Upcoming Virtual Program Line-up

Unless stated otherwise, most programs are for members only. If you’d like to attend any events, please consider joining the Manitoba Writers’ Guild. (see Membership section of website)

If interested in attending any of the virtual programs listed below, email the Guild for the links at manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com 

October Book Chat
with David Elias

Wednesday, October 14, 7 pm

David Elias has been a frequent Mentor for the Manitoba Writers Guild Sheldon Oberman Mentorship Program, has worked as a creative writing instructor, editor, and writer-in-residence. He is the author of short stories, novels, poetry, and nonfiction.  His most recent title is a historical novel, Elizabeth of Bohemia: A Novel about Elizabeth Stuart, the Winter Queen.  His first work of nonfiction, The Truth about the Barn: A Voyage of Discovery and Contemplation, by Great Plains Publications, will be launched virtually  on October 21, 2020, through McNally Robinson Booksellers.

Halloween Special
Open to the Public

Tuesday, October 27, 7 pm:

Join us to listen to the spooky readings of our line-up of writers:

Matthew Komus (Haunted Manitoba, Haunted Winnipeg and operator of Winnipeg Ghost Walks), Chris Rutkowski (science writer, educator and author of such books as Big Book of UFOs When They Appeared: Falcon Lake 1967) and L.V. Gaudet (author of dark fiction and member of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild, Horror Writers Association, and Authors of Manitoba, best known for her McAllister Series, Latchkey Kids (AKA Vivian Munnoch).

There will be a Q&A and Open Mic to follow. To get your free ticket, follow the link:

https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/halloween-special-book-chat-tickets-124471257883

 

November Book Chat
with Barbara Lange

Wednesday, November 18, 7 pm

Barbara grew up in a railway family in England. Her father was a conductor for British Railways. After Winnipeg became her new home, she married a Canadian National Railway employee from the Transcona Shops.
As she and husband Larry Lange travelled on Canada’s ribbons of steel, they heard many stories.  Barbara decided to help preserve a slice of Canada’s railway history. With the help of 30 other Canadian authors, she published her first book Through the Window of a Train: A Canadian Railway Anthology, (Borealis Press, 2010). Her interest in all things railway increased and she soon found herself working on a second book.  Memories of the Moonlight Special and Grand Beach Train Era (Borealis Press, 2018) captures the flavour of the first half of the 20th century, when trains transported people to beaches on the east side of Lake Winnipeg, and passengers felt part of one big family.

Kids Book Chat

Saturday, November 7, 2 pm:

Brett Huson – Hetxw’ms Gyetxw, also known as Brett D. Huson is from the Gitxsan Nation of the Northwest Interior of British Columbia, Canada. Growing up in this strong matrilineal society, Brett developed a passion for the culture, land, and politics of his people, and a desire to share their knowledge and stories. Brett has worked in the film and television industry and is a volunteer board member for such organizations as Ka Ni Kanichihk and Sakihiwe Festival. The Sockeye Mother (winner of The Science Writers and Communicators Book Award) was Brett’s first book for children. His current book, The Grizzly Mother won accolades at this year’s Manitoba Book Awards. This book is part of the series called Mothers of Xsan.

As Brett continues creating new art and working on new books, he is also working with the Prairie Climate Centre at the University of Winnipeg. With the support of his wife, Jeri, and their children Warren and Ruby, Brett endeavours to continue sharing stories with an engaging look at how the animals, people, and seasons within an ecosystem are intertwined. To the Gitxsan people of Northwestern British Columbia, the grizzly is an integral part of the natural landscape. Together, they share the land and forests that the Skeena River runs through, as well as the sockeye salmon within it. Follow mother bear as she teaches her cubs what they need to survive on their own.

Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Saturday, October 17, 11 am

Come see what the Manitoba Writers’ Guild has done for its members in the past year and what our plans are for the future. All are welcome to attend, but only Members who have joined or renewed 60 days prior to the meeting will have voting privileges. We will also be deciding on changes to the Governance Manual, particularly those clauses relating to pandemics, as well as the slate of Board Members, including two new people who have tossed their hats in the ring. If you wish to be involved in Board &/or Committee matters, please email us your resume and reason(s) why you want to become a Board or Committee member.

Halloween Writing Contest

Halloween is right around the corner and, with Covid still rampant in our society, we figured we should bring you something fun to take your mind off of it, so how about a short story contest?

We’re asking for stories about Halloween, be they the traditional stories about monsters and horror that’s common around this time of year, or stories about celebrating Halloween in other parts of the world.

Feel free to send your stories to the Manitoba Writers’ Guild email address below. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Submission Guidelines

  • Short story must be 5000 words max.
  • On each page, please include page numbers in the upper right corner of your document with the story title in the header.
  • Please include a separate cover letter that includes your name, home and email addresses, telephone number, story title and word count. Please specify whether you are a Guild member, non-member, or member of another writing organization inside or outside of Manitoba.
  • We are only accepting email submissions for this contest. Please make sure the file is sent as a PDF or Word document.
  • Send submissions to manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com

Deadline: November 6th, 2020
Prize: $100 McNally Robinson Gift Card
Your story published in our newsletter

State of the Market

November 2020, Date/Time TBA:  Ever wonder about local publishers and what they’re all about? Now’s your chance to find out. This new initiative will host a panel of publishers from Manitoba who will discuss publishing trends and what to expect from the field in the future. If you ever wanted the chance to learn about the local publishing scene, now is your chance. We hope to host these events quarterly.

How to Create a Docudrama
with Sharon Hamilton

– February 2021, Date/Time TBA:

Bring your story to life by developing your writing craft through DOCUDRAMA. Create a finished piece of publishable or performable writing in six 3-hour sessions 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.

Workshops are designed for small groups of 2-4 people working together. However, they can also accommodate those who prefer to work independently.

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 a six-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.

 

 

 

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)

Book Chat #5 with Lauren Carter

Our next virtual Book Chat will take place on Wednesday, September 9, 2020 at 7 pm. It will feature one of the 2020 Manitoba Book Awards winners, Lauren Carter. Please join us by emailing the Manitoba Writers’ Guild to receive instructions.

Lauren is the author of four books. Her poetry collections are Following Sea and Lichen Bright and her novels are Swarm and This Has Nothing to Do With You, which won the 2020 Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction at the this year’s Manitoba Book Awards, where she also received the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. 

Her work has also appeared in literary journals across the country including Grain and The Fiddlehead and anthologies such as Best Canadian Stories and the forthcoming Voicing Suicide. A transplanted Ontarian, she holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and has lived in Manitoba since 2013.

She is currently working on completing a third poetry collection called Furrow and the first draft of her next novel. Visit her online at www.laurencarter.ca

Report on Angeline Schellenberg’s Book Chat

The August Book Chat featured award-winning poet, Angeline Schellenberg. She read from her book Fields of Light and Stone. The first poem she read with her son because she’d written it in the ‘voices’ of her grandparents. Angeline spoke the words attributed to her grandmother and her son read the part of her grandfather. All her touching poems from Fields of Light and Stone were based on her grandparents’ emigration experience and farming life in Canada.

During the Q&A, audience members asked Angeline about her creative process; working on the book layout, the editing for publication, etc. Afterwards, four audience members shared their own poems during the Open Mic part of the evening. Danie Botha shared a poem from his book 2 Bowls of Joy. Phyllis Cherritt read about a remembrance of her mother. Penny Haywood, inspired by one of Angeline’s poems about a garden, read her own poem about a garden. Emmanuel Okoh read I Kooti, published by the Canadian League of Poets.

I find it fascinating, during these Book Chats, how the Featured Author’s readings often inspire the audience to share their work with similar themes. I highly recommend you join us for Book Chat #5 on September 9, 2020 at 7 pm with Lauren Carter, who will be featured in the next post.

Reminder of Upcoming Events

Before delving into our programs, if you are a member writer wanting to join a Writing Group, look for the link to our Writing Group Survey in your inbox. If you did not receive the email and wish to take part in the survey to find a group tailored to your needs, please email us for the link at:(manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com).
Now for our upcoming events:
August 4th at 1 pm: Kids Book Chats
We want to welcome all members along with their children and grandchildren. This free-to-members event will feature Bill Richardson reading his award-winning book The Promise Basket, and his illustrator, Slavka Kolesar. Q&A to follow. Email the Guild for the Zoom details.
August 6th at 7 pm: Writing Rants and Ramblings
Come to your video screen to chat about your writing and discuss issues that are close to your heart. All are welcome. Email the Guild for the Zoom details.
August 12 at 7 pm: Book Chat#4
All member poets (and those interested in poetry) should sign up to hear Angeline Schellenberg, ask her questions about her poetry and maybe share some of your own.  Email the Guild for the Zoom details.

Launch of new program for kids

With the success of our evening online Book Chats and, with social distancing still an issue with kids as well as adults, we have come up with a way to reach out to the children and grandchildren of members, providing some free afternoon literary programs. During the month of August, we are lining up writers for a series of Kids Book Chats, beginning with those who were a part of this year’s Manitoba Book Awards, in particular, those who wrote books that were submitted to the McNally Robinson Book for Young People Award – Younger Category.

Each of these online meetings will begin with a reading from the author, followed by a Q&A where participants can ask questions of the author and, in some cases, with the illustrator as well. This reading series will take place every afternoon for a couple of weeks, depending on how many writers we can get on-board. We’d like to continue the series with other local writers for children and teens, too. Anyone who would like to sign up their kids or grandkids to watch, please email the Manitoba Writers’ Guild (manitobawritersguild3@gmail.com) to receive the Zoom links and instructions.

Our first Kids Book Chat will take place on Tuesday, August 4th at 1 pm with Bill Richardson, who was the 2020 winner of the McNally Robinson Booksellers Book for Young People Award – Younger Category with his book, The Promise Basket, a lyrical story which celebrates the love between a mother and her daughter. He will be joined by his illustrator, Slavka Kolesar.

As well as winning this year’s Young People Award, former radio host, Bill Richardson, was also the winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. He has written several other highly acclaimed books for children, including The Ants Come Marching, illustrated by Cynthia Nugent and winner of the Time to Read Award; the children’s novel After Hamelin, which won the Ontario Library Association’s Silver Birch Award; The Alphabet Thief and The Bunny Band, both illustrated by Roxanna Bikadoroff.

Illustrator, Slavka Kolesar, has a BFA in visual studies and art history from the University of Toronto and trained as an early childhood educator. Other books she has illustrated include Ulysse by Suzanne de Serres, Le Nom de l’arbre by Stéphanie Bénéteau and Le Légende de Carcajou by Renée Robitaille, which was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. She was chosen as the TD Summer Reading Club illustrator in 2017.

About The Promise Basket:

A stone when it’s thrown can cause damage, can break
but nothing can shatter the promise I make.

So begins the poem a mother writes on a scrap of paper. She wraps the paper around a stone and places it in a basket to give to her daughter on her first birthday. They are poor, but the mother is determined that gifts will be given when gifts need giving. She keeps her promise, and the Promise Basket, too.

Every time there is a need for gifts, the mother finds a pretty stone to tie up with paper and ribbon and gives it to her daughter in the basket. She continues the tradition over the years until her daughter has a baby of her own…