When Words Collideadmin  
August 9 to 11, 2019
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The Ninth Annual Edition of When Words Collide

Press and Testimonials

What Past Guests of Honour are Saying About WWC


“If you can only go to one literary festival, choose When Words Collide. You’ll leave inspired and encouraged, part of an unforgettable community that will bolster you on your way to becoming a better writer. And if you’re a reader, bring a notebook: you’ll want to start a new list of books you’re desperate to read.”

Tasha Alexander


“When Words Collide is a lot like coming home. It felt like every second person was an old friend. The conversations were dynamic, the presentations and panels even more dynamic and the energy of the whole weekend was enough to charge my writerly batteries and inspire me to get to work on my own writing. It was a truly wonderful time.”

Arthur Slade


The atmosphere at WWC is fantastic, and the festival has some of the most thoughtful and interactive panel discussions I've ever encountered. Not only do you get the chance to meet a lot of wonderful writers and readers, you come away with new ideas and an invigorating sense of purpose. Definitely worth marking your calendar every year.

Erin Lindsey (E. L. Tettensor)

When Words Collide was the best literary festival I have ever attended when it comes to connecting readers and writers. It was well organized, inspiring, inclusive, and energizing - all in all, a thoroughly uplifting experience. I particularly appreciated the interaction between fans of authors of different genres - a fertile creative environment that I haven’t experienced anywhere else.

Andrew Grant

WWC was a delightful conference to attend. Everything was extremely well organized and all of the volunteers were incredibly nice. I think everyone from the conference goers to the panelists enjoyed themselves!

Sam Morgan

I had never been to When Words Collide. Didn’t know much about it. Now I do. It is a collection of incredibly friendly and kind people in love with stories and story telling. I don’t know when, but I am sure I am going back. I have friends there now.

Harold R. Johnson


What a joy to spend an entire weekend surrounded by a small army of book lovers. When Words Collide is the real deal when it comes to delivering an audience and an ambience. I wish every author in Canada had the chance to experience that kind of appreciation.

Ian Hamilton, author of The Princeling of Nanjing

A fun and fantastic conference offering engaging panels and workshops for readers and writers of all genres. The organization was as streamlined as the well-oiled gears of a steampunk airship, the attendees were all of my tribe—fellow book lovers—and the experience was one I will never forget. It was an honour and a privilege to be part of this event.

Eve Silver, author of The Game series, the Dark Gothic series and The Otherkin/Sins series

When Words Collide is an amazing conference that inspires writers. From the time I stepped into the hotel lobby to the final panel of the conference, I knew I was in good hands. The organizers knew what they are doing and they cared about authors. The schedule was action-packed and offered something for writers of almost every genre. I only wish I could have cloned myself so I could have attended all the events.

Marty Chan, author of The Marty Chan Mystery series and the Ehrich Weisz Chronicles

I'd heard many things—all good—about When Words Collide, so believe me I was delighted to be invited to attend in 2016. What I'd heard? Understatements. WWC proved to be convention perfection. Just the right size. Just the right shape. With so much to do at any given time that the head spun, yet ample time for conversation and food. Even better? Those attending. This is the favourite destination of writers and readers alike, and I have to say I haven't seen the match for interest and engagement outside a World Fantasy. As for how we were treated? We're coming back for more of that as soon as we're able!

Congratulations to the organizers and to the many dreamers we met in person. Well done.

Julie Czerneda, author of Night's Edge series and The Clan Chronicles

I love the cross-genre pollination: other genres have often worked out strategies for addressing trends and issues that are just now emerging in one’s own. Bringing writers from all these different genres together makes us all stronger.

Robert Runté, Senior Editor

WWC Chair at Calgary Reads


WWC Chair Randy McCharles participated in a panel discussion on CBC Calgary on May 22 during the CBC Calgary Reads book sale. (Discussion begins roughly 50 minutes into the recording.)

What Past Guests of Honour are Saying About WWC


"When Words Collide is my favourite convention, bar none...I go to lots of conventions as an invited guest—I was one of the guests of honour at the first When Words Collide—but WWC is the only one I fly back to year after year at my own expense."

Robert J. Sawyer
Red Planet Blues

"...a perfect combination of convention and writers conference populated by smart, talented people. I would love to go back."

Michael Cassutt
Beverly Hills 90210
Twightlight Zone
Max Headroom
Eerie, Indiana

"When Words Collide is a festival for Readers and Writers at all levels from beginner to seasoned pro! Guaranteed to provide laughter, learning and the best weekend's entertainment on this planet or any other."

Jacqueline Guest
The Comic Book War
Belle of Batoche
Lightning Rider
Hat Trick

"...a delightfully varied experience, with an experienced staff, fascinating guests, and a splendidly diverse approach to modern literature."

Walter Jon Williams
The Fourth Wall
Deep State
The Rift

"An exuberant gathering of readers, writers, artists and publishing professionals, converging from a variety of literary, commercial and performance disciplines and genres... There truly is something for everyone."

Anthony Bidulka
Dos Equis: A Russell Quant Mystery
The Women of Skawa Island

"There's a reason When Words Collide is one of the few sold out literary conferences: well thought out panels and talks, dedicated fans, seamless organization, great hosts. And not to mention parties worth travelling half way across the country for!"

D.J. McIntosh
The Angel Of Eden, June 2015
From Penguin Random House

"... a wonderful, engaging experience ... full of bright and book-savvy people on both sides of the table ... a literary experience that challenges, intrigues and--most of all--delivers what it promises ..."

Rachel Caine
NYT and USA Today bestselling author

A fantastic all-genre conference. As a speaker, I was impressed by the festival’s level of organization and as a writer, I was impressed by just how much fun it was. I’ve been to WWC twice and look forward to returning.

Kelley Armstrong

“When Words Collide is just about my favorite con in the world. Yes, it’s friendly and fun and all the things an author wants a con to be. But more than that, it’s a serious literary convention, run by competent, professional people who know how to put to use those of us who are there to talk about craft and publishings, and attended by smart, talented folks who love the written word. If I could, I’d go back every year.”

David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson
A Plunder of Souls

"...A top notch conference providing information, networking, from professionals and experts from across the spectrum of writing and publishing, and a place where, with over 20 years of experience in the industry, I found great value and walked away with powerful new learnings. I signed up to attend the next year the second they started taking registrations."

Mark Leslie
Kobo Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations
Tomes of Terror: Haunted Bookstores and Libraries

2014 WWC Blog Postings

2013 WWC Testimonials


I must say that WWC is my favourite convention these days. The multi-genre programming has lead to a lot of cross-pollination that is just wonderful. E.g., my favourite panel last year was one given by the Director of The Alberta Playwrights Network on playwriting...so many suggestions for staging and structure that went straight into my novel writing. So highly recommended.

Robert Runté, University of Lethbridge Professor, Five Rivers Publishing Senior Editor.

2013 WWC Blog Postings


Blog posts from attendees at the 2013 When Words Collide festival:

2012 Press

Michelle Lindah - What I've Found


Chadwick Ginther


Another Honour for Kevin J. Anderson


The International Association of Media Tie-in Writers has named author Kevin J. Anderson as this year's Grandmaster, honouring his lifetime achievement in the field.


Carrie Mumford


"I'm definitely planning on attending after hearing so many rave reviews about the 2011 event."

Alison Lohans (YA/children's author)


"I think I speak for everyone who was there—that was an outstanding convention and very worthy of SFC support. I will be there next year, for sure."

Robert Runté (SF author and editor)


"I found When Words Collide to be a very good networking opportunity. Unbeknownst to me, a person attending my reading at the festival last year was an editor for a Canadian publisher, and immediately after my reading he approached me about putting together a collection of my short fiction. Long story short: my collection, Immunity to Strange Tales will be launched at When Words Collide this summer by Five Rivers Chapmanry Press!"

Susan Forest (Fantasy and SF author)