August 14-16, 2020 is our festival's 10th anniversary. 10 years as a meeting place for readers, writers, and other professionals in the literary world. When Words Collide organizers are already at work planning chapter 10 of our festival, and hope to include a few special events to mark the occasion. In celebration, we have also lowered the price of passes by $5.

If you have suggestions or would like to be a part of making great things happen, please contact us at:



Got Your Festival Pass?
If you plan to attend our 10th Anniversary, but haven't registered, why wait? Only 30% of our passes remain unspoken for. Online registration and the downloadable mail-in form are at:

If you are unsure if you are already registered, check our online membership list at:
(Note that, if at time of registration you did not indicate to be listed, you will not be listed.)

2020 Festival Guests!
Check out this year's fabulous festival guests:
Cathy Ace - past president of Crime Writers of Canada and award-winning author of mystery fiction.
Vicki Delany - bestselling crime writer and winner of the 2019 Derrick Murdoch Award.
Steena Holmes - bestselling author in multiple genres with over 2 million copies sold.
Fonda Lee - award-winning speculative fiction author and black belt martial artist.
Dave Reynolds - Local Authors Manager for Indigo/Chapters/Coles for Western Canada.
Morgan Rhodes - bestselling and award-winning YA fantasy author AKA Michelle Rowen - bestselling romance and paranormal author, and past president of Toronto Romance Writers.

Returning past guests include: Erin Lindsey, Jonas Saul, Kat Flannery, Mark Leslie Lefebvre, Robert J Sawyer, Robert Runté, Shirlee Smith Matheson, and Vanessa Cardui.

Book Your Hotel Room
The Delta Calgary South is able to accept online room bookings. Hint: Book early; the past 5 years the hotel has sold out well in advance of the booking deadline.

The Delta Calgary South has been a wonderful venue for the past several years. If you have enjoyed your stay there, we encourage you to post a review on Trip Advisor. Reviews really do make a difference.

Festival Banquet
Come and celebrate all things Canadian: books, sports, magazines, history and Canadian characters. If you plan to attend, please purchase your ticket sooner rather than later. Once the banquet is sold out, we will maintain a waiting list for cancellations. Tickets can be purchased when buying your pass, or on their own using the same form:

Note: The banquet is now sold out. E-mail us to add your name to the waiting list.

2020 Aurora Awards
When Words Collide is please to host the 2020 Aurora Awards.The awards ceremony will take place on Saturday evening in the Bonavista Ballroom between the festival banquet and the autograph session {~6:30 pm - 7 pm). There will also be a pin ceremony for new nominees on Friday evening.
2020 Program
The festival program is currently being created. If you are attending next summer and would like to participate in the program, find out how right here:

Master Classes

Once again we will have a full slate of Master Classes by our festival guests. Classes for 2020 will be offered prior to and following the festival. Details TBA.
Shared Author Table

Authors attending the festival who have books for sale not available elsewhere in the Merchants' Corner are welcome to join the IFWA-sponsored cooperative booksellers' table. Sign-up will begin sometime this coming spring at:

Hidden Art Show 2020
The Hidden Art Show is back for a third year in the Lake Louise Room on the 2nd floor of the Atrium building. If you are an attending artist at the festival, find out how to apply here:

2020 Short Story Contest

You are invited to submit your original, unpublished written works of fiction to the 2020 Robyn Herrington Memorial Short Story Contest, "In Places Between". There is no entry fee, but entrants must be members of the When Words Collide Festival.
Contest Rules and Requirements
  • Deadline for submissions is midnight on May 1, 2020
  • All authors must be members of the When Words Collide Festival
  • There is no contest entry fee
  • Short stories of up to 4,000 words maximum
  • Two submissions per entrant maximum
Stories are judged on a combination of factors, including professional presentation, originality, ingenuity, entertainment factor, character, plot, spelling, grammar, and other authorial skills.

Prizes ($CDN)

$25.00 – Honorable mentions (7)
$75.00 – Third place
$100.00 – Second place
$125.00 – First Place
The top ten stories will be printed in the annual In Places Between book. A copy of this publication will be provided to each of the top ten authors.
Full Details:

Festival Hospitality
Festival passholders are welcome to drop by the Atrium Cafe for a light appetizer and coffee or soda any time between 12 and 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday as well as Sunday evening 7-11 pm for the Dead Dog Social.
Note: Hospitality is not a place for meals. Meals and alcohol may be purchased at the Merchants Corner snack bar, Sage & Co, or Southland Yard.

Public Events
If you don't plan on attending the festival, but are still in Calgary or have friends who might be interested, we do offer several free events that are open to the public.

1. Festival Guest readings. This year's festival guests - Cathy Ace, Vicki Delaney, Steena Holmes, Fonda Lee, Morgan Rhodes AKA Michelle Rowen, and Dave Reynolds - will be reading at the Fish Creek Public Library on Thursday Aug 13th from 7-9 pm. They will also be reading at the Delta Calgary South Hotel on Friday Aug 14th  from 1-3 pm in the Bonavista Ballroom (Tower Building).

2. Autograph Session. Our festival guests joined by 70+ attending authors will be signing books on Saturday Aug 15th from 8-10 pm in the Bonavista Ballroom (Tower Building).

3. Saturday Night Rapid Readings by attending authors. Sat August 15th from 7-9 PM in the Fireside Room (Tower Building).

4. Merchants Corner. Books by our festival guests and attending authors and publishers are available all weekend during daytime hours in our Merchant Room located in the Nakiska Ballroom (Atrium Building).

5. Hidden Art Show.
Works of art created by attending artists are available for viewing and purchase all weekend during daytime hours in our Hidden Art Show located in the Lake Louise room (Atrium Building, 2nd floor)

2019 Short Stories as a Stepping Stone panel discussion has joined our selection of past festival sessions at:

Your Feedback

The postmortem meeting for WWC 2019 is past and the organizers wish to thank those who provided feedback. We can, however, consider feedback at any time. If you wish to comment on something you particularly liked or disliked, or have suggestions for future festival guests or content, please let us know:
News & Notes Archive
This and past newsletters can be found at:

What's Happening
2020 Aurora Awards Eligibility 
The 2020 Aurora Awards Eligibility Lists close at the end of February. If you have or are aware of a work you would like to see on the nomination lists in March, be sure to visit the CSFFA web site. CSFFA (Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association) is open to all Canadians and is a nationally-registered non-profit society.

When Words Collide is honoured to host this year’s Aurora Awards.    

A Taste of Local Authors, April 23rd

Owl's Nest Book Store (Calgary) from 7-9 p.m.
Check out 9 new releases from 9 local authors. Genres from Mainstream to Science Fiction to Fantasy to Romance to Paranormal Romance. The authors will be on hand to give short readings from their work, answer questions, and sign books. Live music by Ted Holmes. Please come out and join us for an evening of words and music.

Writers in the House, April 24 - 26
Free writers retreat! Join Calgary area writers for 3 days of writing at the Delta Calgary South Fireside Room. Drop by any time between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for social writing.
Owl's Nest Books Events
Wed Feb 12 - Molly McLellan
Thu Feb 13 - Cindy Drummond
Fri Feb 14 - Bloody Offensive 2020
Sat Feb 15 - Lisa Bowes & David Peyto
Thu Feb 27 - Chris Patrick Carolan
Sat Feb 29 - Jena Rhydderch & Jocelyn Tochor
Wed Mar 11 - Catherine Gildiner
Sat Mar 14 - Erin Royce
Sun Mar 15 - Lana Button
Thu Mar 19 - Claudia Velandia
Mon Mar 23 - Lynn K. Russell
Thu Mar 26 - Shauna Alderson
Sat Mar 28 - Carol Green
Sun Mar 29 - J.M. Dover
and many more signings, readings, and book discussions listed at:

An important message: For over 40 years Owl’s Nest Books has been an integral part of Calgary’s literary landscape. While rising costs and competition from big-box book and toy retailers, not to mention online retailers, have made it difficult to maintain our business we are determined to remain the best store in Calgary for book clubs and personalized service. 
A Friend of the Nest sponsorship is a 1 year, renewable package available for purchase by individuals, groups, or as a gift for $100 per year. Proceeds from the sale of sponsorship packages will go toward the store’s operational costs.
Benefits of being a Friend of the Nest sponsor includes:
  • Invitation to quarterly, sponsors-only, in store shopping parties with a 20% discount on in stock items*
  • Free Advanced Reading Copies (ARCs), available at sponsors parties
  • Reserved prime seating at all in store events
  • Free attendance to our annual Book Club Discussion Night
  • Free gift wrapping service for in store purchases
  • Option to participate in a “Sponsor’s Picks” feature, similar to our “Staff Picks”
  • Name listed on a “Friends of the Nest” display, in store and on our web site
  • Ability to rent the bookstore outside of normal operating hours for private events at our cost
*some exclusions may apply – see staff for details

Become a Friend of the Nest at:

Alexandra Writers' Centre Society
For courses on writing and related events in Calgary, check out the Centre's event calendar.

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