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Lawrence Hill

Bestselling Author, The Book of Negroes

Lawrence Hill
Interview - The Hour
Interview - TVO
Lawrence Hill
Interview - The Hour
Interview - TVO

A Commonwealth Writers’ Prize-winner and the bestselling author of The Book of Negroes and The Illegal, Lawrence Hill speaks as well as he writes. With engrossing, poignant talks on diverse topics such as channeling creative energy, censorship, racial identity, Black history in Canada, mental health, and the craft of writing, Hill earns praise from every group he addresses.

Hill is the author of 11 bestselling books, which have been translated into many languages and published around the world. His most recent novel is the young adult book, Beatrice and Croc Harry. Hill is currently writing a new novel for adults about the thousands of African American soldiers who helped build the Alaska Highway in British Columbia and Yukon during World War II. He is also a professor of creative writing at the University of Guelph.

Formerly a reporter with The Globe and Mail and a parliamentary correspondent for The Winnipeg Free Press, Hill’s work has earned him several awards. He is the recipient of a National Magazine Award for best feature article, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Governor General’s Award for Popular Media, and the Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prize. Hill is also a Member of the Order of Canada, an inductee of Canada’s Walk of Fame, and the only author to have won CBC’s Canada Reads competition twice.

Fluent in both English and French, Hill delivered the 2013 Massey Lectures based on his non-fiction book Blood: The Stuff of Life. He also co-wrote the adaptation of his book The Book of Negroes for a six-part television miniseries, which won 11 Canadian Screen Awards as well as the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Writing for a Motion Picture. Hill’s one-act, one-woman play, Sensitivity, was commissioned by Obsidian Theatre in Toronto, and aired for one year on CBC Gem TV.

Hill has volunteered overseas four times with Crossroads International and is one of its honorary patrons. He has also volunteered with The Black Loyalist Heritage Society, The Ontario Black History Society, and in federal penitentiaries. He has received 10 honorary doctorates from Canadian universities including Dalhousie University, Western University, The University of Toronto, and The University of British Columbia.

Speaking topics

Presentations listed below include in-person and virtual keynotes, as well as workshops, fireside chats, and other presentation formats.

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Client reviews

  • Mr. Hill is a gifted and engaging speaker who addresses the dynamics of the human condition with passion, compassion and empathy. His audiences, whether they be adults or students, are riveted by his stories and the relevance of his writing to their daily lives. As a Writer-in-Residence over the past two years at the Toronto District School Board, he has left an indelible impression on everyone he has spoken with.

  • Our conference was an enormous success due mostly to the presence of our keynote speaker and workshop leader, Lawrence Hill….He tailored his address to attract the attention of all his audience members and was playful and humourous when it was warranted….I heard only inspired and positive reviews about Lawrence’s keynote from both teachers and students. They were “over the moon” excited about his presentation. Lawrence is certainly a gifted writer whose skills have transcended the written page to the oral forum.

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