Wordfest Youth is dedicated to creating collective, community experiences that are inclusive and inspirational.

Book your fall youth authors now!


Author Talk

Alice Kuipers is the award-winning, bestselling author of five YA novels, including Life on the Refrigerator Door, longlisted for the UK’s Carnegie Medal, and two picture books. She returns to Wordfest with Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair, book two of her Polly Diamond chapter book series.


Author Talk French/English

Alex A is the author and illustrator of the graphic novel series Super Agent Jon Le Bon! (on which the popular CBC Kids Videos are based) and Min-Jon’s Experiments, published monthly in Chickadee Magazine. Fond of wearing colourful wool hats and plaid pants, he lives in Montreal with his dog Wolfy.


Author Talk at YYC SpacePort

This summer marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s 1969 moon landing. What better place for students to learn the story of this historic event than at the Spaceport at the Calgary International Airport? Told from the astronauts’ point of view, Sigmund Brouwer’s Moon Mission, The Epic 400 Year Journey to Apollo 11 is a new perspective on the epic journey and how STEM set it in motion!



Author Talk

Susin Nielsen got her start writing for TV’s Degrassi Junior High and went on to write for 20 more television shows. She’s also the author of five critically acclaimed and award-winning novels, including Optimists Die First and We Are All Made of Molecules. She returns to Wordfest with her latest YA novel, No Fixed Address, about growing up one step away from homelessness.


Author Talk

A member of Norway House Cree Nation, David Robertson educates as well as entertains through his writings about Indigenous Peoples. The award-winning author of children’s books, graphic novels, and novels comes to Wordfest with Ghost the final novel of his Reckoner trilogy.


Author Talk

An educator, poet, and scholar, Tasha Spillet draws her strength from both her Nehiyaw and Trinidadian bloodlines. Currently working on her PhD in Education, she does community-led work centering on land and water defence, and the protection of Indigenous women and girls. Surviving The City, Spillet’s debut graphic-novel, is a contemporary story of two teens navigating the challenges of growing up Indigenous in an urban landscape.


Author Talk

Richard Van Camp is one of Canada’s greatest oral storytellers and the best-selling author of twenty-two books, including the coming of age novel The Lesser Blessed, adapted into a film starring Benjamin Bratt. Three Feathers is Van Camp’s latest novel to be made into a film and Moccasin Square Gardens is his latest book of short stories.

Harold Johnson

Author Talk

Harold Johnson is a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation. A best-selling author of seven books and a former Crown prosecutor, he comes to Wordfest with the just published Peace and Good Order: The Case for Indigenous Justice.


Author Talk

Bob Joseph is a Gwawaenuk Nation member, former professor, and the CEO of Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. His bestselling, 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act is an essential guide to understanding the legal document and its repercussions on generations of Indigenous Peoples.


Author Talk

Alice Kuipers is the award-winning, bestselling author of five YA novels, including Life on the Refrigerator Door, longlisted for the UK’s Carnegie Medal, and two picture books. Always Smile: Carley Allison’s Secrets for Laughing, Loving and Living is Kuiper’s tribute to the life and legacy of figure skater and singer/songwriter Carley Allison.


Authors Talk

Called a “YA rebel-author” by Kirkus Reviews, Barry Lyga has published 20 YA books. Morgan Baden has ghostwritten several bestselling YA novels and does social media for a children’s publishing house. Together they’ve written The Hive, a speculative YA thriller set in the near future, that focuses on the mob violence that ensues from online shaming and internet bullying.


Phone our Youth Programmig Associate, Rita Sirignano at 403-260-2706 or email her at youth@wordfest.com for more information on in-school author visits in 2019.

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What is Wordfest Youth?

Wordfest Youth supplies authors from across Canada and around the world to present fun, illuminating in-and out-of-school events that promote a love of reading and a deeper appreciation of the world of ideas and imagination.

Who Brings the Best Authors to YYC?

Wordfest! Wordfest Youth connects Calgary students with the world’s most compelling authors. We’re a high-calibre, not-for-profit event planner of the wordiest kind who, for more than two decades, has given kids opportunities to experience life-changing ideas.

What Happens?

Pure Awesomeness! Wordfest brings the best authors from across Canada and around the world into schools for captivating, Ted-talk style presentations, as well as larger, We-Day like gatherings at theatrical venues.

Why Does Meeting an Author Matter?

Meeting an actual person who wrote an actual book can be a captivating and transformative experience, one that fosters self-confidence, sparks conversations, and seeds imaginative potential. This past year, students had the opportunity to ask NASA astronaut Dr. Dave Williams about his record-breaking, longest walk in space; hear Caldecott Medal-winner Lindsay Mattick’s story of how a real-life bear cub adopted by her great grandfather was the inspiration for the fictional Winnie the Pooh; and learn about indigenous heroes and how to move forward with Truth and Reconciliation with Wab Kinew. (He even did an impromptu rap for them!)

When Can the Authors Come?

In addition to our annual Imaginarium Festival (October 14 – 23, 2019), Wordfest connects students with authors throughout the year. Join our mailing list to be the first to receive our e blasts on who’s coming to Calgary next!

What is the Cost to Book an Author?

The cost for an in-school visit is $600 for a one-hour presentation; in-theatre presentations cost a subsidized rate of $6 per student, with teachers and chaperones free. Each experience also includes two signed, complimentary copies of the author’s book for your school library. To ensure that as many students as possible can participate in these life-changing experiences, we’re pleased to provide full or partial subsidies to schools that require financial support. As funding is limited, please contact us as soon as possible to inquire about subsidized events. If your school can cover the cost of an author visit – thank you! Please know that your payments enable us to pay it forward to other less fortunate schools.

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Nominate a School for Priority Funding: Did you know that Wordfest receives donations from individuals and private organizations to help deserving schools and families gain access to Wordfest Youth programming? Complete this form to nominate a school for consideration.