Bookmark’s Poets & Pints in Honour of Poetry Month

Charlottetown’s independent bookstore, Bookmark invites you to celebrate National Poetry Month in April by attending one of our scheduled events. The first will be held Tuesday, April 9 from 7 to 9:30 PM at The Queue, next to The Pilot House, 70 Grafton St.

This evening will feature a social hour; a ceremonial welcome from P.E.I.’s new Poet Laureate, Julie Pellissier-Lush; readings by Island poets Chris Bailey, Brent MacLaine, and Bren Simmers, as well as a Q&A moderated by John Flood; and an open mic. Refreshments will be provided along with a cash bar.

The late poet, Mary Oliver said, “Poetry is meant to be heard”. We hope you will take her advice and come out to a poetry event during Poetry Month.

PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series – Featuring Chad Norman

Poet Chad Norman will be the featured reader at the PEI Writers’ Guild open mic on Thursday, April 11th at Receiver Coffee Co., 128 Richmond St., in Charlottetown at 7pm.

Chad Norman lives beside the high-tides of the Bay of Fundy, in what is known as the hub of Nova Scotia. He has given talks and readings in Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Wales, Scotland,  U.S.A., and across Canada. His poems continue to appear in publications around the world, and have been translated into Danish, Albanian, and Romanian. His latest collections are Selected & New Poems ( Mosaic Press, Oakville, Ontario), and Waking Up On The Wrong Side of the Sky ( Grant Block Press, Truro, N.S.).

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, Chad Norman will read.

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

Book Launch: RETURN OF THE WILD GOOSE, a New Poetry Collection by Jane Ledwell

Come celebrate the launch of Jane Ledwell’s new poetry collection, Return of the Wild Goose at Beaconsfield Historic House, 2 Kent Street in Charlottetown, April 4, from 7pm until 8:30. Jane will be joined by Irish concertina player Gormlaith Maynes, accompanied by Jesse Périard on guitar.

Return of the Wild Goose explores the life of writer and activist Katherine Hughes. Set against the intimate relief of a PEI landscape, these poems are inspired by what is known—and unknown—about her contradictory life as a Catholic teacher in Mohawk territory; a journalist working alongside Canada’s first-wave feminists and suffragettes; the first public archivist of Alberta; and finally, as a zealous propagandist for the Irish cause. This (auto)biographical dialogue between Jane Ledwell and Katherine Hughes offers the reader a fierce remembrance of a PEI radical.

Enjoy a short poetry reading, some Irish music, and catch up with new and old friends. Books will be available for sale, but if you can’t wait until the launch, the lovely folks at the Bookmark can hook you up. Hope to see you there!

Announcing the Winner of Battle Tales IV: We Battle On!

The PEI Writers’ Guild is pleased to announce that this year, Battle Tales IV: We Battle On! received so many excellent submissions that we broke with tradition and named two runners up and four honourable mentions in addition to naming a winner.

Honourable Mentions

  • Rite by Ryan Gallant
  • In a Strange Room You Must Empty Yourself For Sleep by Michelle Barton
  • Chicken or Go by Kevin Yarr
  • Nameless Neighbours by Sharon Lucy Robson

Runners Up

  • Foursight by Daniel Brown
  • A Murder Most Foal by John Robertson

Runners up receive judge’s notes and gift certificates to Bookmark.

Runners up Daniel Brown and John Robertson receive prizes from PEIWG president Mo Duffy Cobb and Battle Tales coordinator Keith Burgoyne.

Winner of Battle Tales IV: We Battle On!

The winner of Battle Tales IV: We Battle On!  is Matthew MacKay for his outstanding battle tale Paradise Found.

Paradise Found, the story of Orson Welles holed up in a swanky Parisian hotel room, ordering copious amounts of food and drink as the hotel manager pesters him to pay his bill, is both witty and delightful.

The pop culture references fly thick and fast as Orson watches, via theAmerican TV feed, William F. Buckley debate a drunken Jack Kerouac on Firing Line and then a terrible Elvis movie, Harum Scarum, with Mary Anne Mobley, all the while searching for an idea for his next project.

It was striking how much enjoyment was taken in rendering Welles’ larger than life personality and old Hollywood excess. The embedding of the prompts into the story was also seamless and used great humour.

The winner of Battle Tales IV: We Battle On!  receives one year free membership with the PEI Writers’ Guild, a gift certificate to Bookmark, judge’s notes, and the highly-coveted Battle Tales trophy.

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!

The PEI Writers’ Guild thanks the many generous sponsors of Battle Tales IV: We Battle On!, including Upstreet Craft Brewing, Bookmark, Manley Mann Media, and GIFt Horse.

PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series – Featuring the Writers of Deep Water Pearls

Writers from Deep Water Pearls, a newly published collection, will be the featured readers at the PEI Writers’ Guild open mic on Thursday, March 14th at Receiver Coffee Co., 128 Richmond St., in Charlottetown at 7pm.

Guided by memoir coach and editor Kathleen Hamilton, these women writers have revealed the most intimate turning points in their lives, memories deeply charged with meaning, moments after which their lives were never the same.

What unites these intimate stories (and a few poems) is the shared commitment of the writers to explore their deeper truths. Their courage to write through barriers of silence, secrets and shame will connect powerfully with the audience.

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, the featured women from Deep Water Pearls will begin their readings.

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

Battle Tales Winter Sociable!

The PEI Writers’ Guild will host its Battle Tales Winter Sociable at Upstreet Craft Brewing in Charlottetown on Friday, March 15th, at 7pm. The evening will include literary trivia with PEIWG past president Keith Burgoyne, contests, giveaways, and the chance to chat with others in the writing community. During the sociable, we’ll announce the winner of Battle Tales, so contestants won’t want to miss out.

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 toward the work of the guild, which promotes the growth and quality of literary arts in PEI.

For more information, email [email protected]!

PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic Series – Featuring Nils Ling

Nils Ling will be the featured reader at the PEI Writers’ Guild Open Mic on Thursday, February 21st at 7pm at the Receiver Coffee Co., 128 Richmond St. in Charlottetown.

Nils Ling is an author, playwright, actor, filmmaker and a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist who lives in Breadalbane, Prince Edward Island. In the early 90’s Nils moved to Prince Edward Island to host CBC’s Mainstreet, and in 1999, began touring with a one man show entitled The Truth About Daughters. In the years since, The Truth About Daughters has become one of Canada’s most successful one-man shows with over 1500 performances worldwide. Two other shows, The Truth About Love and/or Marriage and The Truth About Christmas followed, with similar success.

Nils continues to live and create on PEI, working in the written and spoken word, in music and in film. His most recent film, a music video for singer/songwriter Ashley Condon, earned him a nomination for a PEI Music Award. He is currently researching and writing a self-help book about grief and the loss of an infant, entitled The Stolen Child.

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


Greetings all you smart and super-talented writers of Prince Edward Island! Are you ready to partake in the fourth-ever Battle Tales short story contest? If so, you’ve come to the right place. If not, you’ve clearly made a wrong turn somewhere, but we sure would love it if you stayed anyway.

Behold your writing prompts:

  1. A secret told in confidence.
  2. An old memory triggered by a familiar touch.
  3. A telephone ringing in the night.

Now remember: your story must be based on all three of these prompts. Beyond that, it’s up to you. Be creative. Take these prompts and build something lovely— or terrifying— with them. However you do it, really try to give our judge a run for his money.

Just imagine the possibilities. Maybe Little Sally Pipsqueak made you swear you won’t tell her mom about the time she kissed Jimmy Droopy Drawers out behind the school house at last summer’s strawberry social. Or maybe a local politician has just let his wife know about the body resting on the bottom of the Saint Lawrence River. Secrets may not be healthy in a relationship, but in a story, well, they’re almost magical.

What about that late-night telephone call? Could it be an old boyfriend using up his scant payphone privileges from the county jailhouse? And that touch— is it coarse, like the stubble on your groom’s face that time you slapped him for kissing your maid of honour? Or could it be that sense of strong arms holding you, like how it felt when your grandmother hugged your for helping her roll out dough for biscuits? 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 sneaky ninja-in-the-shadows 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 IV: Free Advice From Our Judge

What makes a good Battle Tale? We asked Steven Mayoff, our wise and very cool 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.”