History

The Manitoba Writers’ Guild (MWG) was inaugurated in August 1981 at Aubigny, Manitoba as a grassroots organization created for and by Manitoba writers. In that first year, the Guild attracted 18 founding members!

As is the case with many arts organizations just starting out, the success of the Guild was built on the time, energy, conviction and determination of the many volunteers who worked for the Guild in the early years. Now, 29 years after the establishment of the Guild, membership has grown into a vibrant community of both emerging and experienced writers who work in all genres of writing. While most of our members reside within the City of Winnipeg, many live-in rural Manitoba and even a few who live outside the provincial and even Canadian borders. 

Shortly after its founding, on February 11, 1982, the MWG was incorporated as a corporation without share capital (i.e., a not-for-profit corporation) under the laws of Manitoba. The legal name of the organization is MANITOBA WRITER’S GUILD INC. 

In 1986, when a group of literary and visual artists got together to form Artspace Inc., the Guild moved its office into its current home at 100 Arthur Street in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District. As one of a handful of founding Artspace members who first moved into the building, the MWG started out sharing space in a large area on the second floor with the Manitoba Association of Playwrights, the Canadian Book Information Centre and, eventually, Prairie Fire Press. Eventually, in the late eighties and early nineties, the Guild took on additional space as it had grown substantially in size and operation. It was named The Burns Family Classroom after the people who donated money to help pay for the space’s transformation. In 2016, when our government funding was withdrawn, we gave up the Classroom and moved to a smaller, more sustainable space on the fifth floor.

Today, despite the financial setbacks and, with the help of dedicated volunteers like our modest beginning, the Manitoba Writers’ Guild continues its journey to support local writers’ through various events and workshops, awards and promotion on all levels of success.