My “When Words Collide” schedule




I’ll be at the fabulous When Words Collide writing/reading conference in Calgary next weekend (May 12-14). They’re keeping me busy. If perchance you will also be attending, here’s where you can find me. (If you aren’t attending, it may be sold out this year, but if you’re interested in writing and can make the journey, it’s totally worth it.)

Friday 3 PM – Fireside 
Live Action Slush – Early Bird Edition 
Edward Willett (reader), Mark Leslie (Lefebvre), Colleen Anderson, Rhonda Parrish, Tod McCoy 
Bring the 1st page of your short fiction manuscript to be anonymously read aloud and receive comments from our editors.

Friday 5 PM – Canmore 
YA Inspiration 
Edward Willett, Nancy M Bell, Joan Donaldson-Yarmey, Sherry Peters 
Where writers get their inspiration for their YA stories – how to use stories from your own surroundings and techniques for idea generation.

Saturday 10 AM – Willow Park 
How to Write a Good Pitch & Query 
Robert Runte, Eve Silver, Edward Willett, Adrienne Kerr, Samantha Beiko
You can write the greatest novel ever written, but you still need to get it into the hands of a publisher. Our panel tells you how.

Saturday 12 PM – Bonavista 
Creating Magic Systems 
Swati Chavda, Chris Jessop, Edward Willett, Allan Weiss, Erin Lindsey
Creating Magical Systems is an art form all in itself. Join us as panellists discuss their process for creating and maintaining their magical systems.

Saturday 1 PM – Heritage 
Blue Pencil Café 
Edward Willett 
Bring the first page or two of your manuscript (max 1000 words, typed, double-spaced) for 1-on-1 feedback from an editor.

Saturday 4 PM – Acadia 
The Seven-Sentence Short Story 
Edward Willett 
This is a fun exercise in plotting, created by SF writer James van Pelt: participants build a complete story in just seven sentences over the course of the hour, complete with inciting incident, rising tension, complications, climax, and denouement. At the end of the hours, everyone has a finished piece of writing. Writers are invited to share their work if time permits, but they don’t have to.

Saturday 8 PM – Parkland-Bonavista-Willow Park 
Autograph Session (2 Hours) 
Our Festival Guests are joined by 70+ authors 
Drop by to meet the authors and get your books signed. This session is open to the public, so tell your friends.

Sunday 10 AM – Fireside 
Books in Conversation 
Edward Willett, Teresa van Bryce, Greg Bechtel, [?] 
Books and texts are often said to be in conversation with each other, with some writers openly discussing how they wrote something in response to another work. The classic example is Samuel R. Delany’s Triton and Ursula K. LeGuin’s The Dispossessed. A more recent example is Lev Grossman’s Magicians books, which are particularly in conversation with the work of C.S. Lewis and J.K. Rowling. Our panellists will discuss what their work is reacting to, and talk about where this impulse comes from.

Sunday 12 PM – Kananaskis 2 
Writers at the IMPROV 
IFWA, Edward Willett 
Attend this hilarious panel where teams of writers use audience suggestions to create a speculative fiction story. The results can–and have–been out of this world.

Sunday 1 PM – Canmore 
Middle Grade and YA Sequels and Trilogies 1-2-3 
Danielle L. Jensen, Edward Willett, Michell (Mike) Plested, Shirlee Smith Matheson 
What are the advantages/challenges with writing series for youth? Story arcs, that dreaded middle book, and mixed reactions from readers. Authors of both middle grade and young adult fiction share how their series were written, marketed and received by readers.

Sunday 3 PM – Fireside 
Fulltime Freelancing: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly 
Edward Willett 
Edward Willett has dreamed of being a fulltime writer since he was a teenager, and in 1993 he took the plunge. He’s been a fulltime freelancer ever since, and written everything from science fiction and fantasy novels to children’s biographies (of subjects ranging from the Ayatollah Khomeini to Jimi Hendrix), books about diseases, computer books, local history books, books about skateboarding, rock climbing, and becoming a mason, and more. In this presentation he describes why he plunged into fulltime freelancing, how he’s managed to keep his writing career afloat for more than two decades—and how reality compares to the dream he nourished for so long.

Sunday 4 PM – Kananaskis 1 
Laksa Media Presents 
Susan Forest, Lucas K. Law, Amanda Sun, Bev Geddes, Edward Willett, Sherry Peters, Erika Holt, Robert Runté, Hayden Trenholm, Julie E. Czerneda, Vanessa Cardui
Join Laksa Media’s publisher, editors and authors for the book social launch of STRANGERS AMONG US anthology: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts, exploring the delicate balance between mental health and mental illness and supporting Canadian Mental Health Association. Refreshments, door prizes, lively conversation, teasers readings, Q&A, upcoming projects, and music.

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