No Open Mic for April

In accordance with the PEI government’s guidance on the issue of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have decided to cancel April’s open mic. We will issue a further announcement for May’s and June’s as we approach their respective dates. We apologize for the inconvenience.

PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series – Featuring Thien Tang

Thien Tang will be the featured reader at the PEI Writers’ Guild open mic on Thursday, March 12th at Receiver Coffee Co., 128 Richmond St., in Charlottetown at 7pm.

Between 1979 and 1980, one million Vietnamese refugees escaped their war-torn country while 60,000 settled in Canada. Dubbed the ‘boat people’, nearly 70% of them died during their perilous journey. Thien Tang survived and documented his tale in his memoir The Other Side of the Sun: The True Story of One Refugee’s Journey, published by Pottersfield Press in 2018.

Like thousands of others in 1979, Tang fled Vietnam on a small, crowded boat in search of a new life. But first he had to cross the treacherous South China Sea to reach Malaysia.

At sea, Tang’s ship was attacked by pirates and shot at by police. On land, as an unwanted refugee in Malaysia, he and his fellow refugees were jailed, starved, and beaten, but survival only brought on tougher challenges. The Malaysian soldiers forced them at gunpoint back into their damaged boat to be towed to sea and left to die.

Tang originally planned to seek asylum in the United States but ultimately found the refuge he was seeking in Prince Edward Island, Canada where he lives today.

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, Thien will read.

The PEI Writers’ Guild open mic series will continue to run on the second Thursday of each month.

Framing Your Short Story: A Workshop for Youth

On Saturday, February 22nd,  a new PEIWG workshop called, Framing Your Short Story, will teach young writers (ages 8–13) how to frame a story, from the beginning to the end. Bestselling middle-grade author Jaime Lee Mann will walk students through her personal process of writing books, paying particular attention on the outline.

By the end of the day, students will have a ten-page short story outlined. This workshop is perfect for anyone thinking about submitting to the Island Literary Awards (deadline: Feb 28!), as it will help spark the initial idea and framework needed to guide the story. 

Topics include:

  • The hero’s journey
  • Obstacles standing in the hero’s way (internal vs external struggle)
  • Character sketches of the hero and the villain 
  • World building
  • Three-act process for outlining a story
  • The “Sticky note” outline

During the last 30 minutes of the workshop, students will engage in individual writing time. Jaime Lee will be available if anyone would like to share their writing or get help with a beginning, end, or plot problem.

The workshop will run on Saturday, February 22nd at the Haviland Club, from 9:00am until 4:00pm. Please bring a brown bag lunch. Cost is $45; please bring pencils / pens and a notebook.

Register Here

About the Instructor

When Jaime Lee Mann was nine years old, she decided she would be an author when she grew up. Her first novel was Elora of Stone. JL (as her family calls her) lives in a pretty house in Prince Edward Island with her husband and two daughters. In addition to writing her own creative fiction, JL also co-owns a writing and editing business, called Manley Mann, where she writes books and things for other people. Now that the Legend of Rhyme series is complete, JL is working on a new series of books, this time, for a YA audience.

Battle Tales V: Battle Harder Rules&Regulations

PSST! The prompts for Battle Tales V: Battle Harder! have been released. You can find them here!

To the bards of our tiny, industrious island,

The holidays are over and now only the gloom of an eternal winter lies before us.  The gloaming is all about, the unkind cold envelops us…but wait.  There…in the distance…a dim light, growing brighter, a spark, a flame.  The creativity and imagination of countless writers are kicking at the darkness (thanks Bruce) and leading us to a brighter day.

We here at the PEI Writers’ Guild are always sad to see the holidays end. It makes us itchy. Really itchy. We itch for one thing, and one thing only. We itch to battle.

You know what this means, don’t you? It means it’s time once again for a brand new Battle Tales contest! And just what is Battle Tales, you ask? Why, it’s a week of literary gladiatorship, heroism, and probably a lot of nail-biting. More than anything, it’s a week in which we lock ourselves indoors and rattle out the finest fiction this island has ever produced.

Here’s how it works:

  • We’ll issue three writing prompts at 12:01 am, Sunday, January 19th on Facebook, Twitter, and on our website (www.peiwritersguild.com).
  • The prompts will detail a few items your short story must be based on—perhaps a floor speckled in dried-out Christmas-tree needles, or a hernia caused by hefting decorations down to the basement. Maybe a brown Christmas tree at the end of a driveway, or perhaps a New Year’s resolution you just couldn’t keep. Whatever the prompts may be, they need to form the basis of your story. (Thanks Keith)
  • Then it’s off to the literary races. Your wonderful and exciting stories can be submitted online via this button:
  • (Be sure to click the Battle Tales V: Battle Harder category when presented with the submissions menu.)submit
  • Anything received by 11:59 pm on Saturday, January 25th will be accepted. We’re looking for stories under 2500 words, written by residents of Prince Edward Island.
  • You don’t need to be a member of the PEI Writers’ Guild to enter, but we sure would love to have you.

At the end of the battle, we will look over the fields, collecting the works of our valiant scribes and will with all haste dispatch them to our fair, impartial and spiky haired judge, the fabulous Patti Larsen.  While feasting on grapes and olives and being fanned by palm leaves plucked from trees from only the most exotic locations, our judge will determine our victor.

Please refrain from putting your name on the story you submit. Enter it only during the submission process, along with any relevant contact information in case we need to reach you. Everything is kept strictly anonymous, 100% incognito, purely hush-hush.

“What’s in it for me?” you’re wondering. The short answer is this: local celebrity and a mighty dollop of personal pride! But wait, there’s more. The winner of the contest will receive our highly-coveted Battle Tales trophy, a year’s free membership with the PEIWG, and will be featured online and in The Squall newsletter. You’ll also get a full year’s bragging rights to all your pals, and you can even use the fact you won as an ice breaker at parties.

The winner will be announced during the PEI Writers’ Guild Winter Writing Social at Upstreet Craft Brewery on Alan Street in Charlottetown. Time and date to be announced soon!

We can’t wait to see what you’ll create.

Details:

Contest begins: 12:01 am, Sunday, January 19th
Contest ends: 11:59 pm on Saturday, January 25th
Max length: 2500 words

 

Battle Tales V: Battle Harder! The prompts are here…

This is it! The moment you have been waiting for. The runners have taken their marks…the starter’s pistol is raised high and straight…AND we are off!

Your THREE prompts for Battle Tales V: Battle Harder:

  1. A familiar song heard in an unexpected place
  2. A piece of advice from a stranger
  3. A traveller departing

And now it’s up to you. Maybe you’ve already plotted a narrative and can integrate the prompts effortlessly.  Maybe you’re starting from scratch, following an unidentified protagonist (or antagonist, it’s your choice) until the story starts. Maybe you’re starting with a song, or some wisdom passed along, or a destination.  Your story must incorporate all THREE prompts but after that, it’s all you.  Use them as a jumping off point, use them as a conclusion, use them in passing or use them as your primary proposition.  Use them creatively or use them passively, but be sure to use them in a way that blow our judge’s mind.

Perhaps Ray is at the airport, waiting in line at the café for a coffee before his flight.  The woman behind him, someone’s grandmother based on a barely overheard conversation at security, was humming Kendirck Lamar’s “Alright.” She tugged at his sleeve to catch his attention.  “Try the French roast,” she said, “it’s delicious”

Or something more tense, like Mal’s first job.  Fixer Joe, his prison connection who thought he had the makings of a great second story man, recommended him.  It was a four-man crew and the wiry guy with too much nervous energy was doing all the talking.  The mark was going out of town, leaving tonight.  Mal leaned back in his chair and could hear the big guy behind him, a boxer by the look of him, saying something under his breath.  Mal tuned the talker out as much as he could until he heard the big man mumbling the lyrics to “You’re So Vain.” He saw Mal and stopped, raised his shades and told him straight up “Don’t trust this fool.”

Or maybe it was the three days and four connecting flights that finally brought them all here.  The kids were on their bests for the entire trip in anticipation of this moment.  She saved for more than a year since she first took the children to see the movie, splurging only on the soundtrack and DVD.  It was all worth it.  They were primed to explode.  The kid at the ticket booth told her the first show of the day was always the best.  The snowman, two princesses and twenty dancers were bounding onto stage.  Jamie, five, was squirming like she had to pee.  Henrietta, who goes by Hank and had turned 4 last month, was holding her breath like a deep-sea diver.  The lights dimmed and the silent expectancy was broken immediately as Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” exploded from the speakers.

And these…are not good.  YOU can do much better.  We exit the arena and leave it to you, THE WORTHY, to battle harder.  But it must be a fair fight, so the rules, the regulations and the glory can be found HERE!  GOOD LUCK, MIGHTY BATTLERS!!!

Battle Tales V: Battle Harder

Battle Tales V: Battle Harder is a short story contest that will run January 19th at 12:01 am until January 26th at 11:59 pm.

Brought to you by the PEI Writers’ Guild, Battle Tales gives participants three writing prompts and one week to write a story for the chance to win all the glory this frantic, low-stakes contest has to offer.

Battle Tales is free to enter and submissions must be previously unpublished work, but after that, let your imaginations run wild!

Moreover, speaking of wild imaginations, this year’s judge will be author Patti Larsen who will be sharing some writing tips on the website.  Patti is an international, multiple-award-winning independent author of all things fiction with over a hundred titles in happy publication.  The winner will be featured on peiwritersguild.com and in their newsletter, will receive a year’s membership to the PEIWG and will lay claim to the much-coveted Battle Tales trophy.  Oh, there is also a knighting ceremony.

Stay tuned to more information on how to enter, updates and encouragement and most importantly, the battle prompts at www.peiwritersguild.com.

PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series – Featuring Clint Morrison

Clinton Morrison will be the featured reader at the PEI Writers’ Guild open mic on Thursday, February 13th at Receiver Coffee Co., 128 Richmond St., in Charlottetown at 7pm.

J  Clinton “Clint” Morrison was born in the small rural community of Conway, PEI on February 9th, 1948. He was educated in a one-room public school before attending O’Leary Regional High in 1962. He is an Education and History graduate from Prince of Wales College and the University of Prince Edward Island and taught in PEI schools from 1968 to 2003. In 1997, he established Crescent Isle Publishers in Summerside.

Clint has been researching, writing, editing and publishing books on PEI history, genealogy, and poetry since 1975, and is the recipient of numerous major awards: the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation’s Award of Honour (1985); the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation’s Mary Cornfoot Brehaut Award (1996);  he is also the recipient of a Certificate of Commendation from the American Association for State and Local History (1985). He has contributed short stories and poetry to West Prince Arts Council publications, and has written several articles for The Island Magazine, published by the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation. He is also the author or general editor of twelve books on Island history. Clint has three children and lives in Summerside with his wife, Pearl.

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, Clint will read.

The PEI Writers’ Guild open mic series will continue to run on the second Thursday of each month.

The Magic of Story: A Workshop with Julie Pellissier-Lush

On Saturday, January 25th,  a new PEIWG workshop called, The Magic of Storytelling, explores the rich heritage of oral tradition.

Led by Poet Laureate of Prince Edward Island and author Julie Pellissier-Lushthis day-long event will be a time of sharing, learning, and understanding the value of the written word and the spoken word.

“Storytelling is a way to teach and share information,” says Pellissier-Lush. “People will take what they need from the story to help them move forward on their journey.”

The Magic of Storytelling will give people an introduction to storytelling and writing skills to help them share their experiences better with others.

Are you a storyteller? Julie will begin with telling you some of her favourite stories, and then wants to hear one of yours. “Each participant will pick one of their favourite stories and write it down as they remember it,” Pellissier-Lush notes, as well as “take certain parts of a story, weave the magic into it, and share it back.” 

“We are all keepers of our stories, and we all have the ability to share them with love and passion. This workshop may help people start writing down their own stories more, with a new understanding of how important they are, and to present their stories with a new confidence,” Julie adds. 

The workshop will run on Saturday, January 25th, at the Haviland Club, from 9:00am until 4:00pm, with one hour for lunch. Cost is $50 for Guild members and $60 for non-members. To register, please visit: https://peiwritersguild.wildapricot.org/event-3626268


Julie Pellissier-Lush is an actress and bestselling author of ‘My Mi’kmaq Mother’. She writes, acts, and does photography to preserve the history and culture of the Mi’kmaq culture for future generations. Julie wrote the poems for the play Mi’kmaq Legends in 2010, which were showcased on the beautiful Charlottetown waterfront, and was performed over 100 times. Last year, Julie became the first indigenous Poet Laureate of Prince Edward Island.  Julie lives in PEI with her husband Rick, her five children, and her granddaughter Miah.

 

PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series – Featuring Paul Vreeland

Paul Vreeland will be the featured reader at the PEI Writers’ Guild open mic on Thursday, January 9th at Receiver Coffee Co., 128 Richmond St., in Charlottetown at 7pm.

Most of Paul Vreeland’s creative life has been spent as a writer. His poetry has been published in several Canadian journals and in three TWiG anthologies. He has written two chapbooks of poetry: Hydrostone Quartet and Mother-in-Law Suite, and has written of his experiences living in Haiti and West Africa in Smoked Herring and the Talking Dog published in The Caribbean Writer, and Awaiting Ziafo, a Grain Magazine creative non-fiction prize winner. After his mother’s passing, he compiled and edited a collection of her poetry, Something Will Occur, and in that same year published a debut novel, I’ll Tell You One Thing. The latter is available as a trade paperback and as an ebook from Amazon and from the Bookmark.

The late sculptor Carl Phyllis challenge Paul to write a piece with a happy ending, something he isn’t known for. The result was A Buck for the Babe which was published in the 2015 anthology Snow Softly Falling: Holiday Stories from Prince Edward Island.

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, Paul will read.

The PEI Writers’ Guild open mic series will continue to run on the second Thursday of each month.

New Workshop Series!

Crossing Over: Screenwriting 101

On November 23, the PEI Writers’ Guild will host a screenwriting workshop, the first of a new “Crossing Over” series the Guild is hosting this year. Entitled “Screenwriting 101,” the workshop will be facilitated by Louise Lalonde of Louise Lalonde Productions, a Prince Edward Island media company. Future workshops will consist of crossing over from prose to playwriting, and from poetry to song.

In Screenwriting 101, Lalonde will guide participants through the screenwriting process, from creating a draft to making it ready for market. Participants will learn the difference between novel writing and writing a screenplay; the criteria used to ensure an idea is strong enough to carry a whole movie, series, mini-series, short film or feature film; how to tell a visual, emotional, and surprising story for screens; an overview on various screenwriting programs and their functions; and the use of dialogue for exposition.

Participants will also learn about funding opportunities for screenwriters, something Lalonde knows all too well as a familiar face at FilmPEI.

Louise Lalonde is the program coordinator of the popular PEI Screenwriters’ Bootcamp, an annual series of workshops for emerging screenwriters since 2008. She has served on the Island Media Arts Co-op, Women in Film and Television—Atlantic, and the PEI Council of the Arts committees. She is also the president of  the Charlottetown Film Society. She has written and directed several short films: Looking for Mr. RightHole in My HeartC J Superstar, and, most recently, The Appointment/Le Rendez-vous.

The workshop will run from 9:00am until 4:00pm at the Haviland Club in Charlottetown. Cost is $85 for Guild members and $95 for non-members.

Register here!

Happy writing!

~ PEI Writers Guild