Call for Presenters

When Words Collide is an annual festival devoted to the written word, be it genre fiction, literary fiction, or non-fiction; prose or poetry; novel, short fiction, or script. A typical When Words Collide features over 100 writers, editors, publishers, and illustrators from across Canada and the U.S. who are joined by some 400 of their most passionate and articulate readers for a long weekend of intense conversation.

Each year When Words Collide honours several authors and one editor for their achievements in the publishing industry. But the bulk of our program consists of 100+ additional presenters who share their knowledge of literature, industry experience, and topical expertise to educate and delight their audience.

Our 2014 program, which runs from 1 PM Friday to 5 PM Sunday, consists of over 200 programming hours, a delectable buffet of discussions, presentations, and workshops. If you would like to participate in our program, please let us know so that we can include you.

Presenter Opportunities include:

  • Discussion Panels - 4 speakers discuss a set topic, offering different points of view, backgrounds and experiences, and take questions from the audience.
  • Verbal Presentations - A single speaker or team presents a topic.
  • Visual Presentations - A single speaker or team presents a topic with the aid of a PC projector.
  • Academic Papers - A single speaker presents a 15 minute version of an academic paper (3 papers per program hour).
  • Book Events - Publishers and authors host 50-minute social events around new and upcoming titles or other activities in the literary world.
  • Workshops - A single instructor walks up to 30 participants through a topic in their field.
  • Pitch Sessions - A single editor takes 5 minute pitches from writers with manuscripts.
  • Blue Pencil CafĂ© - A single editor spends 12 minutes offering feedback on manuscript first pages.

Presenters are encouraged to suggest topics they would like to speak on and to join Discussion Panels suggested by other presenters.

Like our organizers and on-site volunteers, we ask that our Presenters volunteer their time and talents. Our goal as a festival is to be affordable to readers and writers regardless of circumstances. To do so we cannot monetarily reward presenters. All we can offer is to include your brief bio (max 110 words) and head shot on our web site and in our program book along with the good feeling that comes from giving back to the community.

We do not require presenters to register for the festival for the purposes of presenting, but we do encourage you to consider attending for the weekend if you feel you would enjoy the rest of the program as an attendee. More information on how our event is structured can be found in our FAQ. Please let us know if you do not intend to register for the festival so that we can send you information on how to get to your specific event(s).

Note for Attending Authors

Whether you are presenting or not, attending authors with published titles have opportunities to make them available to other attendees and the general public.

  • The Merchants Corner - Check with our onsite book stores and publishers to see if their carry your titles. Let them know you will be promoting your titles at the festival and will be available for autographs. If they do not carry your titles, IFWA (the Imaginative Fiction Writers Association) hosts a shared author table where you can make your titles available.
  • Autograph Session - On Saturday evening we have space for 100 authors to sign books. Let us know if you would like one of those spots.

Program in Development

Between now and April 1, 2014 we will be adding topics and speakers to our multi-track program. Click [here] to see the program in development.

Between May 1, 2014 and July 1, 2014 we will add speakers to vacancies in existing scheduled items.

On July 1, 2014 we will freeze the schedule and make only limited changes before August. If you wish to participate in our program please let us know as soon as possible so that we have the greatest flexibility to accommodate you.

Note: Once you have been confirmed as a presenter, please send us an email with your bio included as plain text in the body of the email and a headshot as an image file attachment. The bio should be no more than 110 words and should include a link to your web site (if you have one). The image will be scaled to 150 pixels wide. eg.

Randy McCharles

Randy McCharles
Randy McCharles is active in Calgary, Alberta's writing community with a focus on speculative fiction, usually of the wickedly humorous variety. In 2009 he received Canada's most prestigious award for speculative fiction, the Aurora Award, for the novella Ringing in the Changes in Okotoks, Alberta which appeared in Tesseracts 12 (Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing) and was also reprinted in Year's Best Fantasy 9 (David Hartwell and Kathryn Kramer, ed). Additional short stories and novellas are available in various publications from Edge Press, including his two latest titles: The Puzzle Box and Urban Green Man. Randy's first full length novel, Capone's Chicago, will be available in 2014.