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.

Cox & Palmer 2016 Island Literary Awards – Results

On Saturday, May 7th at the Mack Theatre in Charlottetown, the 29th Cox & Palmer Island Literary Awards were handed out in conjunction with the PEI Book Awards. This gave unpublished writers the chance to be celebrated on the same stage as the writers whose careers and accomplishments they emulate. Karen Mair served as emcee at the final event of the annual, week-long celebration, Reading Town PEI.

Maritime Electric Short Story Awards: 1st prize, Ann Winslow; 2nd prize, Suzanne Mills; 3rd prize, Dave Stewart; honourable mentions, Tanya Nicolle MacCallum and Gretha Rose.

Lucy Maud Montgomery* PEI Literature for Children Awards: 1st prize, Jason Rogerson; 2nd prize, Shani Gillespie; 3rd prize, Amanda Morrison; honourable mention, Margo Connors (*L.M. Montgomery is a trademark of the Heirs of L.M. Montgomery Inc.).

Milton Acorn Poetry Award: 1st prize, Rick Sparkes; 2nd prize, Charity Becker; 3rd prize, Tanya Nicolle MacCallum.

The Guild Creative Non-Fiction Award: 1st prize, Suzanne Mills; 2nd prize, Amanda Morrison; 3rd prize, Sophia Ball; honourable mentions, Kelly Kieran Sampson and Helena Sullivan.

This year’s Joseph Sherman Award for Special Contribution to the Literary Arts on Prince Edward Island was presented to Gary Ramsay and Trina O’Brien Leggott, librarians at the Confederation Centre Public Library.

The inaugural Champion of Reading Award was presented to Jinny Greaves, Executive Director of the PEI Literacy Alliance. This award recognizes an individual in the community who champions reading as being essential to the quality of our lives and to our ability to take our place on the world stage. This award is presented on behalf of the Reading Town Organizing Committee.

The PEI Book Awards were presented to Debra Komar in the Non-Fiction category for “The Bastard of Fort Stikine” (Goose Lane Editions). The Fiction award went to Finley Martin for “The Dead Letter” (Acorn Press). Lastly, the Poetry award went to David Helwig for “Keeping Late Hours” (Oberon Press).

The Island’s younger writers were honoured at the Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty Creative Writing Awards for Young People earlier in the day at The Guild. The awards were emceed by island author, Patti Larsen.

Early Elementary: 1st prize, Alyson Barrett (Sherwood); 2nd prize, Finn Galaise (Westwood); 3rd prize, Rami Kaboush (Sherwood).

Late Elementary: 1st prize, Seth Dockendorff (homeschooled); 2nd prize, Dana Carmichael (Sherwood); 3rd prize, Isobel Pamela Beardsley (Stratford); honourable mentions, Bella Galaise (Elliot River), Michaela M. Doucette (Stratford), Susan Wu (Stratford), Ashlyn Gamester (Sherwood), Lily Saucier (Sherwood), Lindsay Nelson (Stratford).

Junior Secondary: 1st prize, Fiona Clancey (Queen Charlotte); 2nd prize, Vivian Huang (Queen Charlotte); 3rd prize, Noelle Pettipas (Queen Charlotte); honourable mentions, Berry Genge (Belfast), Chloe Dockendorff (homeschooled), Breanna Mayne (Queen Charlotte), Isabel Wagner (Queen Charlotte), Payton Alexander (Queen Charlotte), Grace Lloyd (Queen Charlotte), Enrique Aburto Arreguin (Queen Charlotte).   

Senior Secondary: 1st prize, Tarini Fernando (Charlottetown Rural); 2nd prize, Rose Henbest (Montague), 3rd prize, Joseph Simmonds (homeschooled); honourable mentions, Lilly Hickox (Charlottetown Rural), Caitlin Atkinson (Morell), Lauren Constable (Charlottetown Rural), D. Sebastien Anchikoski (Traditional Learning Academy).  

Alex Field of Colonel Gray High School received the Teacher Participation Award.

Stage Reading of Island Plays

Attention play lovers: join Bill McFadden and company for a stage reading of two plays by Island author, Michael Hennessey: “A Well-developed Sense of Guilt,” and “The Trial of Minnie McGee” on Saturday, May 21 at 2:00 p.m. at the Confederation Centre Public Library.

“A Well-developed McFadden, Bill staged readingSense of Guilt” is centered around a very human priest attempting to juggle the life issues of his parishioners along with a few of his own. “The Trial of Minnie McGee” focuses on one of PEI’s most infamous individuals, Minnie McGee who poisoned her children. Up for a bit of comedy and tragedy? Stop by and enjoy this interpretation by McFadden and his troupe.

Writing Events for May

All Week (Until May 8), Reading Town PEI: This week-long festival celebrates the importance of literacy through reading in various forms. There are a wide variety of events all week – including the 2016 Cox & Palmer Island Literary Awards. Check out the full list of activities at

May 6, An Islander Strikes Back Book Launch, The Guild, 7 p.m.: Island humourist Patrick Ledwell will launch his latest book at this event. Ledwell has made several appearances on CBC radio’s The Debaters and performed at the East Coast Music Awards and Halifax Comedy Festival. This follow-up to I Am an Islander delves into such probing questions as “Does an aging population make me more attractive?” and “How can I possibly become alpha to my dog, when I pick up his deposits in a grocery bag?” For more information on the launch, contact Terrilee Bulger at

May 7, Cox & Palmer Island Literary Awards, 1:30 & 7 p.m.: The awards recognize the best in Island writing with cash prizes from community sponsors in categories of fiction, poetry, children’s literature, creative non-fiction, and student writing. Students will receive their prizes at the Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty Creative Writing Awards for Young People at The Guild at 1:30 p.m., while adult winners will receive recognition at the awards gala at 7 p.m. at The Mack. For the first time, the gala is being held in conjunction with the P.E.I. Book Awards. Please reserve your free tickets for either or both ceremonies by visiting the following links:

Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty Creative Writing Awards for Young People

Island Literary Awards Evening Gala

May 7, Poets Laureate Past & Present, The Guild, 4 p.m.: Poet Laureate Deirdre Kessler will bring together the Island’s past and present poets laureate for a group reading. This unique event will include readings by John Smith, David Helwig, Hugh MacDonald, and Dianne Hicks Morrow. Jane Ledwell will represent her father, the late Frank Ledwell. The reading is co-sponsored by Reading Town, The Bookmark, and the Poet Laureate.

May 12, PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic, Baha’i Centre, 7 p.m.: Poet Laureate Deirdre Kessler will share some of her work. Kessler has written 17 books for young people, including Born! A Foal, Five Kittens and Confederation, Dreamtime, Brupp Rides Again, and Lobster in My Pocket. Mother Country, a memoir, was published recently by Oberon Press. Her poetry collections include Afternoon Horses, Subtracting by Seventeen, and Rearranging the Sky. During the open mic portion of the evening, the first ten writers who sign up (by 7 p.m.) may read their prose and/or poetry for a maximum of five minutes. The event is free.

May 14: Playlist, The Guild, 8 p.m.: In this evening of monologues, a group of seven Island writers and performers will share how music has helped shape their lives. Proceeds from the 90-minute show will go towards the PEI Literacy Alliance Summer Tutoring Program. Tickets are available at The Guild box office or online at

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.