What’s the word on Wordfest?
What to expect at one of Canada’s biggest literary festivals
By Sabrina Harmata, Contributor
Wordfest, a not-for-profit organization, holds one of the biggest literary festivals in Canada every year in Calgary. The festival aims to promote intellectual discussions around literature written by both well-known and new authors. This definitely makes it easier for all the bookworms out there to find new and interesting things to read, especially since the books being discussed come from a wide variety of genres. This includes non-fiction, poetry, comics and fiction. Having the festival encompass many genres of literature ensures people of all ages will find what they are looking for; even children will be able to enjoy the festival, as a number of children’s literature authors will be attending as well.
This annual festival takes place from Oct. 9 to Oct. 15, the same week as our new fall reading week. Coincidence? Probably, but at least you have somewhere to go to stay updated on all the current trends in academic and creative literature; instead of sitting at home and ignoring all the homework piling up on your desk. Going to a literary festival is a perfect way to keep your brain sharp during a week full of Netflix binging, so take a break from watching Friends for the twelfth time, and find some new literature to obsess over before school consumes all your free time.
From Memorial Park Library, to the Central Library, to Arts Commons, the festival will be featuring over 80 authors from places all over the world, such as Calgary, Toronto, Washington, Montreal, Dublin, and even New Zealand. Authors include Denise Chong, the current writer in residence at University of Calgary, Ruth Ware, author of The Lying Game, and Zoe Whittall, author of Indigo’s Number One Book of the Year in 2016, The Best Kind of People. They will be discussing their masterpieces at length, so book time off work now, because you know you won’t be able to forgive yourself if you miss it. Many of the authors are giving more than one talk, so if you miss them the first time, or if one of their events is too expensive, you can always catch them later on in the festival.
For those of you worried about cost, some of the events at the festival are free, or even as low as five dollars. Other events are a bit pricier, ranging from $10 to $50, but they also have the option of buying a festival pass for $150, which will get you into any event throughout the festival, provided the cost of that event is less than $24.
To a struggling university student, this seems like a lot of money, but the knowledge you’ll gain about reading and writing will be totally worth it. Trust me. Maybe you’ll even use this newfound intelligence in class. You’ll never know what could happen if you don’t go check it out, and you wouldn’t want to regret that for the rest of your life, so it’s probably best to just go.
On top of the yearly festival, Wordfest also has many interesting events during the rest of the year. One of these such events is a talk with Rupi Kaur on her book, the sun and her flowers, on October 17. So for those of you still contemplating about going, why don’t you do yourselves a favour and just do it.