Wordfest for wee ones, writers, and winos

Illustrator, Nick Craine, shares his experience as an illustrator who was invited to present at Wordfest for his adaptation and illustration of the book Hard Core Logo, Portrait of a Thousand Punks, which was originally a film by Bruce McDonald.

“I am the illustrator, and adapted this as well,” said Craine.

Craine said this adaptation was like taking a trip back in time into “hard-core” punk and music life with his cartoon illustrations full of blood and truth, 20 years after the original was done.

Visiting from Ontario, Craine presented three times at Wordfest and said that although he has been drawing his “entire life,” doing illustrations for stories forces you to  learn more in order to fully portray in detail.

Craine also presented the book 5 Minute Hockey Stories.

“I came to the subject of hockey knowing absolutely nothing,” said Craine.

Craine said his not knowing the sport, but having to learn it to illustrate the book, helped him approach the subject of hockey in a way children would “appreciate.”

“Now I can totally share history [about] the zamboni, [about] the Stanley Cup,” said Craine. “I know all this stuff now.”

Wordfest also includes  adult themed events such as the Late Night Series where word lovers can take a seat with their wine in hand as they prepare to be entertained.

Wordfest’s Oct. 12 Late Night Series, Literary Death Match, held at Big Secret Theatre in the Arts Commons, hosted a panel of three judges and four contestants.

Two authors at a time read a seven-minute-or-less piece of their own writing, while the judges took notes on their presentation.

The judges included children’s author Bill Richardson, author and former CBC radio host; Esta Spalding, award winning screenwriter, producer, poet, and novelist; and Ben Clanton, author and illustrator of children’s books.

The reading authors of the evening included novelist Alice Kuipers; teen and adult novelist Susan Juby; Wesley King, former Jedi, which didn’t work out and now author; and author Andrew Larsen.

“Duck… duck… duck…,” read author of OCDaniel, Wesley King, reading about a boy feeling the anxiety of a simple game of “duck duck goose.”

When they were done reading the judges would give them comical, witty, and slighting “roasting” feedback.

“Oh right this is really a novel about the emergence of a fetish,” Richardson joked to author Andrew Larsen about his reading of his children’s book, Dingus.

The host of Literary Death Match, Adrian Todd Zuniga, who is also the creator, has started his own weekly web show, LDM Book Report. 

Zynga shares literary history with untold facts in humorous ways about writers and books, with information  he has discovered such as their habits, their lovers, and even their drink of choice.

For the past 22 years Wordfest has been a way for authors around the world to promote their work, while building literary awareness, and connections with readers.

Wordfest hosts year-round Calgary literary events, and each October puts on a seven day festival where authors gather to share readings, workshops, panel discussions and school presentations.

For a list of presenters at this year’s festival please visit

Wordfest’s Literary Death Match at Big Secret Theatre in Calgary on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. Host Adrian Todd Zuniga presents with a panel of authors as they read from their own writing, and prepare to for the roasting from their literary peers in the 422nd Literary Death Match; Calgary Wordfest’s own 5th episode. (Photo by Janaia Hutzal /The Press)

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