Becoming a Volunteer Reader for WordFest is a great way to get involved with the Festival if you are unable to volunteer during our actual Festival dates, or if you would like to be involved with the Festival year-round. The program runs annually from February to June.
As a volunteer reviewer, you will be helping the Festival to assess the dozens of books and “galleys” (unedited pre-publication book manuscripts) that publishers send to WordFest for consideration every year. Only a few of these books’ authors will go on to be featured in the annual Festival—your review could be a key part of that decision!
To begin, simply drop by our office to pick out a book. Volunteer Readers have two weeks to read the book and then return the book to the office with a typed, double-spaced review of the book. Please number each page and include on each page the book title, author and your name. Reviews should be between 250-500 words in length and should cover the following basic points:
- What response did you have to the book? Why do you think it evoked that response?
- What do you think the author was trying to achieve in this book? Does it do what it set out to do? Does its goal seem worthwhile? Why or why not?
- What audience(s) do you think the book is written towards? Do you think it would be appreciated by that audience? Do you think it would have any appeal outside that audience? Why or why not?
Notice that for each of these major points, the question “why” occurs. Answering “why” is often the most important part of a review and the most helpful to programming staff in making decisions.
Books and reviews can be picked up and dropped off between 9:30-5pm, Monday to Friday at Eau Claire Market, Unit B03, 200 Barclay Parade SW,Calgary,AB,T2P 4R5 (near the east entrance).
Since it is important to circulate the books to receive a wide variety of reviews, please ensure all books are read and reviewed within the two week timeframe.
If there is any reason that you cannot meet this deadline, or if you would like to circulate any books you are reviewing to friends, family members or members of your book club, please call the WordFest office at 403.237.9068 to make alternate arrangements.
Thank you and Happy Reading!