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    WORDFEST 2011

    by Philip - 0 Comment(s)

    One beautiful thing about Calgary's Wordfest is that there's no way to see everything. Even if you developed the technology to multiply yourself into separate, like-minded entities and then hit every venue in town (and up in Banff!) and listened to every fabulous writer, I imagine you and your army would get word-fested out pretty quick.

    But customizing your own personal mini-Wordfest is a big part of the fun, and we only have a few days to make these important decisions on more than 65 events from October 11 - 16.

    Click here to open the full schedule from

    Realistically, I know I'm only gonna make it to one. A bit pathetic, yes, but it also makes the current decision-making process that much more exciting and important. If I've only got one shot at having a good time at Wordfest 2011, I better choose real carefully. And I've already got it narrowed down to three strong contendors for an hour of my precious time:Wordfest

    Option #1 – Keepin’ it Short

    Saturday, October 15

    11am-Noon, Vertigo Theatre Centre, Studio

    Jessica Westhead

    Zsuzsi Gartner

    Johanna Skibsrud

    Fresh, Canadian voices share their work to celebrate YOSS (Year Of the Short Story), which aims to bring short fiction the larger audience it deserves. Hosted by Samantha Warwick.

    This one appeals to me because I'm terrible at conceiving and producing short stories. I figure this event might help me understand what makes the short story work so that I might be able to one day begin working on one with a better idea of what I'm trying to do. For more information on the "Year Of the Short Story", YOSS, click here.

    Option #2 – Writers and Their Collections

    Wednesday, October 12

    5-6pm, Art Gallery of Calgary

    Tim Bowling

    Linda Grant

    Ian Williams

    Lev Grossman

    Writers read from their new works, discuss their personal libraries and share how books have inspired them. Hosted by Suzette Mayr.

    This is just a great concept. Any discussion of a writer's personal library will fascinate me. It's always surprising to hear what books are on an author's shelf. Anytime I see an author profile picture with a bookshelf in-frame I try to make out the spines behind them. Too bad it's only one hour, though...

    Option #3 – The Fantastical

    Wednesday, October 12

    Noon-1pm, University of Calgary, Husky Oil Great Hall

    Zsuzsi Gartner

    Lev Grossman

    Meg Wolitzer

    Three critically-acclaimed authors read from their latest works which all share elements of magic and fantasy. Hosted by Donna Livingston.

    This one stands out for me just because I lean towards the fantastic. Gotta have some magic and fantasy, right? Gartner, Grossman, and Wolitzer - that's a sweet lineup. Here's a selection of their work available at the library:The Magician KingThe Uncoupling


    For much more and much better guidance through your Wordfest week, visit the official Wordfest blog here:


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