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.

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!!!

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.

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.

PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series – Featuring Sadie McCarney

Sadie McCarney will be the featured reader at the PEI Writers’ Guild open mic on Thursday, November 14th at Receiver Coffee Co., 128 Richmond St., in Charlottetown at 7pm.

Sadie McCarney’s poetry has appeared in publications including Literary Review of Canada, The Walrus, Prairie Fire, Grain, The Puritan, The Malahat Review, Plenitude, The Antigonish Review, EVENT, and Room, as well as in the anthologies The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2015 and The Best of The Best Canadian Poetry in English. Poems of hers have been finalists for the Banff Centre/Bliss Carman Poetry Prize, the Far Horizons Award for Poetry, and the Walrus Poetry Prize. Sadie has received writing grants from Innovation PEI and the Canada Council for the Arts. In Fall of 2019, the University of Regina Press published Live Ones, her first book.

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, Sadie will read.

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 Jane Ledwell

Jane Ledwell will be the featured reader at the PEI Writers’ Guild open mic on Thursday, October 10th at Receiver Coffee Co., 128 Richmond St., in Charlottetown at 7pm.

Jane Ledwell is a writer and editor based in Charlottetown, where she lives with her partner, visual artist Stephen MacInnis, and their two children (AnnaSophia and Sam). She works full-time with the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women, where she is executive director. She has contributed a monthly artist profile to The Buzz arts and entertainment magazine almost every month for twenty years. She has published three books of poetry, Last Tomato, Bird Calls, and, most recently, Return of the Wild Goose, and has contributed to numerous other books. She is a past recipient of the award for Distinguished Contribution to the Literary Arts.

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, Jane will read.

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 Poet Laureate Julie Pellisier-Lush

Poet Laureate Julie Pellissier-Lush will be the featured reader at the PEI Writers’ Guild open mic on Thursday, September 12th at Receiver Coffee Co., 128 Richmond St., in Charlottetown at 7pm.

Julie Pellissier-Lush M.S.M. , Meritorious Service Medal recipient, actress, and bestselling author of My Mi’kmaq Mother, was born in Summerside, PEI in 1970. She grew up all over Eastern Canada and spent a number of years in Winnipeg Manitoba before coming home. Julie is a graduated from the University of Winnipeg in 2000 with a double major in Psychology and Human Resource Management. She works with the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of PEI as a Community Consultant Coordinator. She writes, acts, and does photography to preserve the history and culture of the Mi’kmaq for future generations. Julie wrote the poems for the play Mi’kmaq Legends in 2010 and it is her hope that this play will someday travel all over Canada and beyond so more people have the opportunity to learn about the rich Mi’kmaq history!

In February 2019 Julie became the first Mi’kmaq Poet Laureate of PEI and she is loving every minute of sharing her culture and stories with many groups and events all over the Island. She lives in Winsloe, just outside of Charlottetown with her husband Rick, her five children, and her Granddaughter Miah.

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, Julie will read.

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 Steven Mayoff

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

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, the U.S. and abroad. His books include the story collection Fatted Calf Blues (Turnstone Press, 2009), the novel Our Lady Of Steerage (B&B, 2015), the poetry chapbook Leonard’s Flat (Grey Borders Books, 2018) and the full-length poetry collection Swinging Between Water and Stone (Guernica Editions, 2019).

Leonard’s Flat is a chapbook of ten linked poems based on ten paintings by Mayoff’s uncle Len Fligel who was an artist and teacher in Glasgow, Scotland. Swinging Between Water and Stone is a collection of poems comprising four sections, roughly representing the four stages of the never-ending reincarnation cycle: birth, life, death and rebirth.

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, Steven will read.

This is the last open mic from the PEI Writers’ Guild before our summer break. We will return this fall with a whole new slate of readers, and will continue to run on the second Thursday of each month.