Strategic Plan revealed

Writer's Guild Manitoba Winnipeg
         Strategic Plan 2020-2022

After much animated discussions, we have completed our Strategic Plan for the future. This includes updated Mission, Vision, and Values statements, as well as the things we feel we can accomplish within the next three years.

With social distancing, it is difficult to present our plan in person, so we have created a video presentation and posted it on our new YouTube channel, ‘Manitoba Writers’ Guild, 2020 and Beyond‘. Here is the link:

Please subscribe to our channel, to which we will post clips of our Book Chats, workshop snippets and other Guild events. Onwards and upwards!

Book Chat # 2 with Anita Daher

On June 10, the MWG held our second Book Chat. Anita Daher was our Featured Author, who read a chapter from her newest teen novel You Don’t Have to Die in the End. After her reading, she answered some questions which inspired lively conversations on such a variety of topics including how Anita arrived at the title for her book, how chapter transitions transport the reader, story-boarding to maintain flow and setting, how to notice plot holes, the editing process, redemption (a theme in Anita’s book), getting writing grants, etc.

During the Open Mic segment, four of the seven participants read passages they wanted to share. David Cramer read from a review of Only to Sleep. Bev Greenberg shared a memory of her childhood, preparing for her uncle’s wedding. MaryLou Driedger read from her work in progress, an historical novel based on events from her father’s immigration to Canada. Barbara Lange shared a piece from her book Memories of the Moonlight Special, based on vignettes from people’s recollections of the beach train era. All readings were highly entertaining and the evening was also quite informative. It was wonderful for Anita to have the opportunity to read from her book because her launch was hampered by the pandemic.

We encourage more people to join us on July 8th at 7:00 p.m.  Joan Thomas will be our Featured Reader for the third MWG Book Chat, available to members only. If you are not yet a member and wish to join, please go to our Membership page. If you are a member and wish to participate in the next Book Chat, please email the Guild office ( to register and receive the Zoom information.

In case you haven’t heard of Joan Thomas, please keep reading and learn about this talented Manitoba writer:

Joan Thomas is the author of four novels: Five Wives, The Opening Sky, Curiosity, and Reading by Lightning. In 2014, Joan was the recipient of the Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Prize for a writer in mid-career, and in 2019, she was awarded the Governor General’s Award for Fiction for Five Wives. She is a former teacher and book reviewer, and she lives in Winnipeg.
*Note: Joan’s books are available at McNally Robinson Booksellers. Please support our local bookstore, which supports the Manitoba Book Awards.

Manitoba Writers’ Guild Hosts its first virtual Book Chat



On the evening of the 13th May, eleven members accepted our invitation to attend our first virtual Book Chat. The session was hosted by Susan Rocan, Past President of the Guild.

After brief introductions, Margaret Sweatman, who kindly agreed to accept our invitation to be our Featured Author, read a section from her book “When Alice Lay Down with Peter”, a novel with very much a Manitoba connection. The reading was well received.

After an interesting question and answer session it was time to give the floor to a number of established and aspiring writers present who had indicated that they would be happy to read.

David Cramer, Andy Dutfield, Joyce Clouston, Marylou Drieger, Bev Greenberg, Gloria Moodrey
and John Hill all read something and in the case of David Cramer something that had inspired

The general consensus was the Zoom platform worked well with good video and audio quality.
With the challenge of our busy lives and finding parking at the Guild’s normal venue at the
ArtSpace building it seems that this will be a more practical way of hosting these kind of events
even after the Covid-19 pandemic is behind us.

For those members who couldn’t make our first Book Chat the next one is coming up on the 10th of June.
Our featured writer will be Anita Daher.

To book a spot at the next event, please email




New Free-for-Members Program

Introducing our new MWG Book Chats – virtual events to access from the comfort of your own home!

They will occur on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM. Each evening starts with a Featured Published Author, followed by a brief Q&A. After the Q&A, we’ll have an Open Mic where members can share their writing, about 5 minutes per reading. We have quite a line-up of Manitoba Writers willing to participate, for which we are truly grateful.

All members can participate – and it’s free!

Sign-up in advance, via emails to the Guild (, to receive the on-line invites to join the Zoom meetings. Please let us know if you would also like to read something during the Open Mic segment.

Our first chat occurred on May 13, 7:00 pm and featured Margaret Sweatman.


In case you have not met Margaret Sweatman, here are some things you should know:


Margaret Sweatman is a novelist, playwright, poet, and performer (vocalist and harmonica). Her plays have been produced by Prairie Theatre Exchange, Popular Theatre Alliance and the Guelph Spring Festival. She has performed with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and the National Academy Orchestra, as well as with her own Broken Songs Band and other new music ensembles. Her stories and poetry are published in Prairie Fire, The Fiddlehead, Contemporary Verse 2 and elsewhere. Margaret’s writing has won the Rogers Writers Trust Award for Fiction, the Carol Shields Award, the Margaret Laurence Award, the McNally Robinson Award, and the Sunburst Award.


(To purchase any novel by Margaret go to your favourite bookstore or use the links below.)

Mr. Jones (Goose Lane 2014)

“Prose as lyrical and transparent as Ondaatje, as political astute and fiercely clear-eyed as Didion. “

— Lisa Moore, author of February and Caught

The Players (Goose Lane 2009)

“… magical … a wonderfully humourous tale ….”
— Andrew Armitage, The Sun Times

When Alice Lay Down with Peter (Knopf 2001)

“… hurtles forward with wit and vitality, deeply satisfying and inspiring.”
— Charlotte Gray, The National Post

Sam and Angie (Turnstone Press 1996)

…  gripping … the elegance, precision, and beauty with which the story is told.”

Letters in Canada, 1996

Fox (Turnstone Press 1992, reissued 2017)

an utterly brilliant novel … both intimate and epic.”
The Globe and Mail


A great day for writers

 While a writer’s life is usually solitary, either sitting at a table with paper and pencil or tapping away at a typewriter or computer, this time of COVID-19 has us isolated from friends and family, too. So, it is with great pleasure that I share this news from the Manitoba Book Awards Committee: ENGLISH (Winnipeg, … Read more

March news

In light of the COVID -19 situation, the ArtSpace building is closed to the public. As a result the Manitoba Writers’ Guild will be conducting our business virtually by monitoring and responding to emails only, There will not be anybody in the office to answer phone inquiries. All scheduled events will be postponed until … Read more