• We've got stellar workshops for members and non-members alike.
  • Our 2013/2014 In Dialogue Reading Series continues with wonderful events in 2014. Check out the details here.
  • Free to members, our Blue Pencil Sessions help you hone your craft. Find out more here.
  • Want to support Manitoba writing? Consider a financial donation to the Manitoba Writers' Guild. Click here to make a donation.
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News & Events

  • October 3, 2014

    Kenneth Oppel Master Class

    For Immediate Release 

    WINNIPEG, MANITOBA – The Manitoba Writers’ Guild is pleased to announce its first Master Class of the season: KENNETH OPPEL

    KENNETH OPPEL is the Governor General’s Award–winning author of the Airborn series and the Silverwing Saga, which has sold over a million copies worldwide. His most recent novels are HALF BROTHER, winner of both the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award and the Young Adult Book Award; THIS DARK ENDEAVOUR, finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award; and SUCH WICKED INTENT, finalist for the CLA Young Adult Book Award. Canada’s nominated author for the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award, he lives in Toronto with his wife and three children.


    Masterclass — Sunday, October 19th  11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    MWG Members: $100
    Non-members $125.00

    You will write on-site and have your work critiqued by Kenneth Oppel.  His class will cover a wide range of topics including Idea Development, Voice, Story Structure, Character Development, and Tricks. There will be lots of opportunities to ask questions throughout!

    For more information, please contact the Manitoba Writers’ Guild by email at info@mbwriter.mb.ca, by phone at 204-944-8013, or visit the Guild website at www.manitobawritersguild.com.

  • September 30, 2014


    Manitoba Writers’ Guild Nominations Report

    for the Annual General Meeting

    October 18, 2014 10 a.m. Cinemateque Main Floor Artspace Building, 100 Arthur Street


    The Nominations and Governance Committee recommends the following Guild members comprise the Board of Directors for 2014-2015. This year we have one member seeking re-election for a second term, one member who was appointed in 2013 and is now seeking election for a full two-year term, and five new candidates seeking election.


    Members may also make nominations from the floor at the AGM. Anyone wishing to do so should first ensure that the person they want to nominate is a member of the Guild in good standing, over 18 years of age, and willing to let their name stand.


    Members seeking re-election: Shayla Elizabeth, Susan Rocan.

    New Candidates: Corey Dyck, Allan Levine, Bertrand Nayet, Marika Prokosh, Doug Whiteway.


    Biographies of all current, returning and new Board members are listed below.




    President: Chris Rutkowski

    Chris is completing his second term on the Board and entering his second year as President.


    Chris Rutkowski is a Manitoba writer and educator. He has nine published books, the most recent being The Big Book of UFOs (Dundurn, 2010). Although best known for his non-fiction and science writing on the subject of UFOs, he also has published short fiction and has written for CBC, performed music on TV programs and produced scripts for planetarium shows. He is a communications officer at the University of Manitoba and has been on the MWG Board since 2009.


    Vice-President (Membership & Programming): Armin Wiebe

    Armin is completing his first two-year term on the Board and beginning a two-year term as Vice-President.


    Armin Wiebe’s stage play, The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz, premiered to enthusiastic reviews and sold-out audiences at Theatre Projects Manitoba in April, 2011.He is also the author of three novels set in the fictional Mennonite town of Gutenthal, Manitoba: The Salvation of Yasch Siemens, Murder in Gutenthal, and The Second Coming of Yeeat Shpanst, as well as the award-winning novel Tatsea, set in the Canadian subarctic of the 1760s. For a dozen years an instructor of creative writing at Red River College, he has also served as writer-in-residence at libraries in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and Dauphin, Manitoba, and the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture at the University of Manitoba. After spending six years in the Northwest Territories in 1980s, he now makes his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


    Board experience: Manitoba Writers’ Guild, Prairie Fire Press, Inc., Rhubarb Magazine, and The Writers’ Union of Canada


    Vice-President (Resource Development): Susan Rocan(seeking re-election for a second two-year term; entering her second year as Vice-President)


    Susan has been a member of the Guild since 1984. The newsletter was instrumental in getting some of her short stories published back in 1984 and, more recently, her two Young Adult novels, Withershins and Spirit Quest. Several years ago, she was on a committee that tried to raise awareness of the Guild and encourage schools to be involved with the Guild and its programs. Susan was a presenter at the recent Symposium on Manitoba Writing, celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Guild.


    Treasurer: Corey Dyck (seeking election for his first term on the Board)


    Corey Dyck is a Chartered Accountant and a Senior Staff Accountant at Ernst & Young Winnipeg, where he has spent his entire professional career to date. His job includes providing accounting and assurance services to a wide variety of clients in the aerospace & defence, retailing, and real estate sectors. Corey holds a Bachelor’s degree (Honours) from the University of Manitoba in Accounting and Finance. In his spare time, Corey enjoys writing poetry and reading. His appreciation for live music has taken him to multiple events across different countries.


    Secretary: Donna Besel (completing her second two-year term on the Board, entering her second two-year term as Secretary)


    Donna Besel grew up in Whiteshell Provincial Park and now lives on the Winnipeg River in St-Georges, Manitoba. Her writing has appeared in various publications and accumulated honours such as second place in Prairie Fire’s writing contest, shortlist in CBC’s Literary Awards, finalist spot in CBC’s “Canada Writesˮ and first place in This Magazineʼs “Great Canadian Literary Hunt.” In spring of 2015, a collection of her short stories will be published by Hagios Press in Regina. She leads creative writing workshops for all ages and also instructs in the province-wide Artists in the Schools program.





    Annie Deeley (completing her second two-year term)


    Annie Deeley is a Winnipeg poet. When she is not writing or working with seniors, you might find her in her kayak, on her bike, or on the porch with a book. Brother, a chapbook of her poems, was published in 2013 by The Alfred Gustav Press in Vancouver. Brother is her first publication. She is working on a longer collection.


    Shayla Elizabeth (First appointed to the Board in February –March, 2013; seeking election for a second term)


    Shayla has been a member of the Aboriginal Writersʼ Collective, MB (Inc.) (AWC) since 1999. She has written grant proposals to the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) and the Manitoba Arts Council (MAC), subsequently winning them for the AWC. The AWC then self-published and launched a chapbook, Bone Memories, with cover art from Lita Fontaine, to which she contributed. She helped the Norway House Youth Arts win a MAC grant for their writing project. Shayla was an Aboriginal Arts administration intern with Sákéwéwak, an Aboriginal artist-run centre in Regina. She wrote grants for them to the CCA, the Saskatchewan Arts Council, and various other funders. She has written and been awarded MAC grants in Playwriting and for a Spoken Word CD. For the Anishnaabe Fellowship, a Presbyterian ministry in Winnipeg, she also wrote grant proposals, which they received.

    Shayla has also been a free-lance journalist, and has done academic writing.


    hannah_g (completing her second two-year term.)


    hannah_g is a writer, contemporary storyteller, inter-disciplinary artist, mixtape-laptop DJ, and designer. She is interested in collectivity, place-making, and recollection. She is also the Co-Director of the Artist-Run Centre, aceartinc. and the editor of the gallery’s in-house annual publication, PaperWait. hannah serves on the Public Art Committee of the Winnipeg Arts Council, the Board of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild, and is the founder of Tanaby Design. Visit her web site at www.saltislets.com


    Shannon Quesnel (completing her second two-year term)


    Shannon Quesnel is a Chartered Accountant and a Senior Manager at PwC in Winnipeg, where she has spent her entire professional career to date. Her job includes providing accounting and assurance services to a wide variety of clients in the insurance, manufacturing, and not-for-profit sectors. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and relaxing at Falcon Lake. She stays active playing ultimate Frisbee in the summer.


    Aaron Simm(completing his first two-year term)


    Aaron Simm is a writer, performance poet, hip-hop artist, and workshop facilitator living in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He is a multiple-time slam champion, and has shared his poetry on stages all across the country. His work has previously been featured at the Saskatchewan Festival of Words, the Winnipeg International Writersʼ Festival, and the Brandon Folk Festival. Aaron also enjoys writing raps, rants, haiku, short stories, and biographies about himself.



    New Nominees seeking election as Members-at-large


    Allan Levine


    Allan Levine is a Winnipeg author and historian. He has written thirteen books, including his most recent, Toronto: Biography of a City, published September 2014, and King, the critically acclaimed biography of Mackenzie King that won the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction. In 2010, his book Coming of Age: A History of the Jewish People of Manitoba won the McNally-Robinson Book of the Year. He has also written four historical mysteries. And, in a freelance career that started in the early eighties, his many articles and reviews have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers including the Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press and the National Post.


    Bertrand Nayet


    Né en France en 1962, Bertrand Nayet réside à St-Norbert au Manitoba. Il enseigne la littérature et les arts visuels au Collège Louis-Riel à St-Boniface. Il écrit dans plusieurs genres: la nouvelle, le récit, le conte, la poésie et le théâtre. Il a créé des mises en scène, joué dans diverses troupes et illustré quelques livres. Bertrand est un des pères fondateurs et secrétaire perpétuel du Collectif post-néo-rieliste. Il est actuellement écrivain en résidence à La Maison Gabrielle-Roy, à St-Boniface, où il a fondé et où il anime un atelier sur le haïku, le Kukaï Rouge. Bertrand est aussi membre du conseil d’administration des Éditons du Blé. En 2014 il a publié Contes de fils et d’eaux et dirigé un recueil collectif de haïkus sur une même écorce.


    Bertrand Nayet wasborn in France in 1962, and now lives in St. Norbert, Manitoba. He teaches literature and the visual arts at Collège Louis-Riel in St. Boniface. His writings cover numerous genres: short stories, narratives, tales, poems and drama. He directed plays, played for various companies and illustrated a few books. Bertrand is one of the founding fathers and secretary in perpetuity of Le Collectif post-néo-rieliste. He is currently writer in residence at La Maison Gabrielle-Roy, in St. Boniface, where he initiated and conducts a haiku workshop, the Kukaï Rouge. Bertrand is on the Board of Les Éditions du Blé. In 2014 he published a book of tales Contes de fils et d’eaux and edited a haiku anthology sur une même écorce.


    Marika Prokosh


    Marika Prokoshʼs poetry has appeared in Prairie Fire, rip/torn, Existere, juice, and online at The Toast, where she is also a monthly columnist. She is a graduate of the University of Winnipeg, an alum apprentice of the Sheldon Oberman Emerging Writers Mentorship program, a former coordinator for the Speaking Crow poetry reading, and was the inaugural Aqua Books Emerging Writer-in-Residence. She lives in Winnipeg, where she writes, cooks, sells books, drinks wine, and instructs students in the mysterious ways of the library.


    Doug Whiteway


    Doug Whiteway has been working and playing with words for nearly four decades, which is remarkable since he’s only 49, which suggests either precociousness or outright fibbing. He has worked as a writer and editor for newspapers, including the Winnipeg Free Press, and magazines, including Canada’s History (formerly The Beaver). He contributes to nonfiction books as a writer and edits both fiction and nonfiction. Under the pseudonym C.C. Benison, he is the author of seven crime novels. His last board appointment was to the Manitoba Editors’ Association, of which he is a founding member.



    Thank You


    Many thanks to Sharron Arksey and Jamie Horyski, whose terms have ended and who are leaving the Board as of this AGM. Sharron has served as Secretary and as Vice-President, Membership & Programming; Jamie served as a Member-at-large. And thanks to Carmelo Militano who served on the Board until his resignation in September.

    Many thanks to this year’s nominations and governance committee members: Shannon Quesnel, Annie Deeley, Jamie Horyski, Dennis Cooley, and Marjorie Poor.



    Call for Volunteers

    Volunteers are still needed to serve on committees (which is a good way to get involved and become a potential Board member), to provide extra office support, and to provide volunteer support to Guild events. For more information, please contact the Guild office.


    Submitted by Joanne Epp, Past President and Chair of the Nominations & Governance Committee


  • September 24, 2014


  • September 10, 2014

    NEW — Writing for Children class at the MWG!

    MWG 5 Week Writing for Children Class

    Through the Looking Glass: Writing for Middle Grade and Teen Readers

    Whether you have already made steps into the world of writing for children and teens, or are considering wading in, this class will inform you and sharpen your skills. Over five weeks author and editor Anita Daher will show you how to make your story spit, flow, bleed, scratch, glow and generally knock the socks off an editor and reader. You will participate in writing exercises, share your work, and explore elements of writing for differing ages of readers.


    Instructor Bio:

    Anita Daher is author of ten + books for teens and young readers in Canada and Europe. She has worked on occasion as marketing director, editor, and radio broadcaster, and for seven years was editor at Great Plains Teen Fiction. When not word wrangling she enjoys playing her guitar or ukulele, and instigating things (usually house renos and adventures).


    Dates/Time: Tuesdays, September 30 through October 28, 6:30-9 p.m.

    Cost: MWG members—$100, non-members—$125

    Max Participants: 15


    To register:

    Phone: 204-944-8013

    Paypal payments made here: 

    Y/A 5 week class with Anita Daher

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    Email: events@mbwriter.mb.ca

    Or stop by: 218-100 Arthur Street (check office hours)

  • September 4, 2014

    MWG AGM upcoming!

    Our 2014 AGM will be held at Cinemateque, on the main floor of the Artspace Building, 100 Arthur Street, on Saturday, October 18th.  Arrive at 9:30 for coffee and check-in, and the AGM will commence at 10 a.m.  Afterward, delicious refreshments will be served in the lobby, and we’ll recommence in the Cinemateque for entertainment with Aaron Simm, spoken word artist and Artistic Director of the Winnipeg Spoken Word Festival!

  • August 5, 2014

    Welcome Anita Daher, MWG Events Coordinator!

    Anita Daher is an accomplished artist and administrator.  Check out her website here!   Anita will be on board this year organizing the Manitoba Book Awards, our In Dialogue program, and many of our other fundraisers and events — and we couldn’t be more delighted!


  • June 23, 2014

    MWG Job Posting


    The mission of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild is to encourage, develop, promote and celebrate writers and writing, to support the freedom to write and to read, and to advocate for the well-being of writers.


    • To co-ordinate the Manitoba Book Awards and the In Dialogue Reading Series
    • To promote these and other MWG events and activities

    Reports to

    • The MWG Executive Director


    • Working with the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers (AMBP) to administer the Manitoba Book Awards. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Co-ordinating the submission process
    • Selecting juries
    • Organizing the Manitoba Book Awards Gala
    • Co-ordinating the In Dialogue Reading Series. This includes, but is not limited to:
    • Applying for grant funding
    • Inviting authors and scheduling readings
    • Drawing up a budget
    • Arranging for hosting of readings
    • Promoting the Book Awards, In Dialogue, and other MWG events through a variety of media
    • Working with the Executive Director in the area of communications, including social media updates.
    • Creating a bi-weekly e-newsletter.
    • Working with the Executive Director to ensure the Burns Family Classroom is functional for various events.


    • Communications skills – including articulate verbal skills, excellent writing skills, and familiarity with social media and other web-based communications
    • Computer skills – Word processing, basic data entry
    • Experience with writing grant applications
    • Experience in planning and promoting events
    • Ability to think and plan ahead; initiative; adaptability
    • Knowledge of Canadian and Manitoban writing and publishing community
    • Knowledge of French an asset
    • Some lifting required.

    Hours and wages:

    • Average of 15 hours per week; up to 20 during busy periods
    • $15.00 / hour
    • Initial contract to run from July 21, 2014 to July 21, 2015, with possibility of renewal. Apply with resume, contact information and cover letter by email to info@mbwriter.mb.ca by July 4, 2014. Please attach all materials as a single .doc, .docx, or .pdf file, and include the subject line “Events Coordinator Application.”


    The Manitoba Writers’ Guild thanks all applicants for their interest in this position. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.