Writerly News for May 6, 2011

writerly writerlies from our very own Kosmic Karen Energy Emilson:

first i quote thee….”"When something can be read without effort, great effort has gone into its writing.” ~Enrique Jardiel Poncela


Annual General Meeting

The Writers’ Collective

Sunday May 15, 2011
Winnipeg Millennium Library

Book Fair in Foyer – 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
AGM in the Buchwald Room – 3:30 p.m.

If you’d like to have your books on display for sale, please let us know as soon as possible so we can be sure to have enough tables set up.

And if you plan to attend the AGM, please RSVP so we know how many people to expect.

I’ll be making my homemade Chocolate-Caramel-Pecan cupcakes, a recipe I’ve perfected after many batches of
ass-widening experimentation and this is a treat you don’t want to miss!

We promise the meeting won’t be too long and this is your chance to talk to the Board, offer ideas and feedback.

For  more information or to RSVP, please email: or call 


Story as a Function of Desire and Choice
A Fiction Workshop with Dave Margoshes
Saturday May 7, 2011
11:00 am to 6:00 pm
Aqua Books
Cost: $75 plus GST.
Contact  or 943-7555 to register.
Notes: The workshop is limited to 12 people. Bring a notebook and pen.
A talk and hands-on workshop focusing on the role of desire in fiction. “Desire,” in this context, is not a code word for sexuality, but rather an indication of what the characters in a story, primarily the main character or characters, want: what do they want, what’s standing in the way, how will they go about getting it? When you’ve figured that out, your story’s half done.
Dave Margoshes is a Saskatoon-area poet and fiction writer whose stories and poems are widely published in literary magazines and anthologies throughout North America, including six times in the Best Canadian Stories volumes. In 2009, he was a finalist for the Journey Prize. His Bix’s Trumpet and Other Stories was named Book of the Year at the 2007 Saskatchewan Book Awards. He published two new books of poetry in the last two years: The Horse Knows the Way (BuschekBooks, 2009) and Dimensions of an Orchard (Black Moss Press, 2010), which won the Anne Szumigalski Poetry Prize at the 2010 Saskatchewan Book Awards. He’s given numerous workshops and taught creative writing in a number of settings, for writers at varying levels of experience. He was writer in residence in Winnipeg in 1995-96.


Dimensions of a Reading

Featuring Barb Schott, Jennifer Still & Dave Margoshes
Friday, May 6, 2011
7:00 p.m. Aqua Books
Cost: FREE
Please join Aqua in welcoming Saskatchewan-based writer Dave Margoshes to Winnipeg. He’ll be joined by former Saskatchewarian Jennifer Still and Barb Schott, who recently won the Winston Collins/ Descant Prize for Best Canadian Poem for her poem Thin Ice.
Prairie Fire Press:
Speaking Volumes Fundraising Benefit
Saturday May 7, 2011
Cocktails at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., and readings at 8 p.m.
Fort Gibraltar in St. Boniface
Tickets are $65
(a tax receipt will be issued for a portion of the ticket price).
Prairie Fire, one of Canada’s oldest and finest literary magazines, is celebrating  32 years of publishing with this special benefit  event featuring award-winning writers Ariel Gordon and Jake MacDonald. The event will raise funds for Prairie Fire’s work practicum program, through which every year we welcome students into our office for hands-on internships that run anywhere from two weeks to seven months.
Tickets are available through McNally Robinson Booksellers, Aqua Books, from Prairie Fire’s board members, and from Prairie Fire Press, 423-100 Arthur Street, phone . For more info:

Spring Literary Festival

May 9 – 13, 2011
Great Hall, Canadian Mennonite University
All evening events begin at 7:00 p.m.

May 9th – Charlene Diehl, Ian Ross, Deborah Schnitzer
May 10th – Di Brant, Diane Riedger, Joanne Epp &
Sarah Klassen
May 11th – Marina Endicott, Christina Penner, Lloyd Ratzlaff
May 13th – Warren Cariou

All events are open to the public. For more information, go to: CMU

Translating Fact to Fiction in Bandit:
A Portrait of Ken Leishman

by author Ken Tefs
Tuesday May 10, 2011
12:00 p.m.
Millennium Library
Author Wayne Tefs will talk about translating fact to fiction, and introduce his newest novel, Bandit: A Portrait of Ken Leishman. The official book launch will take place on Wednesday, May 12 at 8:00 pm at McNally Robinson Booksellers, Grant Park.
In 1966, Ken Leishman stepped onto the Winnipeg Airport tarmac and into the pages of Canadian history as the mastermind behind the country’s largest gold theft. By then, Leishman had already gained Dillingeresque notoriety as a gentlemanly bank robber when he brazenly— and politely—held up a bank in Toronto. Master storyteller Wayne Tefs imagines what happened behind the “Flying Bandit” headlines, intermingling the full-on action of the gold heist with the story of a smart but troubled kid growing up in a stifling small prairie town.

Raised by ultra-strict grandparents, young Ken thrived on Bowery Boys, Gary Cooper and James Cagney movies. As a married man and father of seven, Tefs’ Leishman dreams of greatness, and a good life for his family free from poverty and worry. Even as he plots the greatest caper in Canadian history, he is guilt ridden and conflicted about his wife’s tears and his failed promises to go straight.

Here, Tefs presents a fictionalized version of a tremendous true story. Readers will be hard-pressed to judge the life of this “gentleman bandit” and Canadian folk hero who dared to fly far out of bounds.
Award-winning author and editor Wayne Tefs has written nine works of fiction and one memoir. Moon Lake (2000) won the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction and Be Wolf: A True Account of the Survival of Reinhold Kaletsch (2007) was named the McNally Robinson Book of the Year. Tefs lives in Winnipeg with his wife and son.

Soapbox Open Mic: Storytelling Edition!

Featuring W-i-R Keith Cadieux
Thursday May 12, 2011
7:00  p.m. at Aqua Books
Cost: FREE
With special guest singer-songwriter Lindsey White.
Tell us the story behind your story! In the spirit of the International Storytelling festival, Aqua Books’ W-i-R Keith Cadieux would like to encourage poets, writers and songwriters to come to this special Open Mic event.

Share any piece of work you’d like, but tell us the story behind it! Where did the idea come from? Any interesting anecdotes about how it was produced? Has it taken you somewhere interesting? All art has a story, so share yours with us.

Keith Cadieux lives and writes in Winnipeg, where he grew up. His first published work was the novella Gaze which was released by Quattro Books in 2010. He holds a Master’s degree in Creative Writing from the University of Manitoba where he also received the Robert Kroetsch Creative MA Thesis Prize. Keith teaches English at the University of Winnipeg and will be working on a new collection of short stories while serving as Aqua Books’ Writer in Residence from May to August, 2011.

Barbara Nickel & Lindsey Childs

Thursday May 12, 2011
8:00 p.m. at Aqua Books
Cost: FREE!
Please join Aqua in welcoming BC writer Barbara Nickel to Winnipeg. She’ll be joined by Lindsey Childs, who recently won the Winnipeg Free Press/Writers Collective Poetry Contest for her poem “Predator.”
Lindsey Childs has studied writing at The University of Winnipeg and at Canadian Mennonite University where she took Barbara Nickel’s poetry class. Lindsey has published in Juice and her poem, “Predator”, which recently tied for first place in the Winnipeg Free Press/Writers Collective Poetry Contest, will soon appear in The Collective Consciousness. Lindsey is a current member of the Board of Directors for both Prairie Fire Magazine and The Writers Collective of Manitoba. Lindsey is currently looking for a publisher for a poetry chapbook called Fractured and a novel titled Avery.
Barbara Nickel’s second collection of poetry, Domain (House of Anansi), was listed in Quill & Quire’s Best Books of 2007. Her previous collection of poetry, The Gladys Elegies, won the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Her work has appeared in numerous literary magazines and anthologies, including Notre Dame Review, Prairie Schooner, Poetry Ireland Review, The Malahat Review, The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry, and The Walrus, and she is a winner of The Malahat Review Long Poem Prize. Barbara is also an award-winning author of books for children; her novel Hannah Waters and the Daughter of Johann Sebastian Bach was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award and won the B.C. Book Prize. A new picture book in verse is forthcoming in 2013. She lives and writes in Yarrow, B.C.


Wolseley’s Arts Festival
May 13 & 14, 2011
R.A. Steen Community Centre
980 Palmerston Avenue
Inviting all artists in our community, amateur and professional, young and old, to join us. All forms of artistic expression are desired. First come, first accepted.
To join the festival or volunteer contact Jim at 775-1939 or: 

Elementary, My Dear Writers

Demystifying the Publishing Process
Saturday May 14, 2011
Red River College Princess St. Campus
• Have you ever thought about writing a book?
• Have you written a book that you would like to publish?
• Have you submitted your manuscript to publishers but they have so far failed to recognize your brilliance?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, Elementary, My Dear Writers: Demystifying the Publishing Process is for you. Learn how to turn your idea into your proudly displayed book. This conference is ideal for new and established writers, editors, and publishers.
Keynote Speaker:  Mary-Ann Kirkby, author of
I Am Hutterite
Panel Presentations:
•    Choosing the Process: Traditional and Self-Publishing
•    The Beginning: Researching the Market, Writing,
and Editing
•    The Next Steps: Printing, Promoting, and Distributing
Brought to you by the Manitoba Editors’ Association, in partnership with the Association of Manitoba Book Publishers, the Manitoba Writers’ Guild, the Society for Technical Communication (Manitoba), and the Editors’ Association of Canada (Prairie Provinces Branch).

For more info, visit: http://www.manitobaeditors.ca/publishing.htm

Cree Stories

An Evening with Tomson Highway, Emma LaRocque, Neal McLeod & Duncan Mercredi
Thursday May 19, 2011
7:30 p.m. at Aqua Books
Cost: FREE!
Please join the Centre for Creative Writing & Oral Culture at Aqua Books as four of Canada’s best-loved Aboriginal writers celebrate the Cree imagination in story, drama and poetry.
Tomson Highway is an internationally renowned Cree dramatist, novelist and cabaret performer who is currently teaching a course on Cree Literature at the University of Manitoba.
Emma LaRoque is an award-winning Cree-Métis poet, nonfiction writer and professor based in the University of Manitoba’s Department of Native Studies.
Neal McLeod is an acclaimed poet, theorist, painter, curator, filmmaker, and professor of Native Studies at Trent University. He was raised on the James Smith Cree Nation in Saskatchewan.
Duncan Mercredi is a celebrated Cree poet and storyteller from Grand Rapids, Manitoba, who has brilliantly documented life both in the bush and on the streets of Winnipeg.

Anthology Reading Series

Sandra Birdsell with Valerie Reed & Sarah Klassen
Wednesday May 25, 2011
7:00 p.m. at Aqua Books
Cost: FREE!
Aqua Books presents the Anthology Reading Series in conjunction with the Manitoba Writers’ Guild.
The 2011 edition of the series will celebrate the upcoming 30th anniversary of the MWG and will bring some of the writers who helped found the organization to the stage at Winnipeg’s Cultural City Hall.
Valerie Reed was a member of the Riverview Writers Group whose members included Victor Enns, Armin Wiebe, Sandra Birdsell, Andris Taskans, Kate Bitney, and Smaro Kamboureli; this group dreamt up the MWG on Victor Enns’ farm in 1981/82. Reed’s When the Dogs Bark at Night, published in 1980, was the first chapbook Turnstone Press ever published. More recently, she published a long poem in A/Cross Sections: New Manitoba Writing, the 25th anniversary anthology put out by the MWG in 2007. She has three degrees and three sons and lives in Winnipeg.
Sarah Klassen is a former English teacher now writing, editing and reading in Winnipeg. She writed both poetry and fiction and also enjoys editing and mentoring in the writing community. Her latest publications are A Feast of Longing (stories) and A Curious Beatitude (poetry). Her work has, in 2010, appeared in the anthologies  Pith & Wry (ed. Susan McMaster) and Tonguescrews and Testimonies (ed. Kirsten Beachy).
Sandra Birdsell, among Canada’s finest fiction writers, was born in Manitoba, and lived for many years in Winnipeg. She is the author of eight works of fiction that have been nominated for the Giller Prize and longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Birdsell’s most recent novel, Waiting for Joe (Random House, 2010) was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction. She lives in Regina.


Win the Geist Erasure Trophy
Write poetry with your eraser!

Deadline: July 1, 2011
How it works:
  1. Copy the passage from Susanna Moodie’s “Roughing It in the Bush,” into your word processor. This is your Erasure Text.
  2. Erase! The leftover words and letters will form your poem. (Do this any way you like.) TO GET THE TEXT, CLICK HERE
  3. The only rule is do not change the order of words or letters. You can combine left over words and letters how ever you see fit, just as long as they appear in the same order as in the original text.
  4. Shape the text however you like. Or, leave it as is. Add punctuation and capital ization if the spirit moves you.
  5. Print your entry and send it to us. There is no word limit.
For a great exam ple of an erasure poem, see “Readme Doc” by Gregory Betts, pub lished in Geist 77.
First Prize: Geist Erasure Trophy and $500
Second Prize: $150
Third Prize: $100
Honourable Mentions: Swell Geist gifts
All winning entries will be published in Geist
and at geist.com.
More than one prize per category may be awarded.
How to Submit:
Send your poem, with a cover letter and $20 entry fee (includes a one-year sub scription to Geist), to:
Geist Erasure Contest
#210  —  111 West Hastings St.,Vancouver BC  V6B 1H4


Symposium on Manitoba Writing

May 10-12, 2012
On the campus of Canadian Mennonite University
Organized by the Manitoba Writers’ Guild
Keynote Speakers: Marta Dvorak, E. F. (Ted) Dyck, Dick Harrison, Aritha Van Herk
In celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild (MWG), you are invited to take part in a Symposium on Manitoba Writing in spring 2012. A welcome will be extended to everyone – including but not limited to writers, critics, teachers, readers, historians, booksellers, scholars, journalists, students, and creative artists in other genres.
In addition to the presentation of papers described below, there will be readings, social events, celebrations, discussion panels, and invited speakers on wide-ranging topics. The conference will appeal to a variety of people, and we ask that respondents keep that in mind when preparing proposals. Proposals on all aspects of Manitoba writing are sought. The following list is meant to be suggestive only. Topics or methods of your own devising are warmly welcomed.
  • Explorations of genre, period, gender, ethnicity, region, mode, style
  • Histories of taste, inter-arts collaboration, non-English writing
  • Investigations of memoirs, theatre, romances, letters, fiction, radio and television
  • productions, journalism, poetry, science fiction, belles lettres, literary criticism
  • Examinations of the role of teachers, readers, religious organizations, booksellers,
  • librarians, writers’ organizations, digital technology and writing
  • Analyses of constituencies, cultural centralization, national involvements, relationships with other literary groups and institutions
Please submit proposals (approximately 250-500 words plus a one-paragraph bio/bibliography) by e-mail or regular mail to the Symposium Organizing Committee, Manitoba Writers’ Guild, 218-100 Arthur Street, Winnipeg MB R3B 1H3. No e-mail attachments, please.
Decisions about the proposals will be communicated by January 31, 2012. Please note that the proceedings may be recorded; more information will be forthcoming. The finished papers should be 15-20 minutes in length.
For more information about the Symposium, contact.
Organizing Committee: Dennis Cooley (chair), Jonathan Ball, Neil Besner, Gloe Cormie, Victor Enns,
Jan Horner, Reinhold Kramer, Maeengan Linklater, Chris Rutkowski, Sue Sorensen, Armin Wiebe.

And that’s it for now! Next newsletter will be out in two weeks.


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