Battle Tales Update

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2020 BATTLE TALES V WINNER, RYAN GALLANT FOR HIS STORY, “MPV”, JUDGED BY PATTI LARSEN.

Listen to Ryan’s Story on the PEIWG YouTube channel here:  

Image: Ryan Gallan

Member Bio

Ryan Gallant is a multi-genre author and screenwriter from Charlottetown. He has one novel published Crimson Zero, contributed to two short story anthologies GIFt Horse and GIFt Horse Vol. 2: ReGIFted and is on the verge of publishing his second novel, a  sequel to his first , Die  Today,   Live Tomorrow.

Follow Ryan on TwitterInstagram, and on Facebook 

Did you submit to Battle Tales? If so, Judge Patti Larsen has a few encouraging words for you!

Thanks to all our brave writers for taking part in Battle Tales, 2020!

PEIWB Board of D’s

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!!!

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.

Battle Tales IV: WRITING PROMPTS!

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.”

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: 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.

Why PEI is So, So, So, So, So Great Contest

1170x347_canada150_1469186137893_engCanada will mark its 150th birthday in 2017. And to celebrate, the Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty is holding a writing contest.

Students from Grade 1-12 are invited to dig deep into their imaginations and come up with a written response to the following question:

Why is P.E.I so, so, so, so, so great?

Whether it’s culture, potatoes, scenic beauty, Anne of Green Gables or Lennie Gallant, Kirk and Kerri Wynn, compost or the fact that the first meeting where confederation was discussed was held in Charlottetown, the possibilities are endless. All you need to do is tell us why PEI is the greatest province in the greatest country on the greatest planet in the greatest solar system in the cosmos.

What will you win? Riches, fame and the chance to have your name printed in The Guardian. Oh, and you may even get the chance to read your work on a grand stage in front of *thousands of fellow Islanders.

Contest deadline is January 31st, 2017. The deadline has been extended until March 1st, 2017!

Entrants are encouraged to write in the language of their choice!

Three prizes will be awarded in each category.

1st Prize $150 (wink, wink)
2nd Prize $100
3rd Prize $50

Grade 1 – 3
Maximum 250 words
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so include one if you want to. It will make our judge’s day and may even improve your chances of winning.

Grade 4-6
Maximum 300 words
Again a picture is accepted.

Grade 7-9
Maximum 500 words
Hold the cell phone, you’re practically adults now. No pictures for you.

Grade 10-12
Maximum 1000 Words
1000 words is 59,000 words shy of a novel (just saying)

Submissions must contain a cover sheet with the contest name, name of the student, grade, name of the teacher (if applicable), and contact details.

Submissions can be sent by email to the [email protected] or by mail too the following address: Island Literary Awards, c/o P.E.I. Writers’ Guild, 81 Prince Street, Charlottetown, PE C1A 4R3

Battle Tales: A Mostly True Story

Attention writers of the creative nonfiction persuasion,

What do you say we play a little game? A game which jumpstarts that memoir you’ve been meaning to write, or kicks your story-telling prowess into high gear? Do you enjoy a good, solid writing challenge?

Well, we have exactly  what you’re looking for. The PEI Writers’ Guild is excited to announce Battle Tales: A Mostly True Story.

battle-tales-2

Check out our contest page for details. We can’t wait to do it all again.