The 2016 Cox & Palmer Island Literary Awards Shortlist

The PEI Writers’ Guild is thrilled to announce the shortlist for the 29th Cox & Palmer Island Literary Awards. The prize winners will be revealed at the gala awards ceremonies on Saturday, May 7th. Starting at 1:30pm at The Guild (111 Queen Street, Charlottetown), the afternoon celebration will present the Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty Creative Writing Awards for Young People. The awards will be hosted by award-winning author, Patti Larsen.  Short-listed writers for the Young People’s Awards categories are as follows:

  • Early Elementary: Alyson Barrett, Rami Kaboush, Finn Galaise
  • Late Elementary: Bella Galaise, Seth Dockendorff, Dana Carmicheal, Michaela M. Doucette, Susan Wu, Ashlyn Gamester, Lily Saucier, Lindsay Nelson, Isobel Pamela Beardsley.
  • Junior High: Berry Genge, Chloe Dockendorff, Vivian Huang, Breanna Mayne, Fiona Clancey, Isabel Wagner, Payton Alexander, Grace Lloyd, Enrique Aburto Arreguin, Noelle Pettipas.
  • Senior High: Lilly Hickox, Caitlin Atkinson, Lauren Constable, Rose Henbest, Tarini Fernando, Joseph Simmonds, D. Sebastien Anchikoski.


Karen Mair from CBC’s Mainstreet will host the evening awards gala at 7:00 pm at The Mack (128 Great George Street, Charlottetown). The awards will be presented alongside the PEI Book Awards at the penultimate event of Reading Town PEI, which takes place April 30-May 8. The ceremony will feature performances by cast members of the Charlottetown Festival. Short-listed writers for adult categories are as follows:

  • L.M. Montgomery* PEI Writing for Children Award: Shani Gillespie, Amanda Morrison, Margo Connors, Jason Rogerson.
  • Milton Acorn Poetry Award: Tanya Nicolle MacCallum, Charity Becker, Rick Sparkes.
  • Maritime Electric Short Story Award: Suzanne Mills, Tanya Nicole MacCallum, Dave Stewart, Ann Winslow.
  • The Guild Creative Non-Fiction Award: Sophia Ball, Helena Sullivan, Suzanne Mills, Kelly Kieran Sampson, Amanda Morrison.

*L.M. Montgomery is a trademark of the Heirs of L.M. Montgomery Inc.

Judges for this year’s adult Cox & Palmer Island Literary Award categories were Kate Inglis (Nova Scotia), Stephanie Domet (Nova Scotia), William Kowalski (Nova Scotia) and Jamie Forsythe (Nova Scotia). Judges for the Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty Young People’s Awards were Lydia Banks, Connor Kelly and Justin Clow.

Cash prizes are generously donated by Island governments, businesses, organizations, and individuals.

Writing Events for April

April 4, UPEI Creative Writing Master Class Reading, Casa Mia Cafe, 7 p.m.: Members of the UPEI Creative Writing Master Class will read excerpts from their work during this evening filled with writers from a variety of genres and interests. Arrive early to order coffee and dessert to enjoy while you listen. The reading forms part of the UPEI Winter’s Tales reading series. For more information, contact the UPEI English Department at (902) 566-0389 or email

April 9, Poet Laureate Deirdre Kessler at Confederation Centre Public Library, 10:30 a.m.: PEI Poet Laureate Deirdre Kessler will visit the children’s library, where she will share and create poetry. The event forms part of activities celebrating Poetry Month in April.

April 14, Memory Isle: Poems by Ferne Peake Book Launch, Carriage House of Beaconsfield Historic House, 11:30 a.m. Ferne Peake was recognized as one of the Island’s foremost poets from the ‘60s in the 1967 centennial book Island Prose and Poetry: An Anthology, edited by Allan Graham. Peake died in 1968 and left a large volume of unpublished work. From this collection, daughter Pamela (Peake) Logan selected and arranged poetry for Memory Isle. The book includes poems that touch on nature, affairs of the heart, and both the funny and difficult aspects of life. Former lieutenant-governor Marion Reid will serve as launch MC, with Graham and Logan as featured speakers.

April 14, Open Mic Featuring Steven Mayoff, Baha’i Centre, 7 p.m.: Steven Mayoff is the featured reader at this month’s P.E.I. Writers’ Guild open mic. Mayoff, who has made western P.E.I. home since 2001, is a full-time writer who has created works of poetry, fiction, and drama. His story collection “Fatted Calf Blues” received a P.E.I. Book Award, was shortlisted for a ReLit Award, and made the top five in CBC’s Cross-Country Bookshelf. Open mic readers can sign up at 7 p.m. to read for a maximum of five minutes. The open mic will run until 8 p.m., with Mayoff’s reading to follow.

Book Launch by Margaret Westlie

Island author, An Irregular Marriage Margaret Westlie will launch An Irregular Marriage Saturday, Mar. 26, 2 p.m., at the Confederation Centre Public Library.

In the Isle of Skye, Scotland, 1803: Annie MacPhail is 18 years old and on her own. She has defied her parents and refused to follow them to Prince Edward Island. She is waiting for her sweetheart, Alistair, to marry her—but he is nowhere to be found. She has no home.  Follow Annie and Alistair on their journey to Prince Edward Island after a very irregular marriage.

Writing Events for March

Upcoming Events

March 10, Open Mic & Book Launch, Haviland Club, 7 p.m.: Island author Bruce McCallum will launch his crime fiction novel, Death in the Doach Woods, at the P.E.I. Writers’ Guild open mic. During the launch, McCallum will read excerpts, and son Fraser McCallum will play some of his original songs. People who wish to read their own poetry or prose during the open mic portion can sign up at 7 p.m. The open mic series will return to the Baha’i Centre, 20 Lapthorne Ave., on Thursday, April 13.

March 15, Michelle Butler Hallett at Winter’s Tales, Dawson Lounge, UPEI Main Building, 7:30 p.m.: Newfoundland novelist, short story writer, and playwright Michelle Butler Hallett will give a public reading as part of the Winter’s Tales series. Butler Hallett’s new novel is set in England in 1593, and focuses on Christopher Marlowe, the greatest English playwright of his era and a major influence on Shakespeare. The novel explores faith, duty, love, and politics, and the difficult choices Marlowe and all of us face. The reading will include refreshments, and a reception and book-signing will follow. The event is sponsored by the UPEI Faculty of Arts and the Canada Council for the Arts.

March 15, Deadline for Island Poems 2: Poets who wish to take part in Island Poems 2 should submit by March 15. Island Poems 2 asks artists to interpret poems written especially for an exhibition that will open at the small town Market Gallery in late April, during National Poetry Month. Writers will submit short poems based on specific criterion, and a jury will select a number to serve as a starting point for the artists. Poets should contact the P.E.I. Writers’ Guild at for submission details, and visual artists should contact to indicate their intention to submit. March 15 is the deadline for both poems and artist intentions. The event is presented by the Peake Street Collective, this town is small, and the P.E.I. Writers’ Guild.

Used Book Sale at the Robertson Library

Hey there, all you voracious readers:

BOOK SALE MARCH 2016 PDF CONVERSIONThe Robertson Library and the UPEI English Society are holding a used book sale on Friday, March 4th from noon until 6 pm, and again on Saturday, March 5th, 10am to 3pm in Room 302/303 in the upper level of the Robertson Library.

They’re also holding a draw for signed copies of creative books from a number of the UPEI English department faculty. All the draw money will be donated to the PEI Literacy Alliance.

For more detail, visit their website.

Island Poems 2

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It has been five years since Island Poems. Time to try it again with a twist! Here is the information on “Island Poems 2.”

The Peake Street Collective, this town is small, and the PEI Writers’ Guild are happy to announce they will once again join forces to present a unique exhibition celebrating poetry and visual art. Island Poems 2 – a second iteration of an exhibition which asks artists to interpret poems written especially for the exhibition – will open at the small town market gallery in late April.

Writers will submit short poems based on specific criterion and a jury will select a number of poems which will act as a starting point for participating visual artists. Each poem will thus be interpreted by multiple artists – a visual retelling which should prove interesting for poet and artists, and for those visiting the small town market gallery.

Poets interested in submitting poems should contact the PEI Writers’ Guild at with “Island Poems 2” in the subject line in order to receive submission details.

Visual artists interested in participating should contact to indicate their intention to submit.

The deadline for both finished poems and artist intentions is March 15th. Artists will receive one of the selected poems on March 19th and have until the week of April 18th to complete their response.

To participate as a writer, you need only have an ‘Island’ connection and Peake Street will be welcoming new members for this show so please spread the word to both writers and artists that you know!

We hope to hear from you soon,
Yvette Doucette (For PEI Writers’ Guild)
Donnalee Downe
Sandi Hartling

*see island poems 2011
New Work / New Words / New ProcessPEI Writers’ Guild, Peake Street Studios and this town is small presents: ISLAND POEMS: A Collaborative Art Project at THISTOWNISSMALL.COM

Book Launch and Open Mic at the Haviland

Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series

Murder Mystery at the Haviland

Bruce McCallum of Hazelgrove is best known for his writings in the forestry and bioenergy fields, but he has now ventured into crime fiction. He will launch his new book, Death in the Doach Woods, at the Haviland Club on Thursday, March 10 at 7 PM.JPEG FRONT COVER

This event is part of the PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series.

McCallum’s story is about a couple from PEI who travel to the south of Scotland for an extended vacation. While hiking high up in the Doach Woods, they come across a dead man they happen to know. Derek, the nosy Canadian, and his wife, Kirstie, get caught up in trying to solve the murder. But as the story nears its climax, the hunters realize they have become the hunted. The characters in Death in the Doach Woods speak in the rich Scots dialect of Dumfries and Galloway.

Bruce McCallum will read excerpts from Death in the Doach Woods. And singer-song-writer, Fraser McCallum, definitely a relation, will play some of his original songs.

People who wish to read their own poetry or prose in the Open Mic portion of the evening can sign up at 7 PM.

The Open Mic Series will return to the Baha’i Centre, 20 Lapthorn Ave on Thursday, April 13.