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 2016 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.

Presenter Registration

To help streamline the process and reduce confusion, we are trying out a Presenter Registration process for the first time. If you would like to present at When Words Collide 2016, please download this Word document and email the completed form to

If your word processor has trouble viewing the form, this simplified RTF form can be used instead.

Once processed, your bio and headshot will be added to our web site list of presenters and you will be included in program correspondence.