About Us

Great Reads ♦ Live Authors ♦ Pure Fun

What is Wordfest?

Wordfest sparks lively, illuminating and meaningful conversations between Calgary’s readers and the world’s most engaging writers. Our year-round literary events culminate in a 10-day festival every October, and are programmed to inspire Calgarians to live more creative and empathetic lives. Wordfest’s trademark events include readings, workshops, panel discussions and in-school presentations from authors writing in every genre and for all ages.

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What to Expect

Wordfest: October 7-17, 2016

For 21 years Wordfest has brought together writers from around the world to share stories and discuss ideas with readers. Wordfest is a not-for-profit organization that hosts year-round literary events featuring the world’s best writers. More than 900 writers have presented at these events over the past 20 years. Festival authors have included Margaret Atwood, Douglas Coupland, John Irving, Chuck Palahniuk, Richard Ford, Lawrence Hill, Alexander McCall Smith and David Suzuki.

Wordfest’s main event is a literary festival that features upwards of 70 writers from the local, national and international stage. The Festival has approximately 70 separate events across Calgary and attracts an audience of more than 15,000.

Our programming is accessible, engaging and promotes a love of reading and a curiosity about the writing life. Events include poetry and spoken word performances, current event panels, publishing industry workshops, art installations, youth and multilingual programming, in-school performances and featured events with the biggest and brightest stars of the book scene.

View Storify highlights from 2015…

Wordfest Youth: October 7-17, 2016

Wordfest Youth is a popular youth and education program that brings students together with authors to stimulate literacy and encourage a love of reading and writing. As part of its commitment to youth literacy, Wordfest Youth subsidizes literary events for high-needs and at-risk youth. Wordfest supports accessibility and engagement for readers of all ages.

More information…

Off-Festival Events

In addition to the annual Festival, Wordfest hosts various events throughout the year. This spring, live-author events with Yann Martel, Micah White and Guy Gavriel Kay kick off our year-round programming. In addition to such marquee presentations, our off-festival initiatives include public celebrations, community booths and audio-visual streaming projects that ensure wide, engaging access to the world’s best writers right here in Southern Alberta.

View Spring 2016 Schedule

Contact Us

Wordfest, Eau Claire Market, 200 Barclay Parade SW, Calgary, Alberta
9:00am - 5:00pm
403-237-9068

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Susan Casey Event Recap

Susan Casey is the former editor in chief of O, The Oprah Magazine and the author of New York Times bestseller The Devil’s Teeth: A True Story of Obsession and Survival Among America’s Great White Sharks. At her exclusive Calgary Wordfest event on July 6, 2016, Susan Casey presented her new book, Voices in the Ocean, followed by an audience Q&A and book signing.