The little literary festival that could

Posted by on Aug 6, 2021 in Books, Brian's Blog | 0 comments

When Words Collide began in 2011 as a modest local literary festival of genre fiction and what the Calgary Herald called “good beach reads.” The festival has since expanded greatly to become one of the biggest events of its kind in Canada. It returns this coming weekend, Aug.12-14,  for its sixth consecutive year, and it’s even bigger and better than ever, with more than 150 participating authors and 700 registered attendees. The festival now features a full and varied menu of offerings for readers and writers of all literary genres.

Nonfiction has been added to the program. I will be a participating panelist along with fellow nonfiction authors Glenn Dixon, Shirlee Smith Matheson, Marcello Di Cintio and several others. Also participating, as featured guests of honour, will be such genre specialists as Canadian mystery writer Ian Hamilton, Edmonton young adult novelist Marty Chan, science fiction writer Julie E. Czerneda, romance writer Eve Silver and Lethbridge’s speculative fiction aficionado Robert Runté. These featured authors will be reading from their books on Thurs. Aug. 11 at the Fish Creek Library.

My panels are on Sunday the 14th. At 3:00 PM I’ll be moderating a 50-minute session called The Definition of Reality, which will discuss such things as fabricated memoirs and willing suspension of disbelief. With me on the panel will be Glenn Dixon, Marcello Di Cintio, Julie Sedivy and Rita Bozi. Immediately after that panel, at 4:00 PM, I’ll be at the table with Rita Bozi, Julie Sedivy, Anne Sorbie and moderator Cathy Ostlere in a session called Memoir and Creative Nonfiction: The Blending of Fiction and Non-Fiction.

The festival is at the Delta Calgary South. At the moment – happily for the organizers and sadly for latecomers – the event is sold out. But there is a waiting list and there are always no-shows. You can get your name on the waiting list by sending a message to

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