THINKING OF SPRING Sociable at Upstreet Craft Brewing

The Guild will host its THINKING OF SPRING Sociable at Upstreet Craft Brewing in Charlottetown on Saturday, March 10th, at 8 p.m. The evening will include literary trivia with Steve Forbes, contests, giveaways, and the chance to chat with others in the writing community. During the sociable, the guild will also announce the winner of BATTLE TALES!

Everyone is welcome – you do not have to be a guild member to join. (We sure would love to have you, though!) Admission is free, though donations will be accepted towards the work of the guild, which promotes the growth and quality of literary arts in P.E.I. Event and prize sponsors include Cox & Palmer and Upstreet. For more information, email [email protected]

The Writers’ Union of Canada Launches 25th Annual Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers

The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is pleased to launch its 25th Annual Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers, which invites Canadian writers to submit a piece of fiction or nonfiction of up to 2,500 words in the English language that has not previously been published in any format. A $2,500 prize will be awarded to the winner, and the entries of the winner and finalists will be submitted to three Canadian magazines for consideration. The deadline for entries is February 15, 2018.

The Union initiated the Short Prose Competition in 1993 in honour of its 20th anniversary. The Competition aims to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of short prose. “Over its twenty-five-year history, the Short Prose Competition has served as a springboard to a successful writing career,” notes Executive Director John Degen. “A number of winners and finalists have gone on to publish many books and join the Union’s ranks.”

The Competition is open to Canadian citizens and residents who have had no more than one book published and who do not currently have a contract with a book publisher for a second book. Authors not published in book format are also eligible. Members of TWUC are not eligible to enter. The entry fee is $29 per submission, and submissions are accepted online until 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on February 15, 2018. The winner will be announced in late spring 2018. For complete rules and regulations, please go to www.writersunion.ca/short-prose-competition.

Steven Heighton – UPEI Writer-in-residence

This winter’s UPEI Writer-in-Residence will be Steven Heighton, award-winning novelist, poet, short-story writer, and essayist. He will give a public reading on Tuesday, February 5 at 7:30 p.m., and will lead two writing workshops (described below) on Saturday, February 10. Both events will be in the UPEI Main Building, Faculty Lounge.

Raised in Toronto and northern Ontario, Heighton travelled and worked in western Canada, Australia, and Asia, studied at Queen’s University, and settled in Kingston, Ontario, where he writes full-time. His distinctions include several National Magazine Award gold medals for fiction and poetry, and the 2016 Governor General’s Award for Poetry for The Waking Comes Late. He has been writer-in-residence at several universities, and has led writing workshops in diverse settings including The Banff Centre, the Sage Hill Writing Experience in Saskatchewan, and the Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Heighton’s novels take us from castaway Arctic explorers in the 1870s, to a Greek-Canadian soldier traumatized in Afghanistan and shipped to Cyprus for stress leave and therapy, to high adventure in Nepal and China with Tibetan refugees, Chinese soldiers, a Canadian humanitarian doctor, an egotistical mountaineer, and an Asian-Canadian film-maker.

His morning workshop (9:30-12:00) will feature “re-enactive” techniques that allow writers, says Heighton, “to create sentences or passages of great vividness and sensual intensity. To work – re-enactively is to embody  – in the full sensory meaning of that word – whatever you’re writing about, rather than just describing it.”

In the afternoon workshop (1:30-4:00), writers will practice “homophonic translation.” This exercise involves “translating” from a language participants don’t know, just on the basis of sound. “The results,” says Heighton, “are always funny and often spectacularly good – and sometimes also moving. The process is a wonderful way to make writers approach their work with greater acoustical/musical sensitivity rather than simply, flatly saying something about how they feel.”

The workshop fees are $40 per workshop or $35 for seniors and students, and $70 for both workshops or $60 for seniors and students. To register, visit the Winter’s Tales Facebook site and click on the link for the Steven Heighton Writer in Residence workshops.

Steven Heighton’s visit and the UPEI Writer-in-Residency are sponsored by the Dean of Arts, the Vice-President Academic/Research, and the English Department, with generous support from The Canada Council for the Arts.

PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series – Featuring Grant Matheson

Grant Matheson will be the featured reader at the PEI Writers’ Guild open mic on Thursday, February 8 at 7 p.m. at Receiver Coffee Co., 128 Richmond St., in Charlottetown.

All are welcome to this free event. The first ten writers to sign up may read from their work–poetry or prose–for up to 5 minutes. Following a short break to enjoy some of Receiver Coffee’s delicious offerings, Grant will read.

Grant Matheson is a non-practicing family physician, and father of three who has been in recovery from narcotic addiction since 2005. He practiced both in Montague and Charlottetown during his years as a physician. He now writes about his struggles with opioid addiction in the hopes that he can help others who have loved ones who are struggling, or others who are struggling themselves. His memoir, The Golden Boy, was published by Nimbus Publishing in 2017.

The PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series will continue to run on the second Thursday of each month.

Battle Tales III: WRITING PROMPTS!


Greetings all you heroic (and decidedly nice-looking) writers of PEI! Are you ready to partake in the third-ever Battle Tales short story contest? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Behold your writing prompts:

  1. An urgent message left in haste.
  2. A vivid memory evoked by a familiar scent.
  3. A conversation only partially heard.

Now remember: your story must include all three of these prompts. Beyond that, it’s up to you. Be creative. Take these prompts and build something lovely with them. Really give our judge the run for his money.

Maybe that urgent message was scrawled in lipstick on the back of a napkin, or perhaps those few words of conversation you heard had something to do with an old, jealous flame. And what was that smell? Did it remind you of your grandmother’s oatmeal bread? Or was it the aroma of old fish down by the docks? Who knows. It’s up to you to tell us.

Oh, don’t forget to checkout out the contest rules before you get started. We want a good, clean battle, after all. None of that guerrilla warfare stuff.

And while you’re here, check out this excellent advice to help guide your writing, prepared by our judge, Steven Mayoff.

Good luck, everyone. May the best literary gladiator win!

Battle Tales III: A Hot Tip From Our Judge

What makes a good Battle Tale? We asked Steven Mayoff, our esteemed Battle Tales judge, to share a few things he’s looking for in a submission. Here’s what he said:

“I will be judging the stories using the usual criteria of story and character development, language, etc. I will also be looking to see how creatively the three prompt words are integrated into the story, rather than just embedded so the story qualifies for the contest. Writers should also think about why this story is important to them. Give me a sense of it, not as an overt statement, but more imaginatively. Condense it to a single image or a situation or maybe as a bit of dialogue. Challenge yourselves and challenge me.”

Battle Tales III: Meet Your Judge!

Curious about who will be judging your totally-awesome, perfectly-standout submissions once the Battle Tales contest closes? Why, it’s none other than our Island-proud author and poet Steven Mayoff!

Steven Mayoff was born and raised in Montreal and moved to Prince Edward Island in 2001. His fiction and poetry have appeared in literary journals across Canada and the U.S. as well as in Ireland, Algeria, France, Wales, England and Croatia. He has written two books of fiction: the story collection Fatted Calf Blues (Turnstone Press, 2009) and the novel Our Lady Of Steerage (Bunim & Bannigan, 2015). Upcoming is a poetry collection Swinging Between Water And Stone to be published by Guernica Editions in 2019.

PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series featuring Chuck Bowie


Chuck Bowie will be the featured reader at the PEI Writers’ Guild open mic on Thursday, January 11 at 7 p.m. at Receiver Coffee Co., 128 Richmond St., in Charlottetown.

All are welcome to this free event. The first ten writers to sign up may read from their work – poetry or prose – for 3 to 5 minutes. Following a short break to enjoy some of Receiver Coffee’s delicious offerings, Chuck will read.

Chuck Bowie graduated from the University of New Brunswick in Canada with a Bachelor Degree in Science. Originally from Miramichi, he continues to live on the East Coast of Canada. Growing up as an air force brat, his writing is influenced by the study of human nature and how people behave, habits he picked up as his family moved nineteen times in his first twenty one years. Chuck loves food, wine, music and travel and all play a role in his work.

His writing often draws upon elements of these experiences to round out his characters and plot lines. Chuck is involved in the world of music, supporting local musicians, occasionally playing with them and always celebrating their successes. Because he enjoys venting as much as the next fellow, Chuck will at times share his thoughts with a brief essay or blog, some of which can be found on his website.

He is working with his publisher to edit the fourth novel, entitled The Body On The Underwater Road, part of the suspense-thriller series Donovan: Thief For Hire. His newest published work is entitled Steal It All, and follows the books Three Wrongs and AMACAT.

The PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series will continue to run on the second Thursday of each month.

 

Weaving the Narrative with Chuck Bowie – A New Workshop From the PEIWG

We here at the PEIWG have a brand new workshop happening this January 13th! Led by Chuck Bowie, our Atlantic Canadian representative of the Writers’ Union of Canada and best-selling mystery novelist, this workshop focuses on weaving arcs throughout a story’s narrative. It’s a must for anyone looking to start a longer writing project, or for those of us currently working away on one. Applicable to any creative long-form writing, this workshop aims to help you manage your arcs as you write, and discusses how to edit them during the revision stage.

We hope to see you there! For more information and to sign up, please check out our workshop page.