Dave Williamson National Short Story Competition Shortlist

Our 7 short-listers (in alphabetical order according to author’s last name): Winners will be announced May 11th at a hybrid reception! Note: From the first set of readings by our preliminary judges to the final reading of our lead judges, the Guild followed the process of blind-judging. The only information … Read more

Book Chat with Gabriele Goldstone

On April 12 at 7 pm, please join us for the next of our virtual Book Chat series with our featured author, Gabriele Goldstone. To receive the Zoom info, please email MWGEvents2022@gmail.com.

Spurred on by a mixture of shame and curiosity—and inspired by her childhood book heroine, Nancy Drew—Gabriele Goldstone writes the books she wishes she could have read while growing up with European, post-war immigrant parents.

Her two most recent YA novels, Crow Stone (2022) and Tainted Amber (2021), set in Eastern Europe—act as bookends to the Second World War—the perfection-seeking before and the chaotic-after.

Dave Williamson National Short Story Longlist Announced

The longlist for the inaugural Dave Williamson National Short Story Competition has been announced! Our 13 longlisters (in alphabetical order according to author’s last name): Bicycle Pete. Donna Besel. Lac du Bonnet, MBReturn to Chrysalis. Bruce Cinnamon. Edmonton, ABSketches. Gaylene Dutchyshen. Gilbert Plains, MBLegend of the Magpie: An Original Métis … Read more

The Search for Meaning at Scott Ellis’s Book Launch

group photo at Scott Ellis’s Book Launch

Artspace, March 11, 2023 | Sharon Hamilton “There’s so much meaning in everything…It clashes and bounces about. It’s hard to handle.” These words sum up Scott Ellis’s search for meaning in the universe he lives in and the universe he creates in his stories. Almost 40 enthusiastic participants crowded into … Read more

Exploring Elements of Fiction: Influential Author Series

Manitoba Writers’ Guild partners with Creative Manitoba for group mentorship program. Ainsley McPhail with Andrew Dutfield and Carrie Hatland Ainsley McPhail with Carrie Hatland Ainsley McPhail with Michael Redhead Champagne Ainsley McPhail with Michael Hutchinson

Book Chats

Our first Book Chat of 2023 will take place on February 8th at 7 pm. Our featured author will be Méira Cook. To receive the Zoom instructions to join us, email us at MWGEvents2022@gmail.com.

Méira is the award-winning author of the novels ‘Once More With Feeling’; ‘The House on Sugarbush Road’, which won the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award; and ‘Nightwatching’, which won the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction. She has also published five poetry collections, most recently ‘Monologue Dogs’, which was shortlisted for the 2016 Lansdowne Prize for Poetry and for the 2016 McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award. She has won the CBC Poetry Prize and the inaugural Walrus Poetry Prize. She has served as Writer in Residence at the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture, and the Winnipeg Public Library. Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, she now lives in Winnipeg.

Margaret Laurence Award winner, ‘The Full Catastrophe’ is a compassionate and funny novel about defining yourself, the communities that support us, and the journeys that secrets propel.

Charlie Minkoff, a thirteen-year-old boy born with intersex traits, would be happy to be left alone. Living with his artist mother in a derelict loft in downtown Winnipeg, perpetually wondering about the father who abandoned him, and tormented in school because of his differences, Charlie navigates the assorted catastrophes of his life. He’s helped along by the love of his beloved grandfather, Oscar, and the makeshift family who surround him: his mother’s best friend; a couple of elderly shut-in neighbours; a mysterious girl in his class who has secrets of her own; and his desperately needy and perpetually hungry dog, Gellman.

When a school project leads him to discover that Oscar never had a bar mitzvah, Charlie decides to right the historical wrong and arrange a belated ceremony. But this quest will be more than he bargained for, and meanwhile everyone from his doctor to his Ancestry Studies teacher keeps insisting that Charlie needs to learn to tell his own story. 

Self- Publishing Basics – from page to book

Are you thinking about self-publishing your novel but have no idea what steps to take? Join Dennis Valdron as he walks you through the steps* in his workshop series.

In this exciting new 7-week hybrid program (in-person & online), he will discuss how to get an ISBN number (and why you need one!), the choices of companies that self-publish and their formats, cover designing, what the tax implications are, how to upload and requisition print books, how to read those sales reports, requisitions and other functions to keep track of your e-books.

The final class will be your Book Launch at ArtSpace, where you can bring your book, introduce it and sell it to those in attendance.

*Keep in mind, you should bring a fully edited version of the book you want to have published in order to have a book polished enough to interest readers by the end of the 7 weeks. However, even if your manuscript isn’t ready to publish within the 7 weeks, you will still have the know-how and can come out on the 7th class to support your fellow writers.

About your instructor:

Dennis Valdron is 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.

Classes begin on Sunday, February 5th at 1 pm (CST) and each subsequent Sunday until the Book Launch, which will take place on Sunday, March 19th and will include refreshments. Email the Manitoba Writers’ Guild at manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com for more info. Registration will be through EventBrite (https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/self-publishing-basics-tickets-411520979327 )

Our First Book Launch with Fisher Lavell

On September 25, Fisher Lavell’s A Seven Year Ache made MWG history as the first book to be launched in our newest benefit for members.

The Boardroom at Artspace buzzed with eager anticipation as attendees from urban and rural Manitoba filled the seats. A coterie from Swan River, where Fisher Lavell lives and where her novel is situated, formed an appreciative fan base, while others, drawn to the event by curiosity and interest in Lavell’s writing, listened eagerly to Fisher’s evocative reading, followed by a Q & A conversation with well-known Manitoba author Donna Besel.

Hosted by the program’s facilitator, Sharon Hamilton, the event progressed smoothly, capped by wine and cheese and homemade butter tarts accompanying conversations that didn’t want to stop.

Follow Fisher on her website www.fisherlavell.ca

Our next launch will take place on October 23 at 2:00, again in the Boardroom at Artspace, with B. A. Bellec presenting Pulse: Book One. More information will be forthcoming but bear in mind: it is not coincidental that Hallowe’en follows one week later.

Poetry Adventure at Tall Grass Prairie

On September 24th, 2022, the Manitoba Writers’ Guild sent representatives to the Tall Grass Prairie to support Turnstone Press and the Nature Conservancy of Canada to promote Sarah Ens’ poetry book, Flyway. Despite the rain, Susan Rocan and Anna Valdron headed south to meet up with a group of poetry and nature enthusiasts. Just as Sarah finished reading lyrical poems from Flyway, the grey clouds thinned, the rain stopped and the group was able to explore the beautiful prairie landscape with conservationist, Norm Gregoire, who led them through “one of the most biologically diverse and productive grasslands in North America”.

(To learn more and keep up to date with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, you can sign up for their e-newsletter, The Leaflet. To donate to the Nature Conservancy of Canada, please visit their online donation page.)

Once back at the Interpretive Centre, Sarah posed questions  as writing prompts to the group who, in turn, wrote about and shared their experience, how the prairie landscape inspired them, each one expressing their love of nature.

Guild member Phyllis Cherrett described the experience, “It was a grey day, but perfect weather for a guided tour of the Tall Grass Prairie reserve after a brief introduction to Sarah Enns’ thoughtful poetry. The ground was soft and slightly squishy underfoot, pillowed with tussocky grass alive with tiny frogs. Birds stood out clearly against the low-slung clouds and flung themselves through the air.

“After the tour Sarah offered several writing prompts, and time to follow them in, and the writing time was well judged-just long enough to get some work done, but too short to get really nervous about the product. Several of us read from what we had written.

“Lots of fun, new information, and possibly the beginning of another chapbook, depending on how the pictures turned out.”

(To purchase Sarah’s book, Flyway, please visit Turnstone Press.)

The afternoon was enjoyed by all who attended the event. Some participants, who were unfamiliar with us, dropped by our table to learn a little more about the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and we shared information about the Guild and upcoming programs, such as the Creating a Docudrama workshop series beginning October 20, 2022 and Dennis Valdron’s Self-Publishing workshop series beginning in February. For further information on our programs, please email manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com.


Creating a Docudrama – again!

Our Creating a Docudrama workshop series was so popular last fall, we are hosting it again, beginning October 20, 2022. Our participants learned the process from idea to script in eight weeks, culminating in the performance of each project; a family discussing the lives of their parents, an art teacher reliving a bad experience, a house haunting, a discussion between daughter and father, the plans of a young emigrant, the experience of a student returning to university after many years and a writer whose doubts become manifest on a plane.

We bound the scripts so each participant received a copy, with a cover depicting aspects of each story.

If you have something that you are passionate about and want to share it with others, whether it’s just for family and close friends or to be performed at an event such as the Fringe Festival, then sign up to be a part of this innovative program.

For more information, email manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com. To sign up, go to https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/self-publishing-basics-tickets-411520979327

Financial assistance provided by the Manitoba Arts Council

Manitoba Arts Council logo