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Oct. 7-16, 2016 and Year-Round in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Crawlspace (A Staged Reading)
Oct. 11-15 @ 7pm

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September 14th

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Wordfest 2016: Oct. 7-16, 2016

90+ Artists

Featured Events

Over 40+ Events from Oct. 7 to 16

Daniel Saldaña París

Saturday, Oct. 8: Daniel Saldaña París

Saturday, Oct. 8 @10am
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White Noise Talks: Empowered by the Pen

Saturday, Oct. 8: White Noise Talks: Empowered by the Pen

Saturday, Oct. 8 @ 4pm
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The Frontline of Mental Health Treatment

Saturday, Oct. 8: The Frontline of Mental Health Treatment

Saturday, Oct. 8 @ 7pm
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crawlspace-staged-reading

Oct. 11-15 nightly @ 7pm
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Literary Death Match

ldm2016-landing-teaser

Wednesday, Oct. 12 @ 9:15pm
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Emma Donoghue & Eleanor Wachtel

Saturday, Oct. 15: Emma Donoghue & Eleanor Wachtel

Saturday, Oct. 15 @7pm
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Festival Schedule – Oct. 7-16

Fri, Oct. 7
Sat, Oct. 8
Tues, Oct. 11
Wed, Oct. 12
Thur, Oct. 13
Fri, Oct. 14
Sat, Oct. 15
Sun, Oct. 16

Wade Davis & Luis Fabini – $15

Wade Davis & Luis Fabini present two new photography books and share the backstory behind their fascinating artistic collaboration on Cowboys of the Americas.
Luis Fabini
Wade Davis

Workshop: Live Performance with Ivan Coyote – $20

Join consummate storyteller Ivan Coyote in this intimate workshop designed to help writers, poets and storytellers transform their nervous energy into a memorable reading. With tips on selecting material, preparing your work for performance, memorization (or not), and how to make your body language work for you. About Ivan Coyote Ivan Coyote is a writer, performer and one of Canada’s best-loved storytellers. Their honest, wry, plain-spoken tales of growing up in the Yukon and living out loud on the west coast have attracted readers and live audiences (and scores of YouTube views) around the world. In spring 2015, Coyote launched...
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Ivan Coyote

Wordfest presents Daniel Saldaña París – $15

08 Oct 2016 10:00 am – 11:30 am Glenbow Museum Theatre, 130 9th Ave SE One of Mexico City’s most versatile and provocative voices, Daniel Saldaña París is an essayist, poet and novelist. His first novel to be published in North America, Among Strange Victims is a polyphonic ode to the pleasures of not measuring up. Join Paris, who now calls Montreal home, in a blunt evaluation of the declining state of masculine superiority, European culture and the relevance of reading and writing. Featured Book Among Strange Victims Slackers meets Savage Detectives in this polyphonic ode to the pleasures of...
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Daniel Saldaña Paris

Roots Poets & Heroes with Guitars: Ray Robertson with Holger Petersen – $15

08 Oct 2016 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm Glenbow Museum Theatre, 
130 9th Ave SE In conversation with Holger Petersen, Ray Robertson brings his love affair with music to the page and the stage. He offers a fresh take on everything from the cultural history of rock & roll, blues, folk and alt-country to deeply personal explorations of how music making and appreciation become lifelong passions. Sponsored by CKUA. Featured Book Lives of the Poets (with Guitars) by Ray Robertson Picking up where Samuel Johnson left off in a book by a similar name written more than two centuries ago,...
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Ray Robertson

Rowdy: The Roddy Piper Story – NEW – $20

Discover the biggest pro wrestling bio since Bret Hart's Hitman — the legendary Rowdy Roddy Piper's unfinished autobiography, re-conceived and completed by his children, actress/musician Ariel Teal Toombs and wrestler Colt Baird Toombs. At Wordfest 2016, co-author Ariel Teal Toombs reads from Rowdy: The Roddy Piper Story and discusses themes from the book, in conversation with the Calgary Herald’s Eric Volmers.
Ariel Teal Toombs

White Noise Talks: Empowered by the Pen – $15

Unique voices from the Wordfest lineup filter through the "white noise" surrounding the charged concept of inclusivity. The panel tackles hot button issues such as: "What does diversity mean anyway today?" and "Who gets to decide what stories receive mainstream attention?" to "What voices are (still) absent or underrepresented in the book world?" This salon-style discussion is organized by the Festival's volunteer White Noise Talks committee.
Jael Ealey Richardson
Salimah Kassam
Ivan Coyote
Lisa Charleyboy

The Frontline of Mental Health Treatment: Dr. David Goldbloom – $15

In any given year, one in five Canadians will require psychiatric care. Dr. David Goldbloom offers an insightful and compelling picture of a challenging branch of medicine, dispelling the myths that have long coloured our perception of psychiatry. Presenting his timely bestseller How Can I Help?, Canada's most candid psychiatrist opens a window on the profession through a behind-the-scenes account of a week in his life as a clinician helping patients with a wide range of psychiatric concerns.
David Goldbloom

Tuesday Night Showcase – $20

An impressive range of storytelling gusto is on display as four award-winning writers give short readings and on-stage interviews about their latest books. André Alexis explores themes of honor, faith and sin in The Hidden Keys, inspired by a reading of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. Booker Prize longlister Madeleine Thien delves into the lives of two successive generations in a novel set before, during and after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989. Jim Lynch gives us a grand and idiosyncratic family saga set on a seafaring vessel. In Precious Cargo, Craig Davidson tells the unvarnished story of his unlikely relationship with the kids he drove on School Bus 3077.
Madeleine Thien
Jim Lynch
Craig Davidson
André Alexis

Roots Roundup – $20

11 Oct 2016 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Glenbow Museum Theatre, 130 9th Ave SE Discover bold perspectives from Canadian writers whose work encourages us to think differently about the collective west and our place in it. Lisa Charleyboy probes the contours of pop culture, fashion and urban life, but with an Indigenous twist. Gail Anderson-Dargatz’s new novel explores a family’s tangled history and rootedness in the Thompson-Shuswap region of British Columbia. J. Edward Chamberlin conjures up the never-before-told story of a time at the turn of the century when the people in the foothills of Alberta — First Nations...
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Katherena Vermette
Aritha van Herk
Lisa Charleyboy
J. Edward Chamberlin
Gail Anderson-Dargatz
Aaron Paquette

Crawlspace (A Staged Reading) – $25 Special Event

11 Oct 2016 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Arts Commons – Motel Theatre, 205 8th Ave SE Governor General’s Liteary Award nominated playwright, actor and director Karen Hines explores the dark side of property ownership in Crawlspace (A Staged Reading). Inspired by Hines’ true story of buying a fully detached “condo alternative” in a hip downtown neighbourhood in the heated market of 2006 (originally published in Swerve magazine), Crawlspace reveals how it all went horribly, nightmarishly wrong. Sponsored by Limitless Calgary. About Karen Hines Karen Hines is the author of six award-winning plays, and a two-time finalist for the Governor...
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Karen Hines

A Morning with Madeleine Thien – $30

12 Oct 2016 8:30 am – 10:00 am Sidewalk Citizen, Simmons Building, 618 Confluence Way SE Don’t miss this opportunity to spend an hour with one of the 13 finalists for the 2016 Man Booker Prize. The splendid Madeleine Thien is nominated for her new novel Do Not Say We Have Nothing, which follows two generations of a Chinese family — those living through Mao’s Cultural Revolution and the children of the survivors, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Breakfast treats by Sidewalk Citizen Bakery and Phil & Sebastian included. About Madeleine Thien Madeleine Thien is...
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Madeleine Thien

Wesley King & Stacey Matson (Gr. 3-6) – $8

Join Wordfest Youth for a presentation of two timely coming-of-age stories ideal for readers grades three to six: Stacey Matson’s Notes from the Life of a Total Genius and Wesley King’s OCDaniel.
Wesley King
Stacey Matson

Ruth Ohi & Vikki Vansickle (Gr. K-2) – $8

Vikki Vansickle and Ruth Ohi’s whimsical stories will dazzle readers kindergarten to grade two. Vansickle expands readers’ imaginations with her rhyming tale, If I Had a Gryphon, about mystical creatures being kept as pets. ...
Vikki VanSickle
Ruth Ohi

Creative Writing Master Class – FREE

Three award-winning authors offer their inspiration, advice and an in-depth look at the art of storytelling at this campus master class, open to the public. Presented with Mount Royal University.
Deni Ellis Béchard
Peter Behrens
Gail Anderson-Dargatz

Wordfest & ProArts Society Present – FREE

Surrounded by the beautiful interior of one of Calgary's oldest churches, enjoy a free-admission sampler of great reads on a variety of themes by Wordfest 2016 authors Tim Falconer and Jim Lynch. Hosted by Richard Kelly Kemick.
Jim Lynch
Richard Kelly Kemick
Tim Falconer

Kenneth Oppel (Gr. 8 & up) – $8

Governor General Literary Award Winner Kenneth Oppel takes readers on an intriguing adventure that combines forbidden love and an archeological expedition in his latest book, Every Hidden Thing (grades eight and up).
Kenneth Oppel

Wordfest Youth presents Kathy Stinson – FREE

Kathy Stinson is a familiar name in children’s literature. She wrote Red is Best and Big or Little?—two of the first picture books for preschoolers in Canada. At Wordfest, she presents Harry and Walter for readers in pre-kindergarten to grade two.
Kathy Stinson

Philippe Beha à CPL Signal Hill Library (Ages 4+) – GRATUIT

Événement en français, pour les jeunes lecteurs à partir de 4 ans. Philippe Béha est considéré à juste titre comme un pionnier dans le domaine de l'illustration au Québec. Philippe Beha sera régaler vos jeunes enfants avec ses derniers titres qu’il présente au Festival des mots de Wordfest. Participez à cet événement gratuit en collaboration avec Calgary Public Library et découvrez textes, poèmes et dessins qui ne manqueront pas de faire rire les petits.
Philippe Béha

Crawlspace (A Staged Reading) – $25 Special Event

12 Oct 2016 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Arts Commons – Motel Theatre, 205 8th Ave SE Governor General’s Liteary Award nominated playwright, actor and director Karen Hines explores the dark side of property ownership in Crawlspace (A Staged Reading). Inspired by Hines’ true story of buying a fully detached “condo alternative” in a hip downtown neighbourhood in the heated market of 2006 (originally published in Swerve magazine), Crawlspace reveals how it all went horribly, nightmarishly wrong. Sponsored by Limitless Calgary. About Karen Hines Karen Hines is the author of six award-winning plays, and a two-time finalist for the Governor...
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Karen Hines

Modern Conflict from the Inside Out – $20

Whether they are writing about soldiers fighting on the front lines, journalists reporting from the inside or civilians caught in the cross-fire, the fiction and non-fiction authors on this panel each bring a unique perspective on the changing landscape of modern conflict. After a charismatic female leader in Iraq is captured by the secret police, award-winning reporter Deborah Campbell goes undercover to find her. In One Soldier, Russell Hillier chronicles his brother's three months of fighting ISIS in Iraq. In News from the Red Desert, Kevin Patterson delves into the mindset of a journalist embedded with the Canadian Infantry who cannot ignore the harrowing situation on the ground in Afghanistan.
Deni Ellis Béchard
Kevin Patterson
Russell Hillier
Deborah Campbell

Wednesday Night Showcase: On the Brink – $20

In situations bristling with tension, excitement and anticipation often comes that feeling of being on the precipice of something big — whether an impending war, social upheaval, the chance to escape or a major breakthrough in solving a mystery. The writers on this panel are all masters at capturing the rich, emotional depth of what it means to live "on the brink" in the periods in which their novels are set. This showcase features short readings, on-stage interviews and an audience Q&A.
Peter Robinson
Steven Price
C.C. Humphreys
Peter Behrens

Wordfest Youth Presents Arthur Slade – FREE

Governor General’s Literary Award winner Arthur Slade reads from Flickers, his latest novel for readers in grades five to seven. He will also explore the creative life, how to generate ideas and how to develop good reading habits.
Arthur Slade

Literary Death Match – $20 Limited Seating

A thrilling mix of authors take the stage to perform their most electric passages in seven minutes before a judging panel made up of their peers and cheered on by a boisterious audience. Dubbed "the most entertaining reading series ever" by the Los Angeles Times, the event is co-created and hosted by Adrian Todd Zuniga. Cash bar available. Limited Seating.
Andi Zeisler
Alissa York
Mark Leiren-Young
C.C. Humphreys
Kenneth Oppel
Aaron Paquette
Jillian Christmas

Workshop: Humour with Mark Leiren-Young – NEW – $20

This accessible humour-writing workshop and talk incorporates not only Mark Leiren-Young’s experience with writing comedy for the page, stage and screen, but also examines what is funny in the 21st century. Mark Leiren-Young is the author of the comic memoirs Free Magic Secrets Revealed and Never Shoot A Stampede Queen, which won the 2009 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour in 2009. At Wordfest 2016, he also presents his new non-fiction book, The Killer Whale Who Changed the World. Sponsored by the Alberta Magazine Publisher’s Association.  
Mark Leiren-Young

Mathieu Benoit & Laurent Tardy (French – 3ème à 6ème) – $8

Rejoignez-nous à Wordfest pour un événement francophone spectaculaire parfait pour les élèves de 3eme à 6eme. Laurent Tardy, auteur et illustrateur de nombreux albums réputés, impressionne par son expression poétique et les illustrations attachantes...
Mathieu Benoit
Laurent Tardy

Lisa Moore & Teresa Toten (Gr. 8 & up) – $8

Lisa Moore’s Flannery and Teresa Toten's Beware that Girl are unforgettable coming-of-age dramas, suitable for grades seven and up. Their latest books explore how to overcome adversity and face difficult circumstances head on. This presentation will emphasize the importance of resilience and empowerment, and will teach readers about the creative writing process.
Teresa Toten
Lisa Moore

Bad Sing-A-Long: Tim Falconer – FREE

Join Tim Falconer, author of Bad Singer and Calgary’s own Kenna Burima and embrace your unique vocal stylings at the first deliberately Bad Sing-a-Long of the 2016 Street Piano Series. Sponsored by Downtown Calgary. About Tim Falconer Tim Falconer is an award-winning journalist and author of three books of nonfiction, including Drive: A Road Trip through Our Complicated Affair with the Automobile and That Good Night: Ethicists, Euthanasia, and End-of-Life Care. Falconer’s writing on music and health has won a National Magazine Award and he was the subject of a radio documentary on CBC Radio’s Ideas. A resident of Toronto, he...
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Tim Falconer

Camille Bouchard & Andrée Poulin (French – 5ème à 9ème années) – $8

Cet événement est en français et donnera aux lecteurs l’opportunité de rencontrer deux auteurs francophones canadiens. Andrée Poulin’s The Biggest Poutine in the World and Pablo Finds a Treasure and Camille Bouchard’s Cahokia tie together to express an overall all theme of perseverance despite hard conditions.
Camille Bouchard
Andrée Poulin

Erin Bow & Mariko Tamaki (Gr. 7 & up) – $8

Readers (grade 8 and up) will delight in this discussion of Mariko Tamaki’s Saving Montgomery Sole and Erin Bow’s The Swan Riders. Though these stories take place in vastly different settings, they both exhibit strong female characters and explore the theme of resiliency.
Erin Bow
Mariko Tamaki

Wordfest Youth presents Ruth Ohi – FREE

Fox and Squirrel are getting ready for the festive season, but they can’t seem to agree on how to celebrate. Ruth Ohi presents, Fox and Squirrel: The Best Christmas Ever (pre-kindergarten and up), the companion book to the bestselling Fox and Squirrel Make a Friend. With Spare text and expressive watercolour illustrations, it is a heartwarming tale about the importance of friendship.
Ruth Ohi

Crawlspace (A Staged Reading) – $25 Special Event

13 Oct 2016 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Arts Commons – Motel Theatre, 205 8th Ave SE Governor General’s Liteary Award nominated playwright, actor and director Karen Hines explores the dark side of property ownership in Crawlspace (A Staged Reading). Inspired by Hines’ true story of buying a fully detached “condo alternative” in a hip downtown neighbourhood in the heated market of 2006 (originally published in Swerve magazine), Crawlspace reveals how it all went horribly, nightmarishly wrong. Sponsored by Limitless Calgary. About Karen Hines Karen Hines is the author of six award-winning plays, and a two-time finalist for the Governor...
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Karen Hines

Thursday Night Showcase: Curiosities – $20

The fiction and non-fiction writers in this showcase reveal just what makes the subjects of their new books — India's transgender hijras, the killer whale who changed the world, 50 seemingly ordinary Canadian objects, the hidden language of trees and a return voyage up the Amazon — so fascinating and ultimately unforgettable.
Alissa York
Peter Wohlleben
Jane Urquhart
Mark Leiren-Young
Anosh Irani

Bionic Women Writers – $20

13 Oct 2016 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Arts Commons – Big Secret Theatre, 205 8th Ave SE Because it’s 2016 — and these four books are the bomb — Wordfest presents a showcase of powerful, provocative women authors who write strong, smart and with no fear. Together they tackle everything from breast cancer and sexual assault, to pop culture and the future of the feminist movement. Featured Books Who Needs Books? and Sex & Death: Stories by Lynn Coady In Who Needs Books?, Lynn Coady explores what happens when we separate the idea of “the book” from the experience...
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Andi Zeisler
Zoe Whittall
Teva Harrison
Lynn Coady

The First Annual Wordy Trivia Competition – CANCELLED

Sherwin Tjia, host of Wordfest's most talked-about 2015 event, the Adult Spelling Bee, returns to the Festival with the best recipe ever for late-night wordy goodness: a Trivia Night where fun facts and libations are guaranteed to flow like run-on sentences. Form your own two or three person team (or come solo and join a team on the spot), then bid on an all-star author to help you win the inaugural WTF Cup (proceeds go to Wordfest Youth). Visit wordfest.com for the full lineup and event details. Cash bar available. Sponsored by Where Calgary magazine.
Sherwin Tjia
Steven Price
Anne Fleming
Jane Byers
Aaron Paquette

A Morning with Yann Martel – $30 Special Event

14 Oct 2016 8:30 am – 10:00 am River Café, 25 Prince’s Island SW Escape to Prince’s Island for an intimate conversation with Yann Martel and a light brunch created by the award-winning River Café, included in the ticket price. Martel’s #1 international bestseller, Life of Pi, won the 2002 Man Booker among other prizes. He is also the award-winning author of The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios (winner of the Journey Prize), Self, Beatrice & Virgil and 101 Letters to a Prime Minister. At Wordfest 2016, he presents The High Mountains of Portugal. Hosted by Alissa York. More about...
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Alissa York
Yann Martel

Karen Bass & Aaron Paquette (Gr. 6 & up) – $8

Join Wordfest Youth for an engaging and relevant discussion of Aboriginal traditions in literature with Karen Bass and Aaron Paquette.
Aaron Paquette
Karen Bass

Wordfest & the WGA Present: How to Keep Going – $15

Wordfest and the Writers’ Guild of Alberta present a one-on-one interview with author Jowita Bydlowska discussing her new novel Guy, her memoir Drunk Mom, her writing life, creative process and her mental health column in the Toronto Star. How (and why) should we keep writing in the face of unforeseen demands and challenges that life inevitably brings? Bydlowska and Warwick also address the differences and similarities between memoir and novel writing. *Free admission to WGA members is subject to availability at time of booking. Please RSVP as soon as possible with membership details and full contact information. Featured Book Guy...
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Jowita Bydlowska

Tzavta Talks: The Hidden Life of Trees – $40 Special Event

A rare opportunity to engage with Germany’s Peter Wohlleben, whose The Hidden Life of Trees has become an unlikely international bestseller. This lively and unpretentious conversation series is preceded by a three-course dinner, specially created by the chefs at Sidewalk Citizen Bakery to honour the author’s passions and heritage. Seating is limited. Featured Book The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben How do trees live? Do they feel pain, or have awareness of their surroundings? Research is now suggesting trees are capable of much more than we have ever known. In The Hidden Life of Trees, forester Peter Wohlleben...
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Peter Wohlleben

Crawlspace (A Staged Reading) – $25 Special Event

14 Oct 2016 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Arts Commons – Motel Theatre, 205 8th Ave SE Governor General’s Liteary Award nominated playwright, actor and director Karen Hines explores the dark side of property ownership in Crawlspace (A Staged Reading). Inspired by Hines’ true story of buying a fully detached “condo alternative” in a hip downtown neighbourhood in the heated market of 2006 (originally published in Swerve magazine), Crawlspace reveals how it all went horribly, nightmarishly wrong. Sponsored by Limitless Calgary. About Karen Hines Karen Hines is the author of six award-winning plays, and a two-time finalist for the Governor...
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Karen Hines

Friday Night Showcase: Ones to Watch – $20

This showcase is custom-made for early adopters of literary talent! An inspirational roster of rising North American stars read from their innovative, engrossing new novels and share the challenges they've encountered, on and off the page, breaking through in a crowded industry.
Andrew F. Sullivan
Affinity Konar
Jay Hosking
Teva Harrison
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

Poetry Cabaret – $20

14 Oct 2016 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Glenbow Museum Theatre, 130 9th Ave SE Anything can happen when award-winning poets and master storytellers use the stage as the page, cabaret-style, and push the limits of the spoken and written word. Featured Books & Artists Congotronic by Shane Book Congotronic is the second collection from Canadian poet and filmmaker Shane Book. At once original, strange, funny and unnerving, Congotronic takes the reader into unstable territory, where multiple layers of voice, diction and music collide. Some of these poems have the sparse directness of a kind of bleak prayer; others mingle...
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Shane Book
Sandra Ridley
Lee Maracle
Richard Kelly Kemick
Richard Harrison
Helen Hajnoczky
Anne Fleming
Jane Byers
Jillian Christmas

Naughty Bits Read-a-Thon – $15

From the creator and host of Wordfest's Adult Spelling Bee comes a riotous, titillating cabaret-style event. Authors from the Wordfest lineup read salacious passages from their favourite books in the Calgary premier of Sherwin Tjia's Naughty Bits Read-a-Thon. Cash bar available.
Clea Young
Sherwin Tjia
Andrew F. Sullivan
Anosh Irani
Teva Harrison
Taras Grescoe
Lynn Coady
Jowita Bydlowska

Gals & Good Times – $20

15 Oct 2016 9:30 am – 11:30 am Arts Commons – Big Secret Theatre, 205 8th Ave SE Start off your Saturday morning with a deliciously entertaining Double X lineup of writers who reveal the love and laughter that infuses their lives, careers and passion for writing — regardless of genre or subject matter. Admission includes coffee reception from 9:30 to 10am. About the Panelists Julie Salverson Julie Salverson’s work as a writer, scholar and theatre animator explores what it means to be a witness to violence. She is particularly interested in atomic culture and the role of the comedic and absurd in...
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Julie Salverson
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
Vikki VanSickle
Ruth Ohi

Workshop: Spoken Word Poetry – $20 – SOLD OUT

Jillian Christmas leads an accessible workshop for aspiring writers and performers of all ages and levels, sharing some of the basic techniques and concepts of performance poetry along with advice from her experience competing in slam poetry championships. Christmas has won Grand Poetry-Slam Championships at both the Vancouver BedRocc poetry-slam (2011), as well as the Vancouver Poetry Slam (2012, 2014). To date, Jillian has held spots on five Canadian slam teams and has competed in nine North American national poetry slams. About Jillian Christmas Born and raised in Markham, Ontario, Jillian Christmas serves as Artistic Director of Versəs Festival of...
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Jillian Christmas

Uncivil Politics: I’m Right and You’re an Idiot – $20

Borrowing its title from James Hoggan's new book, this panel explores the possibility of reclaiming civil discourse in the increasingly divided public sphere. Jay Pitter is a university researcher and co-editor of the anthology, Subdivided: City-Building in an Age of Hyper-Diversity. Taras Grescoe is the author of Straphanger: Saving Our Cities and Ourselves from the Automobile, while Edward Riche's Today I Learned It Was You is a satirical skewering of small-town government. Sponsored by Northweather.
Edward Riche
Jay Pitter
James Hoggan
Taras Grescoe

Workshop: Poetry with Sandra Ridley – $20

A ninety-minute session on the bodywork and fine-tuning of the mechanics and dynamics of your poems will help polish and over-haul them for submission. Your work will be read and discussed in a supportive environment facilitated by Sandra Ridley. Participants will be encouraged to provide constructive feedback.
Sandra Ridley

What to Read: The Best of the GGs – $20

15 OCT 2016 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM ARTS COMMONS – BIG SECRET THEATRE, 205 8TH AVE SE In celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Governor General’s Literary Awards, a selection of past winners and finalists take to the stage as they plug their favourite titles (and confess their GG Author Crushes) from the full list of recipients of the prestigious award since its inauguration in 1936. Copies of the recommended titles (if still available) will be sold as special gift sets after the show. With support from the Canada Council for the Arts. About the Presenters Lynn Coady...
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Noah Richler
Yann Martel
Anosh Irani
Robert Hough
Lynn Coady
Frank Viva

Short Fiction Showcase – $20

Often underestimated and challenging to write, short fiction is uniquely appropriate to our fractured, alienated and accelerated existence. Established and emerging authors read from their latest collections, answer questions from the audience and sign books in this showcase.
Laura Trunkey
Clea Young
Rea Tarvydas
John Metcalf
Kevin A. Couture

Wordfest Presents Affinity Konar & Alexander Maksik – $20

15 OCT 2016 3:00 PM – 4:30 PM Arts Commons – Big Secret Theatre, 205 8th Ave SE Two of the strongest voices in contemporary American fiction are showcased on the Wordfest stage in this afternoon of conversations and readings from their latest novels. In Mischling, Affinity Konar unspools a spellbinding story about twin sisters facing the ultimate Nazi evil. Alexander Maksik’s novel Shelter in Place is set in the jittery, jacked-up early 1990s, and stylishly charts the hereditary nature of mental illness. About the Authors Affinity Konar released her debut novel, The Illustrated Version of Things, in 2009. At...
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Alexander Maksik
Affinity Konar

Saturday Afternoon Showcase – $20

There's nothing musty about these histories. All five of these new books are set in the past, but the craft is undeniably current and compelling. A selection of acclaimed writers representing a cross-section of historical fiction and non-fiction give short readings and discuss how their protagonists find courage and resolve in mind-boggling situations.
Robert Hough
Taras Grescoe
Katherine Govier
Joan Crate

Crawlspace (A Staged Reading) – $25 Special Event

15 Oct 2016 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Arts Commons – Motel Theatre, 205 8th Ave SE Governor General’s Liteary Award nominated playwright, actor and director Karen Hines explores the dark side of property ownership in Crawlspace (A Staged Reading). Inspired by Hines’ true story of buying a fully detached “condo alternative” in a hip downtown neighbourhood in the heated market of 2006 (originally published in Swerve magazine), Crawlspace reveals how it all went horribly, nightmarishly wrong. Sponsored by Limitless Calgary. About Karen Hines Karen Hines is the author of six award-winning plays, and a two-time finalist for the Governor...
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Karen Hines

Wordfest presents Emma Donoghue & Eleanor Wachtel – $20

15 OCT 2016 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM CALGARY PUBLIC LIBRARY (MAIN BRANCH) – JOHN DUTTON THEATRE, 616 MACLEOD TR SE A rare opportunity to hear the great Eleanor Wachtel reveal her most memorable interviews from CBC Radio’s Writers & Company. She’ll be joined by the glorious Emma Donoghue, who will present from her new novel The Wonder and share the inside scoop about the process of adaptating her international bestseller Room into a major motion picture, which was nominated for four Academy Awards in 2015. Featured Books The Wonder by Emma Donoghue A small community in 1850s Ireland is baffled...
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Eleanor Wachtel
Emma Donoghue

Adult Spelling Bee – $15

One by one, a number of fearless Calgarians are asked to spell a word in front of an audience of hooters and hollerers! If they get it right, they sit down. If they get it wrong, they must remove items of clothing. After three strikes, a participant is out of the competition. But they should take heart – because while they may have lost, the audience has most certainly won. Please note: This is a queer, senior and trans-friendly event. No photos are allowed. Our goal is to have everyone feel safe, secure and comfortable. Visit wordfest.com for the full lineup and event details. Cash bar available.
Sherwin Tjia
Richard Kelly Kemick

Brunch with Eleanor Wachtel – $45 Special Event

Start off your morning with a sit-down brunch and intimate conversation with Eleanor Wachtel, host of CBC Radio’s Writers & Company. In celebration of the show’s 25th anniversary at the CBC, Wachtel presents her latest, published collection of interviews with some of the program’s most notable authors who share their views on process, the writing life and the hazards of literary fame. Seating is limited. Sponsored by the Deane House.
Eleanor Wachtel

A Conversation with
 Lee Maracle, hosted by Tracey Lindberg – $20

Lee Maracle is the 2016 recipient of Wordfest’s Anne Green Award, given annually to an artist whose work explores and challenges the traditional form of story and narrative. Maracle is an award-winning poet, novelist, storyteller and “knowledge keeper” of the Stó:lō Nation. This keynote event includes an on-stage conversation and readings from her new book Memory Serves, a collection of Maracle’s oratories and lectures delivered and performed over a 20-year period. Hosted by Tracey Lindberg. About Lee Maracle Born in Vancouver, Lee Maracle grew up on the North Shore. Some of her critically acclaimed books include Sundogs, Daughters Are Forever,...
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Lee Maracle
Tracey Lindberg

Mystery & Suspense Showcase – $20

Without giving any of the suspense away, the internationally acclaimed authors on this panel will leave you in a page-turning frenzy, eager to connect all the dots as they give short readings and drop clues about how they approached their latest novels.
Andrew F. Sullivan
Michael Koryta
Jay Hosking
Michael Helm

International Showcase – $20

We scoured the world for the tastiest writers, assembling a global sampler. Prize-winning Italian phenom Francesca Melandri presents the English translations of her bestselling first novel, Eva Sleeps. Anna Smaill from New Zealand presents The Chimes, which was longlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize. Winner of the 2015 Pushcart Prize, New York City's Alexander Maksik presents his third novel, Shelter in Place. Rounding off the sampler is the Australian novelist Charlotte Wood who presents, The Natural Way of Things, which is currently being adapted to film.
Charlotte Wood
Anna Smaill
Francesca Melandri
Alexander Maksik

So You Want to Go into Politics? – $20

With wit and humility, two of Canada's most astute authors share uniquely personal perspectives on writing about politics versus being in politics. From Edward Riche's satirical skewering of small-town government to Noah Richler's first-hand account of running for office in the 2015 Federal Election, discover how anything that can go wrong will go wrong when you trade a press badge for a party button.
Noah Richler
Edward Riche

Recent News

#YYCLiterarySidewalks

CALGARY, AB—To celebrate Alberta Culture Days, Calgary Public Library and Wordfest have teamed up to bring to life the wonderful words of several Calgary writers. It’s a gift of pop-up...
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2016 Giller Nominees at Wordfest

The longlist for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize is in! The nominees were selected by an esteemed five-member jury panel: Canadian writers Lawrence Hill (Wordfest 1997, 2007, 2015), Jeet Heer...
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Photos of Past Events

Wordfest featured a number of events this spring and is dreaming big for October 2016. Visit our Flickr page for photos of past events.

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Recaps of Past Events

Using a platform called Storify, we’ve collected all of the social media buzz, live-tweets, snapshots and live illustrations captured during Wordfest.

Recaps of Past Events

Youth & School Programming

Over 10,000 young readers this year will experience the magic of interacting with live authors in schools and in theatres.

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