News / Calgary

Being an a**hole and falling in love at Calgary's WordFest

Calgary's annual literary festival returns next week

Author Mandy Len Catron will explore the questions you need to ask to fall in love


Author Mandy Len Catron will explore the questions you need to ask to fall in love

Timely. Tasty.

Those are the big words at this year’s annual WordFest, which celebrates the written word with local, national and internationally acclaimed authors who descend on Calgary with literary-themed events.

“Timely because we live in a time, I think, when fiction makes us our best selves,” explained Shelley Youngblut, WordFest CEO. “During the age of Trump, when there’s shootings and we all feel so desolate, it’s great to have fiction that uplifts us. From a non-fiction point of view, it’s nice to have authors who are really embracing idea-driven books on that front.

“This is a festival, this is a guilt-free festival and more than anything else I want people to come together and have a really good time.”

With dozens of events this year, Youngblut shares some off her must-see suggestions.

Short Story Advent Calendar

Every day of the festival at 5 p.m., in the Arts Commons Big Secret Theatre, is happy hour. But on Tuesday, Oct. 10, it’s really special because Michael Hingston and Natalie Olsen are making short stories sexy by turning them into an advent calendar.

“You get a short story – from one of the world greatest short story writers – packaged as a gift you open every day, like chocolate over Christmas,” explained Youngblut.

Fall In Love With Anyone

Another happy hour entry, on Oct. 13 author Mandy Len Catron goes over her 32 questions to ask to fall in love with anyone.

She’ll try this out with the audience, to see if she can cause some sparks to fly. Youngblut describes it as wordy hypnotism.

Late Night Series

The late night series takes the Big Secret Theatre just after 9 p.m.

On Oct. 10, a few local authors present How To Be. For example, author Kris Demeanor talks about how to be an asshole in Calgary. There will be drinking and music.

Magazine writers

For non-fiction fans, sit down for an evening with Alexis Okeowo (New Yorker) and Michael Finkel, a prolific writer who became infamous when a serial killer used Finkel’s name as an alias (it was later adapted into a movie with Jonah Hill).

Indians Strike Back

A no-holds barred, blunt conversation and reconciliation promises to be an informative and important discussion.

More on