Freelance June/July 2012
Volume 41 Number 4
David Sealy, City of Regina Writing Award Winner l to r : David Sealy (recipient), Fred Clipsham (City Councillor), and Judith Silverthorne (Executive Director of the SWG)
coNTENTS President’s Message.........................................1
Volume 41 Number 4 June-July 2012 ISSN 0705-1379
Executive Director’s Report................................3 Board News Grain Ad Hoc Committee Report...................6
© Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, 2012 Cover photo credit: SWG staff Freelance is published six times per year for members of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and other interested parties. Submissions are welcome. Send in the body of your email message, or post, referring to Submission Guidelines: www.skwriter. com/publications/freelance. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild. Copyright remains with the writer and cannot be reprinted without permission. We do not accept poetry or prose at this time. Deadlines for next issue of Freelance: August-September: July 9, 2012
Program News Windscript Launch .....................................7 Mentorship—Apprentice Reading 2012..........8 Saskatoon Programs....................................8 New Employees at the Guild.........................9 “But I’m a Writer—What difference does it make if I know how to read out loud??”............ 10 City of Regina Writing Award Caps Off Great Year for David Sealy.................. 11 Collaboration Propels Play In the Air.................. 13 Spring Valley Guest Ranch— the Perfect Getaway....................................... 15 The Space-Time Continuum............................. 17
SWG STAFF Executive Director: Judith Silverthorne Accountant: Lois Salter Administrative Assistant: Milena Dzordeski Program Manager: Tracy Hamon (Regina) Program Coordinator: Sarah Shoker (Saskatoon) Communications Coordinator and Freelance Managing Editor: Kelsey Gottfried
Snippets from 2012 Arts Congress Key Address.................................................. 18
BOARD OF DIRECTORS Cathy Fenwick, President, Regina Lisa Wilson, Vice-President, Saskatoon George Khng, Treasurer, Saskatoon Darla Read, Secretary, Saskatoon Allison Kydd, Indian Head R. P. MacIntyre, La Ronge Scott Miller, Estevan Jarrett Rusnak, Regina Caitlin Ward, Saskatoon
In Memoriam—Andrew Suknaski...................... 26
Regina Courier or Drop-off Address: 1150 8th Avenue, Suite 100 Regina, SK S4R 1C9 Saskatoon Courier or Drop-off Address: 205A Pacific Avenue Saskatoon, SK S7K 1N9
Member News............................................... 21 Books by Members......................................... 23 Letters to the Editor........................................ 25 Markets and Contests..................................... 36 Professional Development Opportunities............37 Saskatchewan Book Awards ...........................40 Contributors to this issue: Charlene Blackwell Shirley Byers Robert Currie Cathy Fenwick Jean Freeman Margie Gillis Tracy Hamon
Ex-Officio: Judith Silverthorne
Mailing Address: Saskatchewan Writers' Guild Box 3986, Regina, SK S4P 3R9
2012 Arts Congress: Matters of Engagement a Success....................19
Contact: Phone: (306) 757-6310 Toll Free: 1-800-667-6788 Fax: (306) 565-8554 Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Web site: www.skwriter.com
John Harris Myrna Kostash Linda Mikolayenko Sarah Shoker Judith Silverthorne Glen Sorestad Caitlin Ward Edward Willett
We gratefully acknowledge the support of SaskCulture, Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund and the Saskatchewan Arts Board
ld models aren’t working any more. We’ve got to find a different approach. We need a new paradigm. We’re being asked to do more with less.” I’ve been hearing these phrases for the last 25 years. It turned out to be a boon to my consulting business, but it created no small amount of distress for those in the midst of adapting to constant rapid change. People in the Arts community are not immune to these effects. Charles Darwin wrote, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
Change is difficult, not all change is good, but there are times when change is necessary. If you’ve been following the activities at the SWG you will be aware of the many changes that have occurred in the last few years. We’ve made significant changes in our accounting practices and created several new communication strategies, which include continuously updating the website and using Survey Monkey to poll SWG members. We’ve revised the administration of Retreats, implemented a Grain ad hoc committee, and expanded programs and services for young people and Aboriginal writers. The board is examining policies and by-laws so that we are functioning in accordance with the revisions to the Canada Not-ForProfit Corporations Act, which has an impact on charitable and non-profit organizations such as the SWG. The Act dictates an objective standard of care and due diligence that was created to enable not-for-profit corpora-
tions to operate as efficiently as their for-profit counterparts. In this environment we are being asked to concretely demonstrate responsibility and accountability in a number of areas, such as new requirements for by-laws as well as financial accountability and disclosure. Regarding financial processes, we have a highly qualified accountant who, diligently monitors CRA compliances and other applicable laws and regulations, and has enhanced accountability and internal controls, streamlined our accounting processes, and she is knowledgeable about legal documentation as it relates to accounting rules. We have regulations that guide our entire operations—besides the accounting process, we are fiscally and legally responsible to our members, our funders, the Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act, and the Saskatchewan Nonprofit Corporations Act. Members of the Guild board and staff are doing as much as possible to stretch and maximize the dollars within which we are asked to work. We have a budget that we stick to and when the dollars don’t cover costs, sometimes fees need to be raised. For example, retreats have been and will continue to be subsidised for SWG members, but with rising costs we had to make the decision to raise fees, particularly for out of province guests as subsidies come from Saskatchewan funding. This is the same for other programs; if fees aren’t raised, and other funding sources can’t be found, we will be forced to cut or reduce them. Many of our programs and ser-
vices have been updated with a focus on providing maximum benefit to all of our members. We continue to search for ways to enhance programming, find sponsors, and meet the needs of our members while providing balanced programming. This is why we have initiated a series of surveys and will be conducting forums and ad hoc groups to look at aspects of programming and garner membership input. An overview of our Strategic Action Plan (2011- 2016), which is posted on the website, addresses our vision for the future of the SWG. We value your input and hope all members will be actively involved. If called upon to volunteer some of your time and talents, please say yes, or drop by the office and ask if there’s anything you could do to help. Literary journals and magazines everywhere are struggling, for many reasons, not the least of which is the Internet. The Grain ad hoc committee is making excellent progress toward the goal of generating recommendations that could help us to keep Grain alive and vibrant; many thanks to the committee for keeping us up to date on their activities. We continue to improve and expand services and programs for Aboriginal writers. We have established a permanent part-time Aboriginal Program Coordinator position, created an Aboriginal Advisory Circle, and a partnership with the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Writers’ Circle. Winston Churchill said, “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” History has not been kind to Indigenous peoples. We must ask ourselves,
“Have we been doing enough to make welcome the Aboriginal writers in our midst?” The United Nation Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples addresses individual and collective rights to cultural identity. Full partnership is the only way to make progress and re-vision history from a broader and more inclusive paradigm. We think it’s important to learn about other cultures in order to serve all of our members and we’re currently working toward the creation of an Equity Plan. Partnerships are created by respecting the direct input of everyone involved in decision making and allowing for full expression of cultural beliefs and practices. If you’ve been reading the last few issues of Freelance you will note references to equality, justice and respect for cultural protocols. James Romanow wrote in the February-March issue, “A Protocol of Place will not reverse a couple hundred years of racism but it is a good first step. If all it takes is a nod to the Creator to achieve this … I will in fact send up a prayer of thanks to my pagan gods…” Lisa Bird-Wilson responded to James’s viewpoint by adding her perspective on Protocol of Place, which “is connected as much to a spiritual sense of place as it is to a physical one.” Lisa wrote, “Over the past few years, the SWG has taken some steps to be a more inclusive and equitable service organization. Really positive, progressive steps. Now is the
right time to do this—to move forward with a Protocol of Place. Including such a protocol in the opening of meetings and the annual conference is simply a matter of respect, all around. It’s our chance to begin to understand each other better.” The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild is an organization meant to represent and assist all writers in Saskatchewan, we are moving forward by including Protocol of Place at some of our gatherings. Lisa mentioned in her article that Protocol of Place may or may not include the presence of an Elder, who may or may not offer a blessing or a prayer. This inclusiveness is a step toward full partnership. We are inviting everyone to experience another way of viewing the world. Understanding each other better is the theme of the excellent CBC documentary 8th Fire: Aboriginal Peoples, Canada & The Way Forward, hosted by Wab Kinew. If you missed the presentation on television, it can be viewed online at the CBC website. A sense of spirit is not necessarily attached to religion, although some people persist in perceiving it as quasi-religious at the very least. My most popular workshop offering is titled Keeping Spirit Alive at Work, which I’ve presented in all the provinces of Canada, as well as in Dublin and Milan. This presentation has nothing to do with religion, but is an invitation to participants to find ways
to make their life’s work more enjoyable. Spirit is that energy, commitment and enthusiasm which makes life and work worthwhile. Some people say “being in the zone” while engaging in creative activity, is a spiritual experience. Spirit can exist in play— crosscountry skiing on a gorgeous winter day is a spiritual experience for me; truly there is no place I’d rather be than on that ski trail. These activities can be perceived as spirit-filled, but have nothing to do with religion. The League of Canadian Poets had their Poetry Festival and AGM this year in Saskatoon. I trust that many of our Guild members were in attendance, given the large number of excellent poets in the SWG. In case you didn’t know, the LCP is offering a 10% discount on LCP member fees to all new and renewing Saskatchewan League members. The Saskatchewan Festival of Words in Moose Jaw is happening July 19-22. I hope to see many of you there. And of course I hope you are planning to attend the SWG Fall Conference and AGM in Saskatoon, October 26-28. We are partnering with the Anskohk Writers’ Festival this year, which will have a stream of scheduled activities beginning on October 25th. The literary scene in Saskatchewan is indeed alive and well.
Cheers, Cathy Fenwick
Executive Director’s Report
rogressing at full tilt is perhaps the most apt way of describing the many activities I’ve been involved with at the Guild over the last two or three months. Not only with attending numerous Guild meetings and programs, but events such as the Saskatchewan Book Awards, Willow Awards Fundraising Dinner, Saskatchewan Aboriginal Literacy Awards, Women of Distinction Nominee Reception and later the Awards event, the SK Book Awards shortlist readings, Speak Out about CBC cuts, and the 2012 Arts Congress.
which I also attend. In the words of Brett Wilson, “Culture is an essential component of community building,” and the legacy project is striving towards creating a ‘centre for literary excellence.” A place where writers can gather, learn, teach and find community. Imagine a central location for the Guild office, a place to run classes and workshops, hold
Attendance at this last inspiring event again brought home even stronger the importance of art and how it manifests our culture; how art is a powerful tool of transformation. Special keynote addresses from Robert Enright, Neal McLeod and Margie Gillis expanded on the conference theme of Matters of Engagement from their perspectives of cultural journalism, multi-media artist, and dance choreographer and performer. An excerpt of Margie Gillis’ speech is in this issue…though relating to dance, is apt for writers too, just as we find so many cross-overs within the fields of the arts. We all know art is grounded in economics, but it’s also about cultural survival. It reflects our contemporary life and our consciousness is expressed through the arts. We need to nurture our culture and our arts. We also know artist run centres are essential for emerging artists and writers.
building,” ... the
And this is where the SWG Foundation Board comes in with their legacy project, meetings of JUNE-JULY 2012
“Culture is an essential component of community legacy project is striving towards creating a ‘centre for literary excellence.”
book launches and conferences; a permanent place to house our library of Saskatchewan authored books, a photo gallery of honoured authors, a space where writers can find a space to write, and so much more. The building could gather other organizations under one roof such as the Saskatchewan Book Awards, Saskatchewan Arts Alliance, Saskatchewan Publishers Group where we could communicate and partner even more. Donating towards this building guarantees a centre where writing and writers can flourish. Please consider donating to make it happen. Programming The Guild’s spring
ming has been abundant and full of exciting successes with a wide range of activities, news of which is in this issue of Freelance. Congratulations to City of Regina Writing Award recipient Dave Sealy and runners-up B. D. Miller and Katherine Lawrence. Look also for items about the Windscript launch and awards —congratulations to our recipients—Sarah J Houghtaling, Paige Mitchell and Elliece Ramsay and the runners-up of these awards: Amy Baldwin, Kayla Ingold and Tessa L’Hoir. We also held readings by Mark Abley and Neal McLeod. Thanks to all who attend these offerings and thanks to our entertaining presenters and knowledgeable speakers and to our many workshop instructors. A series of professional development workshops about the business of writing and marketing were offered in Regina and Saskatoon. Some with lower attendance will be offered again in the fall for those who may have been too busy to take advantage of them during this busy season. The June 30th deadline is fast approaching for nominations for the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Achievement, submissions for the John V Hicks Award in poetry and applications for funding for writers’ groups. In this issue you can also find more information about our summer activities such as our regular Writer/Artist Retreats in July; Aboriginal Youth facilitated writing retreats in Regina and Saskatoon and the second annual adult Aboriginal Facilitated Writing Retreat at Ravenscrag in August. For the third consecu-
tive year the Guild is partnering with Regina Downtown and the Regina Public Library to present Words in the Park at noon on Wednesdays throughout July and August. Tracy is also providing a teaser in this issue of Freelance about our upcoming Fall Conference & AGM. Featured is Sylvia Tyson to present the Caroline Heath Lecture. Besides her lengthy musical career, she has recently written a new book, Joyner’s Dream. One of the highlights at the conference will be the celebration and official signing of an agreement between the Guild and the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Writer’s Circle Inc (SAWCI). This group is responsible for the Anskohk Aboriginal Literature Festival (http://anskohk.com/) and this year the Guild will be partnering with Anskohk at our conference to host joint sessions and dovetail the two events. Staff Updates The Guild is thrilled to announce that Joely BigEagle’s three month contract as the Aboriginal Program Coordinator that started at the beginning of January has been extended to the end of this fiscal year and that this part-time position will become a permanent one in the new fiscal year. Joely’s skills are apparent in all the programming and events she has already initiated and we look forward to her initiating more that will specifically assist our Aboriginal members. We are excited to welcome back one of our summer students from last year, Kelsey Gottfried. Kelsey is currently doing some contract work on the Guild’s digital photograph collections; reviewing, organizing and adding to our digitized visual resources for the numerous materials we
produce for our programs and promotions. She is here thanks to a SaskCulture Capacity Building Grant. She may need your assistance from time to time to help sort out attributions to the many photos with unknown credits. She will continue with us in other administrative capacities throughout the coming months. Also new to our fold, we are pleased to introduce Louise BigEagle as our Service Canada, Canada Summer Jobs summer employee. Louise is the Aboriginal Program Assistant working with Joely to help implement new programming, create potential programming, help plan a year of events, network and generally provide support wherever needed, including with running the Aboriginal writer retreats and other events already scheduled over the summer. Our most recent summer student to join our team is Desarae Eashappie, who is here thanks to the Student Summer Works Program administered by SaskCulture with funding provided by the Saskatchewan Government, Advanced Education, Employment and Immigration department. Desarae is the Aboriginal Program Researcher who will focus on building resource databases, researching organizations with similar mandates, administrative support, database entry/management of provincial and national Aboriginal writers, as well as contributing to website resources and social media development, and searching for funding and sponsorship sources. Thanks to Volunteers I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Anne Pennylegion for voluntarily submitting her regular contributions to Ebriefs. In the News has proved to be a popular section. Our volunteers are really appreciated and I thank
again Dave Sealy, Jeanne Alexander and Annette Bower for their enthusiastic help in spreading the word about the Guild at our table at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival’s Saturday event on May 26. We actually garnered a couple of new members and piqued quite a bit of interest. Thanks also to Tracy and Milena who also braved the cool windy day to help me at the table. Thank you to all who volunteer for us. Every time you do, it takes a little of the load off the office staff so we can concentrate on bringing more programming to you. Thank you also to everyone who took the time to respond to our surveys. Results will be shared with you, when everything is tabulated. We also look forward to hearing from you during focus group discussions or at any time. We appreciate hearing what we can provide to benefit you the most. Happy writing this summer. Judith Silverthorne
Spring Plans are under way for Spring Volume IV, the SWG’s magazine for emerging writers. We are looking for a managing editor as well as fiction and poetry editors. Please send your literary resume by September 7, 2012 to SWG, PO Box 3896 Regina, SK S4P 3R9. Please call Tracy at 306-791-7743 for more information.
CONFERENCE: Speaking in Tongues: Writing Voice and Genre When: Friday October 2628th, 2012, Saskatoon, SK Where: Please Note the new venues: Hotel Rooms (also evening events for Heath Lecture, Hicks Banquet, and AGM): Hilton Garden Inn Saskatoon 90— 22nd Street East, Saskatoon, SK. A block of rooms will be held until Sept. 25, 2012 at a rate of $149.00. Conference Events Friday and Saturday will be held at TCU Place located at 35 22nd Street East, Saskatoon, SK S7K 0C8 (across the street from the Hilton Garden Inn).
Who: Our guest lecturer for
the Caroline Heath Lecture this year is Sylvia Tyson. She joins us to talk about writing and her new book, Joyner’s Dream.
For eighteen years, SYLVIA TYSON was one half of the internationally renowned folk duo Ian and Sylvia. Sylvia has recorded ten solo albums since the duo split in 1975, and since 2000 has been recording and performing with the group Quartette. She has also had a distinguished radio and television career, both in music and documentaries. Sylvia Tyson is a member of the Order of
Canada and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. She lives in Toronto. Also confirmed for this fall are writers Marilyn Dumont, Jennifer Wynne Webber, Candace Savage, Curtis Peeteetuce, Carolyn Swayze, Dave Carpenter, Brenda Baker, Barbara Klar and others.
What: Sessions, sessions
and more sessions! • Breaking and Entering: How to Approach an Agent • Common Ground: Connecting the Voices • Call of the Wild: Nature in Poetry • Show and Tell: Prescription Versus Description • Ventriloquism 101: Giving Voice to Your Work • Illusions of Grandeur: To Be or Not to Be in Theatre • Time Travel: Flashing Forward and Back in Fiction (fiction workshop) • The Frog in Your Throat: Demystifying the Voice (poetry workshop) • Literary History of Saskatchewan • Pitch Sessions • Open Mic with the infamous Gerry Hill
Why: Because you can, and
you want to! Watch for full conference information coming to web page soon!
MANUSCRIPT EVALUATION SERVICE Professional evaluation at a sensible fee The Manuscript* Evaluation Service assists writers at all levels of development who would like a professional response to their unpublished work. The service is available to ALL Saskatchewan writers, and uses the talents of Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild (SWG) published members. The SWG offers this service with the generous partnership of the Saskatchewan Arts Board.
Full details & fees at www.skwriter.com
programs services manuscript evaluation service Send your manuscript and payment to the following address: Manuscript Evaluation Service Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild Box 3986 Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3R9 For more information, phone 306-791-7743 or Email email@example.com
Writing in Saskatchewan Access 7 TV Show Writing in Saskatchewan will resume shooting new segments this summer on Access 7, Saskatchewan. Authors are interviewed and given an opportunity to read from their works. The program will be recorded on Sundays in Regina. If an author would be interested in being interviewed, please contact Jeanne Alexander at jantosh@ sasktel.net or call 585-6238. JUNE-JULY 2012
* Manuscripts: • Prose • Poetry • Dramatic Scripts (theatrical)
Grain Ad Hoc Committee Report
t the SWG’s last Annual General Meeting, a motion was put forward to create an ad hoc committee in order to assess the role and place of Grain Magazine in the Guild. With the committee assembled in spring 2012, we met for the first time on April 15th. We are composed of a variety of stakeholders from the guild, most of whom have been involved with Grain, and all of whom have magazine experience: Philip Adams, Dave Margoshes, Rod McIntyre, Ken Mitchell, Brenda Niskala, Mike Thompson (ex officio), and Caitlin Ward (chair). At that first meeting, we decided that an important part of the ad hoc committee’s mandate is to keep the membership informed of our research and actions, as well as solicit input from the membership. With that in mind, we present this report.
Left to right: Dave Margoshes, Caitlin Ward, Mike Thompson
know whether or not to recommend that Grain stay with the SWG, or leave the SWG, and in either case, how that would look.
The more At the meeting we discussed the One of our first comprehensive history and pressteps is to look a picture we ent state of Grain. at the goverhave of Grain There are a vanance models the better riety of opinions of literary and on the commitcultural magaposition we will t ee about the zines across be in to make direction Grain Canada and an intelligent should take in internationally. recommendation terms of its govWe w i l l b e e rnance. Tha t speaking to at the end of said, we want people direcly the ad hoc to stress that involved in committee’s the committee various literary three-year as a whole is magazines to not going into see the bentenure. the process with efits and chala preconceived lenges of their notion about what should hapgovernance structures. We will pen regarding the magazine’s also be talking to various key governance. That is, we have players who have been involved not done sufficient research to with the SWG and Grain, includFREELANCE
ing editors, executive directors, business managers, and funders, both past and present. The more comprehensive a picture we have of literary magazines in general, and Grain in particular, the better position we will be in to make an intelligent recommendation at the end of the ad hoc committee’s three-year tenure. Equally significant to the ad hoc committee’s process is knowing what you, the membership, thinks about the place of Grain in the SWG. We invite all members to give us their two cents! You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your comments and ideas. We’ve set up this email account as a means of getting membership input, rather than a place to answer questions or queries. However, we may be able to answer questions at a later date. Caitlin Ward (Chair)
program news Windscript Launch 2012
he launch of the youth writing magazine Windscript was held on May 23 at the
Unitarian Church during the Cathedral Village Arts Festival. Over 45 people helped kick off the
new issue of youth writing by listening to the numerous contributors read from their work. THE Jerrett Enns Awards are two awards of excellence for high school student writing in poetry and prose named in honour of Victor Jerrett Enns, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild from 1982 to 1988. A third award for art was discontinued in 1996. Today, the poetry and prose awards continue to be presented, as well as an Honourable Mention in each category.
(Back left to right) Sheena Koops, Paige Mitchell, Kayla Ingold, Andrea Bosch, Toni Sim, Brady Metz, Andrew Abraham, (Bottom) Amy Baldwin, Ellice Ramsay, Emery Alberts
Congratulations to the Award Winners! • Jerrett Enns Award for Poetry: Elliece Ramsey
• Honourable Mention for Prose: Kayla Ingold
• Honourable Mention for Poetry: Amy Baldwin
• Currie Hyland Prize: Sarah J Houghtaling
• Jerrett Enns Award for Prose: Paige Mitchell
• Currie Hyland Prize Honourable Mention: Tessa L’Hoir
SWG thanks Coteau Books for the donations of book prizes.
THE Currie-Hyland PrizE is awarded for excellence in poetry to a high school writer living outside Regina or Saskatoon. This award was established in 1992 by the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and the literary community of Moose Jaw as a tribute to Robert Currie and Gary Hyland in recognition of the literary excellence they achieved in their many published works and to acknowledge their commitment and generosity to their students and fellow writers.
Grain Magazine: We want to know what you think! At the last SWG AGM, the membership passed a motion to strike a 3-year ad hoc committee to examine the governance of Grain as one of the SWG’s programs. Part of the committee’s mandate is to find out how you, the magazine’s stakeholders, feel about Grain and its place in the SWG. Comments, concerns, and suggestions can be forwarded to email@example.com, where they will be read by the entire committee. Please note that we will not be able to respond to questions/ queries at this time or through this email service, as it is intended to collect information rather than be a forum for discussion. We may be able to respond at a later date. Watch upcoming issues of Freelance for more information about the ad hoc committee’s activities.
(left to right) Michelle Hatzel, Sandra Birdsell, Lori Pollock, Harriet Richards, Mari-Lou Rowley, Charlotte Garrett, Gayle Smith, Alison Lohans
Mentorship Program—Apprentice Reading, 2012
he Mentorship culminated with prentice Reading 26 at the MacKenzie
Program the Apon April Art Gal-
lery. Nearly 50 friends, family, and writers gathered to hear the emerging talent of Charlotte Garrett, Gayle Smith, Lori Pol-
lock, and Mitchelle Hatzel. A reception followed the reading.
fter the successful completion of our professional development series, SWG in Saskatoon is turning its head towards prose and poetry. On June 9th we are holding a Slam Poetry Workshop to be instructed by Charles Hamilton, one of Saskatchewan’s premier Slam Poets. Summer in Saskatoon also sees the arrival of Bringing Back the Buffalo: Stories from the Core. In partnership with the Saskatoon Native Theatre Company, SWG is planning a week long creative writing workshop for Aboriginal youth ages 13-19. Entry is free.
The workshop takes place from August 20th—24th and participants will have the opportunity to exchange e-mails with their instructors from August 27th –31st. So if you know anyone who may be interested make sure to pass the message along!
writer will have the opportunity to learn from and be mentored by the other instructor. The successful applicant will have been published, but an extensive literary resume is not required. For more information please contact Sarah at 306-955-5513.
We are also looking for an emerging writer to act as co-instructor for this workshop. Aboriginal applicants will be given preference. The successful applicant should be entering his/her writing career and looking to further develop his/her skills. In addition to acting as a co-instructor to a more established writer, the emerging
Finally, we are also pleased to announce that SWG is sponsoring a workshop at the PWAC (Professional Writers’ Association of Canada) fall conference. SWG members receive an earlybird discount until August 15th. To register, please visit www. bonniezink.com.
New Employees at the Guild
We welcome Louise BigEagle, one of SWG’s summer students, working as the Aboriginal Program Assistant. Louise BigEagle is a 4th Year student at the University of Regina in Bachelor of Arts, with a major in Film and Media Studies. Louise has always been interested in the area of writing, whether its poems, short stories, or mostly in the area of fiction. Her main interest when she graduates in 2013 is screenwriting and documentary film. Her favourite writer is Edgar Allan Poe, whom her writing takes after.
We would also like to welcome Desarae Eashappie one of the Guild’s summer students working as the Aboriginal Program Researcher. Desarae Eashappie is a proud mother and wife from Carry the Kettle First Nation. She attends the First Nations University, entering her third year of studies in English (with a concentration in creative writing) and Indian Communication Arts. She has a strong passion for the literature world and loves to write poetry.
Poetry Month Reading, 2012, left to right, Bruce Rice, Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan Don Kerr, Her Honour the Lieutenant Governor (of Saskatchewan) and His Honour Mr. Schofield JUNE-JULY 2012
T he Gui l d we l c om e s b a c k Kelsey Gottfried! Kelsey Gottfried is returning to the SWG this summer to work on the Guild’s digital photograph collections and other administrative duties. Kelsey is a recent Bachelor’s Degree in Honours graduate with a major in English and minor in History from the University of Saskatchewan.
Bevann Fox at the Self Publishing Workshop in Regina
“But I’m a writer—what difference does it make if I know how to read out loud??” By Jean Freeman
s a writer—no matter what style or genre—sooner or later, you’ll either be asked, or see an opportunity to volunteer, to read your prose or poetry to an audience, large or small, planned or impromptu.
gives them a new dimension, and can turn the story or poem into a remarkably powerful and emotional experience that benefits both you as a writer, and your listeners-who-can-be-movedto-become-readers.
Most people love to experience (and hopefully to meet) writers in the flesh. To hear you read your work is a thrill that will enhance your image in the public’s estimation, and may even spur them to buy books, get tickets for a seminar or performance, or sign up for a workshop you may be giving.
The idea of our written creations shared through the spoken voice is neither new nor unique. Story-
Writers’ responses/reactions to such opportunities range from wild enthusiasm (“I can do that! Piece of cake. I’m a good reader. How hard can reading be, especially my own stuff? It’s great. They’ll love it!!”) to sheer terror (“I can’t possibly do that! I hate speaking in public! I’ll be terrible! This will be a disaster, or at least a really dull and boring experience. They’ll hate my stuff!”) The truth generally lies somewhere in the middle—with perhaps a tip toward the “dull and boring” end of the scale. No matter how exciting, enthralling, moving or gripping your poems or prose may be in print, poor presentation (as in “reading out loud”) will leave your creation lying dead as a doornail at the feet (or ears) of your potential reader-fans. Hearing your print words—hearing them read well, clearly, with emotion and passion and understanding—brings them alive,
No matter how exciting, enthralling, moving or gripping your poems or prose may be in print, poor presentation will leave your creation lying dead as a doornail at the feet (or ears) of your potential reader-fans. telling is one of the oldest human traditions. For most of us, our earliest memories are of someone reading stories to us before we learned how to read ourselves. Unfortunately, all too many writers—fiction, poetry, non-fiction or faction, young adult (YA) or early-reader—believe that their abilities to read out loud are considerably better than they actually are. Like most people, writers can speak, and generally do, much faster than people can listen. The idea is perhaps that if you slow down instead of rushing, your audience will get
bored and leave. (The opposite is generally true.) Sloppy speech gets in the way of allowing listeners to appreciate and understand every one of your well-crafted words and carefully-constructed scenarios. Enunciation really does make a difference. Speaking in your “outdoor voice” is essential, as is using a microphone when one is provided, even in a small room. If people can’t hear you—they tune out and turn off, and very often assume you’re not a very good writer—not just that you’re not a very good speaker! It really is necessary to find a way to convince all writers that knowing how to read (their own work, or someone else’s) clearly and with animation is an important part of any writer’s skill set. The SWG is prepared to offer workshops about “Writing Out Loud”—so when you see them advertised, take advantage of them, or ask to have one in your area at a time when you can take advantage of it! New Ebriefs Deadline for Summer For the summer months, the deadline for submitting information to the Guild for in Ebriefs will be at NOON on Wednesday of each week until September 1. This will accommodate vacation times and other staff fluctuations and summer student hours. Ebriefs will be posted no later than Friday morning each week.
into three or four smaller blocks, probably in the summer, fall and early winter. He’ll work on Stuck With the Queen, the play that won the competition, probably schedule some table readings and have the play ready to submit by the deadline for the award in February 2013.
City of Regina Writing Award Caps Off Great Year for David Sealy By Shirley Byers
his has been a great year, “says David Sealy, winner of the 2012 City of Regina Writing award. “I think this has been my dream year, really. I’ve been working on projects off and on for the last 3 years and this year everything’s just kind of lining up in a storybook fashion.
In the fall of 2012, one of his plays, The Bob Shivery Show will be produced in Calgary. He’s co-writing a musical, No Ordinary Tulip, with Lynn Calder and he’s this year’s recipient of the City of Regina Writing Award. Funded by the City of Regina and administered by the SWG, the award is the culmination of annual competition open to all Regina writers in all genres. The $4000 prize is designed to enable one writer to work on a specific solo writing project for a three-month period. The winner is chosen by professional writers from outside Saskatchewan. Sealy thinks he’ll divide the time
In spite of his multiple successes — his dramatic monologue “I Married a Dishrag” was a winner in Grain magazine’s Short Grain contest; Life’s Like That was part of the Saskatchewan Playwright’s Centre Spring Festival and Runaway Barbies was presented at the Petro-Canada Stage One Festival in Calgary — play writing wasn’t Sealy’s first love. It found him in Northern Saskatchewan when he was living in La Ronge. “I didn’t know I was a playwright until that fateful day when Mansel Robinson, renowned Saskatchewan playwright, came and did a workshop with the La Ronge writing group and I had to write a play. I’d never written a play before but I churned out a play.” “That was Life’s Like That. It had some amount of success . . . Prior to that point I think I primarily considered I might be a poet, I didn’t think I could really write dialogue. That must be hard, how do they do it?” “Playwriting differs from poetry or novel writing in that it’s more of a collaborative medium, Sealy says. “You do multiple drafts, get a lot of input. You have to know what the actors think about things. If the actor can’t read the line, if the actor doesn’t understand why the character’s doing something the play won’t be as good as it could be.” “As well there are directors and
text people; a lot of people stirring the pot and that’s the way I like it. You can get so many great ideas from people that way, although I would love to be a playwright who can turn out a perfect play the first time around, and everybody who reads it looks up and says,’ well, it’s perfect. It doesn’t need anything.’” “I wouldn’t call myself the most literary of writers,” he says and quickly adds he’s not implying any judgement with that statement. “I like comedy a lot . . . but not just pie in the face, slip on a banana peel comedy. I like to kind of seed a few issues in here and there with the yuks, but I don’t mind going dark now and then. It’s about character. You have to be true to your character. Life isn’t just a big bowl of yuks.” Representing where he lives is another element of his writing, he says. Stuck With the Queen is set in rural Saskatchewan, in a farmhouse in the middle of winter. The first half is a two hander — an 80 year old woman, with an interesting past, and possibly some secrets which could be valuable to the right person, and a young salesman who shows up at her door. Or does he just show up? Does he or does he not have some sort of agenda? Did he just happen upon this woman or is there another kind of treachery afoot? Could be, but that’s all he’s telling. . . for now. Sealy has been a postal worker, a laboratory technologist; he’s taught sciences, communications and laboratory chemistry work. He’s worked in communications and done resume writing. But the job he has now, he says, is as close to a good
match for a writer, as he’s likely to find. He’s managing editor of Hansard at the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly. “There’s a lot of working with language; a lot of taking the spoken word and turning it into the written word which presents a unique and interesting challenge. For a playwright it’s wonderful to hear the human voice in all its various cadences and quirks. And it’s probably helped me quite a bit in my understanding of how the voice works, how people express themselves, or how they choose not to express themselves sometimes — a subtext or a sub layer, under what’s said, or just really the intent. It’s all very interesting. It’s a great job.” And it has been a great year. So what’s next for the 2012 City of Regina Writing Awardee? In one year, he says, he’d like to be looking at another production; in five years he’d like to be looking at another production and seeing some of his older plays being produced elsewhere too; and in ten years he’d like to be retired from the day job and able to work full time on his writing. “That would be grand.”
Help with Guild Office History We would like your assistance in tracking the various places where the Guild office has lived in Regina. If you have information about the history of the branch office in Saskatoon, or the Grain office, that would be appreciated as well. Please send information to communications@skwriter. com. Thanks for your help!
WRITER IN RESIDENCE WANTED FOR FACILITATED RETREAT The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild is seeking a Writer In Residence (WIR) for the annual Facilitated Retreat at St. Peter’s Abbey in the fall. The Writer in Residence will give a talk on an aspect of writing as reflected by the needs of the participants. The WIR will also meet one on one with each of a maximum of twelve participants for a total of one hour to give them specific feedback on their writing and/or answers to their writing-related questions. The WIR is expected to be available for informal discussion with participants during meals and at other times for a minimum of seven hours over the course of the retreat. The object of the Facilitated Retreat is to encourage and offer advice to participants. The Facilitated Retreat will take place at St. Peter’s Abbey, Muenster, from November 8 to 11 2012, with arrival the evening of Thursday, November 8 and departure after lunch on Sunday, November 11. Payment is $1300 (plus GST if required). Private room and meals are provided, but the Writer In Residence is responsible for their own transportation to and from the facility. If the retreat does not go ahead as planned because of lack of registration or other reasons, no fee will be paid. A complete job description is available upon request. Previous Writers In Residence should allow five years before re-applying for this position. Qualifications: • Experience in a teaching or mentoring situation with beginning writers in different genres • An extensive publication history, including at least one book To apply, please submit your CV, the names and phone numbers of two people familiar with your teaching/mentoring ability, and one or two paragraphs describing your approach to teaching/ mentoring writers. Preference will be given to Saskatchewan residents. Please contact Anne Pennylegion, Retreat Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the contract position. Send your application to the SWG office made to the attention of the Retreat Coordinator, Box 3986, Regina, SK, S4P 3R9.
Deadline for receipt of applications for this contract position is 4:30 p.m. Friday July 27, 2012.
Collaboration Propels Play In the Air By Linda Mikolayenko
“You can’t make it on your own. No, you can’t make it all alone. You can fuss and fight. You can try as you might, but you can’t make it on your own.”
his refrain, sung by characters Sandy, Karl and Tiff, closes the first act of the musical play, In the Air, staged last fall by Dancing Sky Theatre. It is also a testament to the power of collaboration for the play’s co-creators, R.P. (Rod) MacIntyre and Gareth L. Cook, and for the Wild Rice Writers’ Group of La Ronge. As well, this particular journey from concept to production is a celebration of grant funding in nurturing the arts, and benefiting the larger community. In the spring of 2009, CBC Radio commissioned Gareth Cook to create a musical composition to accompany that year’s Poetry Slam theme of “Flight”. The result was a bluesy melody, “In the Air”. Serendipitously, around the same time, Dancing Sky Theatre’s Angus and Louisa Ferguson were tossing around the idea of a play about the bush pilots of Saskatchewan’s north. Could Rod MacIntyre be enticed back into writing for theatre with this project? And why not make it a musical play? Could Rod and Gareth, both La Ronge residents, be the perfect combination?
reth would bring the right mix of skill and inspiration to ensure the success of the project, but we also recognized that, if we could somehow be involved, this could be a unique opportunity for us to learn more about playwriting. In 2008, Angus Ferguson, Dancing Sky’s artistic director, presented a workshop for the group on “Creating a Play Collaboratively”. This served the dual purpose of whetting our appetites and providing a foundation for such a venture. In addition, we were intimately connected with the northern aviation community, and our experiences might contribute a valued perspective.
Rod and Gareth are both members of our La Ronge Wild Rice Writers’ Group, and when they shared these musings with the rest of us, well, response was “Yes!”, “Right on!”, “About time!”, and, most significantly, “How can we get a piece of the action?”
How could we help make this idea a reality? For years, the Wild Rice Writers have enjoyed financial support from the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and the Saskatchewan Lotteries’ community grants administered through the Town of La Ronge. However, this project seemed tailor-made for a Saskatchewan Arts Board Project ArtConnect Grant and we were delighted when our application was successful. This combined funding allowed the group to commission Rod and Gareth to create a musical play on the theme of bush pilots with the understanding that they would not only collaborate with each other, but would involve the writers’ group in the creative process. “In the Air” became the working title.
We, the members of the writers’ group, believed that Rod and Ga-
Beginning early in 2010, and over the course of the year, Rod
and Gareth provided ten drafts of the work in progress to meetings of the Wild Rice Writers’ Group. Typically, the members would read the various parts and provide feedback on the script as presented. Whenever a piano was available Gareth would play the songs he had composed. In addition, members of the writers’ group who no longer lived in La Ronge had the opportunity to comment on the draft when they visited La Ronge in the summer. In November, 2010, the writers’ group engaged Angus Ferguson and professional actor Skye Brandon to lead an all-day “workshop” of the most up-to-date version of the script. This included the songs, as well as incidental music. Parts of the day were video-recorded and made into a DVD for the benefit of those who were not able to attend, and to allow a review of the learnings at a later date. The members viewed portions of the DVD at a subsequent meeting in December. Rod and Gareth benefited from all this interaction in revising their work, and other members of the Wild Rice Writers’ Group enhanced their playwriting knowledge and skills as we discussed elements such as number and choice of characters, the time of telling, theatrical conventions, and appropriate dialogue. Who knows if this will lead to one of us writing a play of our own one day? The group’s formal association with the play ended with the
receipt in early 2011 of a “final” script of the play and lead sheets for the songs, but a new phase of excitement began with confirmation that Dancing Sky Theatre had accepted the play for staging in the fall. In addition to its Meacham theatre, a Saskatchewan Arts Board Culture on the Go grant would allow for performances in Prince Albert and Moose Jaw. When rehearsals began in August, we eagerly awaited updates as additional revisions were made. We nodded in agreement when the promotional material for the musical drama, whose evolution we had witnessed, was posted on the Dancing Sky website: “Two young men come to Saskatchewan after the First World War hoping to keep their dreams of flying and adventure alive. They buy the wreck of an old
biplane and set out to make a living as bush pilots—those modern day voyageurs that keep people, medicines, goods and yarns flying around the northern part of our province. These larger than life characters in so many ways embody the resilient, practical, ‘find a way to get it done’ spirit of Saskatchewan. This wonderful new play tells the stories of these buddies’ escapades; their friendship, their rivalry and the secrets that they are forced to keep from each other.” Some of us were fortunate to attend opening night on September 16, 2011 in Meacham, with Rod sitting in the audience at the back of the theatre and Gareth on stage providing musical accompaniment, or one of the other performances at Dancing
Saving for the Guild’s future (Donor status is cumulative)
“Are you a Builder or a Bystander?” Contributors Friends Supporters Benefactors Patron
up to 99 $100 to $999 $1,000 to $4,999 $5,000 to $10,000 over $10,000
Please make cheques or money orders payable to the SWG Foundation PO Box 3986, Regina SK S4P 3R9 You can also donate via Paypal at: www.skwriter.com/payments-and-donations SWG Foundation Reg. Charity Number 818943870 RR 0001 Thank you for your donation. A tax receipt will be issued.
Sky or the E.A. Rawlinson or Mae Wilson theatres. Besides simply enjoying falling under the spell of the magic of theatre ourselves, we also felt a pride in knowing that, while most of the credit was due to Rod, Gareth, Angus and the actors and crew, we had played a part in creating a spectacular artistic presentation that shared an engaging story of northern Saskatchewan’s heritage with theatre goers across the province. For its Meacham production, in another gesture of collaboration, Dancing Sky generously invited La Ronge visual artists, through the La Ronge Arts Council, to display their works. Eight artists showcased their creations in a variety of media: watercolours, acrylics, prints, photographs and fibre art. It is satisfying to note that one of these pieces caught the attention of an individual who came to the play and is now giving pleasure to a new owner in Vancouver. It is hard to measure the full impact of what a few thousand dollars in grants can accomplish when added to inspiration, but it is rewarding to see how each individual effort is enhanced by the contribution of others. The Wild Rice Writers’ Group is grateful for the ongoing support it has received, and regrets that the Saskatchewan Arts Board has discontinued its project grant program, without a comparable replacement. We have another creative idea that could use a funding boost. Any suggestions? The La Ronge Wild Rice Writers’ Group was founded in 1993. We hope to share more of its history and success stories in upcoming issues of Freelance, leading up to 20th anniversary celebrations next year. JUNE-JULY 2012
Spring Valley Guest Ranch—the Perfect Getaway By Charlene Blackwell
His Back, T-Rex Centre, Cypress Hills Winery and Fort Walsh. I have two quarter sections plus five quarters with access to a wonderful spring so they can tour and hike along the ridge to view teepee rings, wildflowers in May and June, moose, elk, pronghorn, white tail deer, mule deer and lots of birds. If you’re a naturalist, an artist or a writer, to be close to the land and experience quiet and nature in all its glory, it’s inspirational.” Spring Valley Guest Ranch
rom earliest times, Aboriginal peoples, explorers, cowboys and tourists have been drawn to the Cypress Hills, the highest elevation in the province with more than 7,000 years of human history and often regarded as a spiritual place and one of shelter. After reading Sharon Butala’s Wild Stone Heart and Wallace Stegner’s Wolf Willow in 2006, I was compelled to travel back to the hills and kick-start my semi-dormant writing career. Recalling a friend’s recommendation for the Spring Valley Guest Ranch, a bed and breakfast near Ravenscrag, I doubt I could’ve found a better, more central venue for writing and exploration. That four-day writing retreat filled me with more than enough motivation and pages to get my first novel seriously underway. Now that I’ve completed it, I find myself pondering another retreat for my next novel and stopping by the ranch to share a delicious home-cooked hot lunch with ranch owner Jim Saville.
Many famous artists and writers sojourn to Spring Valley
Guest Ranch not only because of its serenity and beauty, but perhaps because of Saville’s special touch and culinary talents. Twenty-five years ago, he moved an already built Eaton’s catalogue home to his ranch from Irvine, Alberta to open it as a bed and breakfast. Next year he’ll celebrate the house’s 100th birthday. Courtney Milne, J. Jill Robinson and husband, Steven Ross Smith, Anne Pennylegion and David Carpenter are among the many artists who’ve enjoyed staying at the ranch. According to Jim, people come for the isolation. “David Carpenter’s an avid fisherman so he comes out to go fly-fishing, but he won’t tell me where,” Jim says. “There are so many creeks to the west and more to the east with brown, brook and rainbow trout.” He continues, “there are lots of day trips where people can use this as a base to do some writing and do some sightseeing to Cypress Hills Provincial Park, Cypress Lake, Old Man on
He explains, “when I first moved the house here, it was always part of our family’s land and I love the valley, the coulee when you drop over the hill. It’s always been a comforting place to come and many guests have said that, too. I call it Spring Valley because of the spring up the valley about a mile, coming out of the hill gallons of water per second and it’s always been a spiritual place where guests can go and sit.” Passionate and interested in the diversity of rare and heritage breeds of livestock, Jim keeps six breeds of chickens producing various coloured eggs and several breeds of cattle giving very different-tasting milks. I asked Jim if the eggs have slightly different flavours and Jim said, pointing, “These are chocolate, these are vanilla, these are mint.” We both laughed and he added, “No, they’re all the same. Everybody always asks me that. I love the reaction when the kids say, ‘Really?’” In the back of the saloon, Jim has set up a CFAapproved cheeserie where he makes cream, butter, four hard cheeses—Havarti, Caerphilly, Cheddar and Gouda—and four
The dining room at Spring Valley Guest Ranch
soft cheeses—Feta, Paneer, Mascarpone and Ricotta, of which I picked some up before leaving to taste the unique flavours. The house, together with the log cabin built in 1996, sleeps a total of twenty-two guests. In 1997, Saville built the saloon to host weddings, reunions and other events seating seventy-five and thirty-five in the B & B’s restaurant. The church, renamed Saville Theatre was brought to the ranch from Consul, Saskatchewan in 2006 to host all sorts of fine arts events. Guests have held concerts featuring classical, opera, reggae, Cuban, folk and bluegrass music. A banquet room in the theatre basement seats ninety with a full kitchen and bar. As of the end of April, the ranch now has Internet access for those who feel the need and Jim also accommodates those requiring special dietary needs.
writing time was very flexible. A big teepee from the Nekaneet First Nation was set up outside where writers met as a group and held ceremonies, burning sweet grass. Another time, one playwright spent much of her time in Saville Theatre to assist with a play she was working on. Saville Theatre is also open as a theatre retreat where playwrights could come for a week, working through the entire process of writing the script, direction and production to culminate in an invitation to the community to watch the finished play.
The first day of my 2006 personal writing retreat at Spring Valley, I met Bob Santos of the Nature Conservancy of Canada. He welcomed me to Old Man on His Back Prairie and Conservation Area where Sharon Butala’s late husband Pete gave me a full tour of the property I’d read about in Wild Stone Heart. I later gazed at the distant bison in the hills and heard a pronghorn calling nearby. Other days, I wrote and sketched atop Jones’ Peak in the Frenchman River Valley, toured and photographed the scenic, colourful ghost town of Robsart, and went bird-watching for killdeer and curlews at Cypress Lake where giant towers or fingers of earth have formed along eroding hillsides. Stopping in Gull Lake on my way home to visit friends, I met Art Slade who gave me some good writing advice. All of this was personal confirmation that the trip to Spring Valley had put me on the ‘write’ path. Whatever the reason, Spring Valley Guest Ranch is the ideal retreat for anyone seeking isolation or inspiration.
Last year, the first Aboriginal Writers’ Retreat was held at Spring Valley Guest Ranch where it is scheduled to return this summer. Jim served participants three meals a day and Saville Theatre at Spring Valley Guest Ranch
The Space-Time Continuum The shape of things to come
cience fiction is popularly perceived as being concerned with predicting the future. It’s not hard to see where that notion comes from: after all, over the years science fiction has gotten quite a few things right about the shape of things to come. In fact, The Shape of Things to Come was the actual title of a book by H. G. Wells (made into a landmark 1936 film). Though Wells foresaw submarinelaunched guided missiles and got a few other technological predictions right, he was primarily concerned with the problems of society. The Shape of Things to Come envisioned major wars being fought in the 20th century, a distressingly accurate prediction. Going back a bit further, Jules Verne envisioned a mission to the Moon launched from Florida in From the Earth to the Moon,
and, of course, high-tech submarines in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. In the last column I mentioned the various predictions Hugo Gernsback made, including microfiche, skywriting, solar power, holograms, fax machines, aluminum foil and radar. Successful predictions during the Second World War famously got a few writers and publishers investigated by the FBI: they’d written about a terrifying new weapon that unleashed the energy of the atom itself. They knew nothing about the Manhattan Project: like the scientists themselves, they were just drawing on existing scientific knowledge. Every day we use a technology conceived by SF writer Arthur C. Clarke: he came up with the idea of communication satellites in the 1940s, more than a decade before any satellite had been launched.
Aboriginal Writers’ Facilitated Retreat
August 15-19 Spring Valley Guest Ranch Ravenscrag, SK All Aboriginal writers welcome, please join us for our second annual facilitated gathering. Limited to six writers, so apply early. For more information call Joely BigEagle at 791-7744, email: email@example.com or visit www.skwriter.com
By Edward Willett
For hazardous work, scientists and engineers often use remote manipulators called “waldoes.” Why such an odd name? Because of “Waldo,” a story by Robert Heinlein, about an enormous man, trapped in orbit, who manipulated things through remote machines. In several of his books, as early as 1942, Heinlein also described the water bed, although he foresaw it being used primarily in hospitals. More recently, Canada’s own William Gibson gave us the term and concept of “cyberspace” in his 1982 short story “Burning Chrome.” Space exploration, of course, has always been a big SF topic. It’s been said that many, maybe even most, of the engineers and scientists who worked on the Apollo program were inspired as youngsters by Heinlein’s stories about the colonization of the moon and the planets. But that also leads to the flip side of SF predictions: the misses. Heinlein’s futuristic space travelers tended to calculate orbits using slide rules. And when he did envision computers, he saw them as massive, building-filling monsters—he failed to foresee that computer power would increase as the machines shrank, rather than as they got bigger. Jules Verne’s Florida-launched trip to the moon was conducted by the dubious method of loading the explorers into a giant artillery shell and firing them from an enormous cannon. Arthur C. Clarke, in 2001: A Space Odyssey, foresaw giant orbiting space stations and a
lunar colony, served by commercial flights, by the turn of the century. We didn’t make it. Today, SF is still making predictions. Robert J. Sawyer has dealt with possibilities like the World Wide Web “waking up” and becoming sentient; immortality through the implantation of a copy of a person’s memories and personality into an artificial body; life-extension; and more. Some of these predictions may come true. Many won’t. Considering how bleak predictions can sometimes be (global thermonuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was pretty much assumed in any number of stories I read as a kid), that’s just as well. But the point isn’t whether the predictions come true, the point is that science fiction allows us to imagine different possibilities.
Science fiction is based on the thoroughly modern notion that the future will not be the same as the present. For most of human history, that hasn’t been the case: someone from 1211 would have felt perfectly at home two hundred years earlier or a hundred years later. Now? Heinlein himself went from riding around in the buggy of his grandfather, a small-town rural doctor, in early-20th century Missouri to providing commentary on television on the first lunar landing. Jack Williamson, who died in 2006, travelled out west in a covered wagon in 1915 at the age of seven and wrote science fiction for some seven decades: his first story appeared in Gernsback’s Amazing Stories in 1928. Think of the changes everybody of his generation saw in their lifetimes. I like to call science fiction an inoculation against future shock.
Snippets from 2012 Arts Congress Key Address Given By: Margie Gillis
Margie Gillis gave a key note address at the 2012 Arts Congress hosted by the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance on May 4 and 5 in Regina. What follows is part of her speech within a speech—the one which she gave when she received the 2011 Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award from the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award Foundation in May of 2011. Although she refers to her milieu of dance, her words seem equally true in many ways for writers. Dance. So simple, natural. We dance. We dance in our hearts, in our intellect, under the skin and with full muscular engagement. Imagine life without a body to wrap around your soul. Without a body we are not here, we are not alive. Again, simple. And yet, human beings, being what they are, our living dance is a mysterious, intricate and complicated matter.
SF writers may not get the details right, but one thing they do get right, over and over again: the shape of things to come may be wonderful, terrifying, or quite possibly both: but it won’t be the shape of things as they are today.
I was born dancing, as we all were; we were born with this body, this wild piece of nature, its sensuality, sexuality, its hunger and beauty, its ugliness, its miracle. The human consciousness is again opening to the profound value of experiential wisdom. Not everything has yet been discovered. The neuromuscular system is constantly transferring who we are into what we are. Intellect, emotion, spirit,
your whole inner cinema running impulses through the nervous system, stimulate the muscle, creating motion. Complex simplicity. We are constantly dancing every philosophy, thought, word, and nuance of who we are, under our skin. For those of us who give ourselves over to advancing the study, creation, and visible outward manifestation of this dance we are charged with a passion and absorbed in the miracle of being. What is possible for the human spirit here in this world and the myriad ways that it is expressed, and can be expressed. Art is essential to the human experience, Art is about the quality of life, Art is about what is possible, and what we should watch out for. Culture is not just who we are as a people, it is about who we can become and what JUNE-JULY 2012
is ours to offer to the world for its betterment. I have been honoured to be able to dance across this beautiful country and around the world. I have been honoured to deeply touch the lives of others. But I would not have been able to develop my craft without the support of my brilliant Quebec and its knowledge of the value of the arts to society. In Quebec we say, “Je vais assister au spectacle”. One knows that one’s presence as an audience member uplifts and affects the situation. The observer affects the observed and we enter these rituals to open the plasticity of our minds and to share the neuromusculature of who we are. We go to be entertained, yes, but more than that, we go to be transformed, challenged, to have our minds and hearts open to what is possible for the human race. L’art de vivre, l’art de la paix, l’art d’aimer, de la cuisine, du sport, de la reflexion, l’art de toucher, et l’art de gouverner.
curiosity and to marvel at the strength and fragility that is this piece of Nature we inhabit while alive, a connection to the source, the transformation of sorrow to wisdom. And love, love of life. Faith in the potential of the human spirit, here, now, manifest and in motion.
Art is essential to the human experience, Art is about the quality of life, Art is about what is possible, and what we should watch out for.
To be a dancer in Canada is to engage in a mainly precarious and vulnerable life of service. So why dance? Dance is the litmus test of who we are and it is unfailingly honest. Why do I dance? Faith in what is possible for the human spirit,
W hy d a n c e ? Because I have to.
As choreographer and performer of more than one hundred solo dance works, Margie Gillis has been a Member of the Order of Canada since 1988. During the 20082009 season, the 35th anniversary of Margie Gillis’ career, the Canada Council for the Arts awarded her the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts, and the famous Stella Adler Studio of New York gave her their first MAD Spirit Award for Exceptional Humanitarian Actions by an Artist. In May 2011, she received the Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award from the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award Foundation.
2012 Arts Congress: Matters of Engagement a Success
ith over one hundred people in attendance, t h e 2 01 2 A r t s C o n g r e s s touched on current issues facing Saskatchewan’s arts community; these issues included arts literacy, currency, funding, and engagement. Speakers at the Congress included Robert Enright, Margie Gillis, Neal McLeod, Dr. Vianne Timmons, SaskCulture’s Reggie Newkirk and Rose Gilks, as well as the Saskatchewan Arts Board’s Byrna Barclay and David Kyle. Moderator Jayden Pfeifer of Red Hot Riot asked Kelley Jo Burke and Poet Laureate Don Kerr the difficult question “if there are people who don’t have clean water, why are we funding the arts?” in a Hot Topics Debate. In The Felt Experience panel, m o d e ra to r D i a n n e Wa r re n d i s c u s s e d w i t h p a n e l l i s ts Heather Cline, Rachelle Viader K n ow l e s a n d Pa u l Wi l s o n matters of public engagement. Artist stories were shared throughout the Congress including that of Director of the Dunlop Art Gallery Dr. Curtis Collins, visual artist John Hampton, musician Melanie Hankewich (Belle Plaine), dance artist Misty Wensel, visual and performance artist Adrian Stimson, and artist Sylvia Ziemann. More details of the 2012 Arts Congress is available on the SAA website: www.artsalliance. sk.ca/
Member news Louise Halfe recently received an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Wilfrid Laurier University. See details here: www.ammsa.com/publications/ saskatchewan-sage/honorarydegree-bestowed-uponpoet and here: w w w. w l u . c a / n ew s _ d e t a i l . php?grp_id=0&nws_id=9673
Welcome New Members Sandra Dyck, Moose Jaw SK Paul Eisenzimmer, Vancouver BC John Fleming, La Ronge SK Bevann Fox, Fort Qu’Appelle SK Amanda Gaertner, Saskatoon SK Pam Garner, Saskatoon SK Elizabeth Greene, Kingston ON Marilyn Matice, Prince Albert SK Maria Meindl, Toronto ON
Bringing Back the Buffalo—Aboriginal Youth Writers’ Retreat
Date: Tuesday, August 7- Friday, August 10, 2012 Time: 9:00am- 4:00pm Ages: 14-22 Place: FNUniv Free, but space is limited to 20 participants The “Bringing Back the Buffalo” Aboriginal Youth Writers’ Retreat is an opportunity for youth to actively participate in writing workshops to encourage them to share their stories and put pen to paper. All Aboriginal youth in primarily Regina and Southern Saskatchewan will be targeted and there will be accommodations available for 5 youth at the University of Regina dormitories. Youth will be encouraged to strengthen their writing skills, through a combination of writing and art exploration. From doing research of their Aboriginal history to sharing their unique personal stories, youth will discover the blessings that arise from nurturing their gifts and how writing can be used as a healing tool. This writers’ retreat will include Aboriginal role models as facilitators, who share their personal strengths as well. Participants will be creating a number of written literary pieces and artwork to be included in an anthology that will be distributed to Saskatchewan First Nation schools and divisions.
For more information contact: Joely BigEagle Aboriginal Program Coordinator, Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild Suite 100- 1150 8th Avenue, Regina, SK S4P 3R9 firstname.lastname@example.org (306) 791-7744
Call for Board Nominations
he SWG Board Elections will be conducted once again at the AGM in October during the fall conference. In accordance with the Guild bylaws, several term positions are available. This year the Nominations Committee of the Board is seeking volunteer SWG members to let their names stand for President for a one-year term and as one of four members-at-large. The Board of the SWG is made up of members from across the province, both urban and rural, dedicated to serving the membership. Members-at-large are elected for a term of two years on a rotating basis with new members being elected every year. The President and other members of the board are eligible to serve two consecutive terms. There are a minimum of five Board meetings per year and usually no more than eight, which are held in various locations around the province to accommodate Board members as much as possible. Members are encouraged to submit their names, or if you wish to nominate someone, please be sure of their willingness to serve before sending their name forward. For information about the SWG Board or to submit a nomination please contact the Chair of the Nominations Committee, Rod MacIntyre at email@example.com or the SWG office. CRITERIA FOR NOMINATIONS TO THE BOARD
• • • •
The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild relies on the expertise and knowledge of its board to carry out its mandate and vision. The Board shall ensure that the following criteria be adhered to for selection of nominees to the Board: Candidates must be a resident of Saskatchewan and live in the province at least 8 months of the year. Candidates must have a demonstrated commitment to the art and craft of writing and be an active member of Saskatchewan’s writing community. Candidates must be a member in good standing of the SWG. Candidates must be 19 years of age.
• • • •
Candidates must be willing to abide by SWG Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality Policies. A broad range of knowledge, skills and experience will be sought in the composition of the board. Nominees to the SWG Board of Directors cannot be in a status of bankruptcy. To the greatest extent possible, the composition of the board should reflect the cultural diversity of the province, in particular Aboriginal representation. To the greatest extent possible, the composition of the board should reflect gender balance and regional representation To the greatest extent possible, the composition of the Board should reflect the literary diversity of the province.
Nomination Form I hereby submit the following person for election to the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild Board of Directors at the AGM on October 28, 2012. Nominees are not required to be present to accept the nomination, but must be in agreement and be members in good standing of the SWG. Nominee Information Name: Address: Postal Code: Daytime phone: Evening phone: E-mail: Nomination designated for the position of: o President o Board Member
Nominator Information: Name: Phone: E-mail: A seconder for the nomination will be required at the AGM. Please send a brief biography of the nominee.
books by Members Ensemble in Black Ink by Saskatchewan Poetry Society ISBN 978-0-9784541-2-8
Jonah’s Daughter By M.C Conarcher benchmark press ISBN 978-1-9273520-2-1
I see my love more clearly from a distance By Nora Gould Brick Books ISBN 1-926829-75-1
“Ensemble in Black Ink” marks a milestone, as this issue is the 50th publication of a poetry anthology by members of the Saskatchewan Poetry Society. This book reflects a myriad of writing styles, thoughts, dreams and memories of its members.
Jonah’s Daughter is a heartwarming story about a young Saskatchewan woman who tries to find her place in the world. Her rather quick decision to become a nurse is a significant turning point in her life as she struggles to answer questions about faith, morals and the importance of family connections. Through the diversity she faces, she uncovers the truth about love, sacrifices and her relationship with God.
In Gould’s debut, the Prairie itself is a central character: muse, mythic persona, the place of deepest solace and of deepest questioning. The poems focus with firmness and technical command on the facts of daily life on the farm. But this isn’t Prairie anecdotalism. What is breathtaking about this book is the relation between its exactness of observation and the grief, horror, and beauty that it documents. What the voice achieves, in its very gestures, is a kind of transcendence: not with the purpose of avoiding pain, but in order to make all of it—all of it—seeable.
Readers will find themselves in unexpected places: along a rocky Pacific coastline, at a bush-camp ritual in the Kalahari desert, and at a bronco-bustin’ rodeo. The sweep of prairie images in other poems blends with memories of grandma’s preserves, and walks along rivers or down into cool spring coulees. The entire array of human emotions is contained in this “Ensemble in Black Ink”. The book may be obtained by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org (306-586-5898) or through saskpoetrysociety@ hotmail.com.
M.C Conacher and her husband, Robert, live on a farm near the village of Mervin, Saskatchewan. They have four adult children, ten grandchildren and many other wonderful relatives. Jonah’s Daughter is Conacher’s third novel and follows the successful launches of Murder on the Maritime and The Crocodile Connection.
Nora Gould writes from east central Alberta where she ranches and volunteers in wildlife rehabilitation. She graduated from the University of Guelph with a degree in veterinary medicine.
2012 HYLAND AWARD NOMINATIONs This award has been established to recognize the many achievements of Saskatchewan Writers' Guild members through their volunteer support of the Saskatchewan literary community. criteria • The recipient must be an SWG member and a resident of the province. • Recognition is for volunteer contributions made within the writing community on a local, provincial, or national level. • The recipient must be a volunteer in the writing community for a minimum period of five years. • The Hyland Award recipient must have provided outstanding service to the growth and development of the Writers' Guild and the writing community. In a letter (maximum three pages), the nominating Guild member should provide the following information: • the particular role played by the recipient in the SWG • the impact of the contribution on the growth and development of the Guild and the writing community. • A maximum of two awards will be presented in any year. No award will be presented should the Board decide that a recipient cannot be selected from the nominations put forth. • Awards will not be made posthumously. • Selections should be popular in the sense that they reflect the membership’s aims and ideals and elicit its input and support. They should also be prestigious, recognizing excellence, achievement, and outstanding contributions to the organization. Nomination Letter Nominators are asked to submit a letter as well as the prepared nomination form. This letter should include a description of the nominee's involvement in the Writers Guild or the writing community. The description should be as complete as possible, since it will used as the basis for the nomination. The letter should include the following: • the particular role played by the recipient in the SWG. • the impact of the contribution on the growth and development of the Guild and the writing community. Applications should be typed. Deadline Please note that applications must be postmarked by Friday, September 7, 2012. Submit nominations to the SWG Office: Box 3986, Regina SK, S4P 3R9. The Award The Hyland Award will consist of a pen and a certificate. The Hyland Award will be presented at the Annual General Meeting of the SWG (held in October each year). Selection Criteria: Volunteer Leadership Award The SWG Board will consider the following areas/topics when selecting the Hyland Award recipient. 1. Personal Background • years in the writing community in Saskatchewan • evidence or examples of a general commitment to writers and the writing community. 2. Growth of Interest • specific groups/committees in the writing community that he/she is involved with • examples of how his/her influence and leadership made the "difference" needed to expand or begin new activities • length of time as a volunteer • special skills or qualities that make him/her effective • special achievements or projects that are of particular note.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Letter to the Editor: I just wanted to say how much I am enjoying Edward Willet’s columns, particularly the April/ May one. I have heard about the Hugos for years, but it was very interesting to learn about Hugo Gernsback, the man they are named for. —Carla Richards
April 18, 2012 Cathy Fenwick President Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild Dear Cathy: I noted that I was quoted out-
of-context in the last issue of Freelance with respect to colony fees in your reply to Lorna Crozier’s letter to the Editor. Your letter referenced a motion in 2009, whereby the colony committee agreed to a dual fee structure, in which out-of-province residents would be charged 75 percent of costs. However, the excerpt did not reference the preceding text, specifically “the committee has moved to set fees for Saskatchewan residents to 65 percent of costs for all locations.” This represented a 10 percent difference, not the current 37 difference in fees. The colony committee had worked diligently to address the concerns of the SWG Board with
respect to the ratio of out-ofprovince versus in-province colonists, while trying to ensure that our out-of-province colleagues would have reasonable access. Since the colony committee has been disbanded, the SWG Board and administration now set all fee structures. In addition, the correct link to the December 09 issue of Freelance, in which my report appeared is www.skwriter .com/rsu_docs/18_freelance/ December-09-freeLance.pdf Would you please publish this letter by way of correction and clarification in the next issue of Freelance. Respectfully, Mari-Lou Rowley
2012 Hyland Award Nominations Form This award has been established to recognize the many achievements of Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild members through their volunteer support of the Saskatchewan literary community. Proposed Recipient
Please note that applications must be postmarked by Friday, September 7, 2012. Submit nominations to the SWG Office: Box 3986, Regina SK, S4P 3R9. Nominators are asked to submit a letter as well as the prepared nomination form. This letter should include a description of the nominee’s involvement in the Writers’ Guild or the writing community. The description should be as complete as possible, since it will be used as the basis for the nomination. The Letter should include the following: The particular role played by the recipient in the SWG. The impact of the contribution on the growth and development of the Guild and the writing community.
IN MEMORIUM Andrew Suknaski Tribute from SWG
hank you Bob and to everyone who contributed to the creation of this fitting memorial for Andrew Suknaski. I’m honoured to be here on behalf of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild to add our tribute to his memory. You will hear more today about Andy’s tremendous influence on Saskatchewan literature as well as his generous and patient support of budding writers, many of whom went on to become major literary award winners. Suknaski was a brilliant and caring mentor, who developed a life-long bond with numerous writers and artists, especially those in Saskatchewan. Forty-two years ago when our Writers’ Guild was being created, there were very few published literary authors in Saskatchewan. Andrew Suknaski was one of the first of these early Saskatchewan writers, who went out into the world and let people know that our stories were worthy of recognition—and the world started to notice. Suknaski set the standard for excellence—both in terms of the quality of writing and the modeling of a cooperative attitude toward mentoring writers— an attitude for which Saskatchewan writers are known across Canada. Andy was a mentor to more than one generation of writers, not only in our province, but across the country. His contributions have been, and will continue to be, a tremendous benefit to past, present and fu-
by Cathy Fenwick, SWG Board President
ture members of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild. The Canadian Encyclopedia declared Suknaski’s Wood Mountain Poems one of the most important and influential books in western Canadian poetry. This collection became the poetic “home ground” for subsequent generations of poets, stands today as a timeless classic of Canadian literature, and continues to be studied across Canada. Suknaski’s Polish and Ukrainian heritage, his concern for Aboriginal peoples, and the people of Wood Mountain is especially poignant. His work reflects the experiences of those of us who grew up in the post-pioneering days of Saskatchewan and the nostalgia we feel for the promise that was held by those early settlers. Suknaski honoured all nations in his writing of family histories, of the different nations and nationalities around him, and of his understanding of the shared experience between European settlers and Aboriginal peoples. I perceive here a man of great humility and compassion for others.
Albert Pine wrote: What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal. We members of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild owe a huge debt of gratitude to Andrew Suknaski for blazing a trail for prairie writers of all ethnic backgrounds. He was indeed a writer for all nations and all times.
Andy Suknaski, the Listener: A Few Memories By Glen Sorestad
f Andy Suknaski’s poetry is marked by one thoroughly dominant feature it is the voice, or voices, we hear in each poem. Suknaski employed the voices of those around him, as well as several variations on his own, wherever he wandered in his coyote-like existence. Of course, to replicate voices requires an extremely keen ear, one that is able to pick up the cadences and inflections, the little nuances and idiosyncrasies of the way people actually talk. In other words, Suknaski was a good listener, a perceptive listener. Wherever he went he was always listening carefully to the stories people were telling, but he was also paying close attention to the manner in which the people told them. It was not uncommon for Andy to interrupt a storyteller and ask him or her to repeat a line or phrase. Each storyteller has a distinctive voice and Suknaski both recognized and was most attentive to this fact. His keen ear and his excellent memory were assets that served him well throughout his poetic career.
Suknaski was a frequent visitor at our home in Saskatoon at 668 East Place when our four children were growing up. On one occasion, Andy was visiting us and we bedded him down in the same room as our youngest son Myron, who was about ten at this time. The room had two single beds and so we thought the arrangement would work very well. What we forgot was that Myron, the most voluble of our children, had a habit of talking in his sleep. After we had coffeed and chatted ourselves late into the evening, we went off to bed and I never had a second thought about anything. But in the morning, after I had made coffee and Andy wandered into the kitchen, I thought he looked a bit dazed and groggy. So I asked him if anything was wrong and whether he’d slept well. “Sorestad”, he replied, “Sorestad... that Myron... would you believe... he talked all night long? All night ... he just wouldn’t stop talking.”
Andrew Suknaski Bio
poet and visual artist Andrew Suknaski was born in 1942 on a homestead near Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan in July 1942 to Julia (Karasinski) and Andrew Suknaski, Sr. His first collection was Wood Mountain Poems (1976), edited by Al Purdy, followed by The Ghosts Call You Poor (1978) and In the Name of Narid (1981). Ghosts won the Canadian Authors Association Poetry Award in 1979. His other books include Montage for an Interstellar Cry (1982) and Silk Trail (1985). Suknaski’s work has appeared in such anthologies as Number On Northern (1977) and Studio One: Stories Made for Radio (1990). He worked as a researcher for the National Film Board, contributing to such films as Grain Elevator (1981) by Charles Konowal, and The Disinherited (1985) by Harvey Spak. In 1978 Spak made a documentary of Suknaski entitled Wood Mountain Poems.
“Sorestad, I couldn’t. It was just too damn interesting. I didn’t want to miss any of it. I even had to get up and find my notebook to write some of it down.”
In 2006 Wood Mountain Poems, was republished in a 30th Anniversary edition by Hagios Press. A launch at the Festival of Words in Moose Jaw attracted a large audience. Suknaski’s Polish and Ukrainian heritage, his concern for First Nations and the people and place featured strongly in his realist poetry and his work continues to influence poets and writers and is studied across Canada.
Suknaski, the perpetual listener and story-gatherer. Maybe somewhere deep in the University of Manitoba Archives in Winnipeg there is a Suknaski notebook containing snatches of sleep utterings of a ten year old boy, some cryptic handwrit-
Mr Suknaski was awarded a Nation Builder Award by the Ukrainian Canadian Congress —Saskatchewan Provincial Council in 2000. The link to his bio is at www.ucc.sk.ca/oldsite/programs/nbuilders/2000/ index.html#NB11.
“So why didn’t you just ignore it, pull the covers over your head, plug your ears or something?”
edly have seen demonstrated in many ways. Even when he was living on the street for a time in Regina and sometimes busking in or around the Cornwall Mall, he would take the proceeds of the day’s busking and give it away to people he deemed even needier than he.
ten squiggly notations for future literary sleuths to discover, read and ponder over. Almost any story had the potential to be a good story for Andy. Because Andy’s latter years were so very difficult for him and for all who knew him and because many of his friends had to help him out financially many times, it would be easy to remember Andy as one who took much more than he ever gave. But this would not be a true picture at all. Suknaski was very generous and caring. When he had, he gave. I know that when he lived in Regina he was concerned for a fellow writer whose fridge, Andy often told me, was often empty. Andy would buy groceries to stock the other’s fridge. He didn’t have to, but he did because that’s who he was. He was always giving away art pieces that he had done, or books he’d bought and read. When he was in what Charles Noble and perhaps future Canlit critics will describe as Suknaski’s breadmaking period, Andy would bake a large batch of bread and then give almost all of it away. Andy had a generous and caring side which his friends undoubt-
One of the odd quirks of Andy Suknaski was that he was a perpetual grazer or snacker, a person whose physiological make-up or body chemistry required an almost ongoing supply of food. Not large amounts, but regular and constant amounts, it seemed. Sonia and I learned quickly that when Suknaski came for a visit, we had better have what Andy called “snack’ems” in abundance and readily available. Andy wasn’t so much concerned about what you had as that there was something to munch and chew on – bread, buns, cheese, crackers, apples or oranges, nuts, veggies, pickles. It didn’t seem to matter what it was, but it seemed that his body had to replenish itself almost on an hourly basis. Everyone is familiar, from photos of Andy that he was seldom to be seen without a pipe in his mouth. He always had a small collection of pipes, most of them in a serious state of disrepute, and he was what I would describe as a ferocious smoker. He smoked the pipe at times like a man who was seriously attempting to exact revenge on the pipe for having addicted him. So one of my memories of Andy was how, so often, he appeared torn between the desire to snack and the desire to smoke; sometimes, I swear he inadvertently tried to do them both at the same time. I remember hunting around Wood Mountain with Suknaski and to say that it was
an adventure hunting with him would be an example of gross understatement. First, to go out for a day’s hunting on the back trails with Andy meant stocking my car with a moveable feast of snacking goods, so that the inside of the car resembled a moving refrigerator. Along with the food he stocked in enough pipe tobacco to bargain for land with the Sioux. I’d be at the wheel, trying to watch the road ahead, while at the same time eyeing the ditches and edges of the stubble for pheasants, sharptails or our favourite, the delectable small Hungarian partridges. In the meantime, Suknaski would be attempting either to stoke or light his pipe, or perhaps knocking dottle out of the pipe’s bowl
Suknaski was very generous and caring. When he had, he gave.... He didn’t have to, but he did because that’s who he was. in preparation for stoking it up once again. Either that, or he was rooting into his ruck sack/ food cache for an apple or a bag of peanuts or a sandwich. Essentially, our hunting trips consisted of me doing the driving and the hunting, while Andy enjoyed the countryside, eating and smoking his way from one prime stretch of road to another. Getting out of the car to stalk a
deserted farmyard was seldom an option for Andy because it would disrupt either his smoking or his eating. So the day went. At the end of the day though, Andy was perfectly happy to clean whatever upland birds I had shot and he loved to cook up a Hungarian partridge stew in the evening. Andy was actually a very good cook and his partridge stew was delicious, redolent with herbs. Another favorite anecdote involving Andy and his penchant for snacking comes from one of the Jan Lake fishing trips that Suknaski participated in. We were headed north from Saskatoon on a Friday evening, four or five of us riding in Gerry Cooke’s Fleury motorhome. Suknaski and I were sitting at the table at the rear of the vehicle, Cooke was driving and Wayne Phillips was sitting up front in the co-pilot’s seat. We weren’t so very far out of Saskatoon before Suknaski, having smoked a pipe or two already, now needed something to eat, so he got up and went to the kitchen cupboard and counter where a box of groceries had been stowed. Suknaski rooted through the box and came up
with a small round can. He held it up. “Is this for eating?” he asked. When Cooke assured him everything was fair game, Suknaski opened the cheese container, spread some on a piece of bread and was quite content. Over the next couple of hours, while we were all busy talking, Suknaski was busy making his way to and fro between the snacking cupboard and his seat at the back table. About halfway through the six hour trip, Phillips took over the driving, so Cooke decided to have a bit of a snack himself. As he was looking for the makings, he called out, “Andy where’s that can of Camembert cheese you opened?” There was a long silence. All eyes turned to Andy. Suknaski puffed furiously on his pipe before finally saying, “I ate that little can of stuff. Was that all there was?” It was all the Camembert we had along with us and it didn’t even make it halfway to Jan Lake. Suknaski spent the weekend putting up with all the snide references to how nice it would be to have some camembert cheese for the occasion. Andy loved to go fishing and he enjoyed his trips with us to Jan
Lake. However, it seemed that walleye fishing was something that he could never quite get enthused about. Most days, he caught no walleyes at all, just jackfish or northern pike. We could be anchored directly atop a huge school of walleyes and Suknaski would somehow catch jackfish only. I think it may have been because he tended to retrieve the lure at one speed always. It was probably the speed at which he retrieved his lure when he spincast for trout and while it worked admirably well for jackfish, it did not often work for the usually more finicky walleyes. Suknaski earned the moniker “Jacknaski” because of his penchant for catching northern pike. I doubt that Andy minded the kidding very much because for him catching a pike was every bit as much fun as catching a walleye. In a life that was marred by so many kinds of unhappiness, I often remember Andy on those several excursions to Jan Lake and I really believe he might well have been as happy there as he was anywhere in his life and in all his ongoing wanderings, his perpetual searching for something that always seemed to elude him.
Andy Suknaski By Myrna Kostash
ndy was one of those prairie people and artist who showed me how to be one too. I had been away from homeplace for ten years when I returned to Alberta in 1975 to do the research for what would be All of Baba’s Children—I’m still here— and along the way I met Andy, a regular visitor to Edmonton and to my quarter section near Two Hills. (He once stayed a few days at the shack, as I thought fondly of JUNE-JULY 2012
the log cabin, because he knew where the key was, and left me a poem written on a brown paper bag. And then wrote a poem about me and my .22: he seemed to like the idea of a Ukrainian-Canadian Cossack babe.) Andy represented a series of revelations for me. He wrote/sang a kind of poetry that, now that I think of it, was also a form of creative nonfiction, the sort of thing that DJs would go on to do, “sampling” all kinds of music/texts, sourced from wherever his curiosity, imagination, memory bank and passion took him, in a polyphony of voices, and gave us all permission to do the same. He retrieved for western Canadian and Ukrainian-Canadian writing the narratives of settlers crushed by the very land that was meant to free them, and the narratives of the Aboriginal nations for whom that very earth/zemlya had been motherland. And he did all this with his own earthiness that made him seem a wise old man blown in from the steppes when he was still in his thirties. God rest the soul of Andrew Suknaski. Eternal be his memory. Vichnaya pamiat’. —Myrna Kostash
“He wrote/sang a kind of poetry that, now that I think of it, was also a form of creative nonfiction, the sort of thing that DJs would go on to do, «sampling» all kinds of music/texts, sourced from wherever his curiosity, imagination, memory bank and passion took him...”
n the seventies and eighties I and a partner Bob Atkinson (now deceased) hooked up with Andy. We were running Repository, a press and a magazine, out of Medicine Hat College, and published Leaving (1974)—Atkinson doing most of the work as by that date I’d moved on to the college in Prince George. It was an 80 page book handset and printed on our old platen press. We also ran a little magazine, Seven Persons Repository, later just Repository. I and my then wife Sharon did the magazine at that time (1976), with the editing help of Margaret Cameron, a Prince George high school teacher (also deceased). Combined # 17–18 contained 20 pages of poetry by Andy, Wood Mountain III: Returning, plus some sketches by W. Johnson plus a photo of Andy as a kid. I’ve attached a letter from Andy that talks about how Wood Mountain III came to Repository—he was doing a reading for Barry McKinnon at the College of New Caledonia and visited our quarter section s/e of Prince George. Later he wrote about that issue: “You and the good wife done well, boy, done well. A beautifully crafted and edited issue.... Drawings and allwell placed.Grateful to be in this new and expanded issue.” We continued publishing poems by Andy for the next five or six years. —John Harris
Andrew Suknaski Memorial Fund
riends of Andrew Suknaski and the SWG have created an Andrew Suknaski Memorial Fund to assist in paying for the costs of holding his Memorial Celebration. After expenses have been covered for the memorial, consensus from donors will be sought for any remaining funds for ways in which to continue to honour him.
Donations may be made by cheque, cash or Visa and MasterCard at the Memorial Sunday, June 3rd or sent to the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild office. Payments may be made by cheque (mailed to Box 3986, Regina, SK, S4P 3R9) or dropped off or couriered to our office (1150- 8th Ave, Regina).
For PayPal, please go to www. skwriter.com/payments-anddonations/guild-donations —use the Andrew Suknas ki Memorial Fund drop down tab. Credit Cards may also be phoned, or by credit card by phoning the Guild office: 306771-7740.
Memories of Suknaski
he call came early in the morning. I may have still been in bed; I don’t remember. When I picked up the phone, I heard a gruff voice.
“Hello, Currie,” it said. “This is Suknaski. We should meet.”
And we did meet that day for breakfast at the bottom of Moose Jaw’s Main Street, in the old National Cafe. Seated in the booth across from me was a bearded bundle of energy who talked of poetry and publishing, of little mags and small presses. That morning I barely made it to class before the final bell. It was in the early seventies, and that was the first time I ever laid eyes on Andy Suknaski. My favorite memories of Andy also come from the seventies when he often stopped in Moose Jaw on his way to and from Wood Mountain while he somehow kept up his writing and publishing endeavours and carried on his labours as a so-called migrant worker, doing whatever paid him well enough to buy time for the things that really mattered. He had a kind of “Elfin Plot” to turn on the West to poetry, and he was a wandering one-man publishing house, cranking out chapbooks from wherever he happened to be, under whatever imprint struck his fancy, whether it was Anak Press, Sundog Press, or Three-Legged Coyote Press. Often when he showed up at our door, we’d take off for the backyard to play catch, his thoughts about poetry flowing as fast as the baseball that passed back and forth between us. When he came inside, he always headed for the rocking chair where he’d settle in with his pipe, the smoke rising to the ceiling, the old rocker creaking as he rocked, the ideas rolling from his tongue. If I close my eyes, I can still see him there, relaxed and rocking in that chair. Once when he was returning to Wood Mountain in late summer, I drove him there. Having heard his stories and read his poems, I felt as if I were entering mythological territory, and I guess I was. There was the Trail’s End Hotel, and the remains of Jimmy Hoy’s Cafe, and there was Andy’s little house, its walls decorated with some of the icons that appeared in Harvey Spak’s NFB film, “Wood Mountain Poems.” Inside the house were boxes of books and chapbooks, many of them the last few copies from runs that he’d produced. Sadly, the house would later be broken into, and many of the
By Robert Currie
books would be stolen, but not yet. On this day Andy selected the chapbooks I didn’t have, signed them and gave them to me, slim pamphlets stapled together and illustrated by his own hand, some of them filled with his concrete poems. Best of all was Wood Mountain Poems, not the Macmillan edition that made him famous, but the chapbook that preceded it, 48 pages of poems that said so much about this place and the man with whom I was visiting it. Later that afternoon he showed me the Indian reservation where Sitting Bull had settled for a while after he defeated General Custer and fled to Canada. Then we went walking in the hills. I don’t remember much else about that day, but back then I wrote a poem that helps me remember. Up Look-Out Hill for Andy Suknaski South of the village of Wood Mountain beyond the Sioux reservation rises a bald hill which we walk like a bridge across a hundred years. I see the tents of Sitting Bull pitched among the valley’s trees across the medicine line and safe from U.S.Cavalry goaded by Custer’s blood. Here the Sioux are surrounded only by hills that flow in August heat I feel warm upon my shoulders. We climb toward the sun but no hidden brave watches us. History’s lone remaining sign is a stone cairn where a granddaughter of the Hunkpapa Sioux has scratched her English name. One other memory of Andy Suknaski: sometimes when he came to visit, he brought his guitar with him and chose to sing us a few songs. The first time he sang “Knock, Knock, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” I thought that he had written it. I still like his version better than Bob Dylan’s. Surely, that door is open for him somewhere now. —Robert Currie
2013 Mentorship Program
he Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild mentorship program allows developing writers (the apprentices) to work in a supportive environment under the guidance of professional writers (the mentors). The mentor provides the apprentice with one-on-one instruction (not editorial services) in the craft of creative writing. The program is open to writers in all genres and will be tailored to the apprentice’s individual needs. The pairs will be in weekly contact and can communicate through E-mail, phone, and face-to-face meetings. When an apprentice and mentor do not live in the same community, at least one face-to-face meeting is required (to take place within the first two weeks of the program).
it’s possible that apprentices may not produce a significant amount of new work during the mentorship, but will instead work with previously written material.
Because the focus of the program is on craft development, apprentices should not expect to have a completed manuscript by the end of the program (although that sometimes occurs). Also, because the program will focus on the apprentices’ development of their craft,
There is no cost to apply for this program and there are no participation fees. There will be a small travel allowance for apprentices who need to travel to meet with their mentors.
The program will run from 01 January—30 April 2013. At the end of the program, the apprentices will give a public reading of their work.
Call for Mentors The Saskatchewan Writers Guild is seeking experienced writers in all genres to participate in the mentorship program. Mentors who have participated in the program in the past are welcome to re-apply. Mentors will be selected based upon the following criteria: • the possession of a significant body of published work • experience as a teacher, workshop leader, mentor, writer in residence, or editor • the ability to commit time (15-20 hours per month) during the mentorship period • Saskatchewan residency Mentors will receive an honorarium of $2,500 for their participation in the program.
Application: Please include the following in your application: • a literary resume (maximum 5 pages) • a cover letter which includes the following: • all your contact information (including work and home phone numbers) • a specification of the type or types of writing you’d be willing to work with • a brief paragraph explaining why you are interested in the program • an explanation of what the apprentice could learn from you Also see the submission guidelines on page 35.
2013 Mentorship Program Call for Apprentices The Saskatchewan Writers Guild is seeking four writers who wish to develop their skills in the craft of creative writing. Eligible applicants will meet the following criteria:
• they will have a body of work of sufficient quality to benefit from the program • they will have work in progress when they apply • they will not have had a book published (or have had a book-length manuscript accepted for publication) in the genre in which they wish to apprentice • they will have demonstrated their commitment to writing by having participated in some form of formal or informal professional development (e.g. workshops, Manuscript Evaluation Service, working with a Writer-InResidence) • they will be free to devote a significant amount of time to the program: a minimum of 20-25 hours per month; some past participants have spent up to 40 hours per month. As this program offers a prized and rare opportunity for development as a writer, past participants have recommended that future participants consider arranging their schedules so they can devote as much time as possible to it. Some previous apprentices have taken time off work or reduced their working hours in order to do so. • they will be Saskatchewan residents 19 years of age or older
a cover letter which includes the following information: • your contact information (mailing address, work and home phone numbers, E-mail) • an explanation of the project you would work on during the mentorship period • a clear statement of what you hope to achieve through the program (the more specific the better—e.g. better dialogue, more skilful use of imagery) • an outline of past professional development experience • a description of the quantity of material you will have available to work with over the mentorship period (e.g. number of poems written, number of pages already written for a novel) • a description of how long you have been writing and a summary of your writing activity for the past twelve months • an outline of your family, work, educational, and cultural commitments during the time of the program AND how you will accommodate them while still making time for the program • a sample of recent writing (no longer than ten pages) in the genre in which you plan to work during the mentorship period (double-spaced for prose, single or double-spaced for poetry)
There is no application form for this program. Instead, send the following material:
Please see further submission guidelines on page 35.
...a home for FREELANCE
2013 Mentorship Program Submission Guidelines for Both Mentors and Apprentices To ensure that your application is processed, please follow these formatting guidelines: • submit all material on 8½ × 11-inch white paper • type all entries in black ink • use plain text fonts (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial, Courier), not display fonts such as Algerian • use a 12 point font • have 1.25” margins on all sides • single-side all pages • please do not submit pages that have been holepunched • to fasten submissions, use paper clips (including fold-back clips)—avoid staples
or any other fastener which goes through the paper (including binders and presentation covers) • good-quality photocopies are acceptable • we will not accept entries on disk or those sent by fax or E-mail • if sending by courier, send to the courier address listed below, not the box number Please keep a copy of your submission; material will not be returned. The applications of apprentices who have been accepted to the program will be forwarded to the mentor.
Applications must be post-marked by Friday September 28, 2012. Late applications will not be accepted. Please Note: Material sent to the box number may take an extra day for processing and may therefore arrive late. If you are sending material close to the deadline, please consider Xpress Post, Priority Post, courier, or special delivery. If sending by courier, send to the courier address listed below, not the box number. Electronic and faxed submissions and those send on disc or CD will not be accepted. The results of this competition will be announced in early—mid November. The decisions of the jury will be final. Jurors may choose to not make the entire four matches if they believe there is a lack of suitable candidates.
your voice. JUNE-JULY 2012
For more information, contact Tracy Hamon at 791-7743 (email@example.com). Send Applications To One Of the Following Addresses Mailing Address Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild Box 3986 Regina SK S4P 3R9 Courier or Drop Off Address Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild 100-1150 8th Ave Regina, SK S4R 1C9
visit us online: www.skwriter.com
Markets & Competitions Inclusion in the Markets & Competitions listing is not an endorsement of any contest, market, event or otherwise. This is only an informational resource. We encourage all readers to thoroughly investigate all contests or markets before submitting their work.
Deadline: August 31, 2012 Aesthetica is inviting all writers and poets to submit to the Aesthetica Creative Writing Competition 2012. The competition celebrates and champions creative writing, nurturing talent and bringing work to international attention. There are two categories for entry, Poetry and Short Fiction, and a selection of prizes. For more information and to enter please visit www.aestheticamagazine. com/submission_guide.htm Submissions previously published elsewhere are accepted. Entry is £10 and allows for the entry of two works into any one category. August through May Field: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics (www.oberlin.edu/ocpress) Published twice a year by Oberlin College Press, Oberlin, Ohio. Reads submissions August through May. Accepts poetry only. Pays contributors at the rate of $15 a page. Poems (2-6 at a time) should be submitted through online submission manager. May to August Hagios Press is now welcoming submission of proposals for literary non-fiction manuscripts. Hagios Press is asking for samples from book-length literary non-fiction which could include personal essays and memoirs. Hagios Press is interested in manuscripts covering a broad range of issues and themes. Submissions will be accepted between May 1st and August 31st, 2012.
A submission will consist of a manuscript sample of no more than twenty-five pages, a short synopsis of the book, and a literary resume. Manuscripts selected for publication will be between 45,000 and 55,000 words in length. Haigos Press will accept submissions by mail only. Submissions are open to all Canadian citizens. Please send submissions to: Hagios Press, Literary Non-Fiction, Box 33024 Cathedral Post Office, Regina, SK S4T 7X2. Deadline: September 1, 2012 Rhubarb announces its first literary contest with a total of $1,500 in prize money open to anyone with $30.00. Fittingly enough it is for a future Rhubarb issue with Mennonites and money as its theme, in the three usual categories published in the magazine. Like the loosely defined Mennonite voices we usually publish, any creative variations on the theme are welcome. The prizes are $300 and $200 each in poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction, and publication in the magazine. All honourable mentions will also be published and receive the standard $50 payment for publication. All entrants will receive a subscription to Rhubarb magazine beginning with the money issue. Prizes may not be awarded in all categories, at the discretion of the judges. The judges are: Armin Wiebe – Fiction, Aiden Enns – Non-Fiction, Maurice Mierau – Poetry. The entry fee is $30.00. Three poems of up to 30 lines can be submitted as one poetry entry, fiction and non-fiction are lim-
ited to one submission with a maximum of 2,500 words. Entry Details Please provide all contact information including your name address and email on a cover sheet, without your name appearing on the entry itself. Submissions will be accepted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and surface mail. Email entries won’t be logged until a cheque for $30 arrives in the mail. Please address surface mail entries and cheques payable to “The Mennonite Literary Society” to: The Mennonite Literary Society Money Contest, 606100 Arthur Street, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 1H3. Continuous Submission BookLand Press submissions (book-length manuscripts only) non-fiction – Canadian History; non-fiction – Canadian Sports; Aboriginal Literature – booklength manuscripts of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry by Aboriginal authors; Fiction; Poetry. Send submissions via email (preferably in a Word file as an attachment) to submissions@ booklandpress.com For details visit www.booklandpress.com Continuous Submission Pink Magazine Stephen LaRose is the editor of Pink, a new women’s magazine that wants to hear from women authors, especially those who have just had their latest works published. For more information, contact Stephen LaRose at Stephen@ getcompass.ca or call (306) 529-5169 JUNE-JULY 2012
Continuous Submission ENC Press (www.encpress.com) accepting submissions of fresh, original, entertaining novels (45,000 to 75,000 words) driven by engaging characters. “We are looking for full-length, character-driven novels that contain elements of social and political satire or commentary, offer unusual insights into foreign cultures, have a strong element of humour and tip a few sacred cows along the way. We avoid
genre fiction unless the genre is but a context for a satirical commentary on human condition.” Details on website. Continuous Submission Plenitude aims to complicate expression of queerness through the publication of diverse, sophisticated literary writing, graphic narrative and short film, from the very subtle to the brash and unrelenting.
We are not interested in genre writing, political essays, or rants. We are only interested in literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic narrative and short film at this time. If you are interested in writing political essays, or other analyses, please contact us about contributing to our blog- we would love to hear from you. For submission requirements and further information visit plenitudemagazine.ca.
Professional Development Opportunities Storywalk: Writer’s Retreat with Richard Wagamese This five day intensive retreat focuses on developing a unique approach to writing that comes from the Ojibway oral storytelling tradition. Through the use of ceremony and daily walks on Royal Roads University’s beautiful campus in Victoria. Dates: July 9 to 13, 2012 9 am to 5 pm For registration and more information: email@example.com Connect, Celebrate & Collaborate! Doreen Pendgracs, expert writer & PWAC Vice President will deliver a two-hour workshop on travel writing. Join us on September 22, 2012 in Saskatoon, SK to learn best practices on the business of writing from the professionals. SWG is sponsoring a workshop at the PWAC (Professional Writers’ Association of Canada) fall conference. SWG members receive an early bird discount until August 15th. Early registration fees are $90. To register, please visit www. bonniezink.com.
Piper’s Frith: Writing at Kilmory Resort—October 22-27, 2012 – Newfoundland Emerging and mid-level career adult writers are invited to apply to join faculty Michael Crummey, Don McKay and Lisa Moore for small-group workshops and one-on-one explorations of your writing. Social evenings, readings and a spectacular setting enhance the intensive Piper’s Frith five-day experience. The cost is $685 (Cdn) including all program fees, meals, accommodations and social events. Deadline to apply is August 14, 2012. To learn more and to apply: www.literaryartsnl.com
University of Saskatchewan, or contact Jeanette Lynes, Program Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) or LaVina Watts, Administrative Assistant (i.ccc@ usask.ca). Applicants will normally have an undergraduate degree (though not necessarily in the Humanities) and must have a portfolio or writing samples, letters of reference, etc. Full details are available online: http://artsandscience.usask.ca/ iccc/writing/requirements.php
U of S Two Year MFA Writing Program The University of Saskatchewan offers a two-year MFA in Writing program through the Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity. The program, now going into its second year, is onsite, and courses are offered in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. The program also has a mentorship component. Due to unforeseen circumstances, a space has become vacant for entrance to the program in fall, 2012. Anyone interested in applying should visit the website for the Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity at the
2012 SASKATCHEWAN FESTIVAL OF WORDS Poetry Workshop with John Steffler 9am-12pm, Moose Jaw Library Limit: 12, Cost: $35 Workshop Sponsored by SWG
Screenwriting Workshop With Keith Ross Leckie 1pm-4pm, Moose Jaw Cultural Centre Limit: 20, Cost: $35
Bio: Keith Ross Leckie was born and raised in ToBio: John Steffler is the author of six books of ronto, wrote many movies and mini-series for 30 poetry, including The Grey Islands (M&S, 1985, years such as “The Avro Arrow”, “The Halifax ExBrick Books, 2000), That Night We were Ravenous plosion” and the “David Milgaard Story” before (M&S, 1998), Helix: New and Selected Poems (Ve- surrendering to the joys of novel-writing with Cophicule, 2003), and Lookout (M&S, 2010). His novel permine, an adventure, romance, murder mystery The Afterlife of George Cartwright (M&S, 1992) and trial based on a true story. He has traveled to won the Smithbooks/Books in Canada First Novel Asia, Central America and Indonesia in search of Award and the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction true stories to fictionalize. He lives with his wife Award and was shortlisted for the Governor Gen- Mary. They have three grown children. eral’s Award and the Commonwealth First Novel Award. His poetry awards include the Atlantic Po- Description: How to take your story and turn it into etry Prize and the Newfoundland and Labrador Po- a screenplay. etry Prize. He has served as writer-in-residence at Concordia University, Saint Mary’s University, and Requirements: Come with a story that has a beginthe University of New Brunswick. Originally from ning, middle and end to pitch to the class as a poOntario, he lived for many years in Corner Brook, tential film project. This is voluntary pre-work and Newfoundland where he taught in the Department if you choose to do it only 2 min. long. of English at Memorial University’s Grenfell College. From 2006 to 2009 he served as Parliamen- Online Techniques for Building Your Audience tary Poet Laureate of Canada. With Terry Fallis Description: John Steffler will devote 15mins to 1pm-4pm, Moose Jaw Library each person’s work during the workshop. The Limit: 15 (but will take 20), Cost: $35 group will reach each other’s work and offer helpful comments and responses. John will offer de- Bio: Terry Fallis’s debut novel, The Best Laid Plans tailed responses to each participant’s poem. He won the 2008 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, will also offer general comments on the practice and then went on to win the 2011 CBC Canada of writing poetry and on any other poetry-related Reads crown as the “essential Canadian novel of the decade.” CBC Television is now developing the topics you wish to discuss. book as a six-part TV miniseries. His follow-up novRequirements: You need to submit a poem that is el, The High Road was published in 2010 and was less than 40 lines in length by July 12th to the Fes- a finalist for the 2011 Leacock Medal. M&S will tival of Words office. You will need to bring 13 cop- publish his third novel in September. ies of the poem to the class (one for each person in the workshop.) Please note that you will be ex- Description: a workshop on how to build an audipected to read your poem aloud to the group. Note: ence for your writing using various profile-raising Bring a poem that expresses your style of writing techniques including podcasting, blogging, Youbut which you’re still working on and want feed- Tube, Twitter, Facebook, etc. back on—something you don’t think of as “perfect” Requirements: Have a 5 min. reading prepared for and unalterable. the group to critique.
Workshops: Thursday July 19, 2012 Great Big Book Club Workshop With Maureen Jennings, “Season of Darkness” 1pm-4pm, Moose Jaw Library Limit: 25, Cost: $25 *Please note: You must read the book before you attend the workshop. If you need a copy of the book and live in Moose Jaw, Post Horizons Books may be able to get it in for you. Bio: Maureen Jennings has three series, one set in 1895 Victorian Toronto, featuring detective William Murdoch. The Murdoch mysteries is currently a television series in its sixth season. In addition, she is working on a trilogy set in WW2 England. The first book, Season Of Darkness was released in August of 2011. The second, Beware This Boy, will be out in 2012. Bomb Girls, a Global tv series was based on an original concept from these books. She was awarded a certificate of commendation by Heritage Toronto and the Grant Allen award for contribution to the genre. She has received seven nominations for both best novel and best short story of the year, and her books have been translated into various languages, including, French, German, Korean, Polish and Czech. She will be talking about the WW2 series.
Kids Ink Writing Workshop Instructor: David Homel 9am-12pm, Moose Jaw Library Limit: 15, Cost: $10 Bio: David Homel was born in Chicago and now lives in Montreal, where he first became a writer. In 1988, he published his first novel and has been going strong ever since, winning prizes for his fiction in Canada and Europe. He has been translated into languages as varied as French and Mandarin Chinese. In 2006 with Marie-Louise Gay, he began writing for younger readers. He also works as a literary translator, arts journalist and documentary filmmaker.
Freelance Advertising Rates We accepts classified and display ads at the following rates: D i sp l ay ads :
Full page: $150 1/2 Page: $100 1/4 page: $50 business card: $35 (SWG members pay 75% of above rates)
C l ass i f i ed ads :
20 cents per word (plus GST). Ads run in three consecutive issues unless cancelled. (SWG members may place one 25-word ad free of charge each year).
Words in the Park Schedule The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, the Saskatchewan Publishers Group, and Regina Downtown invite you to Words in the Park. Readings will take place throughout the summer at noon in the northeast corner of Victoria Park. In case of rain the readings will be held at the Regina Public Library (corner of Lorne and 12th Ave) in the upstairs meeting room. July 11 host: Richard Jensen readers: gillian harding-russell, Bill Waiser
July 25 host: Kathleen Wall readers: Roy Challis, Laurie Graham, Fawn Nielson
August 15 host: TBA readers: Sandy Bonny, Keith Foster, Adam Pottle
July 18 host: David Sealy readers: Bevann Fox & Friends
August 1 host: Coby Stephenson readers: Alison Lohans, Shayna Stock, Kathleen Wall
August 22 host: Ruth Ann Tannahill readers: Linda Aksomitis, Melanie Schnell, David Sealy
THE 19th ANNUAL Saskatchewan Book Awards First Nations Authors and Publishers Make a Strong Showing
he 19th Saskatchewan Book Awards were presented on Saturday, April 28th, 2012 at the Conexus Arts Centre in Regina. Thirteen awards were given out celebrating excellence in writing and publishing in Saskatchewan. This year the First Nations and Métis peoples were well recognized in the subject matter, as well as the authors and publishers, of the Saskatchewan Book Awards winners. Book of the Year won by Darren R. Prefontaine for Gabriel Dumont: Li Chef Michif in Images and in Words, Published by Gabriel Dumont Institute. Sponsored
First Peoples’ Publishing Award won by CPRC Press for First in Canada: An Aboriginal Book of Days, Written by Jonathan Anuik. Sponsored by the Uni-
by the University of Regina
versity of Saskatchewan
Award for Publishing won by Gabriel Dumont Institute for Gabriel Dumont: Li Chef Michif in Images and in Words, Written by Darren R. Prefontaine. Sponsored
First Peoples’ Writing Award won by Mark Cronlund Anderson and Carmen L. Robertson for Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers Published by University of Manitoba Press. Sponsored by Rasmus-
by the Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture & Sport
Publishing in Education Award won by Coteau Books for Ice Storm: Disaster Strikes #6 Written by Penny Draper. Sponsored by Ann and Roger Phillips
Regina Book Award won by Mark Cronlund Anderson and Carmen L. Robertson for Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers, Published by University of Manitoba Press. Sponsored by Drs. Morris & Jacqui Shumiatcher
sen, Rasmussen and Charowsky
Children’s Literature Award won by Adele Dueck for Racing Home, Published by Coteau Books. Sponsored by
Fiction Award won by Harold Johnson for The Cast Stone, Published by Thistledown Press. Sponsored by SaskPower
First Book Award won by Anne McDonald for To the Edge of the Sea, Published by Thistledown Press. Sponsored by National Bank Financial
LPC Barristers and Solicitors
Nonfiction Award won by Curtis R. McManus for Happyland: A History of the “Dirty Thirties” in Saskatchewan, 19141937, Published by University of Calgary Press. Sponsored by the University of Saskatchewan
Poetry Award won by Thelma Poirier for Rock Creek Blues, Published by Coteau Books. Spon-
sored by the Saskatchewan Arts Board
Saskatoon Book Award won by Jeff Park for The Cellophane Sky: Jazz Poems, Published by Hagios Press. Spon-
sored by City of Saskatoon & the Saskatoon Public Library
Scholarly Writing Award won by Mark Cronlund Anderson and Carmen L. Robertson for Seeing Red: A History of Natives in Canadian Newspapers, Published by University of Manitoba Press. Sponsored by Luther Col-
lege & the Faculty of Arts, University of Regina
Lieutenant Governor Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Minister Bill Hutchinson, MP Ralph Goodale and MLA John Nilson were among over 300 guests who enjoyed the SBA Gala 2012. Sheila Coles of CBC Radio’s The Morning Edition was the M.C. for the evening. This year’s guest speaker was Mark Abley, an awardwinning author, journalist and editor who grew up in Saskatoon. Mark invoked great interest with his topic: “Stop tweeting—Start reading”. As the only provincially-focused book awards program in Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Book Awards presents over a dozen awards yearly to celebrate the achievements of our province’s authors and publishers. The SBA recognizes and celebrates excellence and diversity in Saskatchewan writing and publishing. It is a principal ambassador for the province’s literary community, promoting greater awareness of Saskatchewan books, authors and publishers through its awards, public reading events and other promotional initiatives. For more information on the Saskatchewan Book Awards, go to www.bookawards.sk.ca. For interviews and other media relations contact 306-569-1585 or email@example.com.
Join the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild
Membership Benefits If you’re a Saskatchewan writer,
or are interested in Saskatchewan writers and writing, membership in the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild is more than just a good idea... it’s a must. The benefits of membership include the following: • a subscription to Freelance, the newsmagazine of the SWG • free inclusion in “Books
Membership in the Guild is open to everyone. You do not need to be a writer, you may simply be interested in supporting Saskatchewan writers or staying current with Saskatchewan’s literary scene. If you are a writer, you will find a home with the Guild no matter what kind of writing you do. Our members write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, plays, radio documentaries, songs, newspaper columns, screenplays, business material, television dramas, and more. Similarly, you are welcome to join the Guild regardless of how long you’ve been writing. You may be just thinking about writing your first poem, or you may be a seasoned veteran with many published books to your credit.
by Members” section of
Freelance, if you have recently published a book • your book will also be added to the SWG Library • a subscription to Ebriefs, the weekly e-newsletter of the SWG • members can send us information about upcoming events • reduced rates on a wide range of workshops and events • connection to a wide-ranging community of Saskatchewan writers who are at all levels of development and who work in all genres
Reasons for joining the SWG • To keep up with what’s
happening in the Saskatchewan writing community • To be part of the writing community • To learn more about writing • To expand your influence on public policy and other
Everyone is welcome! For further information, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us online at www.skwriter.com
issues of concern to writers • To qualify for writers group funding
• To qualify for the member rate when participating in SWG programs • To express your personal commitment your writing • To get information on writing opportunities and markets
yes, I'd Like to Make a Donation SASKATCHEWAN WRITERS’ GUILD DONATIONS Charity Registration #11914 0556 RT0001
Thank you for your donations. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations over $10.
The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild offers more than thirty programs a year. Although the Guild receives global funding support and grants to operate some of the basic ones; there are many other programs. SWG General Donations General donations to the SWG are used for pressing or imminent needs in administrative, equipment and programming. Writers/Artists Retreats For nearly thirty years, the Saskatchewan Writers and Artists Retreat Program has served thousands of Saskatchewan and Canadian writers and artists by providing a quiet refuge where creative people can come together and practice their craft. This program of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild provides uninterrupted working time along with opportunities for thoughtprovoking exchange of ideas after working hours and at mealtimes. www.skwriter.com/ sk-writers-artists-retreats I would like to donate to: q Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild q Writers/Artist Retreats q Grain Magazine q Writers’ Assistance Fund (WAF) q Patricia Armstrong Fund q Andrew Suknaski Fund
Grain Magazine Grain Magazine, a literary quarterly, has earned national and international recognition for its distinctive content. Published by the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, Grain Magazine relies on the support of provincial and federal funding bodies, and the support of individuals like you. Very few of our costs are met by subscription sales. Donating to Grain means supporting literature. Donors will be listed on our website and inside the magazine, unless they wish otherwise. www.grainmagazine.ca/ Writers’ Assistance Fund (WAF) When members of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild develop an urgent and immediate need (not connected to writing) that rePlease make cheque or money order payable to: Saskatchewan Writers' Guild, Box 3986, Regina SK S4P 3R9 You can also donate via Paypal at: www.skwriter. com/payments-anddonations
quires financial support, they are able to apply for emergency assistance through the Writers’ Assistance Fund. Founded by senior writers in the Guild and supported by member donations, the fund is administered by the Executive Director and a committee of the SWG. Patricia Armstrong Fund This Fund was developed in honour of long-time Guild member Patricia Armstrong to support educational programming for rural writers, including writing workshops in rural areas, author readings and Roving Writers in Residence. Andrew Suknaski Fund Originally established to assist with a memorial celebration, the remaining funds are to be used in his honour for a project to benefit writers, as yet to be determined.
Gary Hyland Endowment Fund Donations to the Gary Hyland Endowment Fund can be sent to: The South Saskatchewan Community Foundation Inc. #2-2700 Montague St. Regina, SK S4S 0J9
yes, I'd Like to Make a Donation SWG FOUNDATION
Charity Registration # 81894 3870 RT0001 Donate and help to create a legacy for the Guild.
Thank you for your donations. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations over $10.
n October 2005 the SWG established a foundation to create a long term endowment fund for Guild programming, to realize enhanced investment opportunities for existing trusts and to provide for financial stability in the event of funding fluctuations to the Guild. In the short term, individual Guild members have set up directed endowments that support individual writers’ skill development through bursaries. Donors can choose to allocate money to the general SWG Foundation account for immediate priority programs, or directly through a Directed Donations form to the Permanent Endowment Fund, the Facilitated Retreat Fund, the Legacy Project or other SWG Foundation administered trusts, such as the Judy McCrosky Bursary Fund, and Caroline Heath Memorial Fund.
Judy McCrosky Bursary Fund In 2008 Judy McCrosky started this Fund to cover the registration fee for a selected participant to attend one week at the SWG Writer/Artist winter retreat. Presently held at St. Peter’s Abbey, this bursary is for an emerging Saskatchewan writer who would benefit from time spent in a retreat environment to focus on writing.
SWG Foundation General Donations to this fund are important for immediate priority programs and administrative costs, such as audit and corporation fees to keep the Foundation active and in accordance with legal, financial and government requirements and to be able to disburse funds as required.
Legacy Project Fund The Legacy Project Fund’s sole purpose is for procurement and maintenance of a building, which will become a permanent home for the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, and a place for writers to learn, to teach, to explore and to celebrate writing, a place for writers to gather and be proud of.
SWG Foundation Endowment Fund The Endowment fund is a long term investment fund to ensure that Guild programs can be adequately funded into the future. Donations are held in perpetuity for a period of not less than 10 years, the interest of which is to fund programs and the organization annually.
Facilitated Retreat Fund Upon her retirement as Executive Director of SWG in 2009 Susan Hogarth launched a targeted donation campaign to support Facilitated Retreats for emerging writers. This funding provides developing writers a three day stretch of writing involvement under the tutelage of an experienced writer.
Caroline Heath Memorial Fund This memorial lecture series, named after a beloved editor, publisher and poet, features senior writers and publishers as guest lecturers. Promoted to the public and the membership, the lecture is the keynote address at the Fall Conference. This series brings to writers and the public contemporary issues on writing and publishing. Donations are greatly appreciated to sustain this lecture series.
I would like to donate to: q SWG Foundation
q Facilitated Retreats
q Caroline Heath Memorial Fund
q Judy McCrosky Bursary
q Endowment Fund
q Legacy Project
Please make cheques or money orders payable to the SWG Foundation, PO Box 3986, Regina SK S4P 3R9 You can also donate via Paypal at: www.skwriter. com/payments-anddonations
BACKBONE SWG Thanks Our Donors PATRON (over $500) Lorne Erickson Estate BENEFACTORS ($200-$499) Calder, Robert Goldman, Lyn Lorer, Danica MacIntyre, Rod Monahan, Lynda SUPPORTERS ($100- $199) Birnie, Howard Boechler, Ileen Conacher, Myrtle Durant, Margaret Edwards, Karen Fenwick, Cathy Haigh, Jerry Halfe, Louise Halsband, Ilonka Harelkin Bishop, Mary Hertes, David Khng, George Klassen, Karen Roach Pierson, Ruth St. Thomas More Students Union Toews, Terry Tuharsky, Terry FRIENDS ($50-$99) Aksomitis, Linda Aubrey, Kim Birdsell, Sandra Campbell, Sandra Charrett, Doug Epp, Joanne Funk, Wes Guymer, Myrna Hillis, Doris Koops, Sheena Kostash, Myrna Krause, Pat MacFarlane, Sharon Miller, Dianne S.
Mitchell, June Mitchell, Ken Morrell, Kathleen Moore, Jacqueline Parley, Kay Popp, Muriel Sunday Afternoon Co-op Wardill, William Wood, Janice Young, Dianne CONTRIBUTORS (up to $50) Andrist, Shirley Baker, Brenda Butala, Sharon Ehman, Amy Jo Ewing-Weisz, Chris Fahlman, Jean Freeman, Jean Glaze, David Gossner, Carol Grandel, Loaine Guymer, Myrna Haas, Ted Halsband, Ilonka Hamilton, Sharon Herr, Helen Hindle, Jean Leech, Robert Lonsdale, Margaret Martin, Miriam Mitchell, Ken Muirhead, Laurie Olson, Joan Rae, Annie Rogers, Evelyn Schwier, Karin
WRITERS’ ASSISTANT FUND (WAF) Kerr, Donald Ursell, Geoffrey RETREATS Buchmann-Gerber, Annemarie Eissfeldt, Jessica Galbraith, William Goetz, Melody Krause, Judith Sarsfield, Pete Semotuk, Verna GRAIN Kloppenburg, Cheryl ANDREW SUKNASKI MEMORIAL FUND Adam, Ian Anonymous Birdsell, Sandra Blum, William Campbell, Anne Coulter, Brian Currie, Robert Domanski, Don Graham, Laurie Harras, Tony Harris, John Kaldor, Connie Karasinski, Joe Kostash, Myrna Krause, Judith Krause, Pat Marty, Sid McRae, Bronwen Newlove, Susan Nilson, John Noble, Charles Savage, Candace Shakotko, Shanon & Don Sheppard, Annabel Sorestad, Glen
Thanks To Our SWG Foundation Donors SWG FOUNDATION Adam, Sharon Buhr, Nola Daunt, Felicia Estate of Mossie Hancock Glaze, David La Ronge Wild Rice Writers’ Group Nilson, John & Linda Peter, Anthony Sorestad, Glen
FACILITATED RETREAT Hogarth, Susan JUDY MCCROSKY BURSARY McCrosky, Judy SWGF LEGACY PROJECT Banantyne-Cugnet, Jo Boerma, Gloria Fenwick, Cathy Friesen, Bernice
Gossner, Carol Khng, George Lohans, Alison Powell Mendenhall, Marie Remlinger, Paula Jane Silverthorne, Judith Slade, Arthur Sorestad, Glen Story, Gertrude Yeager, Michele
Freelance June/July 2012
Volume 41 Number 4
Publication Mail Agreement #40063014 Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to: Administration Centre Printing Services 111â€“2001 Cornwall Street Regina, SK S4P 3X9 Email: email@example.com We gratefully acknowledge the support of SaskCulture, Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund and the Saskatchewan Arts Board