About the Writers’ Guild
The Prince Edward Island Writers’ Guild (PEIWG) is a dynamic organization dedicated to promoting the growth and quality of literary arts on PEI. It was founded in 1989 by a group of writers to unify literary programs such as writing workshops and readings, to create a formal intersection for discussion and action, and to speak periodically as one voice for the Island’s literary community. We are proud that our members are at a variety of stages in their writing careers, and that our membership is affordable so that anyone can join. This year, after receiving queries about membership options from ‘non-writers’ in the community, we were delighted to add a Supporting Membership category.
The PEIWG is a registered, not-for-profit organization that operates with funds from membership dues and fundraising. We have a Charitable Tax Number that allows us to issue tax-deductible receipts for donations. The PEI Writers’ Guild also receives support for specific projects from the PEI Department of Tourism & Culture.
- President: Sean Wiebe
- Vice-President: Patrick Ledwell
- Secretary: Toni Mills
- Treasurer: Helen Murphy
Members at Large:
- Listserv & Blog: Cindy Lapeña
- Erin Casey
- Kelly Miles
- Keir Lowther
PEI Writers’ Guild 81 Prince St., Charlottetown, PEI C1A 4R3
Activities and Programs
In addition to facilitating open mics, organized readings, community partnerships, maintaining an active Board, and holding regular meetings including our yearly, well-attended AGM, we also maintain the following:
Island Literary Awards: For over 20 years the Island Literary Awards (ILAs) have recognized the best in Island writing with cash awards sponsored from the community, for winning entries in short story, poetry, children’s literature, and creative non-fiction categories from writers of all ages. Many past award winners are now published authors. This year the PEIWG has added a new Screenplay Category that offers professional development prizes. The 2011 ILA awards ceremony will take place between 2-4 p.m. on September 19th in Studio Theatre One at the Confederation Centre of the Arts as part of the Pen & Inkling Festival. The Island Literary Awards and the PEI Writers’ Guild are vital to fostering a culture of writing on Prince Edward Island.
Writers in the Schools Program: Every year PEIWG arranges and pays for author visits to public schools to inspire children and teachers about the act of writing. Authors are matched with a teacher through a specific set of program guidelines developed over the years. Teachers have time to discuss and collaborate on the author’s presentation if they so desire, and sometimes writers will address specific curriculum components. This program is generally funded by PEIWG with matching funds from the PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour. It is free to students and teachers. PEIWG hopes to expand this program as we can currently meet only about 20% of the demand.
Mentorship Program: Every second year or so, the PEIWG offers a mentorship program in which at least three emerging writers (mentees) are matched, through a selection process, with published authors. They work together over a three-month period on the mentee’s writing. This is a very popular program with many more applicants than we can accommodate. Each year this program has run, subsequently at least one of the participants goes on to have work published—the true measure of the importance of professional mentorship.
Workshops: The PEIWG generally offers a yearly workshop series tailored to meet the needs of the writing community (the exception would be years like this year when we have a festival with two workshop opportunities over the three days). The fees charged are modest; and most of our workshop leaders kindly do this work on our behalf for far less than scale. PEIWG members receive a reduced rate on any events with a fee.
Partnerships & Advocacy: PEIWG represent the interests of Island writers to a variety of organizations such as the PEI Council of the Arts, The Writers’ Union of Canada, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, and the PEI Cultural Human Resources Sector Council. We also form partnerships to deliver various projects, opportunities, workshops, and readings to our members and the public, together with organizations such as: the Friends of The Confederation Centre Public Library, the Confederation Centre Public Library, the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, the PEI Provincial Library Service, the PEI Association for Newcomers to Canada, The UPEI Department of English, the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre, The Canadian League of Poets, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, the Institute of Island Studies at UPEI, the Atlantic Book Awards Society, the UPEI Robertson Library, and others.