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This year's festival is sold out. To be on the waiting list


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

Our festival actively welcomes all lovers of the written word regardless of age, background, citizenship, disabilities, sex, education level, ethnicity, family status, gender, gender identity, experiences, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

We respectfully acknowledge that we are gathered in the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy, including the Siksika, Piikani and Kainai Nations; the Stoney-Nakoda, including the Chiniki, Bearspaw and Wesley Nations; and the Tsuut’ina Nation. Southern Alberta is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.

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Painted Turtle Press

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Alexandra Writers Centre


Important and Emergency Notices

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WWC Registration is Open!

• Saturday 2022 April 16 •

Registration is now open for the When Words Collide 2022 Online Festival.

This year the festival is once again online and free to attend. Registration via Eventbrite is required. The registration details are here.

We are also pleased to announce Master Classes by three of this year's festival guests. Master class details can be found here,

The completed festival program book is now available.

We look forward to seeing you in August!

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When Words Collide 2022

• Saturday 2022 January 15 •

Last August, festival organizers decided to wait 6 months before deciding on the form and scope of our 2022 festival. It was our hope that health policy, including vaccinations, would reduce the severity of the pandemic and that we would be able to resume our in-person festival. Unfortunately, with the rise of COVID variants such as Delta and Omicron, hospitalization rates remain high and government restrictions remain in place. There is still no clear picture of what August 2022 will look like. Therefore, we cannot commit to a resumption of our in-person festival. We do, however, recognize that people are suffering ZOOM fatigue, and online events are not as popular as they were near the beginning of the pandemic. With that in mind, we have decided to host a smaller scale online festival on August 12-14, 2022.

The 2022 festival will offer one scheduled weekend track of programming that includes our appearances by our festival guests: Terry Brooks, Edward Willett, Susanna Kearsley, and Hank Phillippi Ryan. It will also include the Thursday night readings, Friday night Keynotes and Saturday night 2022 Aurora Awards. In addition to our scheduled track of programming, we are inviting our affiliates to host additional concurrent programming if they wish.

The 2022 online festival, like the previous two, will be free to attend. Like 2021, we will require free registration via Eventbrite, which should begin in the April time frame. For those who have prepaid for either the 2020 or 2021 cancelled in-person festivals, passes and banquet tickets will again be rolled forward to 2023. We realize the pandemic has also brought financial hardship to many. If you require a refund, please contact us citing your name, the type of pass purchased, and the approximate time frame of the purchase, and we will see what we can do. If you can forward us your PayPal receipt, that would be especially helpful.

Best wishes to everyone this 2022 year. May the pandemic end soon, and your health and future look bright. See you in August.

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The Festival has Sold Out

• Tuesday 2023 March 28 •

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—, and —will be reading at the Fish Creek Public Library on Thursday August 3rd from 7-9 pm. They will also be reading at the Delta Calgary South Hotel on Friday August 4th from 1 to 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 5th from 8 to 10 pm in the Bonavista Ballroom (Tower Building).
  3. Saturday Night Rapid Readings by attending authors. Saturday August 5th from 7 to 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).


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Edward Willett Interview

• Sunday 2022 August 7 •

WWC featured guest Edward Willett was interviewed Sunday, August 7 on The Alberta Morning News (770 CHQR / 630 CHED). Ed talked about the importance of virtual gatherings, influences and live-streaming nearly daily walks in Regina.

Listen to the interview

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Alexandra Writers Centre

• Thursday 2022 July 28 •

Start building your writing community today! The Alexandra Writers Centre is offering all WWC conference attendees a discount on membership until August 31, 2022. Use CODE WWCFRIEND10.

The Alexandra Writers Centre is not-for-profit organization committed to building a community for writers where they can share their stories and explore their craft. With a wide variety of programs to support and help in the creative process – online and in person – there is always something for everyone. More information at

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Aurora Awards Live Streaming

• Tuesday 2022 July 19 •

On Saturday August 13 we'll be live-streaming the Aurora Awards ceremony. See our Canvention page for the location and time details.

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2021 Session Videos

• Sunday 2022 June 12 •

An Hour with Jonas Saul – WWC 2021: Jonas will discuss several topics starting with the process of preparing and finishing your novel, and concluding with issues related to the business of writing once the novel is completed. Jonas answers attendee questions!

Time Travel: Not Just a Thing of the Past – WWC 2021: Simon Rose, author of fifteen science fiction and fantasy novels, eight guides for writers, and more than 100 nonfiction books shares tips and tricks to weave time travel elements into the plot for any age group. Learn how to plan and realize your novel with an alternate reality element that takes the reader on a logical journey, in an illogical world.

Character Creation - Nancy M Bell WWC 2021: A good story or novel consists of these things: A good story line or plot, a well crafted backdrop or world, and characters who grab the reader by the throat and won’t let go. So where does an author find these feisty characters? How does one go about convincing them to be part of the story? In a word— yourself. All characters are part of the author. No exceptions. Some characters will be front and centre-leaping up and down and shouting at you. Others will be more reticent and need to be coaxed into the limelight. But make no mistake they are all products of the author’s fertile mind.

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Fact in Fiction

• Thursday 2022 May 12 •

The new WWC podcast is available: Writing facts in fiction. The panel examines why and how to build verisimilitude by rooting your fiction in fact. Tip: it can be the difference between a successful work and one that readers abandon (or throw against the wall). Listen to the podcast.

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Self-published vs Traditional

• Saturday 2022 April 9 •

The latest session from our last in-person festival, 2019, is now available for download as a podcast. This time, we're looking at Self-published vs. Traditional publishing with two prolific authors who work, or have worked, both sides of the fence--Jonas Saul and Tracy Cooper-Posey. Listen through Apple, Google, the Samsung podcast app or at

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New podcast in the wind!

• Saturday 2022 March 12 •

Another recording from our 2019 in-person festival. A gaggle of crime/suspense writers share their processes. Which works better? Outlines? Or Discovery? Where to start? Characters? Or high concepts? Are twists and surprises mandatory? Find out with Alice Bienia, Jim Jackson, P. J. Vernon, and moderator David Poulsen.

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Eco-Fiction Podcast

• Friday 2022 February 11 •

The latest podcast from our last in-person festival is available for download. This time, the panel is debating eco-fiction, where to find it in the bookstore, who's reading it and why it matters. The panel: Alexandra Risen, Claudiu Murgan, Merilyn Ruth Liddell, Nina Munteanu and moderator/panelist Candas Jane Dorsey.

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Inside the Minds of Serial Killers

• Saturday 2022 January 8 •

Take a deep dive into the minds of serial killers and the psychopathic and sociopathic thoughts during their horrific actions (some graphic content). Evil Mind Dive

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Worldbuilding in Fiction

• Sunday 2021 December 12 •

All fiction is speculative. Panelists Kevin Weir, Monica Zwikstra, Nina Munteanu, Scott Fitzgerald Gray will discuss the process and fundamentals of realistic worldbuilding, including how and when to combine imagined with real setting details for best effect.

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Tenth Anniversay Song and Story

• Friday 2021 August 20 •

You can listen to our Tenth Anniversary song by Jim Jackson as well as watching the story of how WWC came to be, narrated by Tony King.

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From the WWC Chairman

• Thursday 2021 August 19 •

Thank you everyone for joining us for When Words Collide's 10th Anniversary. It's been quite a ride. We hope you had an enjoyable weekend.

As there is still uncertainty surrounding the future of the pandemic which could impact our 2022 in-person festival, we are not re-opening registration until January. Those who registered for the 2020 or 2021 in-person festivals are already registered for 2022. Once we are satisfied that we won't be forced to have a lower attendance cap next summer, we will re-open registration. Sorry for the delay.

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That's All, Folks!

• Monday 2021 August 16 •

Another year, and another When Words Collide has wound to a successful conclusion. Thank you to everybody who went above and beyond to make this year's festival a success despite the pandemic!

Registration and information for 2022 will be available as soon as the situation becomes clearer. Stay tuned!

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