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 Her first novel, Scarborough, won the Jim Wong-Chu Award for the unpublished manuscript; was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Awards, the Evergreen Forest of Reading Award, the Edmund White Award, and the Trillium Book Award; and a finalist for Canada Reads 2022.

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, I Promise and and Where Do Your Feelings Live? She wrote the screenplay for the film adaptation of Scarborough. It was the 1st runner up for the coveted People’s Choice Award at the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, won the Shawn Mendes Foundation Changemaker Award, was nominated for 11 Canadian Screen Awards and won 8, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay.

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 novel, The Story of Us, about the extraordinary friendship between a caregiver and her elderly client, was published this year by HarperCollins Canada and was an instant bestseller. She is currently working on a few television projects and her fourth novel.


Author Catherine Hernandez will examine embodied allyship as illustrated in her novel Crosshairs and her renowned TEDxToronto Talk. Participants will get the opportunity to create a daily practice training the body towards creating sincere and sustainable change, and discuss the book in an in-depth talkback.

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 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, University of Toronto and Kaha:wi Dance Theatre. The focus can be movement or writing depending on the organization’s requests.

Resilience and grace in the face of adversity is a common theme in Catherine Hernandez’s work. In this in-depth talk and literary reading, Hernandez discusses the dangers of romanticizing resilience and how she aims to give her characters dignity and hope.

Other subjects include:

  • Self-care and body pride.
  • Adapting books to film and television.
  • Public speaking for authors and artists.


To book Catherine Hernandez, contact Rob Firing at


*Photo Credit: Noor Khan