Photo Credit: Noor Khan

Catherine Hernandez (she/her) is an award-winning author and screenwriter. She is a proud queer woman who is of Filipino, Spanish, Chinese and Indian descent and married into the Navajo Nation. Her first novel, Scarborough, won the Jim Wong-Chu Award for the unpublished manuscript; was a finalist for the Toronto Book Awards, the Evergreen Forest of Reading Award, the Edmund White Award, and the Trillium Book Award; and was longlisted for Canada Reads. She has written the critically acclaimed plays Singkil, The Femme Playlist and Eating with Lola and the children’s books M Is for Mustache: A Pride ABC Book and I Promise. She recently wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of Scarborough, produced by Compy Films with support from Telefilm Canada and Reel Asian Film Festival. The film had its world premiere at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by levelFILM. She is the creator of Audible Original’s audio sketch comedy series Imminent Disaster. Her second novel, Crosshairs, published simultaneously in Canada and the US and the UK, was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award and made the CBC’s Best Canadian Fiction, NOW Magazine’s 10 Best Books, Indigo Best Book, Audible Best Audiobooks and NBC 20 Best LGBTQ Books list of 2020. Her third children’s book, Where Do Your Feelings Live? which is a guide for kids living through these scary times, has been commissioned by HarperCollins Canada and will be published in winter 2022. Her third novel, PSW, about the unlikely friendship between a caregiver and her elderly client, will be published in winter 2023 by HarperCollins Canada.


Catherine’s novel, Scarborough, is required reading for a number of universities from Brock to Queen’s to University of Toronto. Part literary reading, part discussion, students of social work, nursing, early childhood education, teacher’s education, law and more learn to engage and outreach with communities in ways that are responsible, sustainable and mutually beneficial.

Catherine has been a youth educator since she was 15 dealing with groups ranging from ex-child soldiers in Colombia to pre-med students in Duke University. She has, through trial and error, developed strategies to engage with a wide range of communities that are sincere and genuine.

The elements of these types of workshops or discussions usually include:
–Readings from the novel that depict these themes
–Writing exercises to envision possible positive outcomes
–Writing exercises and discussion to acknowledge systems of privilege and oppression that impact a community, to acknowledge how participants benefit or are marginalized by those systems
–Writing exercises to encourage participants to voice frustrations with current institutions and envision better management practices
–Discussions on self-care for frontline workers, concluding with further readings from the novel which depict this theme

Catherine allows artists of all backgrounds and skill levels to decolonize their practice by doing several exercises that distract the colonized voice within and allow their true voice to emerge.

This workshop for artists in the literary, theatre and dance industries has been done for various organizations such as Sherbourne Health Centre, the Inspirit Foundation and Kaha:wi Dance Theatre. The focus can be movement or writing depending on the organization’s requests.

The elements of these types of workshops or discussions usually include:
–Writing/movement exercises that distract the colonized part of our psyche
–Writing/movement exercises that challenge us to align with our ancestors
–Sharing of writing/movement messages from our ancestors
–Break-out sessions to work in groups on a collective piece

There are a wealth of incredibly talented writers who do not feel confident reading their own work.

Catherine, whose recording of Scarborough earned her a Top 10 Audiobook for Audible in 2018, pries shy authors out of their shells by teaching them how to deliver an entertaining and riveting reading.

This workshop includes practicing reading out loud, being looked at, breaking down a script and troubleshooting technical issues.

Since being featured in NOW Magazine’s 2017 Love Your Body Issue, Catherine has had numerous requests to speak to folks about her journey of healing from rape and abuse to renowned LGBTQ2S author. In this workshop, Catherine shares her journey from being a survivor, former single mom and home daycare owner while writing in the evenings and weekends.

The elements of these discussions usually include:
–Literary readings surrounding these themes
–Writing exercises to express body shame and pride
–Sharing of writing and affirmation of participants

Other subjects include:
— Queer parenting
–Writing prose using theatre development techniques
–Queer Femininity
–Embodying allyship and anti-oppression

To book Catherine Hernandez, contact Rob Firing at