2022 Manitoba Book Awards Winners

We are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Manitoba Book Awards!

Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction /
Prix Alexander-Kennedy-Isbister pour les études et essais
Sponsor: Manitoba Arts Council

WINNER: Dadibaajim: Returning Home Through Narrative by Helen Olsen Agger, published by University of Manitoba Press


Nominees:
Manitobaines engagées par Lise Gaboury-Diallo et Michelle Smith, publié par Les Éditions du Blé
Persephone’s Children: A Life in Fragments by Rowan McCandless, published by Dundurn Press
Returning to Ceremony: Spirituality in Manitoba Métis Communities by Chantal Fiola, published by University of Manitoba Press
We Are All Perfectly Fine: A Memoir of Love, Medicine and Healing by Jillian Horton, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.


Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award /
Prix littéraire Carol-Shields de la ville de Winnipeg
Sponsor: Winnipeg Arts Council, through the City of Winnipeg

GAGNANT: Mont-Blanc-Winnipeg Express par Seream, publié par Les Éditions du Blé

Nominees:
Did You See Us? Reunion, Remembrance, and Reclamation at an Urban Indian Residential School by Survivors of the Assiniboia Indian Residential School, foreword by Theodore Fontaine, edited by Andrew Woolford, published by University of Manitoba Press
Mosienko The Man Who Caught Lightning in a Bottle by Ty Dilello, published by Great Plains
Publications
Scofflaw by Garry Thomas Morse, published by Anvil Press Publishers
The Strangers by Katherena Vermette, published by Hamish Hamilton Canada


Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book
Sponsor: The Winnipeg Foundation

CO-WINNERS:
Persephone’s Children: A Life in Fragments by Rowan McCandless, published by Dundurn Press
We Are All Perfectly Fine: A Memoir of Love, Medicine and Healing by Jillian Horton, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Nominees:
Lessons in Fusion by Primrose Madayag Knazan, published by Yellow Dog (an imprint of Great Plains Publications)
Lost on the Prairie by MaryLou Driedger, published by Heritage House Publishing
Run As One: My Story by Errol Ranville, published by Great Plains Publications

John Hirsch Emerging Manitoba Writer Award /
Prix John Hirsch de l’écrivain.e émergent.e manitobain.e
Sponsor: Manitoba Foundation for the Arts

WINNER: Chimwemwe Undi

Nominees:
Wren Brian
Teresa Horosko
Joanna Graham
Sam K MacKinnon

Lansdowne Prize for Poetry / Prix Lansdowne de poésie
Sponsor: The Winnipeg Foundation

WINNER: The Lost Cafeteria by Joel Robert Ferguson, published by Signature Editions

Nominees/Candidats :
Cattail Skyline by Joanne Epp, published by Turnstone Press
L’ivresse fragile de l’aube par Laurent Poliquin publié par L’Harmattan
Tablet Fragments by Tamar Rubin, published by Signature Editions
The World Is Mostly Sky by Sarah Ens, published by Turnstone Press

Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Awards /
Prix Manuela-Dias de conception graphique et d’illustration en édition

I. Book Design / Conception de livre

WINNER: Warehouse Journal Volume Thirty edited & designed by Chelsea Colburn & Teresa Lyons, published by Warehouse Journal, Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba

Nominees:
Dadibaajim: Returning Home Through Narrative by Helen Olsen Agger, cover design by Mike Carroll, interior design by Jess Koroscil, published by University of Manitoba Press
Ex Nihilo by J. R. Léveillé, cover & interior design by M. C. Joudrey & Matthew Stevens, published by At Bay Press
Frame by Frame: An Animators Journey by Co Hoedeman, cover & interior design by M. C.
Joudrey & Matthew Stevens, published by At Bay Press
Gibbous Moon by Dennis Cooley, cover & interior design by M. C. Joudrey & Matthew Stevens,
published by At Bay Press
Spíləx̣m: A Weaving of Recovery, Resilience, and Resurgence by Nicola I. Campbell, cover &
interior art by Carrielynn Victor, interior design by Jennifer Lum, published by HighWater Press

II. Illustration
Category held over until 2023. / Catégorie suspendue jusqu’en 2023.

III. Children’s Illustration/ Illustration de livres pour enfants

WINNER: You Came From My Heart by Brenlee Coates, illustrations by Roberta Landreth, published by FriesenPress

Nominees:
Jigging for Halibut With Tsinii by Sara Florence Davidson & Robert Davidson, illustrations &
cover art by Janine Gibbons, design by Jennifer Lum, map by John Broadhead, published by
HighWater Press
Molly’s Magic Door by Kirstin Link, illustrations & design by Jason Doll, published by Peanut
Butter Press
The Wolf Mother by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), illustrations & cover art by Natasha
Donovan, design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by HighWater Press
We Dream Medicine Dreams written & illustrated by Lisa Boivin, design by Jennifer Lum,
published by HighWater Press


Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction
Sponsor: Manitoba Arts Council

CO-WINNERS:
Hour of the Crab by Patricia Robertson, published by Goose Lane Editions
Prodigies by Bob Armstrong, published by Five Star (an imprint of Gale, a Cengage Company)

Nominees:
So Many Windings by Catherine Macdonald, published by At Bay Press
Status Update by George Toles, published by At Bay Press
The Strangers by Katherena Vermette, published by Hamish Hamilton Canada

Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher /
Prix Mary-Scorer pour le meilleur livre par un éditeur du Manitoba
Sponsor: Friesens Corporation

WINNER: Did You See Us? Reunion, Remembrance, and Reclamation at an Urban Indian Residential School by Survivors of the Assiniboia Indian Residential School, preface by Theodore Fontaine, edited by Andrew Woolford, design by Vincent Design, published by University of Manitoba Press

Nominees:
Coming to Canada by Starkie Mak, design by M.C. Joudrey & Matthew Stevens, published by At Bay Press
Double Wahala, Double Trouble by Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike, cover design by Fred
Martins, interior design by Rachelle Painchaud-Nash, published by Griots Lounge Publishing
Canada
Jigging for Halibut With Tsinii by Sara Florence Davidson & Robert Davidson, illustrations &
cover art by Janine Gibbons, design by Jennifer Lum, map by John Broadhead, published by
HighWater Press
Spíləx̣m: A Weaving of Recovery, Resilience, and Resurgence by Nicola I. Campbell, cover &
interior art by Carrielynn Victor, interior design by Jennifer Lum, published by HighWater Press
The Frog Mother by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), illustrations & cover art by Natasha
Donovan, design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by HighWater Press


Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction
Sponsor: Manitoba Writers’ Guild, Winnipeg International Writers Festival

WINNER: So Many Windings by Catherine Macdonald, published by At Bay Press
Nominees:
Alternate Plains: Stories of Prairie Speculative Fiction edited by Darren Ridgley & Adam Petrash, published by Great Plains Publications
Manistique by Craig Terlson, published by Ethelbert House
Prodigies by Bob Armstrong, published by Five Star (an imprint of Gale, a Cengage Company)
The Unpleasantness at the Battle of Thornford: A Father Christmas Mystery by C.C. Benison,
published by At Bay Press

 

McNally Robinson Book for Young People (Younger Category)
Sponsor: McNally Robinson Booksellers

WINNER: I Sang You Down from the Stars by Tasha Spillett-Sumner, published by Owlkids Books

Nominees:
Glory On Ice: A Vampire Hockey Story by Maureen Fergus, published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young People (an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada)
T. Rexes Can’t Tie Their Shoes by Anna Lazowski, published by Doubleday Books for Young
People (an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada)
The Eagle Mother by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), published by HighWater Press

McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award
Sponsor: McNally Robinson Booksellers

WINNER: Out of Mind by David Bergen, published by Goose Lane Editions

Nominees:
Gibbous Moon by Dennis Cooley, published by At Bay Press
Life in the City of Dirty Water by Clayton Thomas-Muller, published by Allen Lane Canada (an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada)
Searching for Signal by Lori Cayer, published by Signature Editions
The Strangers by Katherena Vermette, published by Hamish Hamilton Canada
We Are All Perfectly Fine: A Memoir of Love, Medicine and Healing by Jillian Horton, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Congratulations to all the winners!

For further information on the Manitoba Book Awards, please visit the website.

 

 

June Book Chat

Please join us for a chat with Harriet Zaidman, whose book, Second Chances, was just nominated for the 2023 Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Northern Lights Award.
To attend this event, email MWGEvents2022@gmail.com to receive the Zoom instructions.
Harriet Zaidman is a 3rd generation Canadian, the descendant of Russian Jews who experienced all the hardship and discrimination society had to offer in the early 1900s. Her successes are a result of their hard work and sacrifice. She’s a retired K-Gr. 8 teacher librarian, a book reviewer for the Winnipeg Free Press and CM Canadian Review of Materials and a freelance writer. She’s written 3 picture books and two novels; her first novel – City on Strike (Red Deer Press, 2019), follows children whose family is caught up in the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike. It has many of her own family’s stories woven in. City on Strike received nominations for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young Children and the Diamond Foundation Prize.
Her latest novel, Second Chances (Red Deer, 2021), is based on real events. It recalls the tragic polio epidemics of the 1950s, just as the life-saving Salk vaccine was developed. A teenage hockey star paralyzed by the disease develops feelings for a girl in hospital. She’s worried about the fate of her family, which is facing eviction from the Metis community of Rooster Town because of the racist attitudes of the city and greedy developers, who want their land. He must deal not only with his physical challenges, but decide if he has the courage to face down societal prejudices so he can follow his heart.

August Book Chat

Our August Book Chat will feature Guild member Nancy Chislett. She recently launched her debut novel Bombing the moon.
To hear her read from her novel and answer questions, such as what it was like to launch her first novel, email MWGEvents2022@gmail.com for the Zoom instructions.
About Nancy:
Nancy is an avid traveler, having visited almost 50 countries on six continents. She also plays classical music on piano and composes a little jazz. Career-wise, she has worked as a high school teacher and as a university administrator of an international student program. Bombing the moon is her debut novel. She recently received a grant from the Canada Council of the Arts to support her while writing her second literary work, entitled, Saving Fictions. She lives in the eclectic city of Winnipeg with her spouse, Grant, and dog, Simon.
About Bombing the moon:
At 24, Devin Rush’s future is unknown and his parents don’t support his dreams of becoming a songwriter. Add to that North Korea’s nuclear threats, a corporate world of greed, and impending automation, Devin feels like the world is rigged against him.
Conflict boils at home. Devin is jobless and antagonistic. His parents, wondering if he’ll ever man-up, fear he’ll depend on them for life. But when Devin’s grandfather gives him a one-way ticket to Nairobi, Devin sees no alternative and leaves, and is thrust into a world unlike any he’s ever seen.
Stunned by his sudden departure, Devin’s parents and sister are pushed further afield of the control they crave. Resentment and guilt nudge his parent’s marriage closer to collapse, and abandonment triggers his sister’s long-buried shame. When Nairobi’s election approaches and tensions erupt, Devin is faced with choices and consequences that are all too real. Beautifully written, often subversive and darkly funny, ‘Bombing the moon’ is an honest, intimate exploration of the promises and limitations of tough love.

Creating a Docudrama – take 2

The Manitoba Writers’ Guild is delighted to announce the return of our much-heralded Docudrama Workshop series.

“I had an idea for a story, but what to do with it? This Docudrama workshop was the perfect solution for me. I would give it a 5-star recommendation!” –Marilynn Slobogian (Participant in the 2021 workshop series)

Creating a docudrama involves many of the literary arts, as it can include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, music, song, dance, film clips – whatever you need to bring your passion project to life in a 10-15 minute presentation. The form is as fluid as your ideas. The classroom support provided by the instructor will focus primarily on writing, but the collective interests and talents of the whole class can enrich each participant’s final product. So, if you have a story to tell about your life, your family’s life, current political or social strife, the future of our planet, or any other idea grounded in reality but open to being framed within a story, docudrama is for you.

The classes are lively, fun, and full of vivid imaginings.

Sessions will include:

• Developing a tightly-plotted exploration of an issue, concern, or question of interest to participants

• Realistic and engaging dialogue

• Authoritative knowledge or research that informs but does not overwhelm

• Collaborative and independent work.

Each workshop is designed for small groups of 2-4 people working together. However, we can also accommodate those who prefer to work independently.

WHY CREATE A DOCUDRAMA?

• It’s a focused, fairly short format that incorporates all aspects of both fiction and non-fiction writing. All course participants will have opportunities to hone and refine their writing skills. It can, but does not need to, include poetry, song, and even dance.

• It is performable, so you will create a product that can be used for a variety of purposes, from launching a book to giving a talk on a contemporary social issue, to discovering the many voices that speak to a particular social concern, to simply entertaining others.

• The performance can be acted (drama) or read (reader’s theatre).• It is publishable in the same way that short stories are publishable. The MWG will maintain a collection of all docudramas produced in this new program, with a future goal to publish a collection of them.

For more information, contact the Manitoba Writers’ Guild at MWGEvents2022@gmail.com or check out our YouTube ads at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmAn9KB47Fj1Ynulv8bs3MA

Tickets go on sale June 1 with EventBrite (see below), but to get your name on the list or to get more information, email MWGEvents2022@gmail.com

To register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/writing-for-children-tickets-321507366187

ABOUT THE PRESENTER:

Dr. Sharon Hamilton, Professor of English (Emerita), has enjoyed a lifetime of writing, drama, and teaching. In addition to her published memoir and over a hundred professional articles and book chapters, she is working on her fifth novel and has written two plays, performed in Winnipeg, Indianapolis, and Texas. She developed a senior level docudrama course at Indiana University and has adapted it as a 8-session workshop for the Manitoba Writers Guild. She created a docudrama for the 2019 launch of her fourth novel, Manitoba MAID, at McNally Robinson.

2022 Manitoba Book Awards shortlist

Announcing:

Manitoba Book Awards/Les Prix du livre du Manitoba
2022 Nominees / Candidats 2022

From the official Manitoba Book Awards website: https://manitobabookawards.ca/index.php/2022-2/shortlist-liste-de-preselection/

Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction /
Prix Alexander-Kennedy-Isbister pour les études et essais
Sponsor: Manitoba Arts Council
Dadibaajim: Returning Home Through Narrative by Helen Olsen Agger, published by University of Manitoba Press
Manitobaines engagées par Lise Gaboury-Diallo et Michelle Smith, publié par Les Éditions du Blé
Persephone’s Children: A Life in Fragments by Rowan McCandless, published by Dundurn Press
Returning to Ceremony: Spirituality in Manitoba Métis Communities by Chantal Fiola, published by University of Manitoba Press
We Are All Perfectly Fine: A Memoir of Love, Medicine and Healing by Jillian Horton, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.


Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award /
Prix littéraire Carol-Shields de la ville de Winnipeg
Sponsor: Winnipeg Arts Council, with funding from the City of Winnipeg
Did You See Us? Reunion, Remembrance, and Reclamation at an Urban Indian Residential
School
by Survivors of the Assiniboia Indian Residential School, preface by Theodore Fontaine, edited by Andrew Woolford, published by University of Manitoba Press
Mont Blanc-Winnipeg Express par Seream, publié par Les Éditions du Blé
Mosienko: The Man Who Caught Lightning in a Bottle by Ty Dilello, published by Great Plains
Publications
Scofflaw by Garry Thomas Morse, published by Anvil Press
The Strangers by Katherena Vermette, published by Hamish Hamilton (an imprint of Penguin
Random House Canada)


Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book
Sponsor: The Winnipeg Foundation
Lessons in Fusion by Primrose Madayag Knazan, published by Yellow Dog (an imprint of Great
Plains Publications)
Lost on the Prairie by MaryLou Driedger, published by Heritage House Publishing
Persephone’s Children: A Life in Fragments by Rowan McCandless, published by Dundurn Press
Run As One: My Story by Errol Ranville, published by Great Plains Publications
We Are All Perfectly Fine: A Memoir of Love, Medicine and Healing by Jillian Horton, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.


John Hirsch Emerging Manitoba Writer Award /
Prix John Hirsch de l’écrivain.e émergent.e manitobain.e
Sponsor: Manitoba Foundation for the Arts
Wren Brian
Joanna Graham
Teresa Horosko
Sam K MacKinnon
Chimwemwe Undi


Lansdowne Prize for Poetry / Prix Lansdowne de poésie
Sponsor: The Winnipeg Foundation
Cattail Skyline by Joanne Epp, published by Turnstone Press
L’ivresse fragile de l’aube par Laurent Poliquin, publié par Éditions L’Harmattan
Tablet Fragments by Tamar Rubin, published by Signature Editions
The Lost Cafeteria by Joel Robert Ferguson, published by Signature Editions
The World Is Mostly Sky by Sarah Ens, published by Turnstone Press

Manuela Dias Book Design and Illustration Awards /
Prix Manuela-Dias de conception graphique et d’illustration en édition

I. Book Design / Conception de livre
Dadibaajim: Returning Home Through Narrative by Helen Olsen Agger, cover design by Mike
Carroll, interior design by Jess Koroscil, published by University of Manitoba Press
Ex Nihilo by E.D. Blodgett & J. R. Léveillé, cover & interior design by M. C. Joudrey & Matthew
Stevens, published by At Bay Press
Frame by Frame: An Animator’s Journey by Co Hoedeman, cover & interior design by M. C.
Joudrey & Matthew Stevens, published by At Bay Press
Gibbous Moon by Dennis Cooley & Michael Matthews, cover & interior design by M. C. Joudrey
& Matthew Stevens, published by At Bay Press
Spíləx̣m: A Weaving of Recovery, Resilience, and Resurgence by Nicola I. Campbell, cover &
interior art by Carrielynn Victor, interior design by Jennifer Lum, published by HighWater Press
Warehouse Journal Volume Thirty edited by Chelsea Colburn & Teresa Lyons, design by Chelsea Colburn & Teresa Lyons, published by Warehouse Journal, Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba


II. Illustration
Category held over until 2023. / Catégorie suspendue jusqu’en 2023.


III. Children’s Illustration/ Illustration de livres pour enfants
Jigging for Halibut With Tsinii by Sara Florence Davidson & Robert Davidson, illustrations &
cover art by Janine Gibbons, design by Jennifer Lum, map by John Broadhead, published by
HighWater Press
Molly’s Magic Door by Kirstin Link, illustrations & design by Jason Doll, published by Peanut
Butter Press
The Wolf Mother by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), illustrations & cover art by Natasha
Donovan, design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by HighWater Press
We Dream Medicine Dreams written & illustrated by Lisa Boivin, design by Jennifer Lum,
published by HighWater Press
You Came From My Heart by Brenlee Coates, illustrations & design by Roberta Landreth,
published by FriesenPress


Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction
Sponsor: Manitoba Arts Council
Hour of the Crab by Patricia Robertson, published by Goose Lane Editions
Prodigies by Bob Armstrong, published by Five Star (an imprint of Gale, a Cengage Company)
So Many Windings by Catherine Macdonald, published by At Bay Press
Status Update by George Toles & Cliff Eyland, published by At Bay Press
The Strangers by Katherena Vermette, published by Hamish Hamilton (an imprint of Penguin
Random House Canada)


Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher /
Prix Mary-Scorer pour le meilleur livre par un éditeur du Manitoba
Sponsor: Friesens Corporation
Coming to Canada by Starkie Mak, design by M.C. Joudrey & Matthew Stevens, published by At Bay Press
Did You See Us? Reunion, Remembrance, and Reclamation at an Urban Indian Residential
School
by Survivors of the Assiniboia Indian Residential School, preface by Theodore Fontaine, edited by Andrew Woolford, design by Vincent Design, published by University of Manitoba Press
Double Wahala, Double Trouble by Uchechukwu Peter Umezurike, cover design by Fred
Martins, interior design by Rachelle Painchaud-Nash, published by Griots Lounge Publishing
Canada
Jigging for Halibut With Tsinii by Sara Florence Davidson & Robert Davidson, illustrations &
cover art by Janine Gibbons, design by Jennifer Lum, map by John Broadhead, published by
HighWater Press
Spíləx̣m: A Weaving of Recovery, Resilience, and Resurgence by Nicola I. Campbell, cover &
interior art by Carrielynn Victor, interior design by Jennifer Lum, published by HighWater Press
The Frog Mother by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), illustrations & cover art by Natasha
Donovan, design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by HighWater Press


Michael Van Rooy Award for Genre Fiction
Sponsor: Manitoba Writers’ Guild, Winnipeg International Writers Festival
Alternate Plains: Stories of Prairie Speculative Fiction edited by Darren Ridgley & Adam Petrash, published by Great Plains Publications
Manistique by Craig Terlson, published by Ethelbert House
Prodigies by Bob Armstrong, published by Five Star (an imprint of Gale, a Cengage Company)
So Many Windings by Catherine Macdonald, published by At Bay Press
The Unpleasantness at the Battle of Thornford: A Father Christmas Mystery by C.C. Benison,
published by At Bay Press


McNally Robinson Book for Young People (Younger Category)
Sponsor: McNally Robinson Booksellers
Glory On Ice: A Vampire Hockey Story by Maureen Fergus, published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada)
I Sang You Down from the Stars by Tasha Spillett-Sumner, published by Owlkids Books
T. Rexes Can’t Tie Their Shoes by Anna Lazowski, published by Doubleday Books for Young
Readers (an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada)
The Eagle Mother by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), published by HighWater Press

McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award
Sponsor: McNally Robinson Booksellers
Gibbous Moon by Dennis Cooley & Michael Matthews, published by At Bay Press
Life in the City of Dirty Water by Clayton Thomas-Muller, published by Allen Lane Canada (an
imprint of Penguin Random House Canada)
Out of Mind by David Bergen, published by Goose Lane Editions
Searching for Signal by Lori Cayer, published by Signature Editions
The Strangers by Katherena Vermette, published by Hamish Hamilton Canada (an imprint of
Penguin Random House Canada)
We Are All Perfectly Fine: A Memoir of Love, Medicine and Healing by Jillian Horton, published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Congratulations on making the shortlist and best of luck to all nominees!

Stay tuned. Winners will be announced on June 9, 2022.

Writing Non-Fiction Presentation with Bob Chrismas

Are you interested in writing non-fiction but not certain how to get started? Bob’s presentation will help you delve into the world of nonfiction and explore:

Different types of Non-fiction

  • Are you clear on what you are writing? Is it literary non-fiction, memoir, for trade, or academic publication? Do you know the market for your work?  Bob will review and explore the different forms of non-fiction.

Writing styles and process

  • What is your process, for researching, drafting, and editing? Do you have the right tools and a winning method? Have you heard of the rule of threes and how to research for a non-fiction book? Bob will provide some winning strategies for creating high quality literature.

How to get published

  • So you have a nearly finished manuscript; what now? Bob will walk you through the publication process, from the author’s point of view, from manuscript preparation to the query letter, how to find a publisher and then work with them.

When: Sunday, July 10, 2022 at 2:00 pm
Where: 424-100 Arthur Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba and virtually for out-of-towners
To attend, here is the EventBrite link: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/writing-non-fiction-presentation-tickets-326106071037

For more information, email MWGEvents2022@gmail.com

About the instructor:

Bob Chrismas, PhD, has written prolifically on justice issues, and recently tried his hand at fiction writing. Bob is a Staff Sergeant in his 31st year with the Winnipeg Police Service. He completed his Master of Public Administration (MPA) at the U. of Winnipeg and U. of Manitoba in 2009 (distinction) and Doctorate (Ph.D.) in Peace and Conflict Studies at the U. of Manitoba in 2017. Bob was awarded the University of Manitoba Distinguished Dissertation Award for his doctoral research on modern-day slavery in Canada’s criminal sex industry. Bob is married with four kids.

Bob’s publications include numerous peer-reviewed book chapters, journal and magazine articles and books on justice related topics. His first book Canadian Policing in the 21st Century: A Frontline Officer on Challenges and Changes (McGill-Queens University Press, 2013), is a widely used text on modern policing. Bob’s newest book, Sex Industry Slavery: Protecting Canada’s Youth (University of Toronto Press, 2020), provides a gut-wrenching account of sex trafficking in Canada and many tangible strategies and solutions. Bob has also co-edited collected editions including Our Shared Future: Windows into Canada’s Reconciliation Journey (Lexington, Rowman and Littlefield, 2020).

Bob’s newest book, The River of Tears (DIO Press Inc., 2021) is a literary fiction novel about a missing person case, giving deep insights into sex trafficking and Indigenous-police relations in Canada. He is also writing a memoir of his three decades in Canadian policing. Learn more about Bob and his publications and speaking events at his webpage at bchrismas.com.

Joseph Mackintosh

I spent most of my career teaching Economics in the Business faculty at Red River College. That’s where I joined with several colleagues to write an Economics Workbook, my first foray into the world of publishing. Through Prentice-Hall, our book was successfully distributed to colleges across Canada. I loved the writing and figured there were possibilities on the horizon for other stories.

My hobby and experience as a professional musician led to the first possibility. I had tape-recorded (yes, it was that long ago) several hours of conversations with old-time fiddler Andy Dejarlis in the 1970s. The tapes sat idling long after Andy’s passing until it dawned on me that here was a chance to put the story on paper. It resulted in my first biography – Andy DeJarlis, the life and music of an old-time fiddler – published by Great Plains Publications in 2010. I followed that with a story on local runner Chris McCubbins: Pan-Am Games gold medalist in the Steeplechase; Olympic competitor in the 10,000 metres; member of the elite US Army Pentathlon Team; University of Manitoba track coach; teacher; and former brother-in-law. The book – Chris McCubbins, Running the Distance – was published by J Gordon Shillingford Publishing in 2013.

My third book – Briar Cottage, My summers in a Town called Gimli – is due on the shelves in May 2022. It’s my story as a youngster spending summers at our cottage in Gimli, Manitoba published through Friesen Press.

The story is a memoir. It’s a slice of history—the story of Gimli, Manitoba—come to life.

There’s the mystique of rail travel; there’s rafting on the pond; there’s swimming at the harbour. There’s dancing to the Men of Note. There are bonfires and bull rushes and bicycling the town; the tastes of Central Bakery; the fun of pinball at Sam’s Café; and the vibes of the Falcon. This book is about adventures that define summer life in Gimli for a city lad. In addition, there’s the story of family and their struggles in the 1930s against a backdrop of happier times at the cottage.

It’s a story that will bring back memories of life in Gimli especially for those who have summered in the town or along the west-shore beaches of Lake Winnipeg.

Workshop – Writing for Children

Do you have an idea for a children’s book but don’t know how to get started? Whether your idea is more suitable for young readers or older, now’s the time to dust off that idea and turn it into a reality.

During this workshop, some of the topics covered will be:

– writing for a specific age group

– setting the scene

– developing characters

– developing plot

–  illustrations

Come prepared to write! Bring along writing tools so you can practice writing for children and get feedback.

About your instructor:

Susan Rocan is an educator turned writer. She has two Bachelor of Education degrees, first majoring in Speech Pathology and Audiology, then Elementary Education. Although she has always loved creative writing, she didn’t seriously start to write until her youngest began Kindergarten and she finally had some free time. She has written short stories for those in the younger grades, as well as those in Middle School. She also has two Young Adult novels, Withershins and Spirit Quest, both published by Great Plains Publications here in Winnipeg. She is now the grandmother to a ten-year-old, who continues to inspire her love for children’s literature.

When: Sunday, June 5, 2022, 2:00 pm
Where: Room 424 – 100 Arthur Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, as well as virtually for out-of-towners
For more details, email MWGEvents2022@gmail.com
EventBrite link: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/writing-for-children-tickets-321507366187

Spring Writing Contest

“PHOENIX RISING!” A SPRING SHORT STORY CONTEST

The deadline has been extended to April 30th!

Despite the last few days of rough weather, (at least here in Manitoba!) that doesn’t mean we, at the Writers’ Guild, aren’t gearing up for Spring. That includes our latest short story contest.

The theme? What’s normally associated with Spring? Snow melting and nature coming out of a big sleep! The end of the old and the beginning of something new. The circle of life. What better represents that than the mythical creature of legend (and several Marvel Comics) – the Phoenix?

That’s our only theme criterion for this contest. It can be a story set at the end of time or even a romantic comedy. If it incorporates the Phoenix in some capacity, if it’s about life reborn, or about rebirth (renewal), it’s a go.

Feel free to send your manuscripts following submission guidelines (below) to manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Submission Guidelines

  • Short story must be 2,500-7,000 words max.
  • Short story content must contain G to PG13 rated content.
  • Please include page numbers in the upper right-hand corner of your document with the story title in the header of each page.
  • Please include a separate cover letter with your submission that includes your name, home and email addresses, telephone number, story title and word count on the first page. Please specify if you’re a Guild member, non-member, or member of another out of province writing organization.
  • We are only accepting email submissions for this contest. Please make sure file is sent as a .pdf, .doc/.docx or .txt Document.
  • Send submissions to manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com

Deadline: April 30th, 2022

Prize: $100 McNally Robinson Gift card
Your story published in our newsletter

Nancy Chislett

Nancy Chislett is an avid traveler, having visited almost 50 countries on six continents. She also plays classical music on piano and composes a little jazz. Career-wise, she has worked as a high school teacher and as a university administrator of an international student program. Bombing the Moon is her debut novel. Currently, she is working on her second novel. She lives in the eclectic city of Winnipeg with her partner, Grant, and dog, Simon.

About Bombing the Moon:

Release Date – April 22nd, 2022

McNally Robinson Booksellers, Grant Avenue, 7 pm

At 24, Devin Rush’s future is unknown and his parents don’t support his dream of becoming a songwriter. Add to that North Korea’s nuclear threats, a corporate world of greed, and impending automation, Devin feels like the world is rigged against him.

Conflict boils at home. Devin is jobless and antagonistic. His parents, wondering if he’ll never man-up, fear he’ll depend on them for life. But when Devin’s grandfather gives him a one-way ticket to Nairobi, Kenya, Devin believes it’s his family that wants him gone. Outraged and seeing no alternative, he leaves, and is thrust into a world unlike any he’s ever seen.

Stunned by his sudden departure, Devin’s parents and sister are pushed further afield of the control they crave. Resentment and guilt nudge his parent’s marriage closer to collapse, and abandonment triggers his sister’s long-buried shame. When Nairobi’s election approaches and tensions erupt, Devin is faced with choices and consequences that are all too real. Bombing the Moon is a roller coaster ride that explores the promises and limitations of tough love.

New MWG Writing Contest




It’s a Wrap – A Christmas Themed Short Story Contest


It might be fall, but we all know how the holidays sneak up on us, so we made that sneaky habit of the holiday season the theme of this new short story contest!

There’s only one rule: Your story needs to be centered around getting ready for the Holiday season. And yes; ALL winter-themed celebrations are welcome in this contest, whether it be a based on something in your own life, or something entirely original.

So, grab a pen or laptop and get your creative juices flowing! And, as always, we look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Good luck!


Submission Guidelines

• Short story must be 2,500-7,000 words
• Please include page numbers in the upper right corner of your document.
• Do not include your name on any page of your manuscript. Only the story title.
• Please include a cover letter on a separate sheet that includes your name, home and email addresses, telephone number, story title and word count. Please specify if you’re a Guild member, non-member, or member of another Guild out of province (on the same sheet as the cover letter).
• We are accepting only email submissions for this contest. Please make sure your file is sent as a PDF, Word (.doc or .docx) or plain text Document (.txt).
• Send submissions to manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com

Deadline: December 10th, 2021

Prizes: Your story published in our newsletter
A McNally Robinson Gift card ($50)



Honouring our Manitoba Book Awards recipients

Without our usual gala, we were unable to suitably honour those who won awards during this year’s Manitoba Book Awards season. The Manitoba Writers’ Guild works as a team member of a coalition of organizations that coordinate the Awards, along with the Association of Book Publishers (AMBP), the Winnipeg International Writers Festival (WIWF) and the Winnipeg Libraries Association. The coalition organizes the submission process, finds jurors for each of the categories and organizes meetings with those jurors to determine our winners. Then, we usually plan a party where we can invite those on the shortlist, their families, friends and publishers to learn who the winners are and celebrate all the wonderful writers, book publishers and designers in Manitoba. Unfortunately, with the dreaded virus isolating all of us during the time when we usually hold the gala, we were unable to indulge in such an event this year.

Instead, the Guild has invited as many of the winners as we could find to be a part of our monthly virtual Book Chats, the first Wednesday of each month at 7 pm. The one exception will be Colleen Nelson, winner of the McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award (Older Category) for her middle grade novel, Harvey Holds His Own. We invited her to our Kids Book Chat on Saturday, September 11 at 2 pm so gather your kids and grandkids to the nearest computer, laptop, tablet or even your cell phone, to listen to Colleen and ask questions of this talented local author.

As for our evening virtual Book Chats, we invite anyone interested in hearing our authors read a portion of their award winning books to join us at any of the chats. Please note that you must email the Guild ahead of each chat for the Zoom information that will allow you to join the meeting.

On July 14, 2021, David A. Robertson read from his award winning book, Black Water, which won both the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction and the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. It was a thought-provoking evening with discussions on reconciliation and residential schools.

Here is a list of the other award winners, the awards they won and when their chats will be:

August 11, 2021 – Jonathan Ball‘s The Lightning of Possible Storms won the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction

September 8, 2021 – Magdalene Redekop‘s Making Believe: Questions About Mennonites and Art won the Mary Scorer Award for Best Book by a Manitoba Publisher

October 13, 2021 – Duncan Mecredi & Lenard Monkman both won the Manitowapow Award for their work in literacy among the Indigenous  Community

November 10, 2021 – Andrew Unger’s Once Removed won the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book

December 8, 2021 – Lara Rae’s play Dragonfly won the Chris Johnson Award for Best Play by a Manitoba Playwright

January 9, 2022 – Amber O’Reilly’s poetry book, Gagnant – Boussole Franche, won Le Prix  littéraire Rue-Deschambault

We are also planning an informative evening with the company Relish Design, which won most of the design awards in the Manuela Diaz Book Design and Illustration Awards category. It should be very interesting to see how their designers come up with the graphics for book covers and illustrations. Stay tuned for the date and time, which will be announced here and on our Facebook Events page.

As mentioned above, please email manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com to receive the Zoom instructions or if you have any questions. If you want to read more about these writers, they will be featured in upcoming e-newsletters, but you must be a member to get it. Check out our Member page to learn how to become a member.