Virtual Festival Program
We are currently developing our 2022 schedule. See below for program information as it develops.
Note: The program will evolve over the coming weeks. Everything so far is tentative.
Last Update: 2022-06-21
View the program book in development
View the program by sponsor.
Those who registered at Eventbrite for this year who wish to participate in our online shared author's table may register their works as described in your registration. Please read the instructions carefully.
2022 Festival Guests
Terry Brooks was born in Illinois in 1944. He spent a great deal of his childhood and early adulthood dreaming up stories in and around Sinnissippi Park, the very same setting for Running with the Demon. He received his undergraduate degree from Hamilton College, where he majored in English Literature, and went on to earn his graduate degree from the School of Law at Washington & Lee University.
A writer since high school and heavily influenced by William Faulkner, it took him seven years to finish writing The Sword of Shannara, which published in 1977. It became the first work of fiction to ever appear on the New York Times trade paperback bestseller list, where it remained for over five months.
He published The Elfstones of Shannara in 1982 and The Wishsong of Shannara in 1985, both bestsellers.
Since that time, he has written numerous novels in the Shannara, Landover, and Word/Void series, including being hand-selected by George Lucas to write the novelization of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, which hit #1 on the New York Times bestseller list.
“The Shannara Chronicles,” a first season 10-episode TV show, premiered January 5, 2016 on MTV. It adapts The Elfstones of Shannara and features the creative talents of Jon Favreau, Al Gough, Miles Millar, Jonathan Liebesman, and Terry Brooks as an Executive Producer.
Terry Brooks lives with his wife Judine in the Pacific Northwest and on the road meeting his fans.
New York Times, USA Today, and Globe and Mail bestselling author Susanna Kearsley is a former museum curator who loves restoring the lost voices of real people to the page, writing twin-stranded stories that typically interweave modern adventure with romance, historical intrigue, and sometimes an edge of the unexplained. First published in 1994, she has been a full-time writer since 1996, and is currently at work on her fifteenth novel. Her books, which have sold over a million copies in North America alone and are available in translation in more than 25 countries, have won the Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize, RT Reviewers’ Choice Awards, and National Readers’ Choice Awards, and been finalists for the UK’s Romantic Novel of the Year and the Crime Writers of Canada's Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel. A settler on Anishinaabe lands near Toronto, she has also lived in Texas, South Korea, and, all too briefly, in Wales. Photo credit: Wendy McAlpine Website: https://susannakearsley.com/
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the USA Today bestselling author of 14 psychological thrillers, winning the genre's most prestigious awards: five Agathas, four Anthonys, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also investigative reporter for Boston's WHDH-TV, winning 37 EMMYs. Book reviewers call her “a master of suspense” and “superb and gifted storyteller.” THE FIRST TO LIE garnered a Publishers Weekly starred review and was nominated for the Anthony Award for Best Novel and Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her current thriller, HER PERFECT LIFE, received starred reviews from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly, which called it "A superlative thriller." It is now an Agatha nominee for Best Novel of the Year. Watch for THE HOUSE GUEST, coming in 2023. Website: https://hankphillippiryan.com/
Edward Willett is the award-winning author of more than sixty books of
science fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction for readers of all ages,
including the Worldshapers series and the Masks of Agyrima trilogy (as
E.C. Blake) for DAW Books, the YA fantasy series The Shards of
Excalibur, and the YA SF novel Star Song, among many others. He
won Canada’s Aurora Award for Best Long-Form Work in English in 2009
for Marseguro (DAW) and for Best Fan Related Work in 2019 for
The Worldshapers podcast, where he interviews other science
fiction and fantasy authors about the creative process. He has been
shortlisted several times. His twelfth novel for DAW Books, the
humorous space opera The Tangled Stars, comes out this
Ed is also the owner of Shadowpaw Press, named after his black Siberian cat, which has published two anthologies of short fiction by guests of The Worldshapers podcast, Shapers of Worlds and Shapers of Worlds Volume II. Volume III is planned for this fall. In addition to publishing these anthologies and republishing Ed’s own titles that have been orphaned by other publishers, Shadowpaw Press is now publishing original novels by other authors, and Ed hopes to do more of that in the future.
Ed’s non-fiction titles run the gamut from children’s science books and biographies to local histories to Genetics Demystified, published by McGraw-Hill. A former newspaper reporter and editor, Ed is also a professional actor and singer who has performed in numerous plays, operas, and musicals over the years.
Ed lives in Regina, Saskatchewan, with his wife, Margaret Anne Hodges, P.Eng., a past president of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan. They have a college-aged daughter, Alice. Find Ed on Twitter @ewillett, on Facebook @edward.willett, on Instagram @edwardwillettauthor, and on YouTube at youtube.com/edwardwillett. Website: https://edwardwillett.com/
Returning Festival Guests
Confirmed Presenters / Panelists
Dorothy Bentley discovered a love of nature, travel, books, and scribbling words during her formative years in Southern Ontario. Transplanted to Alberta, she is a previous freelance writer of articles, cartoons, and columns and has recently shifted to writing solely poetry and fiction. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in literary journals, while her poetry picture book, *Summer North Coming*, was released in 2019 by Fitzhenry & Whiteside. Two middle grade chapbooks are forthcoming in 2022. She divides her time between a writerly life and serving Alberta authors through her work as Program Coordinator for the Writers' Guild of Alberta.
Photo Credit: Rachel Ellen Photography
Karl has enjoyed a career in education, technologies, engineering, and domestic / international consulting. His early years began as a Teacher and Vice-Principle followed with a transition to business development in the evolving computer sector, primarily in the energy and engineering sectors, with senior positions in Xerox and Data General. His work life culminated with international consulting projects in the oil/gas, infrastructure, financial, and technology sectors for the World Bank and private sector enterprises.
Karl’s vast experiential background provided the foundation for his literary works. His greatest concern is the impact of technological disruption on humanity’s future. Rather than write his insights in nonfiction, he chose the more engaging fiction genre as his message delivery tool. His academics include Education, Computing Science, Honours Math / Physics, Geology, Geophysics and Petrophysics
Current Publishing Credits: *The Awakening: A New Artificial Intelligence*, *The Integration: A New Artificial Intelligence*, and *The AI War: A New Artificial Intelligence*.
Dwayne Clayden is the best-selling author of the Brad Coulter Thriller Series.
His recent releases are 13 Days of Terror and Goddess of Justice.
Dwayne combines his knowledge and experience as a police officer and paramedic to write realistic crime thrillers.
Crisis Point, Dwayne’s first novel, was a finalist for the 2015 Crime Writers of Canada, Arthur Ellis Awards. Dwayne is a popular speaker at conferences and writing groups presenting on realistic police, medical, and paramedic procedures.
“Clayden’s writing is crisp and his characters jump from the pages. His novels allow me to delve into the depths of the villain’s mind but experience the goodness of Brad Coulter.”
Susan Forest is the author of dual Aurora Award-winners *Bursts of Fire* (2019) and *Flights of Marigold* (2020) as well as over 25 internationally-published short stories (Analog, Asimov's,Beneath Ceaseless Skies). She edits an award-winning anthology series for Laksa Media Groups, was Editor Guest of Honour at Keycon in 2022, and has been invited to co-edit *Life Beyond Us*, coming out from the European Astrobiology Institute in 2022. *Gathering of Ghosts*, the third novel of her Addicted to Heaven series (forthcoming, 2023) confronts issues of addictions in an epic fantasy world of intrigue and betrayal.
Michael Gillett is currently president of IFWA, and as such feels tremendous pressure to write more. As a recently retired worker bee, he is indeed writing more, and has multiple short stories published (with an Aurora nomination for one of them) along with his first novel : *The Collection of Jacqueline Melrose – Revenge*. His second novel is in final editing, third and fourth novels in various tattered stages…
Born in French Canada to a Japanese mother and Chinese father, Calvin D. Jim has spent his life going in several directions at once: writer, editor, lawyer, gamer-geek, dad. He is a Prix Aurora Award nominated author of the short stories *Rose’s Arm* in the anthology *Where the Stars Rise*; and *Breathe* in the anthology *Prairie Gothic*; and nominated co-editor of the anthology *Shanghai Steam*, the Steampunk-Wuxia anthology. His Asian-inspired stories have appeared in *Rigor Amortis*, *Crossed Genre Quarterly* and the *Tomorrow* anthology. His latest story, *Clear Waters*, can be found in the anthology *Seasons Between Us* writing under C.J. Cheung. This short story has also been nominated for the Prix-Aurora Award for Best Short Story in 2022. Calvin lives in Calgary, Alberta, with his wife, two kids, and an ever-expanding army of meeples. Website: http://www.calvindjimauthor.ca
C. J. Lavigne is the author of the urban fantasy novel *In Veritas*
(NeWest Press, 2020). Her short fiction has been published in venues
such as *On Spec*, *Fusion Fragment*, *Augur Magazine*, and *Daily Science
Fiction*. Find her on Twitter @seajaylav.
From my earliest memories I have been fascinated by the concept of the warrior. Now it is one thing to be interested in these things, but I had to make a living, and my career in IT has been rewarding, and satisfying. But I wanted more, and having lived under my dictum of Esse Quam Vederi (To be rather than to seem), and my goal of being a Renaissance Man, I sought out realistic martial training to complement my other developing skills. I was so lucky to find the ForgeWMA club. I have really enjoyed the last ten years of training in swordsmanship of the German schools and Modern Combatives. For the last 3 years I have been the ForgeWMA President, and part time instructor for the club.
Alex Williamson has mostly built his life around books and fighting people. He has a collective 17 years experience in sport fencing and Historical European Martial Arts. He has nine short stories published, and his first book of poetry, *Very Bright, Almost Pretty*, was released by Frontenac House Ltd. in 2020. And yes, the book has poems about sword fighting.