Freelance February/March 2012 Volume 41 Number 2
Talking Fresh 10 Projecting the Novel: Books & Film Guest Writers: Nino Ricci, Gail Bowen, Alison Pick, Karen Walton March 2 & 3
Volume 41 Number 2 February-March 2012 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: Jan Morier Cover photos credit: Nino Ricci: Photo by Rafy, Gail Bowen: Phyllis Thompson, Alison Pick: Kevin Kelly, Karen Walton: Walton Media
Freelance is published six times per year for members of the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild. Submissions to Freelance are welcome for editorial review. If accepted, articles will be edited for clarity. The basic criteria to meet in submitting materials are readership interest, timeliness, and quality and following standard submission format (see web site). Viewpoints expressed in contributed articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the SWG. We do not accept poetry or prose at this time. Copyright for articles, reports, photographs and other visual materials or text remains with the creator and cannot be used or reprinted without permission. SWG pays for one time rights/use only. Payment for articles and reports is 10¢ a word (approx $80/published page). Photographs and other visuals are paid at a rate of $25 each. Deadline for Freelance copy is: March 1, 2012.
Freelance: ISSN 0705-1379 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 Ex-Officio: Judith Silverthorne Mailing Address: Saskatchewan Writers' Guild Box 3986, Regina, SK S4P 3R9 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
C ONTENTS President's Message ���������������������������������������� 3 Cathy Fenwick Executive Director’s Report ������������������������������� 5 Judith Silverthorne Program News Aboriginal Programming.....................................7 Joely BigEagle Winter Program Report......................................8 Tracy Hamon Saskatoon Programming....................................9 SWG Professional Development Series................10 Once the Poem Is On Its Own: A Few Thoughts on Internet Publishing..........................................14 Glen Sorestad Life Lessons from Carpenter.............................16 Wes Funk Manoeuvre the Clock - Find More Writing Time in your Schedule ...............................................19 Toby Welch The Hook......................................................24 Anthony Bidulka Retreat Reflections - The Monks of St. Peter’s Abbey: An Endangered Species........................26 Anne Pennylegion The Space-Time Continuum.............................28 Edward Willett Letter to the Editor..........................................30 Viewpoint...................................................... 32 Books by Members ���������������������������������������� 33 Short Grain Writing Contest..............................34 Markets & Competitions ��������������������������������� 36
Contact: Phone: (306) 757-6310 Toll Free: 1-800-667-6788 Fax: (306) 565-8554 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com Web site: www.skwriter.com
We gratefully acknowledge the support of SaskCulture, Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund and the Saskatchewan Arts Board
P resident's MESSAGE The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. – Henry Miller It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small. – Neil Armstrong
he longer I live the more I think I understand how perspective influences beliefs and behaviours. We can talk, or write, about historical perspective, business perspective, a cultural or human perspective. The point of view (POV) in literature and drama is a defined process of narration that presents the subjective perception of various characters in a story or a play. Writers have a unique opportunity to explore perspective as they develop characters and describe character interactions. In social or counselling psychology we refer to one’s ability to see things from another person’s point of view, so as to feel empathy or compassion for that person’s reality. We might try to help them see the situation from different angles, take another perspective and perhaps make positive changes. If change is not possible, we might help them find a way to accept that which cannot be changed. Perspective presents a number of challenges, differing points FEBRUARY-MARCH 2012
of view, umvelt (environment) und weltanschauung (belief). My pioneering grandparents had an arbeit und gebet (work and prayer) worldview, which gave meaning to their lives. Theirs was a world focused on physical survival, but because of their hard work my family’s worldview today includes more spielen und kreativität (play and creativity). I know this because I’ve lived long enough to experience both perspectives on that which constitutes a meaningful life. Do you love snow or hate snow? It depends on your perspective on winter and snow. If your belief is that winter means horrors such as bitter cold, blizzards, icy highways and endless shovelling, then you likely wish you lived somewhere other than in Saskatchewan. But if you like skating and tobogganing and like nothing better than a brilliant sunny day spent on ski trails when conditions are perfect, and you wish you could do this every day, then snow is a wonderful thing. I began my salaried working life as a Grade Two teacher. Most teachers will tell you that there will be a few students in the primary grades that struggle mightily with learning to read. If we said to ourselves, “This kid is never going to learn to read, so why bother?” That child could possibly be functionally illiterate for his or her whole life. Fortunately I’ve never met a teacher who thinks this way. A good teacher would never give up on a child, so we
try many techniques and practices to get their attention and hopefully instil a love for the written word (as well as math, science, history, art…). Some of our students even become writers helping other writers. Here’s a dilemma for a woman who is accomplished and independent: does she graciously allow a gentleman to help her with her coat, open a door or hold a chair for her while getting seated in a restaurant? Does she insist on doing it for herself? Or does she simply accept this as a sign of courtesy and respect? The coat, the door, the chair-holding are hangovers from a time when women were not considered persons under the law, and it wasn’t that long ago (I’m not quite old enough to have been around then, but my mother was). On the other hand polite behaviour and chivalry could be a welcome sight now and then. Things change. Our perspective and how we choose to act in any given situation is up to us. Sometimes changing my thoughts about certain situations helps me to change my response—usually for the better. People wonder why there is so much change happening at the SWG. Change is a fact of life. It is continuous, ongoing and affects all aspects of one’s life. Dialogue between board members, staff and membership is especially important during times of rapid change. We are working on putting several
more avenues in place that will facilitate this dialogue. In addition to email, snail mail and telephone we are creating an on-line forum on our website. We will send out surveys to our members, to which we hope you will respond. Get involved —it’s your Guild. We do our best to get information out through Ebriefs, Freelance and the Members Only section on our website. The Board recently set up an ad hoc committee regarding Grain, the Guild’s literary magazine. This was done following the motion that was passed at the AGM – a motion that was made independently by an SWG member, not as a directive from the board. The current ad hoc
committee members are Rod McIntyre, Ken Mitchell, Brenda Niskala, Phil Adams and Mike Thompson (ex officio). The ad hoc committee will investigate whether or not it will be advantageous for Grain to become independent of the Guild, remain a program of SWG, or perhaps some other option. This committee will report their findings to the Board, where further discussions will be held and a decision made as to whether it remains as is or, in the event of changes, it needs to go to an AGM for members to vote on the proposal. Members will be consulted about this decision through the ad hoc committee process, which is meant to take place over the next three years. It is not something that will happen quickly nor without
member input; there is plenty of time to express your views. More information will be shared as the process unfolds. The SWG board of directors and staff continue to work hard on your behalf. Board members and committees are making good progress in a number of areas, policy updates, strategic planning, conference, membership, nominations, personnel, as well as ongoing concerns expressed by SWG membership. We will keep you up to date as things evolve. My apologies for the error in my last Report: the first SWG Aboriginal Retreat was held in the summer of 2011, not 2010. Best Regards, Cathy Fenwick
Taxing Yourself: Income Tax and Writers Workshop Leader: Lois Salter Join SWG Accountant Lois Salter as she talks about income tax. This course is designed to teach some of the basic requirements of personal income tax preparation in Saskatchewan, with professional writers in view. Saturday, February 25, 2012 in Regina at the SWG office: 100-1150 8th Ave. Saturday, March 3, 2012 205A Pacific Ave. Saskatoon Workshop Fee: SWG Members $35. Non-members $45. About the Instructor: Lois Salter is a Chartered Accountant with over 18 years of extensive and diversified accounting, tax and auditing experience, of which over 12 years was spent in public practice. She has also taken a number of courses in taxation. She currently is the Accountant at the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild as well as owning her own accounting firm.
E xecutive Director's Report A
ctivities abound at the Guild offices this mild winter, spurred on by inspired staff, who have been working hard over the past few months behind the scenes to put professional development workshops and other events in place. We welcome Joely BigEagle as SWG’s contract Aboriginal Program Coordinator. She already has plans in the works, which will be unfolding shortly. You can read about these and other upcoming offerings in the staff’s updates elsewhere in this issue of Freelance. Ongoing reports by Guild programmers will continue as regular items. More details are available on the website.
Freelance The Guild is also pleased to add a few other new features to Freelance magazine. Some started with the last issue and will be unfolding over this and subsequent issues. The Freelance Advisory Committee, along with the Guild editor and policy staff and board are reviewing Freelance policies and coming up with some new ideas as well. We’ve reinstated some components that have disappeared over time either from lack of use, slippage or editorial changes. One of these is the SWG Member News. Please consider sending your SWG Member News to Freelance (and Ebriefs over the coming months), following Guild submission guidelines. These can be found in this issue of Freelance and also on the website, and include guidelines for a variety of components of Freelance, including Books by
Members. If you’d like to see an article on a particular topic, or would like to write one that you think we might be able to use, please contact Jan firstname.lastname@example.org. Views With things well in hand in the Guild office, I’m taking my first real holiday since starting my position as Executive Director in February of 2010. I’m combining a house sitting gig with a writing retreat for a month on Salt Spring Island in BC. The sun is shining brilliantly through the surrounding forest as I sit at my laptop near a window filled with plants and flowers. I’m looking out at green grass and trees, and in the distance I can see the ocean. The sky is clear blue above me through the skylight. A fluffy black and white cat is nestled on a cushion beside me; the only sound, the crackles of a small fire in the living room fireplace. Perfect writing conditions for me. But then so are many other places, like the Guild’s Saskatchewan retreat facilities: our much loved St. Peter’s Abbey and our new location at Spring Valley Ranch, which I sadly can no longer benefit from since becoming an employee of the Guild. In fact, there are many advantages Guild members enjoy which staff members who are also writers cannot. For myself, Tracy and others, we may seem to be participating in Guild-initiated events, but in reality, we may simply be filling in, in order for an event to have enough participants to proceed
and/or we participate in order to promote the Guild. Sometimes events are planned by other organizations or our publishers and we are invited to contribute as individual writers. These activities may be advertised through Guild channels, giving the perception of Guild support, but this may not be the case. Nonetheless, under no circumstances does Guild staff accept payment or otherwise benefit financially through Guild-run events or programs. These include events, such as Words in the Park, the SWG Author Readings Program, and other member events. Instead we occasionally donate our time and experience in a multitude of ways, and we hope through our participation, we bring back ideas, a better understanding and knowledge to create new and improved programs that will benefit our members. As staff, we do not have a legup in garnering favoured spots or teaching positions at the University, SIAST or elsewhere. These are private enterprises commissioned separately and apart from the Guild. Anyone in Saskatchewan can apply to do them, just as we have done. (I had been teaching at both SIAST and the U of R for a dozen years before I started working for the Guild, and these were advertised through Ebriefs, though perhaps not noticed. I also discussed this situation with the Guild Board as a possible conflict of interest when I began as Executive Director. Since these teaching engagements were outside Guild parameters and
didn’t interfere with my work for the Guild, it was deemed appropriate that I continued to do them.) On the other hand as an individual, independent writer, I have brought my outside connections to the Guild to institute partnerships that will benefit members, such as the now defunct one between the U of R Continuing Education and SWG. This provided reciprocal discounts and also formalized the hiring of Guild members for their courses. Unfortunately the department is no longer offering creative writing classes, so we will now have to think of alternative plans. The long and the short of all this is that
occasionally there may be perceptions of conflict of interest with Guild staff, but we are bound by policies of not benefiting financially from SWG while employed. We are still writers, however, and we are still connected to the writing community in other ways. Office Notes Interactive online Member Forums are ready to unveil on the Guild website and will be launched as soon as we complete the policy statement for its use. We also will soon be putting out the call for a volunteer moderator. While I’m away, Tracy is at the helm of the Guild, and all the
rest of the staff is also available to assist members wherever needed. Quite possibly by the time you read this, I will already be back in the office, as I return around mid-February. In the meantime, I wish you all some wonderful writing time this winter and hope you are able to finish a project you are working on, which is also my goal. I just need to stop gazing out the window at all the greenery in the middle of winter and pinch myself back into reality....can’t believe my good fortune in being able to write a novel surrounded by a little piece of heaven. Happy Writing all! Judith Silverthorne
Ray Hsu at SWG Signature Reading Series at the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild Regina location
photos: SWG staff
January 19th was a frigid day in Regina, a far cry from winter temperatures in Vancouver, but a cheerful Ray Hsu warmed hearts with his performance poetry at the Signature Reading Series held at Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild. Ray travelled on to Saskatoon the following day for Writing North: Writing the Extraordinary, held January 20 & 21st. FEBRUARY-MARCH 2012
P rogram News
Joely will be working with Aboriginal writers to create a discussion space so that all can share their ideas on how this program should reflect what its members want and need. She will also be working on: • A coffee house Aboriginal writers’ series, • Hosting storytellers at the SWG office during the month of February which is Aboriginal Storyteller’s Month, and • Coordinating and developing an Aboriginal writer’s retreat for 2012. She will be looking for input from all members on any exciting, fresh new ideas that they have and want to share. Joely will be encouraging more Aboriginal writers to join SWG and will be nurturing partnerships with organizations that have similar goals and objectives such as the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Literacy Network (SALN) and The First Nations University (FNUniv) Language and Indian Arts and Communications (INCA) departments. A few upcoming events to mention: • Saskatchewan Aboriginal Literacy Network (SALN) is hosting their Literacy Gathering May 24 & 25 and their Awards Gala May 24 in Regina. Nominations are being accepted for a number of awards until March 16, please go to their website for more information on nominations criteria: www. aboriginal.sk.literacy.ca/ • The Aboriginal Multi-Media Society (AMMSA) is an Aboriginal communications society dedicated to serving the needs of Aboriginal people throughout Canada. Check out their website for book reviews on Aboriginal-themed books. www.ammsa. com/community-access/book-reviews FEBRUARY-MARCH 2012
photo: SWG staff
oely BigEagle is the Aboriginal Programming Coordinator for SWG and is in a contract position until the end of March. Joely is from the White Bear First Nations and she has worked with a number of arts organizations. She was a board member of the Globe Theatre and the Conexus Arts Centre. She is passionate about sharing what the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild can offer with all Aboriginal writers and is hoping to create an atmosphere where Aboriginal writers can nurture their writing and have opportunities to share their stories.
If there are writers out there with any questions or concerns with finding writing resources I can reached via email at email@example.com or phone (306) 791-7744 at the Regina office. I want to leave you with a poem written by a FNUniv INCA student that is a good representation of how I felt arriving into this new position at SWG. I really look forward to being a part of this organization and am excited to share my experiences and wealth of knowledge. Joely BigEagle Life AS true as the rain falls ......... the sun rises. Giving way to the beauty that is life ...... the gift Each and every day it’s placed in your hands. What do you do? Live it to the fullest Forget about that past To each their own I say and to you yours Put down your hair let the breeze flow through it Feel the sun kiss your cheek Mornings awake thinking about the day What will you make of it? Who will you see? Life is a beauty....................... Life is a gift. Penny Smoke
P rogram News Ham(on) Wry Winter Program Report
t’s January. The snow is sparse and the streets are grey. The horizon (I use that word because an established poet once told me that every prairie poetry book uses the word “horizon” at least once— this isn’t quite prairie poetry, but it’s pretty darned close) is blue and the clouds spit rain rather than snow. That said, today is bitter cold (nearly -8) and I’m staying close to my computer for warmth.
Enough about the weather— programming wise, the SWG is busy. After attending the extraordinarily creative and hugely successful Writing North in Saskatoon on January 20/21, we’re now gearing up for “Talking Fresh 10: Projecting the Novel.” The tenth anniversary of TF sees a move to new digs at the MacKenzie Art Gallery on March 2/3. Alison Pick, Nino Ricci, Gail Bowen and Karen Walton will be the guest writers. They will take part in the panel discussion, entertain you by reading from their work, and present ways to develop further your creativity through sessions on the topics of writing and film.
If it’s a workshop you’re after, we’ve got them stacked two deep! Upcoming is “Taxing Yourself: Income Tax and Writers” led by our own financial guru Lois Salter. Learn the ins and outs of personal taxation with little or no frustration!
Check the ad in this issue of Freelance for further details on all our upcoming workshops! And, after we’ve run the numbers, we’ll write the tunes! The Songwriting Workshop led by Kim Fontaine, one of Saskatchewan’s most notable songwriters, will hit all the right notes (well, someone had to say that!). Along with our usual workshops, we continue to offer our Professional Development series for the month of May. These four two-hour workshops will help to provide you with information and education in the business of writing. Contracts, Archives, Digital Storytelling, and Marketing are our focus for this round. These sessions run parallel in Regina and Saskatoon.
If it’s readings you want to hear, then sit down and buy a round! Now that we’ve got the great new digs, we’ve resurrected our Signature Reading Series which kicked off with the Rockstar Poet Ray Hsu on January 19. In March, we welcome Francie Greenslade and special guest Anne McDonald as they read from their new books. Also in March, Tim Lilburn will visit and read from new work. On April 26, Regina welcomes the Apprentices of the Mentorship Program for their finale reading and we hope to see the winner of the City of Regina Writing Award read from their award winning entry sometime in late May! Look for our upcoming calls for John V. Hicks, The Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award, and Writers Group Funding. And, if you’re a member of a known writing group, please watch for our letter requesting updated information. As we continue to upgrade our database, we want to include all of our groups! Stay tuned for the next installment of our new column. Over and out. Tracy Hamon
P rogram News
WG in Saskatoon has planned a number of events and workshops to fill the winter months. We were joined on January 20-21st for Writing North: Writing the Extraordinary by writers David Bergen, Yvette Nolan, Ray Hsu, Norman Nawrocki, and Kevin Loring who presented their experiences and thoughts on writing. This event was free and open to the public. It began on Friday at 3:30 p.m. and on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Please see www. skwriter.com for more information. March is a busy month for SWG in Saskatoon. SWG is partnering with the Global Gathering Place and continuing with our successful Weaving Words
Workshop. Weaving Words is a five-day creative-writing workshop for women newly arrived to Canada and Saskatoon. On March 3rd the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, Saskatoon Public Libraries, PEN Canada and Sage Hill Writing will be holding an event commemorating Freedom to Read week. This free event will be held at Francis Morrison Library and is free to the public. Join SWG accountant Lois Salter on March 3rd as she talks about what writers need to know about income tax. Just in time for tax season! On March 24th prominent Saskatchewan musician Kim
Freedom to Read Week Date Correction It is an annual event (this year being held from February 26th to March 3rd) that encourages Canadians to think critically about their commitments to intellectual freedom and freedom of expression. Even in Canada, considered a free country by global standards, books and magazines are banned from library shelves. Intellectual freedom is guaranteed under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Political, artistic and religious expressions are vital because they lead to debate, a vital component of any successful democracy. FEBRUARY-MARCH 2012
This year in Saskatoon, Freedom to Read Week will be celebrated on Saturday, March 3rd at 2 p.m. at the Frances Morrison Library in the Art Gallery (Second floor.) This year’s reception will focus on the impact social media has had on affecting change and how activists using social media have faced brutal challenges. Special focus will be placed on the Arab Spring and the Occupy movements. Join the Library and Writer in Residence Yvette Nolan, the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, Sage Hill Writing and PEN Canada as they present a thought-provoking program on censorship.
Fontaine will be hosting “Making Your Words Sing: A Song Writing Workshop.” This is a full day, two-part workshop. In the morning participants will discuss song structure, form, setting up hooks and other important foundations to song writing. May is SWG’s Professional Development Month. Join us May 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th to discuss archiving, writing contracts, digital storytelling, and marketing. More information to follow on www.skwriter. com. If you have any questions regarding Saskatoon events please call Sarah at (306) 9555513. Sarah Shoker
Reading by Jeramy Dodds Friday, March 9, 8:30 p.m. University of Regina Thorn Hall (Luther College) Trillium Book award winner and Griffin prize nominated Jeramy Dodds will be reading as part of Trash Talking 2012: New Directions in Pop Culture and Contemporary Writing. Tickets will be available at the door and registration for the full conference will be available on www. trashtalking.ca
SWG Professional Development Series - 2012 The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild is embarking on a series of Professional Development courses that encompasses the “Business” of writing from legal, financial, and technological aspects to publishing, marketing and promotion. This series will be offered in-person for the entire month of May. The Professional Development Series will consist of four two-hour workshops in Regina and Saskatoon.
Regina May 9
saskatoon Archiving Linda McIntyre
May 16 Contracts Patricia Warsaba, Q. C.
May 9 May 16
Archiving Nadine Charabin
May 23 Marketing Deb Rush
May 23 Digital Storytelling Nova Alberts
May 30 Digital Storytelling Nova Alberts
May 30 Marketing Presenter TBA
Contracts Steve Seiferling
Workshop Fee: SWG Members $25. for one; $85. for four Registration form available online at www.skwriter.com/home/302 For more information please contact Program Manager at 791-7743 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or register by contacting SWG Administrative Assistant Milena at 791-7740 or email@example.com. Archiving
Ever wonder what to keep and what to shred? Archivists will lead your through the ins and outs of who, what, when, where, why and how you should save/keep your documents for archiving.
Successful book marketing and promotion actually begins before the book arrives. Understanding many of the mysteries of the publishing world, including metadata, internet promotion, and key account selling will have a major impact on your book’s success. The instructor will discuss the current landscape and provide practical suggestions on how to promote your book. The presenter will outline some of the differences between self publishing and house publishing.
Technological advances and social networking have transformed the way that people choose and consume works of fiction. This presentation is designed to provide a snapshot of a number of innovative ways that storytellers are embracing digital technologies to help tell and promote their stories across multiple mediums.
Have you always wondered if you should sign, or when to sign or how to sign? A lawyer will review the importance of having a written contract and what should be included in a written contract. The presentation will also address practical tips and traps in negotiating and finalizing the contract for your best protection.
Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence - 2012 This prestigious award was established in May 2010 by Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg, lawyers by profession, but philanthropists at heart. It honours a Saskatchewan writer who has written a substantial body of acclaimed literary work with a prize of $10,000 and a painting by Saskatchewan artist Dorothy Knowles. The three Honorary Patrons of the Award are the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, the Mayor of the City of Saskatoon, and the President of the University of Saskatchewan. Criteria The award winner must have written a substantial a body of literary work. Eligibility 1. Writers must be Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents whose principal place of residence has been Saskatchewan for the last 5 full years or who have spent at least 10 years of their writing careers in Saskatchewan. 2. Writers who have written books in the following genres will be considered: Fiction Poetry Drama Non-fiction 3. Books may have been published anywhere in the world. 4. Deadline for submissions is annually on June 30th at 4:00 pm CST. 5. The prize will be a cash award of $10,000, and a commemorative print of a painting by Saskatchewan artist Dorothy Knowles. /www.skwriter.com/awards/the-cheryl-and-henry-kloppenburg-award-for-literary-excellence
The John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Awards - 2012 The John V. Hicks Manuscript Awards program of the SWG recognizes three unpublished book-length manuscripts annually. The awards rotate between the genres of poetry, fiction, plays, and literary non-fiction. In 2012, the SWG will honour three unpublished, full-length manuscripts of poetry. Prizes will be as follows: 1st place: $1,000; 2nd place: $650; 3rd place: $350. The winners will read from their work at the John V. Hicks Luncheon at the SWGâ€™s annual Fall Conference in Saskatoon (expenses paid). Deadline: Submissions must be post-dated by Friday, June 29, 2012. If you are sending material close to this date, please consider Xpress Post, Priority Post, courier, or special delivery. Late submissions will not be accepted. www.skwriter.com/awards/the-john-v-hicks-long-manuscript-awards
MANUSCRIPT EVALUATION SERVICE Professional evaluation at a sensible fee The Manuscript (Prose, Poetry, Dramatic Scripts - theatrical) 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. You do not have to be a member of the SWG to use this program. The SWG offers this service with the generous partnership of the Saskatchewan Arts Board. What the service can do for you. You will receive a written evaluation that includes the following: • An editorial assessment of your manuscript in progress. • A summary of the strengths and weaknesses in terms of publishability. • Advice on steps that you may take to further develop your manuscript or advice on market- ing and publicity. • A response for up to 3 specific questions that you may submit with your manuscript sepa- rately. Your manuscript will be sent to a published author—either one we select who will then give you an anonymous evaluation, or one whom you select. If you want a certain writer to evaluate your work, you must obtain his or her approval. Please check the SWG database and indicate your preference. Your choice must be approved by our Program Officer. Depending on the length of your manuscript and the availability of evaluators, the entire process may take 6 to 8 weeks or longer. You may use this service only once every twelve months. The availability of this service is contingent on someone willing to read your manuscript. The Guild wishes to emphasize that use of its Manuscript Evaluation Service will not guarantee publication. Please also note this is an evaluation service, not a page-by-page/line editing service, and only overall comments will be made. Do not expect corrections or editorial comments on the manuscript itself. Always keep a copy of your manuscript for your files. How to Submit: Manuscripts must be submitted in the following manner: • submissions must be in English • all material must be typed in body-text fonts like Times New Roman, Courier, or Arial (not in display fonts like Monotype Corsiva) • font size should be 12 pt entries must be on white 8 1/2 by 11 inch bond paper of standard weight like 20-pound • entries must be single-sided • entries must be printed in black ink • pages should be numbered sequentially • double-space prose; poetry may be single-spaced • to fasten submissions, use paper clips (including fold-back clips) or rubber bands for bulkier manuscripts—avoid staples or any other fastener which goes through the paper (including binders, presentation covers, or coil binding) • do not fold sheets • you must have a cover page that includes the following: 1) your name, 2) the number of words in the manuscript, and 3) the type of work (e.g. science fiction, young adult novel, prose poetry, short story). Whether your name appears anywhere else in the manuscript is up to you.
Manuscript Evaluation Service
• we cannot consider manuscripts submitted by fax or email or on disk • to have your manuscript returned, include a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Send your manuscript and payment to the following address: Manuscript Evaluation Service Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild Box 3986 Regina, SK S4P 3R9 Full details & fees at www.skwriter.com/programs-and-services/manuscript-evaluation-service. For more information, phone 306-791-7743 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org
MakingYour Words Sing: A Songwriting Workshop Workshop Leader: Kim Fontaine Have you always wanted to set your words to music, but don’t know how? Whether you’re a beginner or someone who wants to improve on current skills, this exciting two-part workshop will focus on the tools that will help you become a stronger songwriter and musician. This is a full day, two-part workshop. In the morning participants will discuss song structure, form, setting up hooks and other important foundations to song writing. In the afternoon members will work in small groups as they set their knowledge to practice and write lyrics to melodies and chords. Put your best ideas forward and learn to analyze lyrics critically. Join us on March 24th in Saskatoon and March 31st in Regina. Participation in this workshop is limited. For registration, please contact Program Manager at 791-7743 or email@example.com, or contact Milena at 791-7740 or firstname.lastname@example.org. March 24:
Dance Saskatchewan Building, 205A Pacific Avenue, Saskatoon
SWG Office, 1150 8th Avenue, Regina
Time: 10 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Workshop Fee: SWG Members $60. Non-members $75. About the Instructor: Kim Fontaine has spent years honing her writing skills and is regarded as one of Saskatchewan’s most notable songwriters. She developed and instructed a series of songwriting programs for the University of Saskatchewan CCDE; has developed and cofacilitates an annual songwriting retreat for the University of Saskatchewan Emma Lake Kenderdine Campus; and has been a guest speaker/panelist/workshop instructor discussing various aspects of songwriting for organizations such as the WCMA’s, SaskMusic, the Saskatoon Jazz Festival and the Mendel Art Gallery. Kim is a performing singer/songwriter who has released four albums to date: “Morning Pages” (2004); “Life Happens” (2007), “Blue Sky Girl” (2010) and “Heartaches & Numbers.”
O nce the Poem is on its Own: A Few Thoughts on Internet Publishing
by Glen Sorestad
he poem is completed. It has gone through revision after revision. The poem has passed each of the poet’s selfimposed criteria for sound and sense, for the rhythmic flow of the language, for the effective breaking of the lines, for the use of space, the judicious juxtaposition of the words and lines on the white expanse of the page. The poet feels the poem is ready to be released from its cage and allowed to fly on its own, away from the maker. The poem is ready for readers—the public. Now the poet prepares to send the poem out into the world where it will, hopefully, find a receptive reader or two. For the longest time this matter of sending poems out to literary publications involved the rather tedious tasks of selecting a literary magazine, packaging up a half-dozen poems along with a covering letter, buying a pair of manila envelopes—one for the whole package of poems and covering letter, one selfaddressed and self-stamped for the return of the poems if they did not measure up to the editors’ expectations or needs, as well as purchasing those costly International Reply Coupons if the desired magazine was outside Canada. This usually meant that the poet was on intimate terms with the postmaster or postal clerk. But the internet has changed this unwieldy and pocket-draining process because it has given birth to a whole online liter-
ary magazine scene of its own, a world in which submitting work is a much simpler matter of putting together a similar group of poems and covering letter, then hitting SEND on the PC. In this new world of internet publishing, it is conceivable that a poem may be accepted by an editor on the same day it is submitted, as has happened to me on several occasions. The typical six month wait for a response to a submission, from one of the long serving literary magazines still clinging to the practice of supporting Canada Post with mail submission requirements, is seldom the case with online publications. With instant communication there can be a much quicker response. As well, the online publication has an entirely unlimited audience in contrast with the traditional literary magazine that has an audience limited largely to its subscription list, a few bookstores and a scattering of library readers. I lay these initial observations before you because of my recent experiences that seem to me to illustrate at least several qualities of the power of the internet to change the world of poetry and the poet’s expectations within that world. No matter where and how the poet sends out poems into the world, there is an implicit understanding on the poet’s part that once the poem is set free on its own, there is just no possible way of knowing what will happen to it. After close to 40 years of submitting my poems
to traditional publications all over the world, I have come to realize that a great many undesirable things can happen to any of the poems that may be chosen, including having them attributed to someone else, having lines or complete stanzas missing, having lines of other poet’s poems appear in the middle of my own poem, not to mention a few instances of some outrageous typographical errors and similar misadventures. On several occasions after submitting poems I heard absolutely zilch from the literary magazine, despite a polite query, and after a year or so, made the assumption that the manuscript went astray in the mails, only to either receive a copy of the litmag containing the unacknowledged poem, or in a few cases, discovering years later that the poems had appeared in the publication without any formal acceptance, nor the courtesy of a gratis copy. Until the internet came along and spawned a whole new literary publishing scene, my poems would appear in various literary magazines across North America and elsewhere, but I can probably count the number of occasions when I would actually hear from someone who may have read any of those hundreds of published poems. There’s no doubt at all that many people read the poems; it’s just that very few of my readers ever contacted me. The internet has changed all that. Furthermore, it has changed it radically and for the FEBRUARY-MARCH 2012
feature poems on an ongoing basis, like Ursula Vaira’s “Monday’s Poem”, part of her Leaf Press website, which every Monday features a new contemporary poem that remains on the page for a week. Most of these poetry websites I’ve
Another excellent poem website is run by Richard Edwards and it’s called Everyday Poems. Allan Safarik introduced me to this website when one of his poems appeared on the site recently. I’m sure there are other equally fine websites that FEBRUARY-MARCH 2012
a poem and to send it out to family, friends and fellow writers. The poem, “Snowy Owl Snarls Traffic in Saskatoon”, went out by email to people all over Canada, the U.S., and a few other countries, perhaps 250 people or so, on December 22nd, 2011. Naturally, many people responded to the poem and did so very positively, after all it released was a hand-picked reading audience, so its cage I should reasonably have expected that. But I could not reasonably have expected what followed.
poet FEELS poem the
better, I think most poets would agree. To cite one example, a woman named Jayne Jaudon Ferrer runs a website called Your Daily Poem (www.yourdailypoem.com). I have no idea how many people subscribe to this website and receive the poem that Jayne posts daily, but it’s safe to say it’s a substantial number. As well, anyone can check out the daily poem by simply opening up the site at any time. I’ve had four or five poems appear on this website over the past several years and one of the features of the site is that not only is the poem featured on the web page, but people can respond to the poem once they have their own password to log in to the comments feature. So poets will have a number of people, sometimes ten or more, who provide prompt feedback, often very cogent observations or responses to facets of the poem, or to the overall effect or impact. Internet publishing, in other words, can be immediately interactive. As a result of the appearance of one of my poems on Your Daily Poem, I received an email from a woman in Mississippi who wanted to purchase any CDs I may have of my readings. Now, that’s instant, positive feedback! Would that I could oblige her with a CD.
to be from
allowed to fly on its own cited have an archive of the featured poems, so that you can go back over all the past poems if you so choose, or you can simply browse through the listing of poems and poets to see who is or has been published. But what started me mulling about the potential of the internet for poetry and poets, as well as the kind of thing that can happen to the poet once that poem has been sent out into cyberspace, is what happened to my latest Winter Solstice poem. For the past four years I have sent out via email a poem written to mark the shortest day/longest night of the year. I loved Dave Margoshes’s idea of sending out a poem of his own to his friends to mark the beginning of a New Year. I enjoy receiving his new poem and it is always an evocative and even provocative read. Poet-thief that I am, I blatantly snatched Dave’s idea, which he may very well have gotten from someone else anyway, and decided to commemorate the Winter Solstice with
The first unusual response was an email the next day from Afrikaaner poet, Louis Esterhuizen, who wanted permission to use the poem in his blog on the South African literary website, Versindaba. He said he was writing about Canadian poetry and the appointment of Fred Wah as Canada’s Parliamentary Poet Laureate and he wanted to use the poem in the context of the article, which was to appear on January 3rd. I acceded to his request, of course. I was naturally curious, and still am, about how the Snowy Owl worked its way into Esterhuizen’s threads of thought about Canada, the Poet Laureate position, and Fred Wah. However, the blog article is in Afrikaans, apart from my poem. Maybe it was the Saskatchewan connection between Wah and the poem? Then Jayne Jaudon Ferrer also emailed me to ask if she could feature the poem on Your Daily Poem on January 9th. Ferrer operates her website from her home in Greensville, South Carolina. So within a matter FREELANCE
of a few days, and all within a month of my sending this poem about a Snowy Owl out into the internet world, it has appeared on websites in both North America and South Africa. I have no idea how many people have read the poem already and how many will “discover” it in the future as they surf the net for poetry, or just out of sheer curiosity. However, if you are one of those who are undoubtedly now wondering about the poem and what
all the fuss is about, there are two websites you can go to where you can find it – www. yourdailypoem.com and www. versindaba.co.za (see Louis Esterhuizen’s blog). Here is the power of the internet at work for a poet. A poem written in early December is now out and about in that world of internet literature and the poem is being read, over and over, by new readers every day. This is what can hap-
pen – what did happen to me. And just a single poem. But this may only be a beginning. Internet publishing is new in terms of the history of writing and publishing. The potential of this form for disseminating literary works is still in its infancy. Who knows what developments we may see in the next few years and what these new improvements may hold in store for poets and all writers? A few $$ into a writer’s pocket would certainly be desirable.
Glen Sorestad is a Saskatoon writer of poetry and prose. He served as Saskatchewan’s first Poet Laureate(2000-2004), becoming Canada’s first provincially appointed poet laureate. Sorestad is the author of nearly twenty books of poetry and has written and published many short stories.
life lessons from carpenter by Wes Funk
will always remember one particular statement the wellknown Saskatchewan author Dave Carpenter made when he was on my talk-show. Among all the very engaging things that came out of his mouth during his ten-minute segment, he talked about how, as a young man, he came to realize that being a great writer was all-encompassing for him. He said he came to a point when he realized that was all he wanted to be in life. He said that from that moment on, his life was never the same. That comment set the wheels spinning in my own mind—how I had a similar enlightenment at about the same age Dave was when he had his. Once I came to the grips with the fact that this is what I wanted for the rest of my life, there was absolutely no turning back! I sometimes think that years ago, when the
writer J. Jill Robinson said to me, ‘You are good enough that you should be a published author,’ that perhaps she created a monster with that statement. I was never quite the same person after she spoke those words to me. That was about when I embarked on a relentless journey of getting my work out there. Realizing when the moment was that writing was all-encompassing for me as well, I often wonder something else— when was the moment when I completely realized I had at last succeeded in what I had set out to do. At first I thought it was the first time I made the trek to Regina to attend the Sask Book Awards (as a nominee). That was a life-altering evening for me to walk the red carpet with folks I had admired for years. But... there was the time I was asked to be the Feature Reader
at Saskatoon’s vibrant, longrunning Tonight-it’s-Poetry live Sunday night reading series. Being asked to be the Feature Reader (the one who is the last reader of the evening) at this event is quite an honour. The Feature is the only reader of the evening who actually gets paid for his presentation. Years back, when the Tonight-it’s-Poetry series was first incarnated, I can remember sitting in the wings thinking what a shiny moment that would be—to be asked to perform such a task would be a huge distinction. There was also the moment I was asked to emcee the Saskatoon version of Canada’s prestigious annual The Word On The Street Festival. That was a pretty cool afternoon for me as well. Some of the most affluent writers in Canada were in attendance at that event and yet I was the one asked to woo the crowd. FEBRUARY-MARCH 2012
But still… there has to be a more ‘shiny’ moment. Ah…. I know when it was! It was the time I was nonchalantly walking down the street one sunny day and I heard this voice behind me yelling out, “Hey, you’re that guy! You’re that guy who wrote that fuckin’ book! I loved that book! I’m so glad my wife made me read it!” Yes, that was the moment for me! Dave also said something else profound when he guested on Lit Happens. He said ‘Writing is an expensive habit.’ Dave is known for this quote. Well yes, I can relate to this too. Writers often invest an unbelievably ridiculous amount of time, cash and energy into their craft. Quite often, they don’t reap much money for their hard efforts. I have heard countless horror stories about authors being ripped off by their publishers or writers who have penned amazing manuscripts but have never even seen it in print as they have never been able to find a publishing house willing and able to take on their work. Unlike me, many writers stray away from self-publishing— some because of the stigma behind it (some consider it to be vain). Others avoid it because they simply can’t afford the
money needed to invest. But I have even heard tragic tales of writers having their books published by a company and then the title selling out and then having their publisher tell them they can’t afford to put out a second printing. And yet after hearing all these accounts I can’t help feel that once a person feels that this is what he is born to do, how exactly does a guy stop himself from writing and wanting to see it put forth to the readers of the world? To me, it would be like telling Elvis he wasn’t meant to entertain or telling Warhol he wasn’t meant to paint. I always say that it is silly that we are expected to figure out what it is we are supposed to be doing with our lives at such a young age. We are generally expected to figure out our life’s purpose by our late teens or early twenties. To me, this is ridiculous. Most of us don’t even know ourselves at this tender age! I have one close pal who tells me she was in her fifties before she came to the con-
clusion that it was her lifelong ambition to be an author. This makes me glad I had my realization in my early thirties. I recall years back, when Dave Carpenter was the Fiction Editor of Saskatchewan’s well-known literary magazine, Grain. He would often send me these thought-provoking rejection letters about my story submissions. Dave and I didn’t yet know each other personally in those days, but he would consistently say to me, ‘Mr. Funk, I would like you to seriously consider reworking this story and think very hard about what it is you really want to say with it.’ This was good advice to me and I would quite often revisit the story. And though Dave never did publish one of my stories in the publication, he was certainly reliable for great feedback on my work. So… Dave—thanks for putting everything in perspective for me. I hope being on Lit Happens sold a whole lot of books for you!
In recent years, Wes has taken his writing from a closeted hobby to a passionate sideline. His goal is to use his talent to educate people on diversity in Saskatchewan, while making readers laugh at the same time (or at least attempting to).
Apprenticeship Reading Join our apprentices as they read from their work
April 26, 2012 Regina (place & time TBA) Michelle Hatzel Charlotte Garrett Lori Pollock Gayle M. Smith
Celebrating excellence in writing and publishing in Saskatchewan for more than nineteen years!
SASKATCHEWAN BOOK AWARDS 2011 Conexus Arts Centre Saturday, April 28, 2012 Hospitality Reception 6pm Evening Program 7pm
13 AWARD CATEGORIES AWARDS FOR AUTHORS Book of the Year Award Fiction Award Non-Fiction Award First Book Award Children’s Award Award for Poetry Award Regina Book Award Saskatoon Book Award First People’s Writing Award Scholarly Writing Award AWARDS FOR PUBLISHERS Award for Publishing First People’s Publishing Award Publishing in Education Award Our Thanks to: Canada Council Saskatchewan Arts Board The Star Phoenix Leader Post City of Saskatoon City of Regina Saskatchewan Lotteries Saskatchewan Publishers Group University of Regina Luther College University of Regina University of Regina Arts University of Saskatoon Drs. Morris and Jacqui Shumiatcher Ministry of Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport Rasmussen Law Firm Gabriel Dumont Institute Sask Power Sask Energy Greystone Friesens Corporation
Tickets $90 each Table of 8 - $700 Purchase Tickets on line at www.bookawards.sk.ca or contact Dominga at 306-569-1585 GUEST SPEAKER MARK ABLEY Mark Abley is a writer and editor living in Montreal. Mark is a poet, a newspaper columnist and an award-winning author. His newest books are Camp Fossil Eyes: Digging for the Origins ofWords and The Prodigal Tongue: Dispatches From the Future of English. Mark Abley was born in England in 1955. As a small child his family moved to Canada, and he grew up in northern Ontario, southern Alberta and central Saskatchewan. He studied literature at the University of Saskatchewan and, after winning a Rhodes Scholarship, at St. John’s College, Oxford. His first book, Beyond Forget: Rediscovering the Prairies, appeared in 1986. A year later he embarked on the adventure of parenthood and also joined the staff of the Montreal Gazette. He spent sixteen years there, working as a feature writer, book-review editor and literary columnist. His book Spoken Here:Travels Among Threatened Languages appeared in 2003. It has been translated into French, Spanish and Japanese, and earned praise from reviewers in many countries. But the responses that most delighted Mark came from readers who said that the book inspired them to keep fighting for their own language and culture. His latest book, Camp Fossil Eyes: Digging for the Origins of Words, appeared in the summer of 2009 from Annick Press. It aims to make etymology — the history of words — accessible and intriguing to children between about 9 and 13. (Much to Mark’s surprise, it was recently translated into Korean.) After this book appeared, he accepted an offer from McGill-Queen’s University Press to work there part-time as an acquisition editor. In 201011 he served as the first-ever Writer in Residence at the Pointe Claire Public Library. He is the literary executor of the Saskatoon poet Anne Szumigalski, and has edited three posthumous books by Anne. Coteau is publishing a book of Anne Szumigalski’s writing—AWoman Clothed inWords—in March. It’s been selected and edited by Mark Abley. www.markabley.com
anoeuvre the Clock - Find More MWriting Time in Your Schedule by Toby Welch
ot having enough writing time is one of the biggest complaints I hear from my fellow writers. I’ve heard all the excuses – “My kids won’t leave me alone for two minutes” and “My job mentally wipes me out so I have nothing left to give to my writing” and “I can’t get any alone time.” Yet many writers with a long list of commitments find time to produce an impressive amount of work. We all have the same 24 hours a day; I’d wager you can find more time in your life to eke out a few more words. Twyla Campbell, a freelance writer, blogger, CBC Edmonton AM Restaurant Reviewer, looks at writing as her job. “I think the thing that makes me put time aside for writing is to look at your writing as a job, like any other job out there: You don’t make time for writing, you set aside time to write. Pick a time of day that you solely devote to writing and think of it as if you’re going to work. Be consistent with your time slot. Mine is in the early morning before anyone else gets up when the house is quiet and I have no interruptions. Let your kids, spouse and friends know that this is the time you are not to be interrupted. Turn off your cell phone, turn off your email notifications, turn off Twitter… open up your word processing program, and that’s it. The main thing is to devote a certain time of day to writing, treat it as you would any other job you have to go to, and avoid interruptions.”
Best-selling writer Anne Lamott has found the key to a life made rich through finding enough writing time, “Turn off Twitter and don’t clean the house.” Another bonus – by turning off other distractions when focused on your writing makes the time you do have much more productive. Hit the off button on your television and close down your e-mail, Facebook, instant messaging applications, online games and other programs or websites. No tweeting! Only allow yourself to have things around you that pertain to whatever you are writing about. Don’t be tempted by the e-mail ping or the urge to check the newest social media status postings. Likewise, if you get a text message or the phone rings, during your writing time, unless it is an emergency, ignore it. Few things are so urgent that they can’t wait until your writing time is over. Ah, the perks of voice mail! Writing time can be tough to find when a writing task is huge. It’s intimidating to look at your to-do list and see that the number three item is to write an e-book on traversing the Great Wall of China. By breaking down the task into numerous smaller ones, you’ll find it easier to get done when you have smaller blocks of time available. Having a list of small tasks to accomplish instead of one large one will also help eliminate procrastination.
What about writers who have figured out that they need large chunks of time to write in? How do they find time to write if their schedule doesn’t allow for marathon writing sessions? Robert Runte, a development editor at www.SFeditor.ca, is one of those writers who needs big blocks of time to write in. He can do editing and other writing tasks here and there but first drafts of his work require uninterrupted time to develop his train of thought. Runte has found that the only solution for him is to go on a retreat a couple times a year to write. He and his wife found an alternative that works for them, “I was hemming and hawing over whether to attend a particular well-established writers’ retreat. The timing wasn’t quite right and there was going to be a workshop leader and I really just wanted time to myself, not instruction. When I mentioned the $3,500 price tag, my wife joked that she could book me on a cruise for much less. And then we thought—why not? She was able to find a repositioning cruise (where tickets are heavily discounted because the ship is moving between one itinerary to the next) that would give me a tiny inside cabin for $600. Nobody wants to cruise in an inside cabin on a null itinerary, but as a writers’ retreat it is pure genius! The cost of phone and internet contact is prohibitive, so one is essentially cut off completely from family and work distractions. When one needs to pace, one can emerge from one’s cabin to FREELANCE
lope around the jogging track; when one is hungry, the food is better than any writers’ retreat I’ve ever attended. And when you do take a short break from writing, a team of stewards descend on your room to clean it! Even adding airfare to the cost, the total is much less than other writers’ retreats.”
pened to my writing time has been my kids. Suddenly, I had a completely different value for all of my time. Most of it didn’t belong to me, and I became obsessive about being produc-
Other options for bigchunk-writing-time people include offering to house-sit for friends who go on vacation or getting a hotel room for a night or two. You’ll find some amazing hotel deals online. ........................... Full-time freelance writer Colleen Stewart shares an idea she learned from the past two years of intense course work as she got her MA in Professional Communication, “Set a false deadline. It has worked for me many times. Then, inevitably the time I saved often went to other assignments or readings, but sure cut down the stress and helped give me the time for a final re-write.” False deadlines work for many writers. Having the leisure to complete a project whenever you choose ensures there is no immediacy to find writing time. Setting a deadline for yourself can motivate you to find time in your already crammed schedule. ........................... Blogger Paul Sonsteby found his children to be the biggest aid in finding writing time. “I know it’s contrary to the norm, but the best thing that has hap-
to give up in order to get
tween 5000 and 10,000 words depending on the piece, and on how fired up I get. I never let myself edit what I produce until I get home. My day to day writing builds to and from these days.”
MORE WRITING TIME
tive with what remained, and I even tried to blend the two. I purchased a laptop so I could write near my wife and when the kids were still infants. Now, I write while my kids are playing, sleeping, or even if I just have a few free minutes (Wi-Fi off, headphones in). For a time I tried getting up at 5 a.m., but I found that my brain just couldn’t compose well at that hour. Lately, I’ve started staying at work for an hour after everyone has left. Being in a place where I am normally productive, with a regimented schedule, in relative quiet, is tremendous. It gives me something to look forward to all day, and when I’m already in “work mode” I spend free moments during the day planning what I’ll write.” Sonsteby continues, “Four to six times per year, I go by myself for a day at my in-laws’ cabin in Sundre. I write from seven in the morning until well past dark, when either my fingers or the wine have given out—never the ideas! On those days, I usually run be-
A screenwriter and a daily blogger at w w w. t h e d r e a m towrite.blogspot. com, Julianne Harvey finds having a preschooler underfoot makes writing challenging, “I find I’m fried out in the evening and like to write as much as I can earlier in the day. I have a preschooler at home and when I need to write I let him watch TV or play games on my phone and I do as much as I can with my laptop, while expecting to be interrupted regularly. (I dream of a day when I can work without so many inane questions about the colour of a hamster’s eyes or what my favourite movie was as a child.) If the children are school-aged, delegate tasks to free up a little extra writing time. A nine-yearold may not sweep the kitchen floor as well as you do but a few crumbs left behind are worth you making progress on your writing project. A preteen may not fold laundry without leaving behind a few wrinkles but isn’t it worth it? Maybe your significant other would be willing to be in charge of dinner prep a couple nights a week? Delegation is the key in many cases for finding more writing time. When my children were younger, I swapped childcare with a
neighbour. She watched my children twice a week for a couple hours and I reciprocated with hers. It was a win-win situation for both of us and my writing was the benefactor. But this takes willpower. The time alone in an empty house begs for you to take a nap or watch a movie in peace and quiet but reminding yourself why writing is important to you should be enough to not cave into the desire to curl up on the couch.
a trick Harvey uses as well, “I’ve tried to stop talking myself out of writing because I only have five minutes. I now say, “That’s five minutes more than I will have to write if I do something else right now.” I think in terms of pages, as in, “I must write three pages in my memoir today and then I can relax and unwind.” Then when I finish I feel a sense of accomplishment, and often carry on past that short amount, as getting started is the trick.”
Harvey continues, “When I go out of my house, I resist the urge to take my book and instead take paper and a pen or my laptop and that way I get a little extra time to write. Ditto if I have ten minutes to sit down and put my feet up in the afternoon - if I leave my book and only bring something to write, I will actually write.”
Another option for finding writing time is to stop thinking in terms of hours and think of minutes. Angela England, the author of 30 Days to Make and Sell a Fabulous Ebook, is a fan of using snippets of time. “I keep my document open when I’m working on a big project like an ebook. When I have five or 10 minutes, I write. Hard core, no editing, nothing but writing. I write around 100 words in five minutes fairly easily if I don’t stop to self-edit what I’m doing. And, let me tell you, five minutes here and five minutes there can really add up at the end of the day.” England is right about how fast it can add up. If you find four five-minute time slots, at the end of the day you’ll have 20 minutes of writing done. In a month that would be ten hours of writing accomplished. After one year of four brief snippets a day, you will have 120 hours worth of writing done. How much would that equate in your writing realm? For a lot of writers, 120 hours of intense writing means a solid chunk of a manuscript would get done. Snatching snippets of time is
Snippets of time can be found in unconventional places. When you are doing errands, at each stop spend five minutes writing in your vehicle before getting out. At the grocery store, pick the longest check-out line and write until it’s your turn to unload your cart. When dropping the kids off at school or the bus stop, stay parked and spend a few minutes writing before continuing on with your day. Bestselling author Claire Cook wrote her first novel in her minivan in a parking lot at 5 a.m. while her daughter had swim practice. Cook points out, “Every day presents you with a really good reason not to get your writing done – your house, your kids, your roots.” Your desire to write must overcome that.
to give up the TV show you watch every Wednesday night? Enough to read one or two less books a month? Most of us have leisure activities we do that we can give up to find more writing time. As long as we want it badly enough. Or combine two activities instead of doing them back to back. One writer used to watch a much-loved reality show and then clean up the dinner dishes. She moved a TV to the kitchen and now watches the show while doing the dishes. This freed up over half an hour every day, time she spends working on her fiction manuscript. Another writer used to languish over the Sunday paper on the weekends. He gave that up and added two full hours to his weekly writing time. Ponder the following question— what are you willing to give up in order to get more writing time? continued page 22
How badly do you want to find more writing time? Enough
Many people are unaware of exactly how they spend their time. Consider making a spreadsheet for every day for a week and break it down into 15 minute intervals. Spend the next seven days filling out the spreadsheet as to how you spend every 15 minute time slot. I think you’ll be shocked by what you see after a week. This is especially helpful for people who look back at their days and wonder where all the time went. Doing the spreadsheet will help you see where your time is going and will aid you in finding new ways to inject writing time into your schedule.
tion or a committee spot, for example) but you would rather spend that time writing? Tactfully bow out and use the time you previously committed to that venture for your writing. Don’t fill the time slot with anything but writing. In the future, be selective in what you commit to do to ensure your valued writing time isn’t affected. The same goes for social obligations. While we all need to have fun from time to time, be selective about what you do with friends and family. “No” isn’t a swear word. Simplifying your life can equal more time for writing.
Multi-tasking can help free up more writing time. If you want to spend more time with your spouse as well as get some exercise, go for a walk together after dinner. Take the dog with you and that’ll knock another thing off your to-do list, freeing up even more time for your writing.
Harvey sums up her thoughts on making writing a priority in order to find time to do it, “I try to write before I do the other things on my to-do list. This is not easy for me, as working when my kitchen counters are sticky or my laundry needs to be moved from the washer to the dryer is challenging. But if I don’t make writing the first priority in my day when I can, it will be pushed and pushed until it doesn’t happen, because there are so many other
Another option is to give up a prior commitment(s). Is there something in your life that you are doing (a volunteer posi-
things crowding in demanding attention. Writing is important to me, but it’s a never-ending struggle to keep it front and centre in my day, while still taking care of all of the other things I have to do.” If writing is as important to you as breathing, I am convinced that you will find the time to do it, no matter how packed your schedule already is. Cori, an award-winning Canadian journalist, sums the issue up, “Day by day. Word by word. Keep writing – however much you can, whenever you can – and the stories will build. Slowly but surely.” Toby Welch is a full-time freelance writer. She finds unlimited writing time by keeping her laptop on top of the dryer and working on her novel when everyone thinks she is folding clothes. As no feet other than hers ever enter the laundry room, it’s the perfect solution. Article originally printed in September/October 2011 WestWord, Magazine of the Writers Guild of Alberta
Writing North: Writing the Extraordinary held January 20 & 21, 2012 in Saskatoon. Panel members: (left to right) David Bergen, Kevin Loring, Yvette Nolan, Ray Hsu, Norman Nawrocki.
photo: SWG staff FREELANCE
Talking Fresh10 Projecting the Novel: Books & Film
at the MacKenzie Art Gallery 3475 Albert St, Regina
Friday, March 2
4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Panel: Books and Film 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. Reception 7:30 p.m. Readings
Saturday, March 3
9:00 - 10:15 a.m. Alison Pick: “Uncertain Gifts: One Writer’s Take on Being Optioned for Film” 10:30 - 11:45 a.m. Gail Bowen: “The Cheques Always Cleared: A Novelist’s Adventures in the Amazing World of TV production” 1:30 - 2:45 p.m. Nino Ricci: “How I Sold My Soul to Sophia Loren: The Sequel” 3:00 - 4:15 p.m. Karen Walton: “Adaptables: the difference between translation to screens versus adaptation”
The hook by Anthony Bidulka
or several months during 2000-2001, I began receiving oodles of letters, all beginning with versions of the same message: We regret to inform you…blah blah blah. You know what they were. Rejection letters. A lot of them. Then, not long after, like a magical golden dove arriving upon a shaft of blindingly bright sunshine, another letter appeared. This one bigger, with a promising heft. It was a book contract! A mystery series was about to be born. Awaiting only a signature. The rub? This bigger, better letter was addressed to someone with the unlikely (and vaguely porn star-ish) name of Rayce Tallent. I didn’t set out to become a mystery writer. I set out to be a writer. I’d left my successful career as a Chartered Accountant on a Friday, spent much of that weekend investigating the bottom of wine bottles, and began filling a blank computer screen with words the following Monday. The book would be called On The Eighth Day. It was a thriller with an end-ofdays/mystical vibe to it. Months later, with the last page of my fantastic thriller complete, having read every “How to Get Published” book and website I could find, I began sending out query letters (for those of you unfamiliar with
query letters, they’re a means of communication as important to the publishing world, as smoke signals were to the Old West…or so I’ve heard).
I didn’t set out to become a
mystery writer. I set out to be a writer.
There are two bad things about query letters. The first: it’s darn difficult to write a good one. The second: query letters spawn…you got it…rejection letters. As I collected the missives of rebuff, waiting for my thriller to land on the right desk, my fingers itched with the need to keep writing. Having just come from the world of business, I’d learned well the lesson about it never being a good idea to put all your eggs into one basket. So, I thought to myself, if my thriller isn’t exactly reeling in multi-million dollar advances, perhaps it would be a good idea to try my hand at another genre. It didn’t take me long to remember an oldie but a goody from all those books and websites I’d studied: write what you know. I knew about Saskatchewan. I knew about travel. Having been a fan for years, I knew about mysteries in every format out there, be it TV, movie, or book. Still,
liking mysteries and writing mysteries are two very different beasts. It was back to the classroom (of sorts) for me. The first thing I did was visit my sagging bookshelves. I pulled down copies of the mysteries I’d long admired and loved. I re-read them, this time not for enjoyment, but for study. What was it about these books that made them so good? And the authors so successful? There are numerous answers to these questions. But the first, and perhaps most important, appeared at the start of every book. It’s what I like to call (in a dastardly villain’s voice)… The Hook. Mystery novels are often referred to as Whodunits. The reason for this goes beyond the simplistic desire to find out who committed the crime. It speaks more to the point that mystery writers are in the business of asking a whole host of questions in such a way that induces readers to want to discover the answers. Not just “Who?”, but as in the game of CLUE, also “What?”, “Where?”, “Why?”, “When?”, and my favourite: “How?” Use of The Hook is most handy…and most successful… right at the beginning of a mystery novel, oftentimes appearing in the first sentence, first page, or at the least, in the first chapter. If you can ask the right question(s), in the right way, at the very opening, so FEBRUARY-MARCH 2012
that the reader is compelled to move on to the next page, next chapter, and before you know it, the last word, you’ve created a successful hook. Some of the more successful hooks from my Russell Quant series, each appearing as first lines of the book, are: From Sundowner Ubuntu: Murder. There are many reasons to commit it. Mine? My mother asked me to. From Aloha, Candy Hearts: “Russell Quant, will you marry me?” From Date With a Sheesha: You are invited to the death of Nayan Gupta. Immediately, and with only a few words, the reader is led to want to know more. Who is committing murder? Why did
his mother ask him to? Who is asking Russell to marry him? What will his answer be? Who is Nayan Gupta? Why is he dead? Who the heck gets invited to a murder? Another example from the superb Saskatchewan mystery novelist Gail Bowen, and her book A Killing Spring: In the twenty-five years I had known Julie EvansonGallagher, I had wished many things on her. Still, I would never have wished that her new husband would be found in a rooming house on Scarth Street, dead, with a leather hood over his head, and electric cord around his neck, and a lacy garter belt straining to pull a pair of sheer black stockings over his muscular thighs. Oh my. Who doesn’t want to know more?
Now a dozen years into my career as a thriller-cum-mysterywriter, The Hook is something I still pay attention to whenever my thoughts turn to a new book, and I begin filling a blank computer screen with words. Or even when I’m writing an article, such as this one. Who was Rayce Tallent, you’re wondering? Did he ever get his contract? Did he go on to publish a successful mystery series? Yes, he did. But instead of using his mystery-writer nom de plume, he used his thrillerwriter real name of Anthony Bidulka.
Like his protagonist, Anthony lives a big life in a small city on the Canadian prairie. He also loves to travel the world— meeting people, sampling food and wine, walking sun-drenched streets, making good use of swim-up bars, and being awed.
T he Monks of St. Peter’s Abbey: an Endangered Species
Retreat Reflections by Anne Pennylegion
s the retreat coordinator, the most common queries I receive are about the monks themselves, what they do, and where they come from. More often than not, I don’t know the answers. To those of us who attend the retreats, only a handful are visible, while others go about their work unnoticed. So I asked Fr. Demetrius for any biographical information that he could provide about the individuals, the MIB (Men in Black), and he very kindly provided the following: From the American Cassinese Ordo Abbot Peter Novecosky was born in 1945 in Burr, SK. A monk since 1964, he was elected as the fifth Abbot in 1990, and has been the editor of the Prairie Messenger since 2004. Fr. Rudolph Novecosky was born in 1936 in Burr, SK, and has been a monk since 1964. He is Prior, Novice Master, and as such responsible for vocations. He is also treasurer of the monastic community and in charge during the absence of the Abbot. Br. Basil Schaan was born in 1948 in Young, SK, and has been a monk since 1984. He is Subprior, and is in charge of the plant (heating etc. for the whole St. Peter’s complex, Abbey, college etc.). He is also
Fr. James Gray at the Environment Canada Weather Station at St. Peter’s Abbey. Photo: Fr. Paul Paproski
in charge of the gardens and grounds.
presently Pastor of St. Anne’s Church in Saskatoon.
Fr. Joseph Ackerman was born in 1924 in Balgonie, SK. He has been a monk since 1952. Fr. Joseph is the oldest pastor in the monastic community. He currently serves as Pastor of St. Bruno Church in Bruno (residence) and St. Agnes Church in Peterson.
Fr. Andrew Britz was born in 1940 in Lake Lenore, SK. He has been a monk since 1960. Fr. Andrew was editor of the Prairie Messenger from 1980 to 2004, and served as Pastor of Lake Lenore Parish until 2007. He retired for health reasons.
Fr. Daniel Muyers was born in 1935 in St. Gregor, SK. He has been a monk since 1955 and is presently pastor of St. Peter’s Parish in Muenster, SK (Cathedral). Fr. Lawrence Demong was born in 1937 in Benedict, SK. He has been a monk since 1957 and is
Fr. Bernard Stauber was born in 1939 in Pilger, SK. He has been a monk since 1964. He lives in Humboldt and is chaplain of St. Mary’s Villa in Humboldt. Br. Wolfgang Theim was born in 1924 in Schwab Gmund, Germany. He has been a monk since 1973. Br. Wolfgang is the FEBRUARY-MARCH 2012
oldest monk in the monastic community of St. Peter’s. He is a master carpenter. Br. Kurt Van Kuren was born in 1951 in Windsor, Ontario. He has been a monk since 1984. He teaches first year Psychology at St. Peter’s College. As well, he is one of the abbey musicians. Fr. Richard Meidl was born in 1946 in Cudworth, SK. He has been a monk since 1987. Fr. Richard is currently Pastor of the Parishes of St. Anthony in Lake Lenore, St. Anne’s in Annaheim, and St. George’s in Naicam. He resides in Lake Lenore. Fr. Demetrius Wasylyniuk was born in 1958 in Regina, SK. He has been a monk since 1989. Fr. Demetrius has been guest master of St. Peter’s Abbey since April, 1997. Br. Anthony Nguyen was born in 1954 in Hanoi, Vietnam. He
has been a monk since 1991. Br. Anthony is the abbey organist. Br. Neil Pitzel was born in 1964 in Kindersley, SK. He has been a monk since 1996. Br. Neil works in the Abbey business office and at St. Peter’s Press. Fr. Paul Paproski was born in 1963 in Lanigan, SK. He has been a monk since 1999. Fr. Paul is presently Pastor of St Mary’s Parish in Lanigan and Holy Rosary Parish in Leroy. Br. Pierre Rouillard was born in 1962 in Winnipeg, MB. He has been a monk since 2001. Br. Pierre is the Abbey infirmarion. Br. Cosmo Epifano was born in 1960 in Sydney, Nova Scotia. He has been a monk since 2011. Br. Cosmo is presently at the St. Anselmo Monastery in Rome and is taking classes at the Beta College in Rome for ordination as a Monk Priest.
Biographical information provided by Fr. Demetrius Wasylyniuk Anne Pennylegion is the Retreat Coordinator for the SWG. She is a handspinner, and feels very fortunate to keep the company of writers and artists at SWG retreats.
St. Peter’s Summer Retreat June 29 to July 27, 2012 see website for details www.skwriter.com/sk-writers -artists-retreats Deadline: Receipt of applications is 4:30 pm, Friday, April 20, 2012
Some Monastic Terms: Habit: The traditional habit of the Benedictines is a tunic, a scapular, and a hood. The monks at St. Peter’s Abbey wear a black habit. Oblate: is a person who wishes to incorporate the teachings of St. Benedict into their everyday life. They are generally associated with a particular Abbey. After receiving a copy of the Holy Rule to study and a medal of St. Benedict, prospective Oblates are given a year before a ceremony, Final Oblation occurs, and vows are taken. Lauds: Morning prayer. Lauds are chanted at St. Peter’s at 6:20 a.m. Vespers: Evening Prayer. Vespers are chanted at 5:35 p.m. Vigils: Vigils are prayers in preparation for the next day, and are chanted at 7:30 p.m. A Live-In is a person taking the first step of discovery about the monastic life. A Live-In spends two weeks living and working with the monks as they learn more about monastic life. Candidacy: is a period of six months when a prospective monk can live the experience. Under the mentorship of an experienced monk, a candidate lives the Benedictine motto Ora et Labora, prayer and work, in order to facilitate their decision about monastic life. Candidacy starts in September in preparation for entering the Novitiate on March 21st. Novitiate is a year of intense formation in prayer and understanding of the monastic life.
T he space-Time continuum by Edward Willett
e already live in a science fictional future: your pocket, after all, probably contains a powerful communicator/computer with which you can log onto a world-spanning information network. Not surprisingly, science fiction (though not overly successful at predicting its rise) has taken to this futuristic resource in a big way. But how to choose which sites to visit? Here’s one way: visit the ones I visit! Let’s start with general news sites. I’ve previously mentioned Locus Online (locusmag.com), the website of the most important science fiction newsmagazine. Besides publishing news, links to interviews and reviews and more, there alone you’ll find a links page directing you to more sites than you could possibly visit without the assistance of an army of clones. Locus Online is always at the top of my list. I also like SF Signal (sfsignal. com), edited by John DeNardo. I like many of its regular features, including SF Tidbits, which provides links to interviews, news, articles, art and more every day of the week. There’s also a weekly roundup of free online fiction and the regular Mind Meld feature where writers are asked their opinion about some related topic (i.e., “The best opening scenes in science fiction,” “How to create drama for posthumans.”)
Then there’s SF Scope (sfscope.com), “your source of news about the speculative fiction fields,” which is just what it says on the tin. Its many news and opinion features are edited by Ian Randall Strock (who bought two short stories from me back when he edited Artemis Magazine).
listing sites. One I like goes by the unlikely name of Ralan’s SpecFic and Horror Webstravaganza—or just Ralan. com for short. Ralan’s website has been around since 1994, and breaks down markets by
what better use could there be of today’s
A third one is SF Site (sfsite. com). This one is very focused on books, with tons of reviews, along with interviews and more. It has regular columns on both TV SF and graphic novels.
Moving on to writers’ organizations, there are three to mention. First and foremost is the website of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (sfwa.org), which includes news about members, publishing news and (most valuable for those wanting to break into the field) some well-worthyour-time articles on the practice of writing SF and fantasy. On this side of the border, there’s the site SF Canada, our homegrown equivalent of SFWA (I was president for a couple of years). It’s at sfcanada.com. For those on the dark side, I should also point out the Horror Writers’ Association, at the easy-to-remember horror.org. Looking for places to sell your science fiction and fantasy? There are numerous market-
pay: pro, semi-pro, token and “expo” (i.e., no pay!). He lists both book and short-fiction markets, and also tracks response times. Of course, just about everyone who is already selling science fiction and fantasy has a website. I have two: edwardwillett. com and leearthurchane.com. One you should definitely check out (besides mine!) is Robert J. Sawyer’s, at sfwriter.com (Rob was a very early Web pioneer, which is how he landed such an awesome URL; SFWRITER is also his license plate!). You should also pay a visit to Kirstine Kathryn Rusch’s site (kriswrites.com). Rusch is the author of the invaluable Freelancer’s Survival Guide, and regularly posts long, thoughtful essays on the state of publishing today—and how writers can surf the waves of change and hopefully arrive safe on the other side of that dangerous reef we call electronic publishing. FEBRUARY-MARCH 2012
There are some interesting group blogs run by science fiction writers, as well. Deadline Dames is a fun one: subtitled “Nine authors, one website, no excuses,” it details the writing adventures of Devon Monk, Jackie Kessler, Jenna Black, Karen Mahoney, Keri Arthur, Lilith Saintcrow, Rachel Vincent, Rinda Elliott and Toni Andrews, working mainly in the field of urban fantasy. I also like Science Fiction and Fantasy Novelists (sfnovelists. com), an invitation-only group blog with an impressive list of contributors and always-interesting posts. (I particularly recommend “A Writer’s Letter to Santa,” which any writer, SF- or non, should find amus-
ing: www.sfnovelists.com/ 2011/12/23/a-writers-letter-tosanta/). Finally, no list of sites would be complete without Writer Beware, a publishing industry watchdog group sponsored by SFWA with additional support from the Mystery Writers of America. Writer Beware “shines a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls” and also provides “industry news, writing advice, and a special focus on the wacky things that happen at the fringes of the publishing world.” If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Check it out at Writer Beware first!
This only scratches the surface. There are dozens more that could be listed. But the Web being the linkful place it is, any one of these sites will lead you to some of those dozens more. And when you think about it, what better use could there be of today’s science-fictional technology than using it to learn more about science fiction?
Edward Willett lives in Regina, is the author of more than 40 books for children, young adults and adults. He is the Writer in Residence at the Regina Public Library for September 2011 through May 2012.
Upcoming Deadline for Grants to Writing Groups The Guild provides an annual professional development grant to eligible Saskatchewan writers groups. Applications must be received in the SWG office no later than 4:30 p.m. on the last working day of June (June 29, 2012). Each writers group may apply for $500 for the following fiscal year (August 1, 2012 - July 31, 2013). Criteria for Funding Eligibility A local writing group is eligible for funding if it meets the following criteria: • it has a minimum of five members • two-thirds of the group are members of the SWG • it meets a minimum of six times per year to discuss writing by members • members meet in order to develop their craft • it has provided a follow-up report (with all the requested documentation) for the previous grant If the group is approved for funding, cheques will be issued in September. Responsibilities of Groups Who Receive Grants Groups who receive grants have the following responsibilities: • they will include mention of SWG sponsorship on all appropriate publicity issued by the group • they will provide follow-up reports with the next year’s grant application • they will provide copies of receipts or cheques with unspent funds in excess of $50 as part of the follow-up report For more information and application form please visit www.skwriter.com/programs-and-services/ swg-writers-groups-grants or contact Tracy Hamon at (306) 791-7743
letter to the editor January 15, 2012 Editor, Freelance, We’re writing to express our opposition to the decision of the Guild, through a vote at the October AGM, to sever ties with Grain, the literary magazine it’s published for almost 40 years. This is the motion, as moved by Rod MacIntyre, who happens to be a member of the SWG board, and seconded by Marie Mendenhall: That the Board of the SWG seeks ways to make Grain an independent publication with its own board of directors and that this process take no more than three years. The future of Grain was not on the AGM agenda, nor was there any advance notice that it would be discussed. Those present for the vote represent a small minority of the Guild’s total membership. With all due respect to the people who supported the motion, this hasty and perhaps precipitous action strikes us as not quite right. The move to cut the magazine loose comes only five years after a committee appointed by the SWG board to study the Guild-Grain relationship recommended that the two maintain their ties. Grain is one of the Guild’s most valued assets, something we should all be proud of. It has long been the articulation of the Saskatchewan writing community, serving as both our voice and our ear to the rest of the country. It’s won
numerous awards—both for itself and for its contributors —including the Journey Prize, National Magazine Awards and Western Magazine Awards. Its salaries for editors and payment for contributors are important pieces in the economic puzzle of many writers. And its mandate to provide written feedback to Saskatchewan contributors makes it unique among the literary magazines. This is an invaluable resource for the Saskatchewan writing community in general and the SWG in particular that would most likely be lost in a “privatization.” Grain has always been a core program of the Guild, and remains one of its few programs primarily focused on the professional membership but accessible to emerging writers as well. The list of Saskatchewan writers who got a break in the magazine early in their careers is a lengthy one; indeed, getting published in Grain is a goal of most serious Saskatchewan beginning and emerging writers, and when they do get accepted by the magazine, it’s a thrill to be long remembered. Actually, new writers all over the country set their sights on publication in Grain, and it’s ironic, perhaps, but emerging writers in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal and Halifax know they’ve arrived on the literary map when they appear in this Saskatchewanpublished magazine—just the way emerging Saskatchewan writers do. Why would we want to throw this treasure away?
Grain might well prosper on its own. But it would require new ownership of some sorts, an independent board to run it and probably some start-up capital. There’s no guarantee that an independent Grain would be able to retain its current level of government/arts agency support, especially during a period when arts funding is getting scarcer, not more abundant. There isn’t even any guarantee that an independent Grain would remain in Saskatchewan, let alone maintain the special relationship it has had with Saskatchewan writers. There has been no discussion of this—nor an explanation from our president, our executive director nor the people who advanced the motion— in either Freelance or Ebriefs, meaning most members know nothing of the arguments put forward at the AGM to support divesting ourselves of this valuable program. We propose that the board rescind the motion and endeavor to take the temperature of the membership at large on this issue through a wide-ranging discussion. Grain is just too important a part of the Guild to allow a handful of people who happened to have attended a specific meeting to decide its fate. Doesn’t that seem like a more collegial—not to mention democratic—approach to what is certain to be a controversial, perhaps even divisive step? There will always be some sentiment against Grain by some members—but not every Guild program is suitable for every
Guild member. Thatâ€™s the nature of this organization, welcoming, as it is, to all writers, at all stages of their careers and regardless of their genre, interests and predilections. Thanks for taking the time to read this. Best wishes, Dave Margoshes with Steven Michael Berzensky (Mick Burrs) Kent Bruyneel Robert Calder David Carpenter Lorna Crozier Connie Gault Dave Glaze Louise Halfe Alice Kuipers Tim Lilburn Yann Martel Lynda Monahan Amy Nelson-Mile Elizabeth Philips J. Jill Robinson Brenda Schmidt Michael Trussler Sean Virgo Kathleen Wall
Response from the President: Thank you Dave and concerned members for your thoughtful and considerate comments regarding Grain. I wish to clarify that the motion regarding Grain was a motion from the floor and did not come about as a board directive, and as such there was no opportunity to give advance notice. At the November 20th meeting of the board of directors, the first after the AGM, the board considered this motion as well as the discussion that followed the motion, as recorded in the AGM minutes. In order to be fully informed, the board passed a motion at the November 20th meeting to create an ad hoc committee that would review and consider possibilities for the future of Grain magazine. We had not commented until now because the committee chair needed time to contact potential committee members and begin the process. The committee has just been struck and has not yet had a chance to meet. In the meantime I had included the information we have
to date on the committee in my report in this issue of Freelance (page 3 & 4). You will find it near the end of my report. The Grain ad hoc committee has a chair and four members at this time. The committee will investigate whether or not it will be advantageous for Grain to become independent of the Guild, remain a program of SWG, or perhaps some other option. They will report their findings to the board, further discussions will be held and SWG members will be consulted. In the event of changes, a proposal will go to an AGM for a vote. Members will have input through the ad hoc committee process, which is meant to take place over the next three years. It is not something that will happen quickly. There are people in the SWG membership who feel very strongly on both sides of the matter. As president of the board I am elected to represent all members of the organization, and as such itâ€™s necessary for me to remain neutral. We welcome member input during this review process. Cathy Fenwick
Playwrights Readings Series The Playwrights Reading Series 2011/2012, hosted by the Department of Theatre, University of Regina in partnership with the SWG presents
Sharon Stearns, February 29, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. ED 114, University of Regina Hannah Moscovitch, March 7, 2012 8:00 p.m. ED 114, University of Regina The readings are open to the public and free of charge. For more information please contact the Theatre Department at 585-5562.
viewpoint: Protocol of place by James Romanow
ceremony with spiritual or religious overtones.
In 2010, a friend of mine at the SWG responded in a like manner to the Elder opening the SWG conference with a similar prayer. “I didn’t come here to get prayed over,” she snapped.
For those of you who know me, the motion does not seem as the kind of cause which attracts me as natural champion. As I noted during the discussion of the motion, I am irreligious, and easily irritated by frippery and furbelows. I suspect the ‘agnostics’ (This is my title for the opposition to the motion. I have no idea what their actual religious affiliation is.) were surprised at my sudden conversion to Godliness.
n Sunday, October 16 shortly before noon, a meeting of a number of leftleaning individuals booed a First Nations delegation off a stage. The Aboriginal crime was to begin to offer a prayer to the Creator. The event was the Occupy Toronto Demonstration.
Simultaneously with the demonstrators outside City Hall in Toronto this year, the SWG was holding our AGM. I made a motion “that SWG have an opening ceremony every year,” and I further moved that I thought this would be the logical spot to add the “Protocol of Place” for Métis and First Nations members. (The SWG has several Aboriginal members, and will likely have more in the future—at least if we pay attention and play nice.) My motion was met with pretty close to the same response the OT people had, and for those interested in astrology, it happened at about the same time as the Toronto response. The opponents of my motion were quite excited, although I should note they were considerably more polite than the demmies in Toronto. (We’re from Saskatchewan, after all.) But there was no doubt ire was raised by the idea that our secular organization would become associated with any
To reassure my friends and fellow atheists, I have not suffered some kind of deathbed conversion. I am still as cheerfully irritable and irreligious as always. My point was cynically practical. When I moved back to Canada in 2000, some things had improved in the relations with the First Nations, but generally things seemed to have gone nowhere in my lifetime. I had at that time a sort of Trudeau-esque idea that everyone should be treated equally and therefore the notion of ‘reserves’ and status Indian should be abolished. In the intervening ten years I have been consistently struck by the amiable friendliness of Aboriginal communities, and their continued willingness to discuss their status in Canada with good humour. Moreover they persist in this attitude in the face of a mainstream community that is somewhere between indifferent and downright hostile. Others would
state the case more negatively. The Aboriginal people of Canada—Métis, First Nations, and Inuit—have stubbornly, doggedly, insisted on being recognized for who and what they are. I think it is time that the SWG membership concede they absolutely have the right to such recognition. It turns out my notion of dissolving special status is a nonstarter for several reasons. It is a 20th Century truth, that great revolutions that attempt to overturn history, to start again from scratch, usually (always?) end up doing considerably more harm than good. Moreover, the only lever these communities have, what has helped preserve their culture in the face of national indifference, is the legal definitions of the Treaty system. Because of this I have come to agree with the Aboriginal communities about their status. There is a hundred and fifty years of jurisprudence behind us. While we may philosophically regret how things were done way back when (I’m not crazy about the BNA Act either), we are all now, Treaty people, like it or not. My mother spent a good deal of her time attempting to teach me to be less forthright, and more generous and polite. (Feel free to tell me if you think she succeeded next time you talk to me.) We all could stand to pay attention to her teachings. The Métis and First Nations community want to be treated
as equals by us. This is something we have refused in the past. I think it is time, we the SWG did formally say this and make it as clear as glass that we enjoy their customs and value their thoughts and insights. (And love some of their
writing, which truthfully what this is all about.)
A Protocol of Place will not reverse a couple of hundred years of racism but it is a good first step. Frankly if all it takes is a nod to the Creator to
achieve this, I will continue to be amazed at the forbearance of my Métis and First Nations friends. And I will in fact send up a prayer of thanks to my pagan gods that this is so.
B OOKS by MEMBERS Ensemble in Black Ink by Saskatchewan Poetry Soc. Administration Centre Printing Services
The Books by Members feature is a promotional service for individual Guild members. To let others know about your latest book, send a copy and a description (max. 200 words) which includes a brief autobiographical note. The book will also be displayed in the SWG library.
“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. 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 djcawood2004@yahoo. ca (306-586-5898) or through email@example.com
Moving On, A Prairie Romance by Annette Bower xoxo publishing
SWG member Annette Bower is pleased to promote her first electronic published novel and invites you to enjoy a sweet prairie romance. Anna is a mysterious woman who has just moved to Regina Beach. The residents of the small town know everyone’s business and they are very interested in discovering Anna’s secrets. Nick was a Sergeant in the Canadian Army, doing active duty until a horrific accident sent him home to recover. He helps Anna feel safe and comfortable in her new environment, just as he has always done for his men in strange, dangerous places. Meanwhile, he focuses on his future physical endurance test proving he is capable of joining his troop. Anna is shocked when she discovers that Nick’s goal is to return to active duty. She won’t love a man who may die on the job again. Intellectually, she understands that all life cycles end, but emotionally, she doesn’t know if she has the strength to support Nick. Available at: www.amazon.com, www.xoxopublishing.com, www.allromanceebooks.com, www.kobo.com, www.barnsandnoble. com Cost: $3.49 plus appropriate taxes. ISBN: 978-1-927027-82-0
24th Annual Short Grain Writing Contest Grain Magazine’s 24th Annual Short Grain (with Variations) Writing Contest, is accepting entries until April 1, 2012 (postmarked). Grain awards $4,500 in cash prizes! Winning entries will be published in the pages of Grain! The entry fee is $35 which includes a FREE one-year subscription to Grain Magazine! Our judges are counted among Canada’s finest writers! One entry fee allows you to enter a maximum of two entries in either of two categories: Poetry in any form to a maximum of 100 lines; Short Fiction in any style to a maximum of 2500 words. Whose company do you want your writing to keep? Grain is the most exciting literary magazine on the Canadian and international scene...the one that everyone wants to be published in! Recent issues have featured the work of such literary luminaries as Xi Chuan, Tim Lilburn, Guy Maddin, Miriam Toews, Zsuzsi Gartner, and Eleanor Wachtel. And you could join them in the pages of Grain! Enter Short Grain! Open new doors! (Make new friends!) Judges are: rob mclennan, Poetry, and Lawrence Hill, Fiction. Three prizes will be awarded in each category: 1st prize = $1,000, 2nd prize = $750, 3rd prize = $500. Consult Grain’s website, grainmagazine.ca, for complete rules and guidelines. About our contest judges: rob mclennan is the author of more than twenty trade books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, including Glengarry (Talonbooks, 2011), kate street (Moira, 2011), and wild horses (University of Alberta Press, 2010) and his second novel, missing persons (The Mercury Press, 2009). He has edited numerous collections for Chaudiere Books, Insomniac Press, Black Moss Press, Broken Jaw Press, and Vehicule Press, and was the writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta in 2008. Lawrence Hill is the author of internationally acclaimed The Book of Negroes, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Ontario Library Association’s Evergreen Award and CBC Radio’s Canada Reads. He is also the author of Any Known Blood (William Morrow, New York, 1999 and HarperCollins Canada, 1997) and Some Great Thing (HarperCollins 2009, originally published by Turnstone Press, Winnipeg, 1992). Formerly a reporter with The Globe and Mail and a parliamentary correspondent for The Winnipeg Free Press, he won the National Magazine Award for Best Essay in 2005. Entry Guidelines: 1. The basic fee for Canadian entrants is $35 for a maximum of two entries in one category (Poetry or Fiction). The fee for US and International entrants is $40, payable in US funds. Make your cheque or money order payable to: Short Grain Contest. 2. Every entrant receives a one-year (four-issue) subscription to Grain Magazine. 3. All entries must be postmarked by April 1, 2012. Entries postmarked after this date will not be accepted. 4. Each entry must be original, unpublished, not submitted elsewhere for publication or broadcast, nor accepted elsewhere for publication or broadcast, nor entered simultaneously in any other contest or competition. Work that has appeared on the internet is considered published and is not eligible.
Entry Guidelines continued 5. All entries in this contest will be judged anonymously, on merit alone. The judges’ decisions are final. Judges reserve the right not to award a prize in a given category if no entry is of sufficient quality to warrant publication. 6. Entries must be accompanied by a maximum of one cover page, regardless of the number of entries submitted, and must provide the following information a) b) c) d)
Your name, complete mailing address, telephone number, and email address. Title of your entry(ies). Category you are entering: Poetry (100 lines max); Fiction ($2,500 words max). Word Count (Fiction) / Line Count (Poetry). An absolutely accurate word or line count is required.
Judging is blind. Do not print, type, or write your name on the text pages of your entry. 7. Your entry must be typed (double-spaced for fiction) on 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper. It must be legible. Faxed and/or electronic entries not accepted. 8. Entries will not be returned. Keep a copy of your entry. 9. Names of the winners and titles of the winning entries of the 24th Annual Short Grain (with Variations) Contest will be posted on the Grain Magazine website in August, 2012. Contest winners will be notified directly either by telephone or by email prior to the website posting. Make your cheque or money order payable to Short Grain Contest. Send your entry or entries to: Short Grain Contest Box 67 Saskatoon, SK Canada, S7K 3K1
Windscript call for submissions Deadline March 15, 2012 Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild is proud to support the fresh, original work of student writers. We thank, in advance, the teachers and librarians who encourage their students to submit their creations for the upcoming issue. Windscript is the annual magazine of high school writing published by the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild since 1983. In 2011 at the request of teachers and students, Windscript returned to its original printed format. Previously the magazine was published online on the SWG web site. For complete submission guidelines please visit: www.skwriter.com/publications/ windscript For more information please contact: Jan Morier, Communications Coordinator (306) 791-7746 firstname.lastname@example.org
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: Feb. 15, 2012 Submissions for Fieldstone Review are now open for the 2012 Fieldstone Review - an online literary journal based at the U of S Saskatoon. TFR publishes poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, and reviews for Canada abroad. No entry fee. Please see www.fieldstonereview.usask.ca/submissions. php for details.
and date all images, indicate your preferred publication size (max. 8½” x 11”) and attach these as jpeg or bmp files. The launch of The Society will take place on April 2, 2012. Watch upcoming events in midMarch on our website at www. stpeterscollege.ca for further details. Contact Barbara Langhorst at blanghorst@gmail. com. Deadline: Feb. 28, 2012
Deadline: Feb. 24, 2012 Call for Submissions: Published annually at St. Peter’s College in Muenster SK, The Society celebrates extraordinary work by both established and emerging artists and writers from across Canada. The publication will be available exclusively online through the St. Peter’s College website. This year’s theme is Keen(ing) for a Green Planet. Of course, work on other topics is welcome. Guidelines for Submissions We seek original, previously unpublished works (including excerpts) of 1500 words or less. Please note changes in the protocol for submissions. Send: • Poetry to email@example.com • Fiction to firstname.lastname@example.org • Nonfiction to society2012nonfiction@gmail. com • Photos and artwork in digital files (including scanned images) to email@example.com You may submit separately to all four categories. Send text and a bio of 25-30 words as MS Word attachments. Include your mailing address. Name
2012 Unified Literary Contest - win an all-expense paid trip to one of our groundbreaking 2012 programs. Contest winners in the categories of fiction and poetry will have their work published in print in the Black Warrior Review, and online in The Walrus. Additionally, they will have the choice of attending (airfare, tuition, and housing included) any one of the SLS-2012 programs – in Montreal, Quebec (June 17 - 30); Vilnius, Lithuania (August 4 - 18); or Nairobi-Lamu, Kenya (December). Check out the full contest guidelines at http://sumlitsem. org/contest.html Deadline: Feb. 29, 2012 Tesseracts Sixteen now open for submissions EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing - the Canadian speculative fiction anthology Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound. Submissions should focus on art, music, literature and cultural elements, which are integral to the story. Open to both short fiction and poetry. Maximum length for stories is 5,000 words. For complete submissions details, For more information contact events@ hadespublications.com
Deadline: Mar. 1, 2012 Black Canadian Poetry is seeking submissions of new and unpublished works of poetry for a national anthology devoted to answering the question, “What is Black Canadian Poetry?” The anthology will establish a poetic tradition of page and stage poetry by people of African descent living in Canada.We are encouraging all English speaking, French speaking, and people of African descent working in foreign dialects and languages to contribute to this project. Submissions for the anthology should be in English and associated with the following categories: spoken word, dubpoetry, hip-hop, slam, performance and page poetry. Poetry contributions welcome from writers that are African, Afro-Caribbean, African-American, Afro-Indigenous, AfricanCanadian or people living in Canada who identify as Black. Please send 4 copies of your submission with an enclosed SAE to the following address: BCP Editors Black Canadian Poetry PO BOX 1741 Gibsons, BC V0N 1V0 (e-mail submissions will not be accepted) Comments and questions to blackcanadianpoetry@gmail. com Full submission guidelines blackcanadianpoetry.com
Deadline: March 31, 2012 I Found It at the Movies. Forthcoming anthology seeks new and previously published poems inspired by cinema. All styles and approaches welcome. We’re looking for poems that reference specific films or actors, genres of film, the act of movie-going or video-watching, or the intersections of movies and life. Editors: Ruth Roach Pierson and Sue MacLeod. Publisher: Tightrope Books (spring 2013). Submit from one to five poems as attachments, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send an acknowledgment upon receipt, and hope to complete our selection process by October 2012. Please include full publication details for any poems which have appeared or been accepted elsewhere. Deadline: March 31, 2012 2012 Bristol Short Story Prize is open to all writers, UK and non-UK based, over 16 years of age. Stories can be on any theme or subject and entry can be made online via the website or by post. Entries must båe previously unpublished with a maximum length of 3,000 words (There is no minimum). The entry fee is £7 per story. All 20 shortlisted writers will have their stories published in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology Volume 5. The winning story will, also be published in Bristol Review of Books and Venue magazine. Deadline: April 1, 2012 His Imprint Christian Writer’s Group cash prize contest. For details http://hisimprint. wordpress.com/writing-contest/ We are lookng for essay to our theme, “Writing Your Story.” Entries should be personal nonfiction stories. Word count: 500-750. $10 per entry, or $15 if a written critique is requested. Youth (under 18) entries are free. FEBRUARY-MARCH 2012
Deadline: April 20, 2012 2012 Seniors’ Writing Challenge! Senior adults (65+) are invited to enter the 9th Annual Saskatoon Public Library Seniors’ Writing Challenge. You can submit poetry, short stories, reminiscences or skits. For every piece you submit, your name will be entered into a draw for one of three $100 McNally Robinson gift cards. Details available at any Saskatoon library branch in March or online at http://saskatoonlibrary.ca Deadline: May 1, 2012 Far Horizons Award for Poetry Entry fee: $25 (for Canadians) The Malahat Review, Canada’s premier literary magazine, invites emerging poets from Canada, the United States, and elsewhere to enter the Far Horizons Award for Poetry. Eligible poets have yet to publish their poetry in book form (a book of poetry is defined to have a length of 48 pages or more). One prize of $1000 (CAD) is awarded. Poets contributing to The Malahat Review have won or been nominated for National Magazine Awards for Poetry and the Pushcart Prize. For details: http://malahatreview.ca/contests/far_horizons_ poetry/info.html
Deadline: June 1, 2012 Saskatchewan History Issue: Fall-Winter 2012 Call for Papers You are invited to submit an article about any aspect of Saskatchewan’s military or wartime history for possible inclusion in the Fall-Winter 2012 issue of Saskatchewan History. We seek submissions including: scholarly papers that may be peer-reviewed; feature articles of varying lengths; photo essays; and book reviews about literature related to the
history of Saskatchewan and the prairie provinces. A copy of the magazine’s submission guidelines can be viewed on our website www.saskarchives.com/web/history.html Submissions can be forwarded electronically to saskhistory@ archives.gov.sk.ca. For more information, contact Nadine Charabin, Publication Coordinator, by phone at 306-9335832, or by email at email@example.com
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 their online submission manager. Continuous Submission BookLand Press submissions (book-length manuscripts only) NON-FICTION – Canadian History; NON- FICTION – Canadian Sports; ABORIGINAL LITERATURE – book-length 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
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February-March 2012 Volume 41 Number 2
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