Emma Donoghue, Louise Penny, E. Jean Carroll among first authors announced for 2019 Wordfest Imaginairium Festival

Heard the Word?

Calgary’s favourite fall feast of authors and ideas Wordfest’s Imaginairium Festival has just announced the first 11 names who will be bringing their gifts and talents to town Oct. 14 to 23.

As always, it’s an eclectic crew of letterladies and lettermen who will be engaging with local letterlovers, including: Louise Penny, the Canadian author behind the internationally beloved Chief Inspector Armand Gamache mystery novels; Emma Donoghue, who rose to fame with her exceptional work Room, which she also adapted into a screenplay for the 2015 film starring Brie Larson; renowned advice columnist and journalist E. Jean Carroll, who made headlines recently after she accused Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her; and Nigerian author Chigozie Obioma, whose latest novel An Orchestra of Minorities was recently longlisted for the Booker Prize.

Also announced Thursday is that this year’s Imaginairium will once again include “annually sold out favourites: Literary Death Match, Dick Lit, Tzavta Salon (in partnership with Sidewalk Citizen), the Indigenous Voices Showcase, the Governor General’s Literary Awards Showcase, the Canadiana Showcase and The Way We Wear storytelling event. Events will spread between the festival hub (Wordfest’s permanent home) in Memorial Park Library and the New Central Library (with a shuttle running for the first time between venues).”

Early bird passes are on sale now for $165, with the price rising to $195 Monday, August 26, when the full lineup of authors will be unveiled and single event tickets also go on sale. 

For more information on The Imaginairum by Wordfest, visit

Here’s the first 11 who will appear at the 24th annual Wordiest event:

Alicia Elliott

Audree Wilhelmy

Bob Joseph

Chigozi Obioma

E. Jean Carroll

Emma Donoghue

Louise Penny

Mary Norris

Mona Awad

Richard Van Camp

Tom Lanoye

(Photo of Emma Donoghue courtesy Punch Photographic.)