So . . . it’s been a few months since I attended When Words Collide in Calgary, Alberta. It was an interesting event. Organizers billed it as a literary festival, but it grew out of a fan con. It was an interesting mix, one part writing conference, one part reader/fan convention.
It takes its organizational model from conventions, asking a nominal membership fee rather than a pricey conference fee. Most of the sessions were panels with a few workshops and guest of honour sessions worked into the schedule.
I enjoyed my first WWC and got a lot out of it, as you may have gathered if you’ve been following my WWC posts over the past months.
One thing I didn’t appreciate was the heavy scheduling. With the exception of the banquet, there were no set breaks for meals, and even during the banquet, which was an optional extra cost, there were concurrent sessions.
It made what was already a difficult decision between a plethora of sessions even more challenging. They should have handed out time turners at the door ;)
I met a lot of authors I had previously only known on the interwebz and I got to act all fangirlish around Brandon Sanderson. I also reconnected with a lot of authors I had previously met at other conferences and stayed an extra day so I could spend some time with an old university roommate hiking at Lake Louise and Johnston Canyon.
There was a book room, and of course, I bought a few books. Not as many as at past conferences, but I picked up enough to keep feeding my addiction and weighing down my bookshelves.
One of the other bonuses was the writing contest, which I was happy to place second in with my paranormal short story, “On the Ferry.” I got to read an excerpt from my story, meet all the other top ten authors, and the judges of the contest, who also gave all of the top ten their comments.
I am currently revising that story for another market.
Overall, it was a rewarding time. I probably won’t be able to attend every year, however. Like the Surrey International Writers’ Conference I attended last year, the air fare and accommodation costs make WWC an occasional treat rather than a definite must.
And that, as they say, is a wrap.
Next week: I’ll be updating you on Nuala’s situation and the state of things in the yard and driveway.