Press and Testimonials
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Cliff Samuels on CHQR
2019 Guest Testimonials
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
...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
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.
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!
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
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.
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)
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
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.
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
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
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
Eve Silver, author of The Game series, the Dark Gothic series and The Otherkin/Sins series
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
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
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
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
WWC Chair Randy McCharles participated in a panel discussion on CBC Calgary on May 22 during the CBC
book sale. (Discussion begins roughly 50 minutes into the recording.)
Robert J. Sawyer, Red Planet Blues, Triggers, FlashForward
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
...a perfect combination of convention and writers conference populated by smart, talented people. I would love to go back.
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
...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."
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!"
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 ..."
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.
“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."
Kobo Director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations
Tomes of Terror: Haunted Bookstores and Libraries
2019 Blog Postings
2014 Blog Postings
Robert Runté, University of Lethbridge Professor, Five Rivers Publishing Senior Editor.
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
2013 WWC Blog Postings
Blog posts from attendees at the 2013 When Words Collide festival:
Michelle Lindah - What I've Found
Another Honour for Kevin J. Anderson
Blog posts from attendees at the 2011 When Words Collide festival:
"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!