Tenth Edition

Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
August 14 to 16, 2020
Delta Calgary South, Calgary, Alberta
August 14 to 16, 2020
There are
79 days
The Tenth Annual Edition of When Words Collide

2020 Guests

Cathy Ace
Vicki Delany
Steena Holmes
Fonda Lee
Dave Reynolds
Morgan Rhodes

Aurora Award NomineeMutiple winner of the
Aurora Award
for best volunteer-run organization.


The June planning meeting will be held online (TBA) on June 14 starting at 10 AM.


Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, When Words Collide has been cancelled for 2020.
Our Tenth Edition will be pushed to August 2021. All our 2020 guests have agreed to come.
Those who have bought passes have two options:
  1. Refund (email us to request a refund before August 1st)
  2. Applying pass to next year (you don't have to do anything)
Our website information will remain online.
Stay safe.

The Festival has Sold Out

We are, however, maintaining a waiting list for passes that come available due to cancellations. Contact us to be placed on the waiting list. If you cannot find a pass for this year's festival, or have friends who would like to check us out, we do have some free events open to the public.
Public Events (festival pass not required):
  1. Festival Guest readings. This year's festival guests—Cathy Ace, Vicki Delany, Steena Holmes, Fonda Lee, Dave Reynolds, and Morgan Rhodes—will be reading at the Fish Creek Public Library on Thursday August 13th from 7-9 pm. They will also be reading at the Delta Calgary South Hotel on Friday August 14th from 1-3 pm in the Bonavista Ballroom (Tower Building).
  2. Autograph Session. Our festival guests joined by 70+ attending authors will be signing books on Saturday August 15th from 8-10 pm in the Bonavista Ballroom (Tower Building).
  3. Saturday Night Rapid Readings by attending authors. Saturday August 15th from 7-9 PM in the Fireside Room (Tower Building).
  4. Merchants Corner. Books by our festival guests and attending authors and publishers are available all weekend during daytime hours in our Merchant Room located in the Nakiska Ballroom (Atrium Building).
  5. Hidden Art Show. 2-D and 3-D works by attending artists are viewable (with some for sale) all weekend during daytime hours in our Art Room located in the Lake Louise Room (Atrium Building, 2nd floor above the Nakiska Ballroom).

Keynote Speech

The final Keynote speech from the 2019 festival with guest Kat Flannery. https://whenwordscollide.libsyn.com/2019-010-kat-flannery-keynote

Aurora Awards

The Aurora Awards ballot was released this past weekend. Remember to get out and vote once the ballot opens on June 20 2020. prixauroraawards.ca

Jonas Saul Keynote

The Jonas Saul keynote is available for those staying safe at home (don't think of it as stuck). The first three keynotes were full of hope. Jonas offers a different kind of encouragement: how to deal with the unescapable adversity that comes with a writing career. http://whenwordscollide.libsyn.com/2019-009-jonas-saul-keynote

Leanne Shirtliffe Keynote

While we have our fingers crossed for August and WWC ver 10, let Calgary author Leanne Shirtliffe divert you for a few moments in our latest podcast, part three of our 2019 Keynotes. Leanne talks about the meaning of life, Toni Morrison, Quentin Tarantino, Samuel L. Jackson and Tennyson. What could be more diverse (and diversionary)? http://whenwordscollide.libsyn.com/2019-008-leanne-shirtliffe-keynote

Rate Increase

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the festival will increase our pass prices on May 1st instead of April 1st. Thank you for your understanding and best wishes for the health of you and your family.

2019 Keynote

Those of you staying home and keeping your distance are superheroes. In recognition of your efforts, we are pleased to present James Alan Gardner, part two of the 2019 WWC Keynotes for your self-isolating listening pleasure. http://whenwordscollide.libsyn.com/2019-007-james-alan-gardner-keynote

2019 Lisa Mangum Keynote

If you're social-distancing, self-isolating or otherwise feeling cut off from your contacts in the reading/writing community, might we suggest a few minutes with 2019 Festival Guest Lisa Mangum? Listen in as Lisa talks reading, writing, editing, paper clips and Lamborghinis in her festival keynote. Enjoy! http://whenwordscollide.libsyn.com/2019-006-lisa-mangum-keynote

Coronavirus Alert

On March 11th, the World Health Organization (WHO) categorized the coronavirus illness as a pandemic. As a result, many events in upcoming weeks are being canceled. At this time, the organizers of the When Words Collide Festival are optimistic that this epidemic will be under control well before August, and that our event will proceed as planned. Should the situation change, we will let you know. Be assured, however, that we have processes and finances in place to weather a cancellation or postponement should one be needed. In the mean time, we encourage everyone to take precautions for their own health and the health of others. Information for those in Alberta can be found here: www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx

High Crimes In Your Own Backyard

Calgary is a city of bright lights, high energy and dark secrets. In the latest in our series of WWC podcasts, Calgary-area crime writers, J.E. Barnard, Dwayne Claydon, Susan Calder, and David Poulsen, explore those secrets and find murder.

Podcast — Short Stories As a Stepping-Stone

Why write short stories? Where can you sell them? What are editors and readers looking for? Panelists: Carrie Mumford, Jay Martin, Sandra Fitzpatrick, Monica Zwikstra. Listen here

New Podcast

In writing there is a real temptation to 'feel' everything. He felt hungry. She was scared. etc etc What are the physical and emotional indicators that would show this to your readers without having to 'tell' them to death?
Build the emotional connections, so readers feel like the characters are real people.
Writing from the Body

Festival Guest Readings

Meet this year's festival guests: Kat Flannery, James Alan Gardener, Jonas Saul, Lisa Mangum, Leanne Shirtliffe. (Moderator Stacey Kondla) The readings have been split into 6 segments—002a–002f— for ease of listening.
The readings begin with Kat Flannery, who writes historical fiction, westerns, suspense, romance. She likes to mix it all together and maybe a little whiskey.
The readings continue with science fiction and fantasy author James Alan Gardner who likes math and geology and teaches kung-fu to kids. (PG for coarse language.)
Next up is writer and editor Lisa Mangum whose first paid work in the literary world was shelving books at the Sandy Library in Utah. She works at Shadow Mountain Publishing and has published a time-travel/romance trilogy.
Jonas Saul is a prolific writer of thrillers with more than 30 novels and 50 short stories to his credit. He started as an indie author, but after selling more than 2 million books, traditional publishing came calling. (PG for language)
Last, but not least, Leanne Shirtliffe is a teacher who is also the author of seven picture books for children and two books of non-fiction humour about parenting.
Following the readings, fesitval guests Kat Flannery, James Alan Gardner, Lisa Mangum, Jonas Saul and Leanne Shirtliffe discuss e-books versus hard copies, indie versus traditional publishing and other issues.

New Podcast

The 2019 podcasts launch with Live Action Slush--Early Bird Edition. This fan favourite features anonymous manuscript first pages read aloud for the audience and instantly critiqued by writers and editors Candas Jane Dorsey, Carrie Mumford, Celeste A. Peters, Robert Runte and Rhonda Parrish.

Feedback Works

We were having trouble with our feedback form due to increased security at our hosting site. It seems to work now, so if there is a problem let us know.

That's All, Folks!

Another year, and another When Words Collide has wound to a successful conclusion.
Inspirational Music


When Words Collide is a festival for readers, writers, artists and publishers of commercial and literary fiction, including genre, YA, children's books, and poetry. Would you like to know more?


Registration is closed.

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The current adult passholder rate is $50 CAD. Prices will increase on August 1st. You can register online, use our registration form or, in Calgary, stop in at The Sentry Box at 1835 - 10th Avenue SW to purchase your pass.

If we are sold out in advance, passes will not be available at the door.

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When Words Collide,
c/o The Sentry Box,
1835 - 10th Avenue SW,
Calgary, Alberta,
T3C 0K2, Canada.

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Last modified: 2020 May 17 08:36

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