Open Mic at Receiver Coffee, Featuring Patti Larsen

This Thursday, September 8th, the  PEI Writers’ Guild open mic will host Patti Larsen as its featured reader. Oh, and guess what? We’ve switched locations! We’re now holding our open mic at Receiver Coffee at 128 Richmond Street!  The event kicks off at 7 pm.

There are 10 spots available for the open mic, and we ask you keep your piece, either poetry or prose, to no longer than three to five minutes. A sign-up form will be available at the event.

Patti Larsen

Patti Larsen is an award-winning middle-grade and young-adult Island author with a passion for the paranormal. But that sounds so freaking formal, doesn’t it? She’s a storyteller who hears teenager’s voices so loud she has to write them down. She loves roller derby even though it doesn’t love her. She’s dabbled in everything from improv theater to film making and writing TV shows, singing in an all-girl band to running her own hair salon.

But always, always, writing books calls her back home. She’s had her sights set on world literary domination for a while now, and a simple search on Barnes and Noble proves she has done just that. With 75 titles for sale, Patti is one of the most prolific writers operating on PEI today.

You Can Start Anywhere – a Workshop with Isabel Huggan

Howdy folks! We still have room for more participants in our exciting upcoming writing workshop with award-winning authour, Isabel Huggan. Running August 20th, You Can Start Anywhere promises to be a fun and informative session which will help you get that new writing project off the ground.

Check out our workshop page for more details:

We hope to see you there!

A Workshop in How to Get Published with Cynthia Good

Have you started or completed a manuscript and you’re not sure what your next steps should be?

cynthia-goodCynthia Good is a former publisher of Penguin Books Canada, and currently Director of Student and Industry Initiatives for the Creative Book Publishing Program at Humber College in Toronto. She will give a workshop in Charlottetown, “How to Get Published: an Insider’s Guide,” on Saturday, July 16, 10:00­-12:00, in the Irish Benevolent Society Hall on North River Road.

The cost of the workshop is $25, or $20 for students, seniors, and members of the PEI Writers’ Guild. Pre­-registration is optional, but registering will ensure we order enough snacks. Please see our registration form: All are welcome.

The workshop is cosponsored by the UPEI Faculty of Arts, the Humber College School of Creative and Performing Arts, and the PEI Writers’ Guild.

Beloved Franklin Author to Appear at PEIWG and Reading Town PEI Event

The list of Paulette Bourgeois’s accomplishments is much too long for short form print: she’s received the Order of Canada, sold 60 million copies of her famed Franklin series of books, had her books translated into 38 languages and adapted into a TV series, and written as a national magazine columnist and screenwriter. She’s also a summer resident of PEI.

This summer, you have the chance to hear more about her life before, during and after Franklin the Turtle. Come hear how Paulette’s first Franklin manuscript was rejected by 6 publishers before Kids Can Press finally took a chance on her. 60 million copies later, the Franklin series is a triumphant success in Canada and across the world. CBC Radio host Matt Rainnie will get personal with Bourgeois as part of an interview and chat.

The event will take place Thursday, July 28, at 7 p.m. at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery. Admission is by donation, with all proceeds supporting the Reading Town PEI Festival and the PEI Writers’ Guild.
 For more information on Paulette, visit

You Can Start Anywhere – A Workshop With Isabel Huggan

The PEI Writers’ Guild is pleased to sponsor a day-long writing workshop hosted by the renowned author and writing instructor, Isabel Huggan. The workshop is tailored to writers of prose – fiction or non-fiction – but can also be useful for poets. In other words, it is open to everyone who likes to write and who wants to be refreshed or challenged to find new ways of exploring the creative process.

Isabel Huggan

All that is required is to bring a pen or pencil and paper (please leave your laptop behind), and ONE SMALL OBJECT that has some meaning for you, its value more sentimental or nostalgic than monetary (if you are away from home, you can substitute a sea shell for the real thing and still take part).

Come ready to have fun as well as to work hard, and to share the joys of writing with others. At the end of the day you’ll have something to show for the hours you’ve spent and, with any luck, it will be a piece of writing that will act as a catalyst for new work.

At some point in the day when you need a break to rest your aching wrists, Isabel will read from a short story titled Starting With the Chair, one of three pieces of fiction that end her memoir Belonging: Home Away From Home, just as a way of underlining her belief that, indeed, if you want to tell a story – true or not-true – you really can start anywhere.

Please see Isabel Huggan’s short bio below for information on her distinguished writing, publishing and teaching career.

The workshop will take place on Saturday, August 20, 2016 from 9 am to 5 pm at the Haviland Club in Charlottetown (corner of Water and Haviland).

The cost of this all-day workshop is $75 to members of the PEI Writers’ Guild and $85 to non-members.

Snacks and beverages will be provided. People can bring a bag lunch or go out to eat between 12 and 1 pm.

If you wish to attend the workshop, please register and pay in advance by cheque or money order.  To register, please email

ISABEL HUGGAN is a Canadian writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry who, by circumstance, has found herself living in the south of France.  Her travels and their consequence form the basis of her memoir BELONGING: HOME AWAY FROM HOME, winner of the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-fiction in 2004. She has been internationally acclaimed for her first two collections of short stories, the award-winning THE ELIZABETH STORIES and YOU NEVER KNOW.  More recently, she has been writing and publishing poetry and essays in Canadian journals, notably in THE NEW QUARTERLY. 

She has taught creative writing for over 40 years, across Canada and abroad: France, Switzerland, Kenya, Australia and the Philippines. As well as being a private manuscript consultant, she has been an instructor with the Humber School of Writers since 1998, both for the writing workshops and in the correspondence program.  Although she is well acquainted with Nova Scotia, this will be her first time visiting Prince Edward Island.

Holding on to Mamie by Elizabeth Murray — a Memoir of Her Mother’s Dementia

Elizabeth Murray will be visiting Confederation Centre Public Library, Tuesday, July 5, 6:30 p.m. to talk about her new book, Holding on to Mamie

Murray’s book is a daughter’s memoir about her mother’s battle with dementia and the devastating impact the illness had on their once close relationship. During her cognitive decline, Mamie wrote a multitude of notes to help her understand what was happening to and around her. The notes evidence the anger and paranoia that are often symptomatic of dementia and document her sudden mistrust of her daughter. Some of the notes form a parallel narrative to Elizabeth’s story, offering a fresh perspective on this debilitating disease. Holding on to Mamie provides unique insight into the inner turmoil of a woman living with dementia as well as the fears and frustrations of her daughter, who was also her primary caregiver.

Mamie 2

Writing Events for June

June 7, Celebration of Life for Susan Buchanan, Baha’i Centre, 1:30 p.m.: This celebration will mark the writing life of Susan Buchanan, who passed away March 19. Susan was a strong voice in the Island’s literary community, a valued member of the TWiG writers’ group, a frequent winner of the Island Literary Awards, a teacher of creative writing at UPEI Seniors’ College, and the brainchild behind Women Write the Day! Come to celebrate her work and share your memories.

June 9, PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic, Baha’i Centre, 7 p.m.: Fantasy fiction author Peggy Hogan is this month’s featured reader. Hogan’s manuscript For a Song won second place in the adult fiction category of the Atlantic Writing Competition, and the work was then published in 2014. Her most recent book, Milo’s Burden, was published in March. During the open mic, the first ten writers who sign up (by 7 p.m.) may read their prose and/or poetry for a maximum of five minutes.

June 11, PEI Writers’ Guild AGM and Sociable, Next Door (Merchantman), 3-6 p.m.: Members and non-members alike are invited to this annual general meeting and social event. The meeting will run from 3-4:30 p.m., with a sociable featuring an open mic and prizes to follow. Come learn more about the guild and have your say on its priorities and projects.

June 11, Shopping the Bookmark, Confederation Court Mall, 9-5:30 p.m.: Reading Town P.E.I. encourages Islanders to stop by the Bookmark for this day-long shopping celebration. The event, which will include prize draws and cake, will mark the bookstore’s outstanding support of the 2016 Reading Town P.E.I. festival.

June 15, Christy Ann Conlin Reading, Confederation Centre Public Library, 6:30 p.m.: Conlin will read from her new literary ghost story, The Memento. The novel offers a strange tale of madness, murder and secrets set on the rugged Bay of Fundy.

June 18, Peggy Hogan Reading, Confederation Center Public Library, 2 p.m.: Hogan will be reading from her newest book,  Milo’s Burden.  In this latest offering from Hogan, a wooden carving is brought to life by a young boy.  But the new-born woman, Malissa, has a terrible flaw: her only emotion is rage.  It feeds the power that surges through her and will not let her rest until she holds the entire world in a vicious death grip.  Milo, the young boy who animated Malissa, has inadvertently upset the forces of Lifefire, and disrupted its delicate balance. With his sister and her friend, and an old man and his mangy dog, he must travel deep within the mountains to discover the secrets of Lifefire before rage rules the world.

June 24, Jane Urquhart Reading, Confederation Centre, Studio 1, 7 p.m.: This renowned Canadian author will give a public reading as part of an event sponsored by the Confederation Centre Art Gallery and the Lucy Maud Montgomery Institute. Urquhart is a novelist, poet and short story writer. Her many honours include the Governor General’s Award and the Order of Canada.

AGM and Celebrating the Bookmark

And now for a quick update on the AGM and the Bookmark, provided by our esteemed president, Keir Lowther:

The PEI Writers’ Guild executive would like to invite you to the 2016 Annual General Meeting being held on Saturday, June 11th from 3:00pm – 6:00pm at The Merchantman’s Next Door space at 56 Water Street. The meeting will go from 3:00pm – 4:30pm and will be followed by a Sociable, which will feature prizes and an open mic. Items on the agenda are the President’s Report, Treasurer’s Report, Ratification of Board Members, Cox & Palmer Island Literary Awards, and discussion of priorities and initiatives for the upcoming year. PEIWG memberships can be purchased at the AGM. Come alone, come with friends. All are welcome.

Before you hit up the AGM, we encourage you to stop by the Bookmark and show your love for one of our great cultural institutions.

In recognition of all that The Bookmark did to support another successful Reading Town PEI festival in 2016, Reading Town PEI is asking Islanders to join them in Shopping the Bookmark on Saturday, June 11th. From 9:00am to 5:30pm, you can shop for great beach reads for Summer 16, that birthday present you’ve been meaning to get, or do your Christmas shopping in June. Oh, and there will be prize draws and cake! Help them celebrate a cultural institution that has been putting books in the hands of Islanders since 1972.

PEI Writers’ Guild AGM

All are invited to the PEI Writers’ Guild Annual General Meeting being held on Saturday, June 11th from 3:00pm – 6:00pm at The Merchantman’s Next Door space at 56 Water Street. The meeting will go from 3:00pm – 4:30pm and will be followed by a Sociable, which will feature prizes and an open mic. Items on the agenda are the President’s Report, Treasurer’s Report, Ratification of Board Members, Cox & Palmer Island Literary Awards, and discussion of priorities and initiatives for the upcoming year. PEIWG memberships can be purchased at the AGM. Old members, newbies and the generally curious are welcome!

2016 East Coast Literary Awards Shortlist Announced


ecla_logoHalifax, NS – The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) is proud to announce the shortlist for the 2016 East Coast Literary Awards. These three Awards celebrate the quality and diversity of writing in non-fiction, poetry, and fiction by Atlantic Canadian writers. The shortlisted writers for each Award are:

Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award:
Dean Jobb (NS), Empire of Deception (HarperCollins)
Marq de Villiers (NS), Back to the Well (Goose Lane)
Gary L. Saunders (NS), My Life With Trees (Gaspereau Press)

JM Abraham Poetry Award:
Phillip Crymble (NB), Not Even Laughter (Salmon Poetry)
John Wall Barger (NS), The Book of Festus (Palimpsest Press)
Sue Goyette (NS), The Brief Reincarnation of a Girl (Gaspereau Press)

Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award:
Mark Anthony Jarman (NB), Knife Party at the Hotel Europa (Goose Lane)
Elisabeth de Mariaffi (NL), The Devil You Know (HarperCollins)
R.W. Gray (NB), Entropic (NeWest Press)

Awards jurors had the unenviable task of deliberating 69 submitted titles by writers from all four Atlantic provinces in order to select the nine finalists. Each year, the East Coast Literary Awards introduces local, national, and international readers to remarkable works written by Atlantic Canadians.

Full details of shortlisted titles and writers will be available soon on the WFNS website Winners will be announced at the East Coast Literary Awards presentation in Halifax on June 4, following a series of readings celebrating the shortlisted writers.

Established in 1976, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia works to provide advice and assistance to writers at all stages of their careers; to encourage greater public recognition of writers and their achievements; and to enhance the literary arts in our regional and national culture.