Info on the MWG Docudrama workshop series

The Manitoba Writers’ Guild has been collaborating with the Shoestring Players to develop another video to answer the question, how can the Creating a Docudrama workshop series help me improve my writing? You can find the videos on YouTube (see below for the links).

Watch Marilyn Slobogian, Nathan Zassman, Maureen Taggert and Karl Eckstrand discuss their manuscript problems and learn why they should become a team to take part in the workshop series. During this 8-week course, beginning on September 9th at 7 pm, participants will start their journey to create a publishable or performable piece of writing that includes:

  • A tightly-plotted exploration of an issue, concern, or question that interests you
  • Realistic and engaging dialogue
  • Authoritative knowledge or research that informs but does not overwhelm
  • Collaborative and independent work.

A docudrama can be a work of fiction or creative non-fiction. It can include poetic form, dance or even songs that can inform and entertain. It can be about a topic of interest to children or adults or both! It can be used to create an interesting script for a book launch or advertisement, such as the ad in the YouTube video.

The course will help you develop your writing skills, whether you have trouble with writing dialogue, tightening your plot, or developing characters. It is a fascinating format to explore any topic about which you feel most passionate. It will help writers at any stage of their writing career, whether you are just beginning your journey or whether you’ve been writing for years and want to try something new.

You can work independently or with a group, but it’s fun to share your ideas with others. If you want to sign up &/or if you have writing friends you’d like to work with at the workshop, please follow this link to register: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/creating-a-docudrama-tickets-150383297491. Email the Guild (manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com ), if you want more to learn more about other payment options.

Cost: (includes eight two-hour sessions with online access to the course leader between sessions and light refreshments if we are able to hold sessions in ArtSpace)

$247 for Non-member of MWG

$197 for Regular MWG member

$147 for MWG member; student/low income

While we hope to be able to meet some of the participants in person, we want to make the sessions accessible via Zoom to those living outside of Winnipeg. If there are several people interested in taking the workshop together, I’m sure the local libraries will be able to make their WiFi available to you, so you can take in the sessions remotely in one of their program rooms. Please email the Guild office to learn more about how you can participate this way.

To learn more about what the course is all about, check out these fun YouTube Videos:

#1 link https://youtu.be/jtqQETbruGg         (Introduction)

#2 link https://youtu.be/tgLyNjt0dt4           (Dialogue Development)

#3 link https://youtu.be/r86RT2hia04          (Improving writing skills)

#4 link https://youtu.be/WM6a7VZmn6Y    (How it’s useful even if not a scriptwriter)

#5 link https://youtu.be/mpOMJkUBUSc (Use as educational tool)

#6 link https://youtu.be/8lXovI-Um38       (Zoom discussion with facilitator, Sharon Hamilton)

 

YOUR COURSE LEADER: 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 an eight-session workshop for the Manitoba Writers’ Guild. She created a docudrama for the 2019 launch of her fourth novel, Manitoba MAID, at McNally Robinson Booksellers.

*The above photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.1 Japan license

2021 Shortlist for the Manitoba Book Awards

Manitoba Book Awards / Les Prix du livres du Manitoba

MEDIA RELEASE / COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE

30 APRIL/AVRIL 2021
(Winnipeg, MB) – On behalf of the coalition producing the 2021 Manitoba Book Awards/Les Prix du livre du Manitoba, we are excited to share the shortlists for 11 separate awards recognizing excellence in Manitoba writing, book design and illustration, and publishing. Congratulations to all the nominees!

As the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic weigh down upon us, we’re seeing artists reach out online to keep us grounded and to lift our spirits. It’s our turn to repay that favour.

Starting today, we will be spotlighting and celebrating these terrific local books—and the writers, publishers, designers and illustrators who make them happen—on our social media channels (FB: Manitoba Book Awards, Insta: @mbbookawards). Please connect with us there, then amplify those posts and create some of your own.

The pandemic means we will have to again forego the gala celebration but we will announce the winners via media release and social media on Thursday, May 20 at 11 a.m.

The Manitoba Book Awards/Les Prix du livre du Manitoba coalition—the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers, Manitoba Writers’ Guild, Winnipeg International Writers Festival, and Winnipeg Public Library—is grateful to the award sponsors for their ongoing support.


PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR DETAILS ON ALL ELEVEN AWARDS…

(Winnipeg, MB) — De la part de la coalition qui produit  Les Prix du livre du Manitoba/Manitoba Book Awards  2021, nous sommes ravis de partager la liste de candidats sélectionnés pour les 11 prix distincts qui reconnaissent l’excellence de l’écriture, la mise en page, l’illustration et l’édition au Manitoba. Félicitations à tous les finalistes !

Alors que les défis de la pandémie de COVID-19 pèsent sur nous, nous sommes émus par le déploiement d’initiatives en ligne menées par des artistes pour nous aider à maintenir le calme et le moral. C’est maintenant à nous de leur rendre la pareille.

À partir d’aujourd’hui, nous mettrons en vedette et nous célébrerons ces livres locaux magnifiques et les auteures, auteurs, éditrices, éditeurs, conceptrices et concepteurs qui les produisent dans nos réseaux sociaux (FB: Manitoba Book Awards, Insta: @mbbookawards). Connectez-vous avec nous et amplifiez ces messages en créant les vôtres !

La pandémie nous pousse à renoncer encore la célébration gala, mais nous annoncerons les lauréates et lauréats de chacun des onze prix via un communiqué de presse et nos réseaux sociaux le jeudi 20 mai à 11 heures.

La coalition Manitoba Book Awards/Les Prix du livre du Manitoba—Association of Manitoba Book Publishers, Manitoba Writers Guild, Festival international des écrivains de Winnipeg et La Bibliothèque publique de Winnipeg—sont reconnaissants envers les commanditaires pour leur soutien continu.


VEUILLEZ FAIRE DÉFILER LA PAGE POUR OBTENIR DES DÉTAILS SUR LES ONZE PRIX…

Alexander Kennedy Isbister Award for Non-Fiction /
Prix Alexander-Kennedy-Isbister pour les études et essais

Sponsor: Manitoba Arts Council

Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory by David A. Robertson, published by HarperCollins

For The W: A Look Back at the 2019 Grey Cup Championship Season by Ed Tait, edited by Rhéanne Marcoux, published by The Winnipeg Football Club

Peculiar Lessons: How Nature and the Material World Shaped a Prairie Childhood by Lois Braun, published by Great Plains Publications

Reinventing Bankruptcy Law: A History of the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act by Virginia Torrie, published by University of Toronto Press


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

Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory by David A. Robertson, published by HarperCollins

Dispelling the Clouds: A Desperate Social Experiment by Wilma Derksen, published by Amity Publishers

From the Roots Up: Surviving the City, Vol. 2 by Tasha Spillett, illustrations by Natasha Donovan, published by HighWater Press

Harley’s Bootstraps by Lois C. Henderson, published by FriesenPress

TreeTalk by Ariel Gordon, with illustrations by Natalie Baird, published by At Bay Press

Vignettes from My Life by Tannis M. Richardson, published by Heartland Associates


Chris Johnson Award for Best Play by a Manitoba Playwright /
Prix Chris-Johnson pour la meilleure pièce par un dramaturge manitobain

Sponsor: The Manitoba Association of Playwrights (MAP)

Dragonfly by Lara Rae, published by J. Gordon Shillingford

How it Ends by Debbie Patterson, produced by Sick + Twisted Theatre

Inédit par Eric Plamondon, publié par Les Éditions du Blé

The Paper Bag Princess by Alissa Watson, produced by Prairie Theatre Exchange

Torn Through Time by Carrie Costello, Frances Koncan, and Cherissa Richards, produced by Manitoba Theatre for Young People


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

A Strange Kind of Comfort by Gaylene Dutchyshen, published by Dundurn Press

Heart Broken: Our Family’s Story of Surviving Medical Tragedy by Donald Lepp, published by Word Alive Press

Once Removed by Andrew Unger, published by Turnstone Press

Tablet Fragments by Tamar Rubin, published by Signature Editions

The Case of Windy Lake A Mighty Muskrats Mystery by Michael Hutchinson, published by Second Story Press


Manitowapow Award / Prix Manitowapow
Sponsor: Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture, University of Manitoba

Wilfred Buck
Duncan Mercredi
Lenard Monkman
David A. Robertson
Jen Storm


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

I. Book Design / Conception de livre
Becoming Our Future: Global Indigenous Curatorial Practice edited by Dr. Julie Nagam, Carly Lane, Megan Tamati-Quennell, original front cover design by Johnson Witehira, design and layout by Relish New Brand Experience, published by ARP Books

My Claustrophobic Happiness by Jeanne Randolph, book design and layout by LOKI, published by ARP Books

The Lesser Known: A History of Oddities from the Heart of the Continent by Darren Bernhardt, cover artwork by Christine Fellows, design and typography by Relish New Brand Experience, published by Great Plains Publications

The Muse Sings by Dennis Cooley, illustrations by Cori Jaye Elston, cover and interior design by M. C. Joudrey and Matthew Stevens, published by At Bay Press

TreeTalk by Ariel Gordon, with illustrations by Natalie Baird, cover and interior design by M. C. Joudrey and Matthew Stevens, published by At Bay Press

Words of the Inuit: A Semantic Stroll through a Northern Culture by Louis-Jacques Dorais, cover design by Marvin Harder, interior design by Jess Koroscil, published by University of Manitoba Press

II. Illustration
For The W: A Look Back at the 2019 Grey Cup Championship Season by Ed Tait, edited by Rhéanne Marcoux, cover and interior design by Rhéanne Marcoux and Carrie Berndsen, various photographers, published by The Winnipeg Football Club

I Will See You Again by Lisa Boivin, illustrations by Lisa Boivin, cover and interior design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by HighWater Press

The Automatic Age, written, illustrated, and cover design by G.M.B. Chomichuk, design assistance by Relish New Brand Experience, published by Yellow Dog, an imprint of Great Plains Publications

III. Graphic Novel / Roman graphique
Breakdown: The Reckoner Rises, Vol 1 by David A. Robertson, illustrations by Scott B. Henderson and Donovan Yaciuk, cover and interior design by Jennifer Lum, published by HighWater Press

From the Roots Up: Surviving the City Vol. 2 by Tasha Spillett, illustrations by Natasha Donovan, cover and interior design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by HighWater Press

This Place: 150 Years Retold by Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm et al., illustrations by Tara Audibert et al., cover and interior design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by HighWater Press


Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction
Sponsor: Manitoba Arts Council

Here the Dark by David Bergen, published by Biblioasis

Kate Wake by Mariianne Mays Wiebe, published by DC Books

My Claustrophobic Happiness by Jeanne Randolph, published by ARP Books

Still Me: A Golf Tragedy in 18 Parts by Jeffrey John Eyamie, published by Turnstone Press

The Lightning of Possible Storms by Jonathan Ball, published by Book*hug Press


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

Becoming Our Future: Global Indigenous Curatorial Practice edited by Dr. Julie Nagam, Carly Lane, Megan Tamati-Quennell, original front cover design by Johnson Witehira, design and layout by Relish New Brand Experience, published by ARP Books

From the Roots Up: Surviving the City Vol. 2 by Tasha Spillett, illustrations by Natasha Donovan, cover and interior design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by HighWater Press

I Will See You Again written and illustrated by Lisa Boivin, cover and interior design by Relish New Brand Experience, published by HighWater Press

Making Believe: Questions About Mennonites and Art by Magdelene Redekop, cover design by David Drummond, interior design by Jess Koroscil, published by University of Manitoba Press

TreeTalk by Ariel Gordon, with illustrations by Natalie Baird, cover and interior design by M. C. Joudrey and Matthew Stevens, published by At Bay Press


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

Black Water: Family, Legacy, and Blood Memory by David A. Robertson, published by HarperCollins

Dragonfly by Lara Rae, published by J. Gordon Shillingford

Here the Dark by David Bergen, published by Biblioasis

My Claustrophobic Happiness by Jeanne Randolph, published by ARP Books

Tablet Fragments by Tamar Rubin, published by Signature Editions

The World is Mostly Sky by Sarah Ens, published by Turnstone Press


McNally Robinson Books for Young People (Older Category)
Sponsor: McNally Robinson Booksellers

From the Roots Up: Surviving the City Vol. 2 by Tasha Spillett, illustrations by Natasha Donovan,  published by HighWater Press

Ghosts by David A. Robertson, published by HighWater Press

Harvey Comes Home by Colleen Nelson, illustrations by Tara Anderson, published by Pajama Press

The Case of the Missing Auntie – A Mighty Muskrats Mystery: Book 2 by Michael Hutchinson, published by Second Story Press

You Don’t Have to Die in the End by Anita Daher, published by Yellow Dog, an imprint of Great Plains Publications


Prix littéraire Rue-Deschambault
Commanditaire : Conseil des arts du Manitoba

Boussole Franche par Amber O’Reilly, publié par Les Éditions du Blé

Buffet Froid par Louise Dandeneau, publié par Les Éditions du Blé

Ganiishomong: ou L’Extase du temps par J. R. Léveillé, publié par Les Éditions du Blé


Congratulations to all the nominees!
Félicitations à tous les finalistes !

For more information:

Email: info@manitobabookawards.ca

Website: manitobabookawards.ca

Social media: Manitoba Book Awards / @mbbookawards

Note our new website address!

Pour plus de renseignements :

Courriel : info@manitobabookawards.ca

Site web: manitobabookawards.ca

Média sociaux : Manitoba Book Awards / @mbbookawards

Notez la nouvelle adresse du site web !

Ron Hore – our next Book Chat author

On May 12, 2021, (7 pm) at our next Book Chat, prolific Manitoba writer, Ron Hore will read something from his huge body of work. To be a part of this online event, email manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com for the Zoom instructions.

When asked to send in his bio for the Book Chat, this is what Ron had to say:

A reader of genre fiction since an early age, I got down to serious attempts at writing over thirty years ago, although employment kept getting in the way.

During those years I wrote a considerable amount of non-fiction, enough to be listed as a professional writer by the Canadian Authors Association.

Hobbies include trying to keep on the good side of my wife, keep track of my children and grandchildren, photography, and wrestling the blasted cat off the keyboard. In my diminishing spare time, I reminisce about the good old days of sailing on Lake Winnipeg and the occasions we got lost.

My writing history includes:

Winning first prize in 2006 for a national Canadian Authors Assoc. short story contest (a romantic ghost story: “Midnight”) and being published in their anthology that year, and a modern vampire tale “Chrysalis” published in an anthology “Evolve” that did quite well after its launch at the 2010 World Horror Convention in Brighton, England which I attended.

A current member of two writing organizations, the Canadian Authors’ Association and the Manitoba Writers’ Guild, I have served as a director on the CAA Executive. For several years I was in charge of the judging for a national Canadian history book contest and chaired a writer’s workshop in Winnipeg that in 2005 self-published an anthology, “Pieces of Eight,” including three of my own selections: a sci fi piece, an attempt at an epic poem, and a true tale of how I almost drowned my brother and his wife in a storm the first year I owned a sailboat.

I currently review science fiction and fantasy genre novels and anthologies for an on-line magazine aimed primarily at libraries. I am losing track, but I have done somewhere over 80 reviews so far.

In 2010 I co-authored a nonfiction history: “The Rotary Club of Winnipeg-100 Years of Service.”

Through Champagne Book Group (www.champagnebooks.com) I have a medieval fantasy trilogy of novels of murder and intrigue entitled: “The Dark Lady,” “Dark Days,” and “Dark Knights,” and a second high-fantasy trilogy: “The Queen’s Pawn,” “The Queen’s Man,” and “The Queen’s Game.” My latest trilogy is a Sci-Fi Space Opera: “Of Destiny’s Daughters,” “Hammer Across the Stars,” and “Expeditions to Earth.” I also write a series of fantasy detective novellas under: “The Housetrap Chronicles.” Ten of these are now available as individual tales with the first six gathered within two collections and a third on the way. There is also a standalone medieval-style novella, “Knights Bridge.” There is a stand-alone novel released through Champagne, “Alex in Wanderland,” a modern bickering couple in a Dark Age alternate universe, tale. BURST Books is a division of Champagne books.

Under eTreasures Publishing (www.etreasurespublishing.com) I’ve had a speculative fiction adventure novel about a lady archeologist: “We’re Not in Kansas,” released, and my Toltec Empire conquers Europe What-If trilogy, set in 1215AD: “Toltec Dawn,” “Toltec Khan,” and “Toltec Noon.”

All of my Burst/Champagne and eTreasures products are available as ebooks through the publishers, or the usual on-line sources, with most also available in print. And with any luck, there will be still more madness to come.

To learn more about Ron (R.J.) Hore, follow the links:

www.ronaldhore.com

www.facebook.com/RonaldJHore

Bibliography – Publishing Record of R.J.Hore

(As of February 2021)

2006 – Canadian Authors Assoc.  Canwrite Collection of Short Stories – First Place – “Midnight”

2010 – “Rotary Club of Winnipeg 100 Years of Service” – a co-author

2010 – “EVOLVE – Vampire Stories of the New Undead” – EDGE – “Chrysalis”

Champagne Book Group – The Novels

2012 – “The Dark Lady”   2014 – “Dark Days”   2014 – “Dark Knights”

2013 – “The Queen’s Pawn”   2015 – “The Queen’s Man”   2016 – “The Queen’s Game”

2014 – “The Housetrap Chronicles, Volume 1” Collection of the first three HT novellas

2014 – “The Housetrap Chronicles, Volume 2” Collection of the next three HT novellas

2015 – “Alex in Wanderland”

2019 – “Of Destiny’s Daughters”   2020 – “Hammer Across the Stars”   2020 – “Expeditions to Earth”

Champagne Book Group – The Novellas

2013 – “Knight’s Bridge”

The Housetrap Chronicles Series of Novellas:

2012 – “Housetrap” (1)

2013 – “Dial M for Mudder” (2)

2013 – “House on Hollow Hill” (3)

2013 – “Hounds of Basalt Ville” (4)

2014 – “Murder in the Rouge Mort” (5)

2014 – “Treasure of the Sarah Madder” (6)

2015 – “Menagerie à Trois” (7)

2017 – “Murder on the Disoriented Express” (8)

2020 – “Silence of the Sands” (9)

2021 – “The Road to Hell is Paved with Parsnips” (10)

eTreasures Publishing – The Novels

2916 – “We’re Not in Kansas”

2016 – “Toltec Dawn”…2016 – “Toltec Khan”…2018 – “Toltec Noon”

New virtual workshops

Save the Dates for…
…a new and exciting series of virtual workshops presented by the

World Building – May 15, 2021 at 2 pm
Creating Compelling Characters – June 19, 2021 at 2 pm
Copyright Law/Publishing Contracts – July 17, 2021 at 2 pm

 

With Den Valdron, a speculative fiction writer, pop-culture essayist and aboriginal rights lawyer, living and working in Winnipeg, Manitoba. As a writer, his short stories have been published in magazines and anthologies in North America, Britain, Australia and Russia.  He has several collections of speculative fiction and horror stories and novels. He’s also published extensive nonfiction about Canadian Sci Fi – LEXX and Starlost, Cult television and movies, including Doctor Who, and topics as diverse as writing, publishing, self publishing, 1930’s pulps, Lovecraft, Burroughs, Godzilla and nerd culture. His website and blog are at denvaldron.com.

MWG Members receive a discount on workshop fees.

If you are interested in these writing topics and want to join us,
please email the Manitoba Writers’ Guild at
manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com
for more information.

International Women’s Day 2021

I was recently reminded that March 8th, 2021 is International Women’s Day. I checked the website and found that this year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge. According to them, “A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.” They are requesting people to send in images of themselves with a hand up high to their #ChooseToChallenge  site at: http://www.internationalwomensday.com

This made me reflect on all the awesome women writers in Manitoba and specifically those who belong to the Manitoba Writers’ Guild. I went over our membership list and found almost 75% of our members identify as female. Half of our Board of Directors are female. In the past year, almost 72% of our members, who were featured in our newsletter and in our Book Chats, have been women. These statistics make me proud to be a member of the Guild. Please take the time to tell the women in your life that they are loved and appreciated.

30 Remarkable Books

PEOPLE’S CHOICE OF REMARKABLE MANITOBA BOOKS   These books, listed in chronological order, all received more than five votes by visitors to the MWG 30th Anniversary Symposium. If you have a suggestion for another remarkable book that is not on this list, please send us an email to manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com with the book title. A new … Read more

David Elias – My Manitoba Book Awards experience

David Elias was shortlisted for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction so we asked him about his experience:

  1. How did you hear about the Manitoba Book Awards?

Answer: I received an email from my publisher, ECW Press, informing me that my book, Elizabeth of Bohemia:  A Novel about Elizabeth Stuart, The Winter Queen, had been nominated for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction.

  1. How was the process for submitting your book? If you submitted to previous Book Awards, how did the process differ, for better or worse?

Answer: ECW Press took care of everything.  They submitted the book for a number of other awards, as well.  As it turned out, the novel was also selected as a finalist for the Foreword Reviews Indie Awards, which is American.

  1. Have you attended Book Awards Galas, in the past? If so, what were your impressions of the evenings. With the COVID-19 situation putting a damper on our ceremony this year, is there something you think we should have done instead of simply announcing the winners in an online forum?

Answer: I’ve attended a number of Book Awards in various cities.  In 2005 I attended the Amazon First Novel Award ceremonies in Toronto when my novel, Sunday Afternoon, was one of the finalists.  It was an elaborate affair, with special guests and plenty of food and refreshments.  That year I also attended the Manitoba Book Awards because the same novel was nominated for both the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year.  It was held at the Hotel Fort Garry in one of the ballrooms, with all the accoutrements of a gala event.  I’ve attended the Manitoba Book Awards on other occasions, as well, including the year Brenda Sciberras, to whom I am married, won the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book for her collection of poetry, Magpie Days.

This year’s nomination for the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction was great, but to say that Covid-19 put a damper on things is putting it mildly!  Nothing compares to a live in-person event.  Other than a couple of congratulatory emails, it was basically “crickets”.  There was some mention of interviews with the nominees that would be posted online, and I thought the local media might step in and do a bit more to promote the awards, but none of that materialized.

  1. How did you feel when you received the email announcing that you’d made the shortlist?

Answer: I was certainly happy to receive the nomination, but I didn’t anticipate it.  I’ve written other books that I thought might be nominated that got passed over, so I’ve learned not to get my hopes up.

  1. What more can we do to help you receive the accolades you deserve?

Answer: I think what you are doing now – interviewing me you about my experience, featuring me in your newsletter, and your plans to have me as the Featured Author at an upcoming virtual Book Chat are all terrific.  I really couldn’t ask for more.

  1. What else would you like to say about the experience?

Answer: When you’re nominated for an award, it’s certainly an affirmation, which can really be a boost.  But what about all those accomplished writers who never get to have that experience?  When I was writing Elizabeth of Bohemia, I reached a point where found myself in something of an existential crisis, and had to stop and think about what I was up to.  It was taking years of research and effort to write the book – with no contract, and no prospects that it would ever be published.  What if nothing came of it?!  After not writing for a while, I realized how much I missed Elizabeth.  And she missed me!  But what I missed most was the work, the process.  I decided let go of my expectation, my striving for “success”, and soon I was back at work.  It changed me as a writer.  I felt calmer after that, quieter.

Thanks, David, for the insight into your experience. I hope what we are doing will help you as a writer.

Also, congratulations on your upcoming virtual launch on October 20 through McNally Robinson Booksellers (https://www.mcnallyrobinson.com/event-18012/David-Elias-Online-Book-Launch#.X4dzu9BKjIU). Hope your new book, The Truth About The Barn does well.

Attention all writers!

Manitoba Winnipeg Writer's Guild Association

Winnipeg’s finest writers festival, Thin Air, is happening now until October 12, 2020. The events are virtual, for obvious reasons, but they have a huge line-up of writers from across Canada, including a few French authors, who will talk about the craft of writing, give workshops and present their books, so please check out their events by clicking on Thin Air.

AGM 2020

Save the date: Saturday, October 17, 2020 at 11 a.m.

We will be holding this year’s AGM virtually, for obvious reasons. To attend, please email the office (maitobawritersguild3@gmail.com) to receive instructions.

Sorry, unlike previous years, we can not offer refreshments other than what you have at home!

Members who joined or renewed their memberships before August 17, 2020 will be allowed voting privileges.

Looking to be a part of a great writing community?

Photo by Green Chameleon

The Manitoba Writers’ Guild is looking for great people to be a part of our Volunteer Board or one of our active committees.

Please send your letter of intent with resume and area of interest to Kelly Ross at klross3568@gmail.com

 

Northern Writers

Over the last few years, Goldrock Press (https://goldrockpress.com/ ) has published some wonderful books by Northern Manitoba writers, with an emphasis on Indigenous writers. The publishing house is owned by Dorene Meyer,  who was featured in a previous MWG newsletter.

This year, one of their more recent titles made it to the shortlist at the Manitoba Book Awards: Entawi Kiskinomakawiyan by Pauline Apetagon. I want to introduce you to Pauline and some of her fellow writers from northern communities.

Pauline Apetagon is a Cree and Nursery teacher at Jack River School in Norway House Cree Nation, Manitoba. Pauline has two children and two beautiful grandchildren. She was married to the late Byron Apetagon, a renowned artist and storyteller.

Pauline believes that the Cree language needs to be preserved. She is the author of Niwanawin, a Cree language book also designed for young children.

Nikiwan – “I go home” – introduces children, ages 5-7, to basic Cree words associated with their home. These include words such as mother, father, pets, bed, plate, and spoon. Vivid photos depict real objects for easy identification. Nikiwan is a valuable instructional tool for Cree language teachers and parents who would like to help their children learn the Cree language.

Entawi Kiskinomakawiyan – “I Go to School” – introduces children, ages 5-7, to basic Cree words associated with school. These include words such as classroom and library, teacher and principal, book and pencil, and also eight primary colors. Vivid photos depict real objects for easy identification. Entawi Kiskinomakawiyan is a valuable instructional tool for Cree language teachers and parents who would like to help their children learn the Cree language. It was shortlisted for the McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award – Younger Category in 2020.

Another prolific author from the north is Brenda Fontaine, who has written articles and poems published in North Roots magazine, First Nations Voice, Urban NDN, Maranatha News, First Nations Christian Writers and all six of the Northern Writers anthology series.

Brenda has also written a contemporary novel entitled Tyranny in Our Times, three children’s books in her Babs’ Adventures series (Stranger at the Creek, Storm on the Lake, and Christmas on the Trapline) books which tell the story of a young girl growing up in a Cree community in the 1950’s, and most recently, a Cree book about winter titled Pipon.

Pipon – “It is winter” – introduces children, ages 5-7, to basic Cree phrases about winter including the weather, winter sports and activities, and other delights of the season. Vivid photos depict real objects for easy identification. Pipon is a valuable instructional tool for Cree language teachers, and parents who would like to help their children learn the Cree language.

 

ANN-MARGARET DAY-OSBORNE is a Cree language teacher. She was born and raised in Norway House, MB. Her mother, Mary Margaret Osborne, is a resident elder at the University of Winnipeg, and her father, the late Riley Osborne, was an Aboriginal artist. While growing up in Norway House, Ann-Margaret learned about traditions, music, storytelling, and influences that would help her become who she is today. Altogether, she would use her knowledge and memories to help teach children, and those who would listen, the lessons that she was taught. Ann-Margaret has previously published Akihtásowina (a children’s picture book), and Pisiskowak (Cree Language Resource Cards in Instructor/Student sets).

Tânisi êspitaman ininîmowin ᑖᓂᓯ   ᐁᓰᐢᐱᑕᒪᐣ   ᐃᓂᓃᒧᐏᐣ “How you pronounce Cree” introduces children, ages 3-5, to the Cree alphabet written in Cree (Roman orthography), Cree Syllabics, and English. Vivid photos depict real objects for easy identification. Tânisi êspitaman ininîmowin is a valuable instructional tool for Cree language teachers and parents who would like to help their children learn the Cree language.

About the publisher, Goldrock Press

They are a small company located in northern Manitoba, that publishes and promotes northern writers, with an emphasis on Indigenous writers. Their books are all of the best quality, printed in Canada by Art Bookbindery, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Most of their books are in English but some are in Cree or Ojibwa, and some also contain syllabics.

They Love Schools and Libraries!

For more information, contact info@goldrockpress.com.

Kids Book Chat #3 with Larry Verstraete

*Please note: Our Kids Book Chats have moved to Saturdays, now that school is back in session. The next one will be held October 3, at 1 pm. For this virtual event only we offer it free for ANYONE and their children.

Email the Guild manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com to ask for the Zoom instructions.

October’s Featured Author is Larry Verstraete.

Biography:

Writer and educator Larry Verstraete has always lived in Winnipeg. A former middle grade teacher with a background in science and a penchant for stories, he began writing for youngsters while still teaching.  For his first books, he dipped into a familiar subject to share stories about discoveries, inventions and daring scientific exploits.  Later, Larry widened his scope by writing true adventure stories and, more recently, middle grade novels.

Larry’s seventeen books have been on recommended reading lists and many have received honours. The most recent novel, Coop the Great, was voted MYRCA’s 2020 Honor Book by youngsters in the Sundog group. He is a two-time winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year for Young People Award (for S is for Scientists: A Discovery Alphabet & Lost Treasures: True Stories of Discovery). Larry is also a two-time winner of the Silver Birch Award for Non-fiction (for At the Edge: Daring Acts in Desperate Times & Survivors:True Death-Defying Escapes). Honours for other books range from nominations for the Norma Fleck Award (Accidental Discoveries) and the New York Reading Association Charlotte Award (Surviving the Hindenburg) to designations such as Outstanding Science Trade Book of 2011 by the National Science Teachers Association and Children’s Book Council (S is for Scientists: A Discovery Alphabet).

Larry has presented at conferences and festivals including Calgary’s Wordfest, Winnipeg’s International Children’s Festival, Thin Air, Winnipeg’s International Writers Festival, and to literacy groups like the Winnipeg Children’s Literature Round Table and Manitoba School Library Association. As well, he has toured several times with TD Canadian Children’s Book Week and in connection with B.C.’s Red Cedar, Ontario’s Silver Birch, the Maritime’s Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award, and the Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award.

Between writing pursuits, Larry indulges in other favourite pastimes especially traveling and hiking with his wife, Jo, and spending time with his children and grandchildren.

You can find more about Larry and his books on his website  www.larryverstraete.com

Publications:

  • Coop the Great (Great Plains Publications, 2018)
  • ‘Dinosaurs’ of the Deep: Discover Prehistoric Marine Life (Turnstone Press, 2016)
  • Innovations in Everyday Technologies (Crabtree Publishing, 2016)
  • Innovations in Transportation. (Crabtree Publishing, 2016)
  • Missing in Paradise (Rebelight Publishing, 2014)
  • Life or Death: Surviving the Impossible (Scholastic Canada, 2014)
  • Surviving the Hindenburg. Illustrated by David Geister (Sleeping Bear Press, 2012)
  • Case Files: 40 Murders and Mysteries Solved by Science (Scholastic Canada, 2011)
  • S is for Scientists: A Discovery Alphabet. Illustrated by David Geister. (Sleeping Bear Press, 2010)
  • At the Edge: Daring Acts in Desperate Time. (Scholastic Canada, 2009)
  • G is for Golden Boy: A Manitoba Alphabet. Illustrated by Brian Lund. (Sleeping Bear Press, 2009)
  • Lost Treasures: 25 True Stories of Discovery (Scholastic Canada, 2006)
  • Survivors: True Death-Defying Escape. (Scholastic Canada, 2003)
  • Extreme Science (Scholastic Canada, 2000)
  • Accidental Discoveries: From Laughing Gas to Dynamite (Scholastic Canada,
  • Whose Bright Idea Was It? (Scholastic Canada,1997)
  • Mysteries of Time (Scholastic Canada, 1992)
  • The Serendipity Effect (Scholastic Canada, 1988)

Insider view of the Sheldon Oberman Mentorship Program – part 2

With the Sheldon Oberman Mentorship Program about to call for submissions for another year (starting in September with the deadline being November 30, 2020), we thought you should hear from the Mentor who helped Joy this past spring. Not only has he been a Mentor for the SOMP, but has also been an apprentice, so he is able to give some insight from both sides. Let me introduce Keith Cadieux:

As an apprentice: In my early experiences as a writer, the Sheldon Oberman Mentorship was perhaps the largest single influence which taught me that I could take writing seriously and that it was worth pursuing. My mentor was Jonathan Ball, a writer with whom I am still friends. We continue to share work back and forth, many years after the program. The long-term one-on-one interaction that the SOMP provides is an incredibly valuable experience. It allows the apprentice to see how the advice and lessons from the mentor are shaping their writing. Spending months on a single project with a mentor allows for tremendous progress, both for the project itself but also the career trajectory of new writers. The SOMP is a once in a lifetime experience that I wish I could have again.

As a mentor: I’ve been lucky enough to be chosen as a mentor several times now for the SOMP. What always surprises me is how much I get out of the experience and how much my own writing motivation increases while working with new writers. The selection committee has an uncanny talent of pairing mentors and apprentices. Though sometimes, on the surface, it would appear that our writing styles or subject matter are at odds, the apprentices with whom I’ve been paired have always been wonderful people and our work ideas have complemented each other in exciting ways. The SOMP is an experience that I’m glad to return to, as many times as they’ll have me.

Thanks, Keith, for sharing your thoughts on your experiences with the Sheldon Oberman Mentorship Program!