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Wordfest
Banff-Calgary International Writers Festival

Word on the Street

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Events

Crowd at a Literary FestivalThe crowd has gathered early, the fans are packed in, pressed against the stage. Those in the back push forward, those in the front struggle to even breathe. Under glow of lights amidst the whir of cameras and thunder of hands clapping someone takes the stage. Who is it? A rock star? A movie star? Nope, it's a writer and this is a literary festival. Although this scene is a slight exaggeration, and fans usually aren't pressed up against the stage crying themselves senseless, literary festivals have become a place where everyone is welcome.

Literary festivals allow the writer to move away from pen and paper, from computer to reader. It gives them a chance to perform the work that audiences have grown to love. While the books of poems or newest novel may be the ultimate meeting place between writer and reader, the literary festival offers a chance to ask the writer questions. Festivals let the writer take the stage and literally be heard.

The Edmonton and Fort McMurray International Literary Festival.The history of festivals in the province stretches back decades. Recently, however, Calgary's Wordfest has grown significantly and is now the third largest literary festival in the country. Major writers such as Margaret Atwood, Mavis Gallant, Mordecai Richler and Louis de Bernières have been featured. Edmonton currently looks after the poets of the province with its Stroll of Poets festival, while the Young Alberta Book Society Festival makes sure that children are not left out.

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