If you love writing and are able to be in Calgary from August 12-14, the multi-genre writing conference “When Words Collide: A Festival for Readers and Writers” might be for you. The conference promises to be different and exciting because of the diverse writers, publishers and writing organizations that it will bring together. Organizations include: Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society, Mystery Writers Ink Society, Writers Guild of Alberta, Society of Children’s Writers & Illustrators, Calgary Romance Writers of America, Imaginative Fiction Writers Association, and Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association. As well, Mount Royal University, University of Calgary and librarians will be represented. Still in development, the program already includes panels and sessions featuring publishers, authors of short and long works, and devotees to fiction and nonfiction for adults and children. Even thematically, panel topics are far-ranging as writing history, mountain, science and medical themes.
I have long believed in the value of bringing together diverse writers whose knowledge encompasses vastly different topics and writing styles. As well, to me, every individual–whether adult or child, whether working on literacy skills or a graduate degree–deserves good writing. So, I congratulate the planning committee for staging this unique conference.
With a proposed 130 hours of programming, options and opportunities abound. On the website, www.whenwordscollide.org find information on registering and a tentative schedule. Also posted is a list of confirmed speakers and their bios. I am on two panels with themes of importance to me. At 2:00 pm on Saturday, my colleagues and I will be discussing “Writing Groups: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.” The next day, at 10:00 am, I’m on a panel called, “It’s About the Writing,” which will address the difficult topic of whether or not we can make a living at writing.
The conference location is the Best Western Village Park Inn, Calgary, and festivities begin Friday night with two 6:00 pm sessions, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo—What’s Next” and “There are More of Us Than You Think.” Then, at 7:00 pm, enjoy the keynote address. The following morning, at 9:00 am, the day begins with “Blurring the Boundaries,” the theme of the conference. For the next two days, there are so many fascinating sessions planned, you really need to study the program schedule well in advance to discover sessions most relevant to you.
What a great event to have in Calgary. So, thanks to all the participating organizations, individual volunteers and funders. Hope to see you there!