When Words CollideWhen Words Collide is a Calgary festival for readers, writers, artists and publishers of commercial and literary fiction including Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Mystery, Historical, Literary, and Nonfiction. The festival runs from August 8 to 10, 2014, from Friday noon – Sunday evening at the Carriage House Inn in Calgary. Concurrent discussion panels, presentations, and workshops on a broad range of topics of interest to readers and writers take place in meeting rooms throughout the host hotel.


Concurrent discussion panels, presentations, and workshops on a broad range of topics of interest to readers and writers take place in meeting rooms throughout the host hotel. A book room, which is open to the public, hosts tables for publishers, book stores, and literary organizations. One low weekend membership fee grants access to all activities. There are no for-fee events (with the exception of a banquet if one is held).

The festival program includes items you may find at a professional writers conference, such as blue pencil cafe and pitch sessions, as well as items you may find at a readers festival, such as talks, readings, and autographs by best-selling authors. Most of the program items are panel discussions where four authors, editors, or other subject experts discuss the aspects of a topic such as how eBooks are impacting how authors write and readers read.

Other popular activities include hands-on workshops, such as learning how people really lived in the Victorian era, or improving dialog in your writing; and Live Action Slush, where editors respond to manuscripts submitted by the audience.

Volunteers Needed

The Writers Guild of Alberta will be hosting an information table at the When Words Collide festival and volunteers are needed to fill various shifts. The festival hours are Friday 12pm-7pm, Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday 10am-4pm. The festival venue is the Carriage House Inn (9030 Macleod Trail South),

Volunteering to be at the WGA info desk doesn’t mean free access to the full weekend festival. The information area is however open to the public and books by festival guests and many attending authors are available for purchase. It is also a great opportunity to say hello to booksellers, small presses, and other writers’ organizations.

As well, there are a number of public events to attend:

On Thursday, August 7th at 7pm at the Fish Creek Library (11161 Bonaventure Drive SE), this year’s festival guests will be reading from current works, taking questions, and signing books.

On Friday, August 8th from 1pm-3pm at the festival, the above event will be repeated.

On Saturday, August 9th from 8pm-9pm, festival guests and many of attending authors will be signing books at a mass autograph session.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact Dan as summer@writersguild.ab.ca or call 780-422-8175 or 1 800-665-5354 and specify when you are available.

Seats are still available for pre-conference workshops for a moderate fee. Check the When Words Collide website for further information.