago)

        Just curious, Brendan: Where did you find that info about those 400 signed books? And do you have any other details beyond what you provided in your reply? Thanks!

  2. Nick (4 years ago)

    Will Stephen be signing copies of older books, or just Doctor Sleep?

    • PENCanada (4 years ago)

      Hi Nick, He will be signing one book per person. It can be an old or new book.

  3. Lynne Krop (4 years ago)

    @disqus_aOWRuYAvTB:disqus Stephen King NEVER signs older books. NEVER! Think about it. If he signs just one older novel, then he will be bombarded with people wanting the same thing and then all hell breaks loose. In addition, an older book signed and if it’s a first edition print, instantly becomes a magic money bag. When Mr. King dies (I rue the day), all those first edition print and signed books will be worth milions! Don’t waste your time bringing an old book. Purchase a copy of the 400 limited edition signed copies of Doctor Sleep.

    • Nick (4 years ago)

      Lynne, you are very wrong. He usually does 1-2 events each year where he will sign older copies of his books.

    • Dez (4 years ago)

      Nick is right. Last year King spoke @ the Savannah Book Festival and as long as you bought his new book, you could get a book signed. ANY BOOK YOU WANTED! I had my copies of Christine and the Dead Zone signed!

  4. Paul Bolton (4 years ago)

    What will the cost be for the signed Doctor Sleep books?

    • PENCanada (4 years ago)

      Hi Paul, the pre-signed copies will be $37 each. One book per person.

  5. macaroo (4 years ago)

    I’ve been waiting for Stephen King to come to Canada my entire life. Now I just need to figure out the logistics of going to Toronto from Ottawa on a Thursday!

  6. (4 years ago)

    I would be travelling from the southern U.S. so, because of the distance, I want to know how it is determined who will be among the 400 able to receive the signed books. Are there a reserved number for patrons and is it reasonable to expect that non-patrons would have an opportunity to be among the 400?

    • tasleemthawar (4 years ago)

      Hi there,
      There are 440 seats in the theatre, and 400 pre-signed copies of the book for sale, one copy per ticket holder. So, there’s a good chance you can buy one of these books.

  7. Candace A.M. (4 years ago)

    I sure as hell hope I get a shot at one of those signed copies – as I just purchased a ticket to this event and will have to travel from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. To be able to see Stephen King is a bucket list item for sure! I am soo excited! I have been reading his books for 30 years!

  8. Admin (4 years ago)

    Read more about the great author at

  9. Booness (4 years ago)

    Hello! With the event in question due to take place in just a few weeks, I am hoping somebody at PEN Canada will provide us anxious fans with at least a few more details, especially about the book signing itself. For example: Will there be at least one book available for everybody in attendance? (This appearance is to be held at the Fleck Dance Theatre which can seat up to 446 patrons.) Are those books going to be PRE-signed and THEN distributed? If so, is it going to be first come, first served? May I bring my own (unsigned) copy instead? Are your copies going to be sold at the start of the event or at its conclusion? Cash, or charge? Obviously, any additional information you can provide ahead of time would be greatly appreciated… and not just by yours truly either, I assure you! Thanks!

    • tasleemthawar (4 years ago)

      Hi there, thanks for your question. The details on the book signing are as follows:
      There will be 400 pre-signed copies of Doctor Sleep available for purchase, 1 per ticket holder. There will also be a book-signing by Stephen King after the event. The book-signing will last 1 hour, and each person will be allowed to have ONE book of their choice signed. I hope this is helpful!

      • Booness (4 years ago)

        Yes that is VERY helpful indeed! On behalf of everybody who was wondering about this, thanks! Just one more quick question (sorry!). Will the sale of those pre-signed books take place BEFORE or AFTER the event? If other words, will the book sale be held at the same time as the book signing? Thanks!

        • tasleemthawar (4 years ago)

          The pre-signed books will be on sale both before and after the event. The doors open at 7:30pm. Cheers!

  10. Devon (4 years ago)

    If I already purchased Doctor Sleep (couldn’t resist!) can I bring it for him to sign, or would I have to buy one of these 400 copies?

    • tasleemthawar (4 years ago)

      Hi Devon,
      You can bring in your own copy for him to sign.

  11. Don Cavaliere (4 years ago)

    What is price on the pre-signed Dr. Sleep novels?

    • PENCanada (4 years ago)

      Hi Don, The pre-signed books will be $37.

      • Don Cavaliere (4 years ago)

        Great, thanks for the reply.
        What time will the doors open?

      • Don Cavaliere (4 years ago)

        That was a great event and it was also nice to finally meet Stephen King. I think everyone that wanted a signature got one last night. Thanks again for bringing Stephen King to Toronto

  12. Stephen King in Toronto – Thurs Oct 24 2013 | Todd H Dow (4 years ago)

    […] first heard that Stephen King was coming to Toronto back in April. Tickets to the PEN Canada Benefit went on sale online on April 18 at 1pm. Needless to say, I was ready with web browser in hand at […]


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