Tenth Edition

Due to COVID-19 Pandemic
August 13 to 15, 2021
August 13 to 15, 2021
There are
157 days
The 2021 Online Edition of When Words Collide

Press and Testimonials

Please excuse the mess. We're reformatting this page so some entries are not yet done.

2020 Press

Cliff Samuels on CHQR

Tuesday 2020 March 3

WWC board member Cliff Samuels talks about the 2020 festival with 770 CHQR's Kevin Usselman.

2019 Guest Testimonials

Kat Flannery

Wednesday 2019 October 23

When Words Collide is a weekend of literary fun! You will learn new innovative ways to sharpen your writing, how the publishing industry works and try your hand at pitching an agent! It is a place for creative minds to come together where lasting friendships are made!

Lisa Mangum, Managing Editor, Shadow Mountain, Salt Lake City, Utah

Wednesday 2019 October 23

...I was so impressed with the event! I attend, on average, around 20 writing conferences every year, and When Words Collide ranks among the best-run, most welcoming, and effortlessly executed events that I have been to...I feel lucky to have been invited to attend, and I look forward to being able to attend again in the future.

James Alan Gardner

Wednesday 2019 October 23

When Words Collide is a tremendous concept for a literary convention, and I don't know why more venues aren't copying it. I hope to be able to return next year for their tenth anniversary; I'll certainly try to attend whenever I can.

Jonas Saul

Wednesday 2019 October 23

When Words Collide is a masterclass in itself—engaging, moving, brilliant, and educational...No other conference I’ve attended to date has been as productive, understanding, and diverse as When Words Collide—don’t miss it!

Leanne Shirtliffe

Wednesday 2019 October 23

WWC both inspires and informs in a welcoming, energetic setting. It's the best value-for-money for any writing conference in Alberta and likely beyond. You will not regret going!

2018 Guest Testimonials

Tasha Alexander

Sunday 2018 September 16

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.

Arthur Slade

Thursday 2018 August 30

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.

Erin Lindsey (E.L. Tettensor)

Tuesday 2018 August 28

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.

2017 Guest Testimonials

Andrew Grant

Wednesday 2017 August 30

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.

Sam Morgan

Wednesday 2017 August 30

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!

Harold R. Johnson

Sunday 2017 August 20

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.

2016 Guest Testimonials

Ian Hamilton, author of The Princeling of Nanjing

Sunday 2016 September 18

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.

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

Sunday 2016 September 18

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.

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

Sunday 2016 September 18

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.

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

Sunday 2016 September 18

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.

Robert Runté, Senior Editor

Sunday 2016 September 18

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.

2015 Guest Testimonials

WWC Chair at Calgary Reads

Sunday 2015 May 17

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.)

Robert J. Sawyer, Red Planet Blues, Triggers, FlashForward

Sunday 2015 May 17

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.

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

Sunday 2015 May 17

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

Jacqueline Guest

Sunday 2015 May 17

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.

Walter Jon Williams

Sunday 2015 May 17

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

"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

2019 Blog Postings

2014 Blog Postings

2013 Testimonials

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

Sunday 2014 July 27

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 many suggestions for staging and structure that went straight into my novel writing. So highly recommended.

2013 WWC Blog Postings

Thursday 2013 August 15

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

2012 Press

Michelle Lindah - What I've Found

Friday 2012 August 24

When Words Collide 2012 - Friday

Chadwick Ginther

Sunday 2012 August 19

When Words Collide Roundup

Another Honour for Kevin J. Anderson

Tuesday 2012 June 5

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

Monday 2012 August 6

Five Reasons to Attend When Words Collide by Carrie Mumford

Sunday 2012 July 29

Blog posts from attendees at the 2011 When Words Collide festival:

Tuesday 2012 May 29

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

Alison Lohans (YA/children's author)

Saturday 2012 July 21

"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)

Susan Forest

Saturday 2012 July 21

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!


To Top


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?


There is no paid registration for 2021.

No banquet tickets for sale.

News and Notes

View or Subscribe to Our Newsletters

Contact Us


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

WWC on Facebook
WWC on YouTube
WWC on Twitter

Last modified: 2020 July 05 20:15

GNU Sir Terry Pratchett