Announcing the Winner of Battle Tales III: Return of the Short Story Contest

The PEI Writers’ Guild is pleased to announce that Matthew MacKay has won Battle Tales III: Return of the Short Story Contest for his marvellous battle tale Bigfoot.

Matthew MacKay receives the Battle Tales III trophy from PEIWG president Keith Burgoyne at the Thinking of Spring Sociable

Far from being a story of a legend in the great outdoors that the title suggests, Bigfoot is a gritty urban tale with a strong narrative voice and a confident use of descriptive language that relentlessly moves forward.

Inventive use of the three prompts also makes this story stand out. The prompts evoke the senses and the author doesn’t just dutifully tick the three boxes, but rather creates a potent atmosphere of sound, smell and sight that keeps the reader’s interest.

We here at the PEIWG wish to thank everyone who took part in Battle Tales this year. We hope you enjoyed the contest, and most importantly, that you had fun putting words to page. Thank you all for making it a huge success!

Maritimes Music: Request for Book Proposals

A new company, Maritimes Music, will begin operations in the summer of 2018. The company plans to release music related to the three maritime provinces plus Newfoundland and Labrador. In addition, Maritimes music is looking for books that deal with the musical past or present of these four provinces. These can be fiction or nonfiction. The goal is to publish books that illuminate the rich musical heritage of Atlantic Canada.

Please submit proposals to [email protected]. Your proposal should include a description of your book, a possible table of contents, a brief biography which highlights the author’s expertise in the subject matter, a list of any previously published works, and other information which the author might see as useful in the evaluation of their project.

The proposal should be between two and six pages. Please do not send any completed manuscripts at this time. Also, make sure that you have both email and telephone listed so that we are able to contact you.

PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series – Featuring Susan Rodgers

Susan Rodgers will be the featured reader at the PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic on Thursday, April 12, at 7 pm 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, Susan will read.

Susan Rodgers’ journey into writing and film started with a regular on-set wardrobe continuity gig on Emily of New Moon, the CBC television series shot in Summerside. Her foray into serious film writing began with a box of wartime letters discovered in the attic of the historic house where she worked as curator, which launched her first award winning half hour screenplay and filmed drama, Bobby’s Peace. A year at Vancouver Film School led to a number of client documentary film projects, as well as a web series, period short film, short comedy, and music video.

Susan then journeyed into writing novels, and was thrilled and inspired by her selection as a Finalist in the 2011 Atlantic Writing Awards for her as-yet-unpublished first novel, A Certain Kind of Freedom. A critically acclaimed excerpt has been re-worked as a short story and featured in an anthology produced by the Israeli-based website The Writers’ Drawer.

The Drifters books were next – fifteen so far. Wildly popular and quickly spreading, mostly by word of mouth, they’ve been described as women’s fiction with an angsty romantic flair. Drifters is the name of a fictional TV series shot in Vancouver, where the characters meet and true drama begins.

Recently, inspired by L.A. screenwriting mentors, Susan rewrote and polished the feature screenplay Still The Water, and is working hard to finance and produce the project in 2018.

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

PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series – Featuring Keir Lowther | Updated

Please note: the open mic has been delayed to March 15.

Keir Lowther will be the featured reader at the PEI Writers’ Guild open mic on Thursday, March 15 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, Keir will read.

Keir Lowther is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers, and was awarded an apprenticeship by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.

Keir has received various awards for his short stories, including from the Maritime Writing Competition, the Atlantic Writing Competition and the Island Literary Awards. Keir’s short story, Dirty Bird, was shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards (2007). That story became the foundation for a novel of the same name which won the 2013 Margaret and John Savage First Novel Award at the Atlantic Book Awards, was shortlisted for a Relit Award, a PEI Book Award for Fiction and the Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize.

Keir lives with his wife, daughter, son and dog in Prince Edward Island.

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

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]

UPEI Winter’s Tales Reading Series Presents Don McKay: Poet and Naturalist at Beaconsfield

Don McKay has been called the Canadian poet laureate of ecological philosophy. A revered poet, esteemed naturalist, and distinguished scholar, editor, and teacher, McKay will give a poetry reading on Friday, March 2, at 7:00 in the Carriage House at Beaconsfield Historic House in Charlottetown.

Island-born poet Zach Wells says that “awe, astonishment and wonder” arethe keynotes of McKay’s poems and that “the workings of the human mind” are his primary subject matter. Halifax poet Brian Bartlett describes McKay as “a poet with a patient eye, an acute arresting ear, over flowing with details of ornithology, botany, weather, industry, books and music… philosophical phrasing, folksy idiom, madcap humour and elegy.”

McKay’s numerous awards include the Order of Canada, two Governor General’s Awards for poetry, and the Griffin Poetry Prize. A co-founder of Brick Books, one of North America’s premier poetry publishers, he has been a master editor for many of Canada’s finest authors. Considered the father figure of ecological poetry in Canada, his essays on poetics and “eco-poetry” are illuminating guides for poets, naturalists, and other readers.

A beloved teacher of creative writing and literature at the University of Western Ontario, the University of New Brunswick, and The Banff Centre for the Arts, he now writes full-time in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

His reading is sponsored by the UPEI Dean of Arts and English Department, with support from The Canada Council for the Arts. The public is invited and admission is free.

UPEI Don Mazer Arts & Science Lecture Dr. Don Mckay: Poet & Naturalist

Dr. Don McKay has been called the Canadian poet laureate of ecological philosophy. A revered poet, esteemed naturalist, distinguished scholar and editor, celebrated teacher, and famously witty speaker, Dr. McKay will give the 2018 UPEI Don Mazer Arts & Science Lecture on Thursday, March 1, at 7:00 at UPEI in McDougall Hall, room 246.

Don McKay’s talk, “Dragon, or Tectonic Lithofacies Map of the Appalachian Orogen,” will be, says McKay, “an attempt to approach one of the most famous and important maps in geology from both sides of my brain, the scientific and aesthetic.”

By Shipguy – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The Appalachian orogenic belt is an ancient mountain range extending from Alabama to Newfoundland. Dr. McKay, who lives in St. John’s, will talk “poetically” about the tectonic theory of mountain building, and focus on Gros Morne in Newfoundland, with reference to New Brunswick, and to PEI with its “detritus from worn-down mountains.”

Hank Williams will feature prominently in Dr. McKay’s talk: not the singer, but the legendary and colourful Newfoundland geologist. Williams advanced plate tectonics as a unifying theory for continental drift and mountain belt evolution, inspired a new generation of geologists, and helped establish Memorial University as a leader in earth science research.

An expert map-maker as well as visionary thinker, Williams produced the famous Appalachian Orogen map, a best seller with 10,000 copies sold worldwide. The map also helped demonstrate relationships between our landforms and those across the Atlantic Ocean.

Dr. McKay’s lecture is sponsored by the UPEI Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Science. The lecture series is named in honour of Dr. Don Mazer, an esteemed UPEI Psychology professor, whose interests have bridged the Arts and Sciences. The public is invited and admission is free.

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