Collective Update August 27th












IMPORTANT REMINDER: The 2010-2011 Writers Circles are filling up fast! Have you registered yet? If not send me an email as quickly as you can at 


Just a reminder that the Writers’ Collective Office will be closed on Tuesdays for the summer. I will still be answering email and phone calls remotely however!



We are looking for submissions for the Collective Consciousness magazine about the upcoming tenth anniversary of the Collective!

Give us your thoughts, your ideas and what the Collective means to you . . .

For More Information: Contact Michael Van Rooy, Writers’ Collective Program Coordinator at  or by phone at (204) 786-9468 or submit to 





Read the same book

Speak the same language.

Vote! Help select the next chapter for On the Same Page!
Which Manitoba book, by a Manitoba author, do you think should get Manitobans On the Same Page this year? From the short list below, select the title you’d like for Manitoba’s biggest book club. The book that receives the greatest public support before the end of September 2010 will be featured.

The choices are:

An Ordinary Decent Criminal by Michael Van Rooy (Writers’ Collective Member)

Beautiful Girl Thumb by Melissa Steele

Dead of Midnight by Catherine Hunter (Writers’ Collective Member)

Juliana and the Medicine Fish by Jake MacDonald

To vote simply go to:

And make your selection at the bottom of the page!

Currently there are 585 votes cast!


Michael Van Rooy

Date: August 28, Saturday

Time: 2:00 pm

Location: At the Cash Desk of the McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Signing An Ordinary Decent Criminal.

Cost: Free!

Ex-con Monty Haaviko has done the crimes and served the time. Now, he just wants to settle down in Winnipeg with his family, find an honest job, and be an ordinary decent citizen. When three break-and-enter artists end up dead on his living-room floor, Monty’s plan to go straight derails. Wanna-be hero Detective Enzio Walsh wants to put Monty behind bars forever, and crime boss Jean Robillard, uncle to one of Monty’s house thieves, wants him dead. Together with his wife Claire, and the tricks and schemes learned from his checkered past, he just might clear his name and save his life. Michael Van Rooy writes for documentaries, magazines, newspapers, and the Internet. Michael won the 2006 Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book, and the 2009 John Hirsh Award for Most Promising Manitoba Writer. Born in Kamloops, BC, he grew up in Winnipeg where he now lives with his wife and three children. This is the first volume in the Monty Haaviko series.  The third installment, A Criminal to Remember, was recently published by Turnstone Press.

An Ordinary Decent Criminal is nominated for the 2010/11 On the Same Page Project read. Visit <> to cast your vote.


Howdy Friend,
This is one of my new projects through Alchemical Press.  And writers, please take note:
Call/Response is a book about youth culture and live music in Winnipeg that is being produced by Mike Sanders, Nathan Terin and John Toone for the benefit of Kids Help Phone. Call/Response will not only show us the musicians, but will feature the young crowds that make for a great show. This book of art and literature will represent a collaboration of photographers, writers, visual artists, and collectors inspired by this scene.
The goal of this project is to raise money for Kids Help Phone and to raise awareness for issues facing youth. The book will sell for $25, and a minimum of $10 from each sale will be donated to Kids Help
Youth have fueled Winnipeg’s music scene. Call/Response will tell this story in fifty-six pages, in a large 12″ by 12″ format, and using a collage of photographs, writing, and memorabilia. Call/Response will be published in February 2010 and a minimum of 1,000 copies will be distributed across Canada.
Deadline for submissions is August 31st, 2010. Visual elements could include photographs, posters, tickets, memorabilia, and other oddities. Written elements could include essays, lyrics, set lists, and other ramblings inspired by music.
Please show your support for Kids Help Phone and for live music and the arts in Winnipeg.
Official Facebook Link:
For fund raising information contact Nathan Terin at  with “FUND RAISING” in the subject line.
For submissions guidelines contact Mike Sanders at  with “SUBMISSIONS” in the subject line.
For other inquiries contact John Toone at 
Deadline for submissions is AUGUST 31, 2010. Visual elements could include photographs, posters, tickets, memorabilia, and other oddities. Written elements could include essays, lyrics, set lists,
and other ramblings inspired by music.
You can submit up to ten photographs, posters, items of memorabilia, et cetera. You can submit up to five pieces of written work.
Images should be submitted as JPEG with a long edge no bigger than 1024 pixels and 72 dpi. If you are submitting memorabilia, please submit a photo of the piece you wish to contribute. Written works
should be submitted as RTF, TXT or DOC files.
Submissions containing the consumption of drugs and/or alcohol will not be eligible.


Kerry Ryan (Writers’ Collective Member)

Date: September 28, October 13 and 26, November 3, 16 and 24

Time: 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Location: Aqua Books, 274 Garry Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 1H3, Phone: 204-943-7555.

Event: Writers’ Support Group with poet Kerry Ryan

Cost: $20 plus GST. Contact  or 943-7555 to register.

Notes: The workshop is limited to 16 people. Bring a notebook and pen.

Ready to share your writing, but not sure where to start? Looking for an extra set of eyes but can’t commit to a writing group?

Writers working in all genres are invited to take part in a series of drop-in,workshop-style sessions hosted by Aqua Books Writer-in-Residence Kerry Ryan. Participants will be expected to both share work and give feedback to others.

Six sessions will take place over the fall. Participants can sign up in advance for workshop slots (everyone will be guaranteed three slots, but they’ll be assigned first come, first served), and are welcome to attend any/all sessions to comment on others’ work.

All participants who wish can take part in a public, wind-up reading at Aqua Books on December 1.

Kerry Ryan lives and writes in Winnipeg. Her first collection of poetry, The Sleeping Life, was published by The Muses’ Company in 2008 and nominated for the Aqua Lansdowne Prize for Poetry in 2009. She has had poetry published in a number of journals, including Prairie Fire, Grain, Room, CV2 and Carousel. Her second collection, Vs., is forthcoming from Anvil Press, fall 2010.


Through the Looking Glass with Anita Daher (Writers’ Collective Member)

Date: Nine Thursdays this fall: September 30, October 7, 14, 21, 28, November 4, 18, 25, and December 2, 2010.

Time: 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Location: Aqua Books, 274 Garry Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 1H3, Phone: 204-943-7555.

Event: A Writing Intensive Workshop

Cost: $225.00 plus GST ($200 plus GST before September 1). Contact  or 943-7555 to register.

Notes: The workshop is limited to 12 people. Bring a notebook and pen.

Tickle your muse and develop skills as Anita Daher leads you on a journey into the world of writing picture books, children’s periodicals, middle grade and teen novels. Take your vitamins and prepare to absorb in-depth information on the genre, and the children’s writing and publishing industry in Canada. There will be exercises, assignments, dynamic interaction, and at the end—a party!

Anita Daher has been entrenched in the book publishing industry for more than fifteen years. She feels “place” infuses her writing, and is grateful to have lived in communities like Summerside, PEI, Moose Jaw, SK, Churchill, MB, Baker Lake, NU, and Yellowknife, NT. Her short stories have appeared in Prairie Fire Magazine, and she is author of seven youth novels, including Arthur Ellis and MB Book Award finalist Spider’s Song (2006), and Arthur Ellis, Hackmatack and Diamond Willow finalist Racing for Diamonds (2006). She has led workshops across the country, and has been a popular presenter at conferences and festivals. When not teaching, presenting, or working on her own stories, Anita edits teen novels for Great Plains Publications.


John Toone (Writers’ Collective Member and Best Dressed Male at the 2010 Manitoba Book Awards) will be appearing all over the place this summer and fall:
Fort Whyte Alive, Kids Event – September 19th
Brandon University, Reading and workshop – October 2nd
Tonight it’s Poetry – Saskatoon, Reading – October 3rd
Vertigo Series – Regina, Reading -October 4th
Imagination Manifesto: Book Two, McNally Launch – October 28th
Central Canada Comic Con, The Strange Market – October 30th and 31st
Have a great summer, – JT



This week the quotes come from Charles Bukowski, American poet and author (1920-1994). Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories, and six novels, eventually having over 60 books in print. In 1986 Time called Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife.” Quote: “It’s possible to love a human being if you don’t know them too well.”


The River Barge Festival

Date: August 25, Wednesday to August 29, Sunday

Time: Varies

Location: The Forks

Event: The River Barge Festival

Cost: Free!

NOTE: We are still adding performers! Check back here for updated schedules. Website is:

Wednesday, August 25 – Roots on the River

12:00       The Crooked Brothers
1:00         Jessee Havey and the Quirks
2:00         The D. Rangers
3:00         Kelly Hughes Live!
4:00         J.C. Campbell & Tracy Bone
5:00         Johnny Cajun
6:00         The Romi Mayes Band

Thursday, August  26  -  New Sounds / Old Friends

Hosted by Jane Testar and Tricia Cooper

12:00      Noma Sibanda & the Guerrillas of Soul
1:00        Matthew Contois
2:00        Christine Fellows
3:00        Kelly Hughes Live! (with Michael Van Rooy, Writers’ Collective Member)
4:00        Flying Fox & the Hunter-Gatherers
5:00        Greg Lowe & Jack Semple
6:00        Trio Bembe

Friday, August 27 -  Gala Evening

Hosted by Marcy Markusa and Janet Stewart

6:00        Opening ceremonies / remarks
6:30        Papa Mambo
7:45        Chic Gamine
9:15        The Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra & Sierra Noble

With a light and mist installation by PO-MO Inc.

Saturday, August 28 – Red River Gumbo

Hosted by Larry Updike and Jon Ljungberg

12:00      Manitoba Theatre Centre presents: The History of Manitoba from the Beginning of Time to the Present in 45 Minutes
1:30        Darrelyne Bickel
2:30        The Scarlet Union
3:30        Les Surveillantes
4:30        Greg MacPherson
5:30        Magnum K.I.
6:30        Imaginary Cities
8:00        Digging Roots
9:30        Luke Doucet and the White Falcon

Sunday, August 29 – Family Day

Hosted by Al Simmons

12:00      Manitoba Theatre Centre presents: The History of Manitoba from the Beginning of Time to the Present in 45 Minutes
1:30        Rocki Rolletti and the Junior Noodle Wave
2:45        Jazz On Wheels
4:00        Fred Penner

Pat Pattan

Date: September 7, Tuesday

Time: 1:00-3:00 pm, 5:00-7:00 pm

Location: By the Cash Desk at the McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Signing When We Were Growing Up.

Cost: Free!

What was it like to be growing up when kids could spend the day at the movies for twenty-five cents, the Model-T had to be cranked up to get it started, and the streets were dark until the lamplighter lit the gas lamps? When We Were Growing Up gives a person-to-person account of life from the 1920’s to 1960’s as seen through the eyes of the children growing up during events such as WWI & II and the Great Depression. Interspersed with the stories of the 14 people featured in this book, the author Pat Pattan (née Yeo) adds her own story of her birth in 1943 and childhood growing up as a “war baby” in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Pat graduated from Manitoba Teachers College in 1963. Moving to New Jersey in 1965, she became a U.S. citizen in 1976. She has written articles and reviews for local newspapers and has had radio commercials on the air. She has two sons, Jonathan and Eric Mol. Author Pat Pattan (née Yeo), will be on-hand to sign from 1:00-3:00 pm and again from 5:00-7:00 pm.

Linda Leonard

Date: September 8, Wednesday

Time: 7:00pm

Location: In the Atrium of the McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Launch of Living the Dream in Mexico: Our RV Travels and Experiences in Mexico.

Cost: Free!

Linda Leonard and her husband Paul live in Grand Marais, Manitoba, during the summer and in Zihuatanejo, Mexico in the winter.  They are both retired teachers with four grown children and three grandchildren. They spent six years RVing and travelling throughout Mexico and helped Linda’s elderly Mom to share some amazing experiences from her wheelchair. Linda has written extensively on the internet, helping many people to enjoy travelling in Mexico. 2011 will bring the publication of her next book, Living the Dream in Europe, based on their RV travels and experiences throughout Western Europe.

Martha Brooks

Date: September 8, Wednesday

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: In the Prairie Ink Restaurant of the McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Launch of Queen of Hearts

Cost: Free!

Two years into the Second World War, fifteen-year-old Marie-Claire Côté begins a war of her own as she, her brother and sister, all stricken with tuberculosis, are taken to the Pembina Hills Sanatorium in rural Manitoba. Queen of Hearts is a story about surviving loss — and finding friendship, and love, in surprising places. Critically acclaimed playwright, novelist and short fiction writer Martha Brooks was born and raised in a medical family on the grounds of the now defunct Manitoba Sanatorium at Ninette, Manitoba and resides with her husband, Brian, in Winnipeg. She has penned award-winning short stories and several powerful novels for young readers, as well as several plays, all of which deal with the universal themes of love and loss. Frequently appearing on the American Library Association Best Books Lists, Brooks has been nominated four times for the Governor General’s Award – an award she received in 2002 for True Confessions of a Heartless Girl.

Janet Lewis Anderson

Date: September 9, 2010

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: In the Atrium of the McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Launch of In the Arms of the Angels

Cost: Free!

Janet grew up in a small, but loving, Winnipeg family. Her parents, Janette and John Lewis, doted on their only child and so when it came time for them to leave this world, it was especially hard on her. As a way of dealing with the stress of caring for her Mother who was dying from Alzheimer’s disease, as well as with the grief of saying goodbye, she began chronicling this difficult journey. She hopes that by sharing her story, others travelling a similarly difficult road won’t feel quite so alone and that the book will serve as a source of compassion and inspiration, helping others to courageously face another day. A tribute to her late Mother, In the Arms of The Angels is truly a Mother – Daughter love story. After 31 years of service with Canadian National Railways, Janet Lewis Anderson retired in 2003 to stay home and look after her dying Mother. Marrying a year after her Mother passed away, Janet and her husband Bruce continue to reside in Winnipeg. They enjoy family get-togethers, cooking and travelling. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to The Alzheimer Society of Manitoba.
David Zinger

Date: September 9, Thursday

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: In the Travel Alcove of the McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Launch of Zengage: How to Get More INTO Your Work to Get More OUT of Your Work

Cost: Free!

Zengage combines the ancient art of Zen with the modern science of engagement. Zen meditation promotes direct acts of wisdom and understanding that lead to enlightenment. Engagement only happens when individuals take the time to understand themselves and act accordingly. This collection of inspiration is designed to help the reader connect in a deeper way with themselves and others, to help create a more meaningful life at work and at home. To help them learn the art of living by paying full attention to whatever they are doing in the moment. David Zinger, M.Ed, is a global expert on employee engagement and founder of the Employee Engagement Network. His website has over 1,000 articles on the topic. Mr. Zinger has worked with employee engagement from British Columbia to Barcelona and Warsaw to Winnipeg. Visit him at <>.

David Zinger, Thursday September 9, 7:30 in the Travel Alcove. Launch of Zengage: How to Get More Into Your Work to Get More Out of Your Work.
On the Same Page 2010-11 Nominee Read-Off

Date: September 9, Thursday

Time: 8:00 pm

Location: In the Prairie Ink Restaurant of the McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: On the Same Page 2010-11 Nominee Read-Off

Cost: Free!

Which Manitoba book, by a Manitoba author, will get Manitobans On the Same Page and be the focus of Manitoba’s biggest book club this year? All four nominees will be on hand this special evening to read from their works and present their case in Prairie Ink Restaurant. Catherine Hunter, author of the nominated book The Dead of Midnight (Turnstone Press), is a teacher, editor, critic, poet, and avid reader of thrillers. She is the author of three books of poetry, three novels, and one novella. Jake MacDonald, author, short story writer and journalist, winner of three awards, including the Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize will defend his work Juliana and the Medicine Fish (Great Plains Publications). Winner of the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Writing at the 1999 Manitoba Book Awards, Melissa Steele will read from her nominated collection of short stories Beautiful Girl Thumb (Turnstone Press). Michael Van Rooy: documentarian, reporter, ex-cheese-maker. Will the B.C. ex-pat win over the readers of Manitoba with the first volume of his Monty Haaviko crime series An Ordinary Decent Criminal (Turnstone Press)? This special night might just be the one that turns the tide and is presented in association with On The Same Page, an initiative of The Winnipeg Foundation and Winnipeg Public Library that encourages Manitobans to read the same book at the same time. Visit <> to vote for the book of your choice.
Jane Urquart

Date: September 10, Friday

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: In the atrium of the McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Reading & Signing Sanctuary Line

Cost: Free!

Set in the present day on a farm at the shores of Lake Erie, Jane Urquhart’s new novel weaves elements from the nineteenth-century past, in Ireland and Ontario, into a gradually unfolding contemporary story of events in the lives of the members of one family that come to alter their futures irrevocably. There are ancestral lighthouse-keepers, seasonal Mexican workers; the migratory patterns and survival techniques of the Monarch butterfly; the tragedy of a young woman’s death during a tour of duty in Afghanistan; three very different but equally powerful love stories. Jane Urquhart brings to vivid life the things of the past that make us who we are, and reveals the sometimes difficult path to understanding and forgiveness. Jane Urquhart was born in Little Long Lac, Ontario, and grew up in Toronto. She is the author of five internationally acclaimed novels, one collection of short fiction, and four books of poetry, for which she has received and been shortlisted for many awards. Her work has been translated into numerous foreign languages. Urquhart has received the Marian Engel Award, and is a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France and an Officer of the Order of Canada, as well as the recipient of numerous honorary degrees.  She lives in southwestern Ontario.

David Korinetz

Date: September 11, Saturday

Time: 1:00-4:00 pm

Location: By the Cash Desk of the McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Signing Sorceress: Chronicles of the Daemon Knights

Cost: Free!

Highly recommended by the Midwest Book Review, this book finds the Sorceress Magdalen stripped of her power with deadly foes at every turn. While seeking the safe haven of Toth, she becomes an unwilling witness to the murder of a FireDrake along the way, leading to her capture by a marauding band of Imperial Dog Soldiers led by the crazed fanatic Kaspar. Sir Rodney, the Balorian knight responsible for her downfall, forsakes his duty to the order for his compulsion to rescue the woman who continues to haunt his dreams. What is one man’s desire compared to the combined might of an empire, and are things truly the way they seem? Born and raised in Winnipeg and a resident for nearly four decades, David Korinetz attended Tec Voc High School and was an employee of Bristol Aerospace for nineteen years. Now relocated to the small resort community of Penticton, B.C., David has found that living in the Okanagan valley was instrumental in allowing him to visualize the Fantasy world in which his characters live. At one time employed as everything from a prairie fish plant worker, a railway worker, to an avionics technician, David finally found his true calling as a Fantasy author.


Dr. Paul McCutcheon
Date: September 13, Monday

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: In the Travel Alcove of the McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Speaking and signing The New Holistic Way for Dogs and Cats: The Stress-Health Connection.

Cost: Free!

This special presentation will cover what “holistic” philosophy really means and how it applies to our pets and ourselves, some disturbing health trends, defining stress and its implication in health, outlining the negative stress factors that are significant in our pets’ lives and examine how we can control the negative stress and encourage total pet wellness. Dr. Paul D. McCutcheon graduated from Ontario Veterinary College in 1962. He founded and is currently Director of East York Animal Clinic Holistic Centre in Toronto. Dr. McCutcheon has a long history of media involvement and was awarded Veterinarian of the Year—Ontario Veterinary Association 1979 and Canadian Veterinary Medical Association 1983. He is past President of the Toronto Academy of Veterinary Medicine and past Director of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (AHVMA). Dog owners are invited and encouraged to bring their canine companions to this special event.

Les MacDonald

Date: September 13, Monday

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: In the Atrium of the McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Launch of The Day the Music Died.

Cost: Free!

This new work probes into the lives and deaths of musicians that graced the airwaves and big domes from as early as 1790 to the contemporary music industry of the 1900s and through to the 21st century. The book takes an intimate look at the passing of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Elvis Presley, Brian Jones, Bob Marley, John Lennon, George Harrison, Tupac Shakur, Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain, Selena, Michael Jackson, and many more. The Day the Music Died exposes the good, the bad, and the ugly sides of this much-celebrated industry, covering expected deaths from illness to the shocking news of a life taken away by suicide or murder. Les MacDonald first began writing sports articles for several sports magazines about five years ago. After writing a book about Hollywood tragedies (Hollywood’s Unhappiest Endings: Legends Never Die) he turned his attention to those that have occurred in the music industry resulting in this, his second book. Les lives with his son Tristan in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and splits his time between Winnipeg and Las Vegas,Nevada.

Dr. Ruth Simkin

Date: September 14, Tuesday

Time: 7:30pm

Location: In the Atrium of the McNally Robinson Booksellers, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.

Event: Reading & Signing The Jagged Years of Ruthie J. Winnipeg 1963

Cost: Free!

Eighteen year-old psychology student Ruthie J. is the bane of her traditional Jewish family. Briefly married, she drinks, swears, has casual sex and mixes with questionable characters, arguing incessantly with her father. When a bizarre car accident lands her in court, the confused teen is sent for testing and diagnosed with epilepsy – then considered a mental illness. Against her wishes, Ruthie’s family admits her to a posh Maryland mental hospital, Chestnut Lodge of I Never Promised You a Rose Garden fame, where she is put at the mercy of a sadistic psychiatrist. The Jagged Years of Ruthie J. is the story of the friendship and love of Ruthie’s fellow patients and the tale of how, with the help of a remarkable therapist, Ruthie J. managed to free herself, discover her true sexual orientation and persevere in her dream to become a physician. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Dr. Ruth Simkin practiced family medicine for several decades and subsequently became a specialist in palliative care. She has studied all over the world and is the author of medical articles on women’s health as well as Like an Orange on a Seder Plate, a feminist Passover Haggadah. Retired from medicine, she now lives and writes in Victoria, BC.

Date: September 14, Tuesday

Time: 7 – 8:30 pm

Location: Burns Family Classroom 218-100 Arthur Street

Event: An evening lecture on narrative voice with Joan Thomas

Cost: Free for Writers’ Guild Members, $10.00 for non-members

The Manitoba Writers’ Guild is pleased to present an evening lecture on narrative voice with Joan Thomas
Tuesday September 14, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM, Burns Family Classroom, 218-100 Arthur St.
This special event is free to Guild members, $10 for non-members

How do fiction writers choose between first and third person voice? And having picked a point of view and narrative voice, how do we negotiate its limits and exploit its possibilities? Joan Thomas will lecture on narrative voice and point of view in the MWG classroom. All fiction writers and editors are welcome.
Joan Thomas is the author of two novels, Reading by Lightning and Curiosity. Her 2008 novel, Reading by Lightning, won the Commonwealth Prize for best First Book (Canada and the Carribbean) and the First Novel Award. Her second novel, Curiosity, has just been published by McClelland and Stewart. Thomas has worked as a freelance writer, reviewer, and editor, and as Writing and Publishing consultant for the Manitoba Arts Council. She has been a frequent book reviewer for the Globe and Mail since 1993 and for two years wrote a biweekly feature review in the Globe. She was co-editor (with Heidi Harms) of Turn of the Story: Canadian Short Fiction on the Eve of the Millennium (House of Anansi Press, 1999).

Forging the Muse – A workshop with poet Chandra Mayor

Date: September 15, 22, 29, October 6, 13, 20, 27, November 3, 10, 17, 24, December 1.

Time: 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Location: Aqua Books, 274 Garry Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 1H3, Phone: 204-943-7555.

Event: A workshop for poets (beginning or intermediate)

Cost: $250 plus GST. Contact  or 943-7555 to register.

Notes: This workshop is appropriate for beginning or intermediate poets and is limited to 10 people. Bring a notebook and pen.

Does the Muse of Poetry come to you at night, streaming with the moon through your windows, the unseen hand guiding your pen as you fill page after page with (probably rhyming) verse of unspeakable beauty and profundity, while you, the passive vehicle for this marvel, surrender yourself up to the voices of Truth and Light?

Nope, me neither. `(And if that is indeed your poetic process, you’ll probably hate my course).

“Poetry is the way we give name to the nameless so that it can be thought,” said Audre Lorde. This 12 week course will help us understand how that happens – how each of us can transform images, ideas, and emotions into words that truly communicate in our writing. We will focus on the craft of poetry and of language (image and metaphor, place and point of view, voice, form poetry, line breaks, and how to give effective readings). We’ll learn how (and why) editing and workshopping is so important. We’ll explore personal mythologies, the world(s) of publishing, performativity, and whatever else seems interesting. We’ll play, and take risks, and create a community of writers – we won’t (and shouldn’t) always agree with each other, but we’ll each understand more about what we write, why we write, and how to get closer to the poems we really want to write. The course will include lots of reading, lots of discussion, and most importantly, lots of writing (and lots of feedback).

I don’t really believe in the notion of ‘the muse.’ But I do believe in inspiration, hard work, the creative urge, and learning the skills to express it. And I do believe, absolutely, that poetry can (and does) transform the world, and ourselves. Let’s light the fires and figure out how.

Chandra Mayor’s writing has appeared in several anthologies, including Interruptions: 30 Women Tell the Truth about MotherhoodBreathing Fire 2: Canada’s New Poets, and Post-Prairie. Her first book, August Witch: poems, was short-listed for four Manitoba book awards and won the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book. She received the 2004 John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Writer, and the following year her novel, Cherry, won the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. The title story from her most recent book, All the Pretty Girls (conundrum), was shortlisted for a 2008 CBC Literary Award,and the collection itself won a Lambda Award for Best Lesbian Fiction. Mayor lives in Winnipeg.


Date: September 26, Sunday

Time: 10 am – 3 pm

Location: Burns Family Classroom 218-100 Arthur Street

Event: Advanced Poetry Workshop

Cost: $75 or $125

Application & submission deadline September 10th
Ted Dyck will be leading an advanced poetics workshop on the major tools at a poet’s disposal (Verse, Figure, and Form) on Sunday September 26th. It will be based on work submitted by participants. More information and details of the workshop are available from Victor Enns at [email protected]
Cost $75 for members, $125 for non-members (includes a MWG membership)
Minimum number of participants:7, Maxiumum number of participants: 10
Selection process: First priority will be given to published writers, then unpublished writers on a first come first served basis. It is expected that this will be a multi-level workshop and all writers are encouraged to submit.
Method: All writers ill electronically submit five poems to a maximum of eight pages of new work. Poems for discussion will be selected by the facilitator. A syllabus (poems, summaries of concepts, writing exercises, and readings) will be circulated by email to all participants a week before the workshop. All poets will have their work discussed.
Registrations for the Advanced Poetics Workshop are now being accepted. Deadline for applications, which must include the submission of work, is September 10th.
All registrations and submissions should be made by email to [email protected] Fees, however, are to be paid by cheque to “The Manitoba Writers’ Guild” and mailed to the MWG, 218-100 Arthur Street, Winnipeg, MB, R3B 1H3.

Ted Dyck was dropped into the short-grass prairie within sight of the South Saskatchewan River breaks on, approximately, 1939, 09.03. He has studied at, graduated from, and taught at a number of colleges and universities. He has edited three anthologies of critical essays and published four collections of poetry and over 100 articles. He writes in a number of genres – poetry, fiction, essay – and operates a writing, editing, and workshopping serviced called WorDoctor. His other interests include – fly-fishing, cross-country skiikng, snooker, Bach and Gould, the classical guitar, cognac. Recently (2007-2009) he was writer-in-residence with the Festival of Words (Moose Jaw). Currently, he directs a “Writing for Your Life Program” for CMHA(SK). He lives, writes, fishes, etc. in or near Shaunavon SK. [Full bio & resume at]


The University of Winnipeg is offering a new course, taught by two award-winning writers: ENGL-3102(1)-001 Creative Writing Field Research (one credit hour)
Fall section: “Luring the Knock: Inviting Poems to Linger” with Chandra Mayor (Writers’ Collective Member)
Saturday Oct 16 & Saturday Oct 23 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Margaret Atwood says that inspiration knocks softly, and that if you don’t answer, she goes away. Ignore the knocking often enough, and she stops coming back. How can we better equip ourselves to hear that soft knocking? How can we learn to hear knocking as insistent hammering? Better yet, how can we wedge the door permanently open, inviting images and words and rhythms—poems—to walk freely in and out of our minds, pages, and even at home in our own kitchens?
Winter section: “Building the Story” with Jake MacDonald
Saturday Jan 8 & Saturday Jan 15, 2011 from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
“Building the Story” will focus on various approaches to writing a story, both fiction and non fiction. Students will study the many elements of story construction—creating the setting, introducing characters, the importance of description in immersing the reader in the world of the story, and the function of plot and dramatic action in revealing character.
Questions? call the English department Chair, Catherine Hunter, at 786-9294. For full information on the UW’s Creative Writing program, go to



We cannot guarantee any of the opportunities below! Please be careful and do your research. Quote: “Genius might be the ability to say a profound thing in a simple way.” Charles Bukowski



The Collective Consciousness is the journal of the Writers’ Collective and it is published four times a year. We are always seeking submissions by members of the Collective, in fact any interested writers can submit!

The next deadline is June 1, 2010. Other issues will have deadlines at the beginning of September and December.

Simply submit to [email protected]

NOTE: Okay, I can guarantee this one . . .


Local Call-to-Artists for Expressions of Interest

The Winnipeg Arts Council seeks an artist to create a literary-based fence for Millennium Library Park in downtown Winnipeg. The Park is undergoing a significant renovation, and will also be the site of a major public art project to mark the designation of Winnipeg as the Cultural Capital of Canada for 2010.

The artist must reside in, or in close proximity to, Winnipeg.
Budget: $90,000
Deadline for application: September 8, 2010

Interested artists must submit a complete application package to be considered. Please visit for full details including eligibility criteria, application requirements and to download the Call-to-Artists as well as site plans and images.


Short story contest

Want to see YOUR story published in Writers’ Forum?

Three great prizes every issue

1st £300 2nd £150 3rd £100

All types of story are welcome, be it crime, comedy, romance, thriller, literary, twist in the tail, horror, SF etc

Stories MUST be between 1000 and 3000 words

Entry fee is £6 or just £3 for subscribers.

If your story is shortlisted you will be notified and we will ask you to send a photo of yourself and a brief biography via email.

Optional feedback for just £5

Our judges Sue Moorcroft and Jan Jones can provide a page of personalised critique to help you improve your writing. The fee is just £5. You will receive feedback by email if you enter online or please include a stamped addressed envelope if you are entering by post.

To enter send an email with your story attached as a Word-compatible file (.doc or .docx or .rtf). The document must be set out on plain A4, with double line spacing and good margin widths. Please indent the first line of paragraphs using either a tab or paragraph formatting (not spaces). On a title page give your name, address, phone number, email address, story title and wordcount. The address to send your entry to is: [email protected]

Your entry will be forwarded to the judges as soon as all fees due have been paid and your subscriber status has been confirmed.

For more information go to:


Teachers’ Secrets Competition

Got a tall tale or a saucy secret?
Know some hot gossip or smooth moves?
Now is your chance to pass on details of your curricular exploits… Intrigued?
Then read on…
Now’s the time for all of you creative teachers out there to put pen to paper and tell us your teachers’ secrets.

All you have to do is write a poem or short story (max 250 words) about one of your secrets whether it’s in the classroom, playground, office, canteen or even the toilet!

The best entry will then be picked to win an Apple Ipad.


Tales from the Classroom
Teacher’s Pet
The Dreaded Head
Terrible Children
Top Secret Teacher Information
Dinner Hall Dilemmas
Playground Wars


Open to all teachers and school employees
One entry per person (no limit per school)
Free to enter
No restrictions on theme or style
Include your name and postal address

Closing Date: 30th September 2010.

How to Enter

Via Online Upload: You can upload your entry directly to us using our Online Upload page. Remember to fill in all fields. For this go to:

Via Email: You can email your entry to  including your name and address. Make sure you include ‘Teachers’ Secrets’ in the subject line.

Via Post: Write your poem or story on a sheet of paper, along with your name and address and mail it to
Teachers’ Secrets Competition,
Remus House,
PE2 9JX.




For more information about McNally Robinson Booksellers check out, 1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3M 2A6, Phone: 204-475-0483, Toll Free 1-800-561-1833.


To see the current list of Adult Programs at Winnipeg Public Library, please visit the address below:

Children’s programs:

The July/August library newsletter is available at

The Millennium Library is at 251 Donald Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 3P5, 204-986-6450.


For details on Aqua Books store events, go to Past events are at 274 Garry Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 1H3, Phone: 204-943-7555.


For more information on Literary Arts programs at The Banff Centre, check out:


A truly great mystery bookstore is Winnipeg’s Whodunit? Mystery Bookstore at 165 Lilac Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3M 2S1. Their telephone number is (204) 284-9100 or 1-800-468-421. Their website is at

Their hours are Mon-Thurs: 10 am to 5 pm, Fri: 10 am to 6 pm, Sat: 10 am to 5 pm and Sun: 12 pm to 4 pm.


Funding for Writers – this is an incomplete list of funding sources for writers, please double check dates and facts if you are interested.

Canada Council for the

Grants for Professional Writers Creative Writing – English: October 1; French language: April 1

Travel Grants for Professional Writers – Applicants are advised to submit their request three months ahead of time if they wish to have the results before their departure date.
Grants to Aboriginal Writers, Storytellers, and Publishers – June 1
Aboriginal Emerging Writers Residencies – June 1
Spoken Word and Storytelling Program- April 15
International Translation Grants – Any time; applications must be submitted before the translation has been completed according to the date in the contract with the translator.
Grants for Arts Promotion: Project Grants and Artists & Community Collaboration Program – March 15 and September 15

Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton
CBC Literary
Canada-Japan Literary
Governor General’s Literary Awards- Application deadlines vary,
Joseph S. Stauffer
Canada Council for the Arts Molson Prizes – December 1,

Manitoba Arts Council
Major Arts Grant – January 15
Writers’ Grants – (A, B, C), May 15 and September 15
Travel/ Professional Development Grant for Writers – Four weeks prior to project
Community Connections and Access Program – April 1 and October 1
Deep Bay Artists’ Residency in Riding Mountain National Park of Canada – December 15
Special Opportunities Grant – May 15 for projects beginning after June 30
Departures - December 15
Public Readings by Manitoba Writers- Ongoing
Manitoba/New Brunswick Creative Residency – January 15

Manitoba Arts Award for Distinction – December 15

Winnipeg Arts Council –

Individual Artist Grant Programs – A and B Grants, March 2 and September 7

Professional Development Grant Programs – no deadline



Quote: “Joan of Arc had style. Jesus had style.” Charles Bukowski


Good Day All!



Melissa Steele has been selected as the Winnipeg Public Library’s Writer-in-Residence for 2010-2011.

Starting October 1, 2010 and ending April 2011, Melissa will work with the public through individual consultations and workshops, in addition to allocating time to her own writing.

Melissa Steele won the John Hirsch Award for Most Promising Writer at the 1999 Manitoba Book Awards. She has taught Creative Writing at the University of Manitoba, acted as a mentor with the Manitoba Writers’ Guild and worked as a radio journalist. Her fiction has appeared in journals including Prairie Fire, Zygote, and City Magazine. She is the author of two story collections, Donut Shop Lovers and Beautiful Girl Thumb, both from Turnstone Press. Melissa is currently on the shortlist for the 2010/2011 On The Same Page community reading campaign. She lives in Winnipeg.

Established in 1985, the Library’s Writer-in-Residence program is designed to give new, emerging, and established writers a chance to have their manuscripts read and critiqued. Copies of manuscripts may be dropped off at any Winnipeg Public Library branch, emailed to [email protected] or mailed to Millennium Library, attention: Writer-in-Residence, Reader Services, 251 Donald Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3C 3P5. Writers should include a cover letter containing a brief description of their writing background and the specific feedback they need, as well as all contact information including an email address. Manuscripts will be accepted beginning October 1. The Writer-in-Residence service is free.

Manuscripts must follow strict submission guidelines: typed in 12-point font (prose: double-spaced, poetry: single-spaced), on one side of the page only. Prose submissions should not exceed 15 pages; poetry submissions should not exceed six poems.

The Writer-in-Residence program is co-sponsored by the Winnipeg Public Library Board, the Government of Manitoba, and Friends of the Winnipeg Public Library.


These authors come from all across the country and represent some of the best and brightest in Canada’s vibrant literary world. Dealing with an infinity of subjects the festival is bringing books and authors designed to appeal to readers of all persuasions.
About the Festival
In September each year, Winnipeg welcomes writers from Canada and around the world for a week of readings, lectures, interviews, conversations, book launches, and other events. That week of literary feasting—which reaches out into the rural areas of the province as well—is THIN AIR, the Winnipeg International Writers Festival. With programming for adults and children, in English and French, THIN AIR is an infusion of energy into the thriving literary culture of this city.
For more information please contact Michael Van Rooy, Publicist, [email protected] or contact the THIN AIR office at [email protected] or 927-7323


Prairie Fire Writers Receive Six Nominations at Western Magazine Awards

Prairie Fire, Manitoba’s magazine of Canadian writing, learned recently that writers published in its pages in 2009 have been shortlisted in a number of categories at the annual Western Magazine Awards.

Stephen Gauer (Toronto) has been shortlisted in the Fiction category for his story, “Hold Me Now” (30,2).

Two writers have been shortlisted in the Human Experience category: Jane Wells (Toronto) for “Waking in the Valley of the Shadow” (30,2) and Laurie Block (Brandon) for “God of the Father” (30,2).

Two writers have been shortlisted in the category of Gold Award Best Article – Manitoba. Laurie Block (Brandon) earned two nominations, one for “God of the Father” (30,2) and the other for “Buenos Aires Cats” (29,4). Mary Horodyski (Winnipeg) has been shortlisted for “The Geography of Ambiguity” (30,2).

In addition, Prairie Fire is one of four magazines shortlisted in the category of Magazine of the Year – Manitoba.

Winners will be announced in Vancouver on October 15, 2010.

Ms Horodyski’s essay won the Silver Award in the Personal Journalism category at the National Magazine Awards held earlier this year in Toronto. Mr. Block is a past winner in the category of Gold Award Best Article – Manitoba.

For more information: Andris Taskans, Editor; Janine Tschuncky, Managing Editor


Friends of the Winnipeg Public Library

Are gathering gently used books, CDs, DVDs and old records for the Friends’ Annual Used Book Sale.

Your donations are appreciated year-round. You can drop them off at any Winnipeg Library Branch. Just clearly mark them “FRIENDS.”

Pick up can be arranged for a large number of books by calling 488-3217.

Unfortunately we do not need old computer manuals, encyclopedias and textbooks.

And Remember that the 2010 Book Sale is October 23 and 24 at Grant Park High School!



“Show me a man who lives alone and has a perpetually clean kitchen, and 8 times out of 9 I’ll show you a man with detestable spiritual qualities.” Charles Bukowski



Michael Van Rooy
Program Coordinator
The Writers’ Collective
University of Winnipeg
4th Floor Library
515 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3B 2E9
(204) 786-9468.

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The virtual elves work tirelessly in the website boiler room to keep all of its innards working smoothly and happily, and to ensure that fresh new items continue appear to amaze and amuse members and followers of The Writers' Collective of Manitoba.

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