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Freelance October / November 2012 Volume 41 Number 6

Credit: David Robinson

Sharon Butala with Henry and Cheryl Kloppenburg.

coNTENTS President’s Message ..............................................................1 Executive Director’s Report ...................................................2 Program News: Aboriginal Programing Report .........................................5 Saskatoon Programming Report .....................................8

Volume 41 Number 6 / Oct-Nov2012 ISSN 0705-1379

The 2012 Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence ................................................9

© Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, 2012

Butala Wins Saskatchewan’s Top Literary Prize...................11 Cover photo credit: David Robinson. Freelance is published six times per year for members of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and other interested parties. Submissions are welcome. Send in the body of your email message, or post, referring to Submission Guidelines: www.skwriter. com/publications/freelance. Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild. Copyright remains with the writer and cannot be reprinted without permission. We do not accept poetry or prose at this time. Deadlines for next issue of Freelance: December-January: November 9, 2012 SWG 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.

Insights Into Publishing from the Saskatchewan Publishers Group...........................13 Lessons Learned From Students: Being a Writer-In-Residence Has Many Rewards ................15 Writing For Your Life ...........................................................17 I’ll Try to Explain… Writers and Expresso Machines............19 The Intricacies of Writing a Book Series ..............................21 St. Peter’s Writing Diploma Turns Five or Maybe Ten..........22 Space-Time Continuum ......................................................23 Member News .....................................................................24 Books By Members .............................................................25 Calls of Interest: Markets and Competitions........................30 Professional Development ...................................................32 Contributors to this issue: Cathy Fenwick Ted Dyck David Robinson Bob Wakulich Shirley Byers Toby Welch Jillian Bell Candace Savage

Edward Willett Kelly-Anne Riess

coNTAcT US SWG Office Contact: Phone: 306-757-6310 Toll Free: 1-800-667-6788 Fax: 306-565-8554 Email: or Website: 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 Executive Director: Judith Silverthorne Phone: 306-791-7742 Email: Program Manager: Tracy Hamon Phone: 306-791-7743 Email:

Program Assistant: Milena Dzordeski Phone: 306-791-7746 Email: Accountant: Lois Salter Phone: 306-791-7748 Email: Administrative Assistant: Kelsey Gottfried Phone: 306-791-7740 Email: and Aboriginal Program Coordinator: Joely BigEagle Phone: 306-791-7744 Email: Retreat Coordinator: Anne Pennylegion Phone: 306-757-6310 Email:

The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild gratefully acknowledges the support of SaskCulture, Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund and the Saskatchewan Arts Board

Saskatoon Branch & Grain Magazine Office Mailing Address Box 67, Saskatoon, SK S7K 3K1 Courier Address Suite 719- 601 Spadina Cresent Saskatoon, SK S7K 3G8 Saskatoon Program Coordinator: Sarah Shoker Phone: 306-955-5513 Fax: (306) 244-0255 Email: Grain Editor: Rilla Friesen Phone: 306-244-2828 Fax: (306) 244-0255 Email: Grain Business Administrator: Robin Mowat Phone: 306-244-2828 Fax: (306) 244-0255 Email:

President’s Message Language is the old-growth forest of the mind. ~ Wade Davis


n his CBC Massey Lecture presentations Davis decried the loss of diversity and cultural constellation. He wrote in The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World (2009),

based on his Massey lectures, “The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed at-

tempts at being you; they are unique manifestations of the human spirit.” Davis has been described as a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet, and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity. It is a writer’s dream to find their voice and tell their stories from their own unique perspective. Our Guild has for more than 42 years advocated on behalf of writers, served writers in all genres, and helped writers at all levels of development to find their voice. It’s important to give voice to Saskatchewan stories, documenting our history and beautiful landscape. The strength of our Guild lies in its diversity and in the many talents of its members. This diversity makes for a cultural richness that supports some of the best writing in the world. Saskatchewan writers affirm our unique cultural experiences and human geography, which greatly enriches our little corner of the world and makes us known far beyond our borders. Saskatchewan writers continue to have a presence on the board of directors for Access Copyright. James Romanow is Board Co-Chair and Katherine Lawrence is a Director on the Board. Katherine and James are our go-to persons if we have issues, concerns or questions regarding Access Copyright. In this my sixth year of serving on the board of directors, I am OCTOBER–NOVEMBER 2012

grateful to SWG members and staff. I have acquired a deeper appreciation for the work that goes into creating books and articles written by Saskatchewan writers. I admire the fortitude and tenacity it takes to make a career as an author, especially when we see and hear people question whether or not writing is “real work”. I grew up on a farm. Farming is hard work. I completed a master’s degree while raising four children. That was really hard work. I write. Writing is very hard work. I thank staff members in our Guild office for doing an excellent job. They consistently demonstrate a service oriented, professional, and supportive environment at the office, and at public events representing the SWG. Our Strategic Plan (2011-2016) is working because board members and staff are implementing the plan to fulfil our goals and objectives. Members of the SWG board and staff attended a number of significant and enjoyable events in the last couple of months. We participated in the Saskatchewan Arts Board Gathering and Board Consultations and the Lieutenant

SWG President Cathy Fenwick. Credit: Staff

Governor’s Arts Awards Celebration in Saskatoon on September 18th and 19th. Our Past President, Jerry Haigh brought greetings on behalf of the SWG to the ceremony for the prestigious Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence on September 18. The winner of the 2012 Kloppenburg Award is Sharon Butala, a long-time member of the SWG, a multiple award winner, including Officer of the Order of Canada, and world-renowned Saskatchewan writer. Our September Board Meeting was held in Indian Head on the 23rd, following the ever-popular Saturday dinner and readings with members of the writing and reading communities in and around Indian Head. As I write this message our Annual Conference and AGM is just around the corner. This year’s theme is Speaking in Tongues: Writing Voice and Genre, and includes a diverse range of presenters and sessions designed to challenge us to seek an ever-deeper appre-



ciation for the diversity of literary expression. I hope to see you at our Conference 2012. This is my last report as President of the SWG. It has been a challenging and enjoyable two years in the Presidency. I very much appreciate the cooperation of all involved with the Guild; our excellent staff; the committed and talented members of the board of directors with whom I have worked; the willing contributions of volunteers; and the excellent input from members, all of which help us to define what needs to change and what needs to stay the same. I recognise and acknowledge the numerous gifted and dedicated past presidents of the SWG, who were the guiding lights during my tenure on the board of directors. As Past President (2012-2013) I will continue to be involved to offer whatever support the new board might request. Thank you all for your participation in the SWG. Wishing you many good things in the years ahead. Cathy Fenwick

Executive Director’s Report Saskatoon Office Moves


nce again the Guild is on the move. This time the Saskatoon branch office of SWG has relocated to the Grain office on the 7th floor of the Bessborough Hotel. You’ll

find Sarah Shoker nestling in there as of the end of September. Her phone number and email address remain the same: 1-306955-5523; She will be sharing Grain’s fax number: 1-306-244 0255, and the courier/drop-in address: Suite 719 -601 Spadina Crescent (in the Bessborough Hotel). Sarah’s new hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm. Drop by for a chat if you’re in the neighbourhood. Audit and Financial News In other news, the Guild’s audit process for the 2011-2012 fiscal year has been completed successfully and we are once again in a slight surplus position. Partly this is because the June retreat was cancelled, but also thanks to the diligence of the staff and the generosity of our funders and member donations. As is typical with not-for-profit organizations we work very close to the bone. We are always cognizant that we are dependent on lottery dollars for the majority of our operations, along with memberships and donations. Additional programming is funded by grants and sponsorships, for which we are most grateful. In fact, our auditors mentioned that they have never seen a charity organization like ours actively pursuing so many sources in order to offer the variety of programs we do. With the pressures of not knowing how much longer the lottery dollars are going to play out to our benefit in the coming years, whether or not the government will continue with the generous agreements for dispersing of them, and if the economic environment will sustain this



process, plus the directives from funders to find other financial sources so we are not reliant on these lottery dollars, there is always an uncertainty. One thing we are certain of is that there is no more staff time to apply or search for additional dollars. Already the staff works far too many overtime hours, and we need to reduce this immediately. Other funding sources are also limited given that all organizations seem to be vying for the same support. Are we coming from a place of scarcity? Not at all. We come from a place of reality, with hope for the future and creative ideas for solutions. We are constantly searching for other options, ways to lighten the load of overworked and under paid staff while striving to provide relevant programming, to see that our publication contributors and our contract personnel and staff are paid fairly. Increases in one area mean decreases somewhere else, as we are still dealing with the same pots of money, while costs of everything go up. This is the lament of all non-profits and one that was reiterated numerous times by OCTOBER–NOVEMBER 2012

participants at a Saskatchewan Arts Board two day seminar of cultural organizations that I attended in late September. We are all facing the same challenges, facing reality squarely, but always with a positive attitude that we will find a away to do the important cultural work that is so vital to our well-being.

seem to have lost our individual spirit of giving, of working to better ourselves. We seem to have lost our resilience, become more demanding and expecting of the Guild to provide more and more. (I count myself as one of these, as I was a member first, and am still one now.) Again most non-profits are facing these same challenges.

Volunteerism Members are important, vital in One thing realized in our review fact, and your help is needed for of operations is that in the past, the Guild’s successful operations. members gave liberally of their Donating your time is equally as time to see the Guild succeed. important as your generosity in Members gathered and edited financial donations, and equally material for publications, helped appreciated. We thank those of in the office, volunteered to asyou who have done both. We are sist wherever they could with grateful too for those who take services and programs, and the time to give us constructive initiated new activities that benfeedback in what you’d like your efited writers. Guild to be, They gave genwho volunteer Are we coming erously of their for the board time and enerand commitfrom a place gy, sometimes tees and with many long hours discussion of scarcity? and multitudes groups and of times to see who respond Not at all. successful imto surveys. We We come from a plementation of are happy there programming that are those of place of reality, meant something you who take to them. (How the attitude of, with hope for many of you if you’ll pardon recall Pat Krause’s the paraphrase the future and typing of Freeof a famous creative ideas lance, the memquote, “ask ber newsletter not what your for solutions. in her closet Guild can do for for a long time you, but what in the early you can do for years?) Someyour Guild.” where along the The sentiment way, complaof this quote cency has set has to become in, even a sense our motto for of entitlement. the continued True the Guild success of has grown and the Guild. The matured, and these aforemen- truth is that we need members tioned “expected” lottery dol- to volunteer more than ever. lars have been in place for some years, which may have contribut- Communications and ed to this attitude. We’ve become Member Services dependent on government hand- The Guild staff members are outs/funding so much so that we dedicated to responding to your OCTOBER–NOVEMBER 2012

SWG Executive Director Judith SIlverthorne. Credit: Elaine Iles

queries. We appreciate the framing of complaints as questions rather than demands or attacks and the opportunities to explain context and actions. We’re open to discussions and happy to receive phone calls and emails seeking answers and directions. And don’t forget the ‘Contact Us’ features on the website for staff and board. We’re also open to making changes that will benefit all members and strive to do what we can to provide services and programs of relevance. Your understanding in what we do, when and why is important. Contact us if you have a problem or are looking for directions, or even if you would like to compliment the work we do. We shine with pride when this happens. Speaking of which, we’ve recently added two new features to our website to benefit members – Online Forums and Member News. Both are in their infancy and in trial process, so we’re grateful for your patience as we work out any glitches that might pop up. Instructions, concept, and policies surrounding the use of the Online Forums are in this issue of Freelance, and also on the website. Basically this is a



vehicle for members to communicate about issues that are relevant in their everyday writing lives outside the Guild.


Professional evaluation at a sensible fee The Manuscript* Evaluation Service assists writers at all levels of development who would like a professional response to their unpublished work. The service is available to ALL Saskatchewan writers, and uses the talents of Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild (SWG) published members. The SWG offers this service with the generous partnership of the Saskatchewan Arts Board.

Full details & fees at programs services manuscript evaluation service

Members will find an instant way to let others know about their achievements through the online Member News. Adding information is accessed through the Members Only page, but those viewing can easily click on a button on the home page. Events and other announcements are also welcome. Of course, members can still use Ebriefs and Freelance to advise members of your accolades, readings and news. And remember to send your books for the Books by Members section of Freelance so they can also be included in the Guild library. We also require a 150 word intro about the book and you as an author. Some of you will have already participated in a discussion about the future content of Freelance, or will be doing so soon. Along with these discussions and the Survey Monkey, we will use the results to help guide the new substance of our member newsletter. We

welcome additional comments about what you’d like featured in Freelance. Please let Kelsey know by emailing her at Some of you will also notice a gradual change in the look of Freelance; a much more dramatic design will be forthcoming. We hope to see as many members as possible at the Guild conference and AGM from October 26-28 in Saskatoon. We are pleased to partner with the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Writers Circle Inc to present the Ânskohk Aboriginal Literature Festival which starts the night before on October 27th and runs in conjunction with the Guild conference. All are welcome to attend both. Please see the website for registration details. http://www. This fall promises to be one full of Guild activities and professional development opportunities, and we hope you will take advantage of them. Judith SIlverthorne

Send your manuscript and payment to the following address: Manuscript Evaluation Service Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild Box 3986 Regina, Saskatchewan S4P 3R9 For more information, phone 306-791-7743 or Email *


...a home for your voice.




Dramatic Scripts (theatrical)


visit us online:


PRogRAM NEWS Aboriginal Programming coordinator Report


his past summer was a busy one for the Aboriginal Programming office. We hosted two major writers’ retreats; Bringing Back the Buffalo: Aboriginal Youth Writers’ Retreat and the 2nd Annual Aboriginal Writers Retreat. In our past Freelance I did a brief report on the youth retreat. Our Aboriginal and Saskatoon programming office will review the participant surveys and successes and points we need to work on for both the Regina and Saskatoon youth workshop/retreats and make recommendations on how to structure next year’s events. The 2nd Annual Aboriginal Writers’ Retreat was held August 15 to 19 at the Spring Valley Guest Ranch near Ravenscrag, SK. This year we had six Aboriginal writers attend. This was everyone’s first time attending the Aboriginal writers’ retreat and all were very keen on what it all entailed. Our Writer-in-Residence was Dr. Jesse Archibald-Barber. He was on call throughout the retreat to meet with the writers and provide guidance or review any of the writers’ written work. Our ranch host was Mr. Jim Saville and he was responsible for our delicious meals and accommodations. I give kudos to my predecessor, Aaron Tootoosis, for creating the 1st Aboriginal Writers’ Retreat in 2011. He was involved in the community consultations, meetings, and teleconferences on developing Aboriginal programming for the SWG and a lot of my work plan has evolved from his hard work and community involvement. OCTOBER–NOVEMBER 2012

First evening meal in the Duck Room. Credit: Staff

It was easy to choose the Spring Valley Guest Ranch as the location for the 2nd Annual Aboriginal Writers’ Retreat because of the survey respondents from 2011 who described the location as having “beautiful scenery” and being “superb” and the food as “amazing!”. It took a van-load from Regina and about four hours of driving time. We took

were accurate and easy to follow. Upon first glance, the ranch does appear to be a bit rustic and a little isolated. However, once I arrived, unpacked, and met Jim he was very welcoming and the place immediately felt homey and nostalgic. He informed us all that the house we ate our meals in was about 100 years old and was purchased by the previous owners from an Eaton’s catalogue. Our

“ was a very humbling experience and opportunity to hear all the grand stories and understand how much trust it takes to be allowed into that space of sharing.” many turns down various gravel roads from the closest town of Eastend to arrive at our destination. I love adventures so I was up to the challenge; however, the travel pointers from Jim’s website

meals were eaten in the cozy and intimate “Duck” themed room. We opened the retreat with a prayer from local Elder, Eloise Mosquito. Once everyone got acquainted with their surround-



said it best as she mentioned in her evaluation form, “Jesse was great with his feedback and suggestions…I enjoyed the freedom to create and write the way we wanted and in a way that worked for each of us as individuals. Also, it was great building networks with other First Nations artists, as we are all in different areas of arts and working in the arts. It helps to strengthen our First Nations arts community in Saskatchewan.”

Tipi in the sunrise with Eaton house in the background. Credit: Staff

ings and their fellow writers, we all retreated to our rooms and enjoyed quality alone time to write. We held nightly reading sessions where all were encouraged to share their writings from the day. By the end of the retreat all had shared and it was a very humbling experience and opportunity to hear all the grand stories and understand how much trust it takes to be allowed into that space of sharing. I also was able to write a couple of stories and paint a picture. Dr. Archibald-Barber summed up his experiences by stating, “It was clear that for many of the writers, the retreat provided a breakthrough for their creative impulses, and some of them will no doubt complete their first major writing project as a result of the experience.”



We ended our stay at Spring Valley with Elder Dale Mosquito setting up a tipi that he informed us his grandmother made from 13 – 15 buffalo hides and because of this, it is only brought out for special occasions. We all felt really honoured by this gesture. We spent our last evening hosting our sharing circle in the tipi. It was a real eye opener to sit in an authentic tipi and for one of our writers it was her first time ever in a tipi. Elder Dale Mosquito joined us for Sunday breakfast and we ended our writers’ retreat with a closing prayer to offer safe travels and words to carry forward as we travelled to our many destinations. I believe one of our writers

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the following sponsors for their financial contributions to the 2nd Annual Aboriginal Writers’ Retreat: ISC, CIC, SGI, Office of the Treaty Commissioner, SaskTel, SaskLotteries, Sask Arts Board and SaskCulture. I would also like to thank Mr. Jim Saville for his nutritious and nurturing meals and for allowing us to share his home. As to some of the current work, I am working with the SAWCI (Saskatchewan Aboriginal Writers’ Circle Inc.) Board on the Ânskohk Aboriginal Literature Festival that will be held in conjunction with the SWG Fall Conference in Saskatoon on Oct. 25 – 27, 2012. Please go to our SWG website for more information or to I also am extending the outreach capabilities of the SWG Aboriginal Advisory Circle in order to reach out to as many people across Saskatchewan as possible. I hosted an SWG AAC



We accepts classified and display ads at the following rates: D I S P L AY A D S :

Full page: $150 1/2 Page: $100 1/4 page: $50 business card: $35 (SWG members pay 75% of above rates) CLASSIFIED ADS:

20 cents per word (plus GST). Ads run in three consecutive issues unless cancelled. SWG members may place one 25-word ad free of charge each year.

(Back row) Joely BigEagle, Coordinator, Carol Morin, Lisa Bird-Wilson, Doreen Roman, Trudy Stewart Front row: Michelle-Rae McKay, John W. Murray, Dr. Jesse Archibald-Barber, Writer-in-Residence. Credit: Staff

meeting in Saskatoon on Sept. 6 and it was a fruitful meeting as it introduced those in attendance to SWG. I also made some community connections with groups that the SWG could potentially connect with in the future such as the Saskatchewan Indian Cultural Centre, Aboriginal Friendship Centres of Saskatchewan, and the Gabriel Dumont Institute. The Sask Arts Board also attended and is paving a path towards creating opportunities and working with other similar minded organizations across Canada on developOCTOBER–NOVEMBER 2012

ing Aboriginal Editors programs. I will host another SWG AAC meeting in Prince Albert in the next few months to gather input and potentially recruiting members for the SWG AAC. I am also looking at hosting an upcoming youth workshop on anime and graphic novels in November. Watch for more information in Ebriefs and on the SWG website. Take care. Joely BigEagle, Aboriginal Program Coordinator



Curtis Peeteetuce teaching. Credit: Tenille Campbell.

Saskatoon Programming Report By Sarah Shoker


n partnership with the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company, the SWG hosted free creative writing workshops for youth throughout September in Saskatoon. These workshops were taught by Tenille Campbell and Curtis Peeteetuce. Bringing Back the Buffalo is a program for aspiring young writers. It’s an opportunity to learn the formats and essentials of a variety of writing genres outside the classroom. These include, but are not limited to, playwriting, poetry and song writing. As an instructor, it’s important for me to not teach, but share my experiences as a writer from a stan-



dardized and cultural perspective. —Curtis Peeteetuce, Creative Director for the Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company We would like to thank all the youth who participated in these workshops and who took part in our Culture Days Reading Celebration on September 30th! We had an excellent turn out; many

came to watch our participants read a piece of their writing. In other news, the SWG was a sponsor for the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) Fall regional conference. The conference had a great turn out and took place on Saturday, September 22nd. We are also hosting a hip-hop workshop with celebrated artist Baba Brinkman on November 5th. A comic-book writing workshop will also be held in November. If you are interested in attending either of these workshops, please contact Sarah at (306) 955-5513 or visit


Henry and Cheryl Kloppenburg at the 2012 Kloppenburg Awards for Literary Excellence. Credit: David Robinson.

The 2012 cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literacy Excellence By David Robinson


heryl and Henry Kloppenburg, together with the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, announced Sharon Butala as the recipient of the 2012 Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence. Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg presented the award, while former SWG president, Jerry Haigh, emceed the event that took place on September 18 at the Saskatoon Club.

The Honourable Vaughan Solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan offered some reflections on Saskatchewan’s writing community: “We are blessed to live in a province with many accomplished writers. Our gifted authors reflect Saskatchewan’s rich culture and our diverse people in one space. They write about our hardships and achievements, our hopes and our dreams. They challenge us to see new perspectives, and they teach and entertain us,” she said.


This relatively new literary award, which was established in May 2010, was created to provide recognition for those writers who have written a substantial body of acclaimed literary work. “Henry and I have long thought that Saskatchewan writers have not achieved sufficient public recognition. Writers in Saskatchewan are an awesome group. They are an accomplished group, and we wanted to give due credit to those who reside in the province or who have produced a significant body of work while residing in the province,” Cheryl said.

The award is one of the largest provincial awards for literature. The recipient receives a prize of $10,000 and a framed limited edition print of a painting by Saskatchewan artist Dorothy Knowles, who also attended the ceremony. “Frankly, our thinking was if we’re going to make a statement that we think Saskatchewan writers are worthy of recognition then that has to be translated into financial recognition as well,” Cheryl said. The only other such provincial award in Canada is the British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence, whose recipient receives $5,000. Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg, lawyers by profession, have a history of philanthropy. They support a range of organizations and causes including a wildlife refuge near Humboldt, have donated a large number of artworks to the University of Saskatchewan, and are sponsors for Grain’s Short Grain Contest. Henry, a Rhodes Scholar, explained why he wanted to create a literary award: “I encountered many great writers at Oxford, and I said ‘we in Saskatchewan have many, many great writers too, but they don’t get talked about . . . They just sort of function without being recognized.’ ” Sharon Butala, born in Nipawin, Saskatchewan, began writing in 1978 and published her first novel in 1984. She is now the author of five more novels, three short story collections, and seven works of nonfiction, much of which is about life in Saskatchewan. She has been shortlisted twice for the Governor General’s Award: once in 1986 for Queen of the Headaches (fiction) and again in 1994 for The Perfection of the Morning (nonfiction). She was also shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Fever (short fiction) in 1992.



She was the 1998 recipient of the Marian Engel Prize, won the Saskatchewan book award for nonfiction, and has won numerous other awards—not all literary—including five conservation awards given to her and her late husband Peter Butala. She has received honorary doctorates from both the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan, and in 2002 was made an officer of the Order of Canada. In 2009, she was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. “[She’s an] incredibly prolific, high quality and inspiring writer,” Henry said. “We were attempting, with the Kloppenburg Award, to recognize a writer with a Saskatchewan history and a Saskatchewan connection who had contributed to the formation of the culture and the history of the province, quite as she has.” Presenting Butala the award, Henry said with a smile, “first things first, here’s $10,000.” The audience laughed. However, in

Henry Kloppenburg talking with guests at the award ceremony. Credit: David Robinson

just look around the room and I could count a half-dozen people who might just as well be standing here instead of me today.” While the writing community has often been neglected or taken for granted in Saskatchewan—Sinclair Ross was not fully

have been hard pressed to find a lot of people who have published as much as I and a number of other writers have done. It’s a sign of the maturity of our art form in this province.”

Candidates for the award are writers who have lived in Saskatchewan for the last five years, or who have spent at “Frankly, our thinking was if least ten years of their writing careers we’re going to make a statement in the province. They can be nominated that we think Saskatchewan by publishers, writwriters are worthy of recognition ing organizations and the public.

then that has to be translated into financial recognition as well,” —chery Kloppenburg

addition to the money and the painting, Butala was presented with a print of an article from The Western Producer, which talks about the 13,000 acre nature preserve the Butalas donated to the province. Accepting the award, Butala said, “I am really humbled because I 10


appreciated in his time—Butala suggests that this is changing: “An award for achievement in literature is a sign not just for one writer, but of what has happened to the arts in our province . . . We have reached the stage where we can talk about the full career of a writer. . . . When I started writing you’d

The SWG administrates the award and selects its jury. The honorary patrons of the Kloppenburg Award are the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan Vaughn Solomon Schofield, the Mayor of the city of Saskatoon Donald J. Atchison, and the President of the University of Saskatchewan Ilene Busch-Vishniac, all of whom attended the ceremony.


ber at the U of S College of Education, but she didn’t like that life much. “I was in my tenure year, not quite finished my M Ed. when I just lost heart for it,” she says. In the meantime, she’d met Peter Butala. They married in 1976 and she moved to Peter’s ranch near Eastend, close to the southern edge of Saskatchewan. It was there that she would become a writer. But she didn’t know that yet.

Sharon Butala accepting the 2012 Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence Credit: David Robinson.

Butala wins Saskatchewan’s top literary prize By Shirley Byers


haron Butala is this year’s winner of the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence, taking her well-deserved place with other Saskatchewan literary greats such as Guy Vanderhaeghe, the award’s inaugural winner in 2010, and Lorna Crozier, winner in 2011. Butala’s road to writing was not without a few twists and turns. Back in high school, she aimed to be a visual artist but at university, she began to rethink that goal. “When I put my mind to the fact I was going to have to make a living, I just knew I couldn’t do it. I didn’t have the guts . . . That’s when I began to work on a B Ed. in English at the same time, (as an arts degree.)”


After convocation she moved with her husband to Halifax and worked with a YMCA program for adolescent boys, mostly street kids, a job she loved. Returning to Saskatoon four years later, Butala taught mentally handicapped teens, then, knowing she would soon be a single mother, went back to university. By 1974 she was a faculty mem-

“When I packed to leave after the wedding I had drawing paper, pencils in my suitcase,” she says. “I thought as soon as I get there I’m going to go back to my art. But I simply couldn’t. I just had lost the drive in the ensuing 15 years. I had had the stuffing knocked out of me one way or the other. I just couldn’t go back but I was so stunned and amazed by living in nature again and by everything I saw around me and by the life of the body, this physical life in this incredibly, astonishingly beautiful landscape; the way that you created your own life out in the country and it was based on survival and it just- it just engulfed me and consumed me and absorbed me completely and if I couldn’t express it in painting any more, and I believed that I couldn’t, I began to write.” She turned 37 that summer. Eight short years passed and in 1984, her first novel Country of the Heart was a finalist for the Books in Canada First Novel Award. Her next book Queen of the Headaches, a collection of short stories, was shortlisted for a Governor General’s award in 1986. More books, including novels, short stories, non-fiction and memoir followed, and many more awards, including officer in the Order of Canada, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, two honorary doctorates, and another GG nomination for Perfection of the Morning.



Looking back on her life, what she has learned and how it is incorporated into her fiction writing, Butala says, “One thing I’ve learned is that most people, it can be said, try to be decent, but lots of us aren’t, not all the time. Every now and then we do something that we’re ashamed of, and I think that I have also come to the conclusion that evil is real and exists in the world as surely as people have guardian angels. I don’t think that evil is an abstract concept. It’s real. I’ve really tried in my books to indicate that struggle that humans have to find happiness for themselves in a decent way, to try to be decent and learning bit by bit but never winning the fight. It’s an inch by inch, day by day struggle.” When she started writing, she says, she knew that the real subject was what the Freudians call the “family romance,” explained by her as “that attempt to separate from the family and become an independent human being.” But she didn’t want to touch it because her family, apart from her father, were all still alive, and because she didn’t think she was ready for it. “I think I’m ready to start writing about that now finally, to seriously put my mind to it,” she says. The way she writes has also changed. “I used to feel I had to write out of the fabric of my own life and I was always turning inward and trying to think/ place myself in the place of my characters and imagining how I would react if such things happened to me, and certainly good things came out of that.” “But a writer has to learn to take the longer view, to find a way to tell a story so that it’s believable to the reader, to detach his or her self enough from an occurrence or event or incident to transform it into literature.”



“ I don’t think that evil is an abstract concept. It’s real. I’ve really tried in my books to indicate that struggle that humans have to find happiness for themselves in a decent way, to try to be decent and learning bit by bit but never winning the fight. It’s an inch by inch, day by day struggle.” Five years ago, her husband Peter died. “It was as if I had died too for a couple of years,” she says. “I had to dig myself up out of the grave, a metaphoric grave, into writing again.” And she had to learn to write all over again. But, “That death, that metaphoric death was what made it possible for me to take a longer view finally,” she says. The Girl in Saskatoon, a Meditation on Friendship, Memory and Murder is Butala’s latest published book. A non-fiction work it tells the story of the brutal murder of Alex Wiwcharuk, a young nurse Butala went to high school with. This

book is, she believes, her coming of age book, “the one women tend to write late in life whereas men start right off with the coming of age.” “I was working with that early child in the wilderness, what it did to us, what the province was like when I was young. I was born in 1940; we’d only been a province 35 years. Saskatoon had 50,000 people. When I was born it didn’t even have that many. It was sort of as if we were created along with the province.” Butala is now living in Calgary where she is working on another novel.

About the Award for Literary Excellence The Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence recognizes Saskatchewan writers who have written a substantial body of literary work. The prize consists of an award of $10,000, donated by Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg, as well as a framed print of a work of art by Saskatchewan artist Dorothy Knowles.


Insights Into Publishing From the Saskatchewan Publishers group By Jillian Bell


ndividuals interested in becoming publishers face an uphill climb, and often, it can feel like there is no peak; no gently descending downslope, but merely a jagged cliff at the end of the path. With rocks and broken glass and other pokey things at the bottom, jumbled in a roar of churlish waves. The path to publishing is strewn with hardcover books of poetry, stacks of applications for support and awards, and a hefty stack of bills to be paid. Not unlike other small businesses, with a few major differences. Publishing is about so much more than loading up a manuscript from a Word document and having it printed and bound at the local copy shop. Certainly, that is a form of publishing, but when it comes to marketing, sales, and distribution, the coil-bound copy-shop manuscript doesn’t do well against award-winning and professionally published titles. A completed manuscript is just the beginning of the publishing cycle. From acquiring International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) to managing royalties and arranging for promotion, publishing is an intricate creative industry. It is not uncommon in the book world, for instance, for retailers to demand a 40%-60% wholesale discount off the retail price of books just to have them on the shelves. On top of that, much of the book retail market still works on a returnable basis, wherein unsold books are returned to publishers long after the bills are due and many are returned in unsellable condition. It is an awkward business relationship and not one that always works.


And in the eBook market, there simply isn’t a delivery mechanism in place yet for hungry bibliophiles to find eBooks in stores; nearly all of the sales of eBooks is done via Amazon or similar online aggregators. Consider the difference between printing and publishing: it takes very little time and preparation to simply print out a completed document or manuscript and have it bound. Cover the cost, and it’s done. Conversely, if you want to actually publish a manuscript, there are many, many more steps. Contrary to popular belief, producing an eBook requires just as much work (and therefore costs as much) as producing a paper book. A manuscript must go through a clutch of editors (and ‘editor’ doesn’t mean someone’s neighbour who used to teach English). These are the people who choose which manuscripts to accept, the seasoned writers and editors who work closely with the author to do substantive edits, and copyeditors and proofreaders. Publishers work

with graphic artists and designers who focus on issues like readability in print and electronic formats, as well as the aesthetic of the book as a whole. All of this work takes place before a book is sent to a printer or before an eBook is compiled. Once publishers print the book and produce the eBook, they face the most difficult aspect of publishing. How do you get people to buy it? A book is a product; it is a cultural product to be sure, but it is a product. And in order to be viable as a business, publishers have to sell books. With bookstores disappearing, how do you let people know there are new voices waiting to be read? Publishers actively market and promote their books to distributors, to wholesalers, and online. Librarians and retailers look

A book is a product; it is a cultural product to be sure, but it is a product. And in order to be viable as a business, publishers have to sell books.



almost exclusively to distributors and wholesalers; on the other hand, online marketplaces like Amazon will often work directly with publishers to list eBooks. Once the books are placed, the issue of discoverability remains. At this point, publishers and authors work in tandem; guiding buyers to books is the greatest challenge facing the book industry today. There are also pay-to-print operations and vanity presses out there to be aware of. These services will print your manuscript in book form, but they often do not provide professional, editorial, and design services. Furthermore, they usually do not provide any marketing, distribution, sales, or promotion; these costs are entirely incumbent upon the author to provide. Traditional publishers will have authors sign a contract outlining their responsibilities and the author’s responsibilities in the production of the book. The contract will outline expectations publishers have of their authors, and they will spell out what services the publisher will commit to. They will also cover intellectual property and copyrights. Non-traditional publishers who are not pay-to-print or vanity presses are becoming more visible as well. Some publishers offer their services on a contractual basis. These publishing consultants work closely with the author at whatever level the author requires. This is a different, but growing, business model in the publishing industry. It is different from pay-to-print or vanity presses in that the publisher or publishing consultant develops a close working relationship with the author and the publisher still exercises editorial discretion. The Saskatchewan Publishers Group (SPG) is the provincial



cultural sector organization for book publishers in the province. Through display and sales programs, SPG promotes Saskatchewan-published books within the province and outside of our borders to teachers,

The Saskatchewan Publishers group advocates on behalf of the book publishing industry to all levels of government. We promote the cultural and artistic value of our province’s books. librarians, scholars, and to the general public. You will see our booths at gift markets (like Wintergreen and Sundog), and at many trade shows and conferences. This program provides much-needed exposure for our publishers, for their books, and for their authors at a time when brick-and-mortar bookstores are becoming more and more difficult to find.

Two professional development sessions each year provide industry updates, focus group sessions, and, often, one-onone training with publishing professionals from all over Canada for our publishers. We have featured sessions on typesetting, internal page design, cover design, social media, marketing, promotion, distribution, contract negotiation, to name a few of our more popular seminars. These semi-annual PD sessions also provide our publishers with much-needed networking and with a common forum. Non-members and even non-publishers are welcome to register for these sessions. Information is sent out via the SWG and is available at our website at SPG also advocates on behalf of the book publishing industry to all levels of government. We promote the cultural and artistic value of our province’s books. Our focus is to support and to promote the book publishing industry in Saskatchewan. While our mandate is not to assist writers in becoming published authors (that is one of the roles of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild!), many of SPG’s publisher members are self-published writers and SPG does have resources and professional development for people who are interested in becoming publishers. SPG assists publishers at all levels of their development, from emerging publishers to long-standing literary and University presses. While we can’t help you get your manuscript published, we can help you find out what it means to be a book publisher. You can learn more about the Saskatchewan Publishers Group by visiting their web site:


Kelly-Ann Riess with Ruth M. Buck kids. Credit: Kelly-Ann Riess

Lessons Learned From Students: Being a Writer-In-Residence Has Many Rewards By Kelly-Anne Riess

Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. —Ray Bradbury As a writer, I find there is nothing more rewarding than working with elementary schools. Children have such vivid imaginations. As adults, the inner critic is always present and usually everything we publish must have a purpose. The poem I write is for a manuscript that I want published in a book that I would like to win an award.


Somehow we lose touch with writing for the sheer joy of writing. But children aren’t lost in ambition. They can follow the twists and turns of their writing and entertain themselves and their friends, whether their story takes their character, an angry 80-year-old man with a rainbow Mohawk, to a frightful haunted house, or their character is an eight-foot giant bunny rabbit

named Fred who works at a gas station on an adventure with Mr. Mustache Man. The stories that the students came up with while I was the Writer-In-Residence at Ruth M. Buck School this past spring were fantastic. If only I could come up with ideas like that, but why don’t I? Because I won’t let my character be a giant bunny rabbit, forgetting about the great movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? When the students I worked with at Buck School couldn’t come up with an idea, I said go with the first thing that comes



esting and language could make such a story beautiful. What I learned from the students at Buck School is to follow my own imagination, unadulterated, and let it entertain others and me. Write for enjoyment. While at Buck, I worked with the students on narrative poetry. With Beowulf as our inspiration, we aimed to write an actionpacked poem—one with a bad guy the hero must overcome. They started their poems by defining what the poem wasn’t: This is not a poem about ostriches. This is not a poem about trees. This is not a poem about monkeys. This is a poem about what happened to me. We used the tools of poetry— repetition in the first stanza, simile in the second and so on. Ruth M. Buck student reading poetry. Credit: Kelly-Ann Riess

to your mind. And this, I found, is where creativity comes from. Not over-thinking the possibilities. Just pen to paper and go. Creativity can win awards—think of Kathleen Winter’s beautifully written novel Annabel about a hermaphrodite raised as a boy named Wayne, who probably should have been a girl. Instead he must tough it out in the masculine world of rural Newfoundland where the main industry is trapping and our young protagonist must find peace of mind working on the catgut. What if your character is both a boy and a girl growing up in Newfoundland? An idea, if we think too much about, we dismiss. Such an idea might seem silly if it popped into our mind. But, no, it’s inter16


The students answered questions about their characters, plot and setting and added those details to the poem. What does your bad guy look like? Your bad guy takes something from your character. What do they take? And so on. When breaking down a narrative poem—stanza by stanza, question by question--the process of writing is simple, especially when you write down the first thing that comes to your head rather than waiting for the perfect idea to come (and it never will). You can edit later. This is what I told the students. This is what I should tell myself. Teaching children about the joys of writing is also about re-teaching one’s self the joys of writing. The students at Buck School published their writing— typing up a good draft and drawing a cover page.

I showed them a similar “published” story that I had written as a child and read it to them for a kick—writing as artifact of a former self, as I was a student at Ruth M. Buck once. I told them of the possibilities of being a writer, of all the things I have done as a journalist, filmmaker and poet—travelling as far as China, interviewing musicians and FBI agents all for the sake of story—reaching audiences in the Globe and Mail or on A&E Biography and doing so from Saskatchewan no less. Forget Toronto or Los Angeles, although I’ve been to both cities more than once. My life as a writer inspires children’s imaginations even though for me all that I have done has melted away into a monotony of work. Through the eyes of children we can see our challenges as adventures and our smattering of publications as successes. After the students and I wrote our poems, we took our words off the written page and performed them. I showed them videos of youth their own age reading poems on HBO, along with Sherri D. Wilson’s (what I call) music video poems. And then the students got up in front of their peers and read at a poetry slam finale to my writer residency. They entertained, as many laughs were shared. It’s important to remember the possibility of poetry. If you don’t like poetry, I told the youths, then you haven’t read or performed the right kind of poetry yet. The biggest reward for me was when students would approach me in the hallways to talk about their writing—the challenges and rewards—and when they shared their amusement over their own ingenuity found within their imaginations.


Participants of the Writing for Your Life program. Credit: Carol Rempel.

Writing For Your Life By Ted Dyck


guy appears in your office: hoodie up, dark glasses, fumbles a roll of paper out of the pocket of his sweats, and hands it to you without a word. A manuscript. You barely have the presence of mind to make an appointment for the next day. He nods, turns, and hobbles out. Only an after-image remains: his fingers were stubs, his face was scarred, he was the Fire Man. Today, the same guy wears short pants in summer, bares his face to the wind, reads publicly at an open mic café, advocates on behalf of the homeless, and writes poetry so original that mainstream publishers don’t get it. Coincidentally, he’s a member of a writing for therapy group. That’s what the program Writing For Your Life (WFYL) is about. Get the hurt out on paper; share it in a supportive, confidential environment. Use the pain to write a Self into being; develop this new Self by re-writing an always “better story.”


Not cause and effect, just correlation. Here’s how my guy puts it: The fire’s not as strong as it used to be but much more clear and friendly more responsive much lighter I might add to go on each day tell of such things or just stories of whatever I like to fantasize about, though my feelings don’t change as often as before I have gained a strong heart sturdier mind throughout my transformations that embraces thoughts When they come keeps me grounded until my end [name withheld; reprinted with permission]

A Creative Partnership Innovation Project between the Canadian Mental Health Association (SK) and the Saskatchewan Arts Board has funded Writing For Your Life. A hired circuit writer – me – traveled about the province, starting up writing groups in CMHA branches where possible, or in another supportive venue, if not. Six in all. Local facilitators (often SWG members) were found and trained to guide the group from meeting to meeting, from writing to writing. Small groups, usually no more than six, met regularly, usually every two weeks. The circuit writer tracked them all, visited regularly, and was alternately amazed and anxious. That’s the practice – but there’s always a theory. For the past thirty years, James Pennebaker (University of Texas at Austin) has been measuring the results of directed freewriting



by physical markers of wellbeing. One over-riding conclusion was that writing enhances well-being in tangible ways.1 Pennebaker has of course been doing much more than measuring. He has recently surveyed thousands of samples of writing to determine the significance of the writers’ patterned use of ordinary pronouns.2 The results are, if not startling, at least telling. Among a host of other outcomes, Pennebaker shows that even small changes in pronoun usage are dramatically and significantly linked to changes in their perceived well-being. Of course we’re still talking correlation. So a black box of writing therapy emerges: the input is a writer’s state of mind prior to the act of writing; the output is the writer’s state of mind after the act of writing; the black box is what happens during the experiment, repeated. The big question is What writing processes lead to what changes



w rd-



jou ry a r e lit


in psychic health, broadly speaking? There are, so far, mostly intriguing hints and tentative suggestions: re-writing one’s story seems to change one’s perception of the self; re-constructing one’s metaphors helps clarify one’s insight into the self. Process-writing investigators like Jeff Park and Reinekke Lengelle have thought long and hard about what’s inside the black box. They have practiced, over and over, the art of tweaking the inputs and noting their effect on the outputs. Figuring this out is like reading a poem: what rubric makes the most of all the particulars of a specific work? Or the novel: how do its lies affect a truth? And so Park places the therapeutic in writing in the riparian zone, a broad edge where the known meets the unknown and the old meets the new.3 Lengelle, similarly, amazingly, locates the therapeutic in a figure eight of selftransformations through dialogue with the Self and the Other.4 My own experience supports this idea. It’s not dichotomies like right brain/left brain or

thought/feeling that are most important about writing for therapy, but the little understood connections that join them. Classical logic’s either/or yields to the mounting evidence that the middle, the disputed third, is the healing place. That’s the place of writing – every end another beginning, every beginning already a new end. I’ve seen a writer discover the hint of a latent other Self by changing the narration from first-person to third. I’ve seen a writer embrace the double of her post-partum depression by recognizing, slowly and painfully, its figure as a twin in the poem she was writing. I’ve also seen writers refuse the figures in their texts that overwhelmingly identify the very problems they vehemently celebrate in their denials. A simple technical grounding for writing as therapy: the grammar of narration already reflects that – and how – writing can change the Self. In response to the exercise, “Complete the follow-



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ing sentence, I was never so ____,” a participant in a writing group wrote:

body of evidence, anecdotal and scientific, and theorized by committed practitioners of the art.

I was never so embarrassed as the day I was caught peeing in the gym shower.

When you write for your life, that’s when you get on with your life. Sorry, but the truth is you get to write for your life every day for the rest of your life.

With minimal guidance, the writer recognized at least two I’s in the sentence: first, the I now speaking of a past embarrassment; second, the I embarrassed in the past by being caught. In other words, the narrated sentence reveals the mutable, adaptable, plastic Self in two versions, the past, embarrassed Self, and the present, ruefully remembering Self. The I, we might observe, is a placeholder. Perhaps rhetoric had the right model all along – the Self is not fixed, but mutable and adaptable. Even plastic. That’s WFYL. Grounded in the practice of ever-better writing a changing Self into continuing being. It is supported by a growing

Writing for his life in The Truth About Stories5, Thomas King tells over and over, in different contexts, the story of a skeptic in the audience who wanted the storyteller to explain what supported the turtle on which the earth rested, according to the Aboriginal legend. “So how many turtles are there?” the skeptic wanted to know, anticipating victory. “No one knows for sure,” the storyteller told the skeptic, “but it’s turtles all the way down.” That’s the truth about our stories: it’s writing the Self all the way up.

I’ll Try to Explain… Writers and Expresso Machines

endnotes: 1.

James Pennebaker’s The Secret Life of Pronouns [Bloomsbury Press, 2011] describes this research in chapter 1.


The same book presents this study in accessible detail. See also http://homepage. faculty/Pennebaker/Reprints/ Campbell%26Pennebaker. pdf, where the research is fully summarized.


Writing at the edge (Peter Lang , 2005): 152+.


With Frans Meijers. “Mystery to mastery: An exploration of what happens in the black box of writing and healing.” Journal of Poetry Therapy (June 2009) 22.2: 57-75.


The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative (Anansi 2003), pp. 1-2.

Ted Dyck is a writer, editor, scholar, and mentor. In 2011-2012, Ted directed the “Writing for Your Life Program” for CMHA(SK).


At writing retreats, the plethora of obscure references flying across a dinner table on any given day is enough to make your head get all wobbly. Once the discussion turns to, say, the influence of the Albanian Mud Poetry Movement on the Western literary canon, you really start to wonder if your sure-fire Doctor Seuss references might be a little too pedestrian.

For instance, assembling a large number of writers from other places severely upsets the normal literature/reality balance. As one of the other retreat attendees pointed out, in their natural environments, writers tend to be in the minority and can consider themselves

Not only that, but no matter how much time you’ve spent reading, one week at a writer’s retreat makes it very clear that in the universe of literature, you’ve read next to nothing. By the time you’ve put the last touches on your “must read” list, you realize that in order to get through it, you won’t have time to do anything, including write, for at least the next three decades.

By Bob Wakulich Sage Hill Writing Experience, Lumsden, SK:

he purpose of some writing retreats is to gather serious writers together so they can work on projects, talk to each other, and hopefully find new insights into how or why they write. There are definite benefits to this strategy, but it can create other challenges.


rather unique components in their circles of friends and acquaintances. When the ratios are normal, writers can toss out what they think are reasonably obscure literary references at a meal and feel confident their audiences will consider them fresh, profound, and delightful.



Fiction Colloquium with Bob Wakulich, Judith Silverthorne, Lawrence Hill, Frances Burke, Reg Silvester (missing David Lee); Credit: Sage Hill Writing Experience Staff.

There is also the problem of inspirational sources. If somebody tosses out an especially tasty set of bon mots in your native habitat, you don’t feel all that guilty about adapting it or even grabbing it as is and trying to weave it into your own work. In a colony of writers, you agonize over whether you should arrange for a co-authorship agreement, or in some cases, joint custody. Another drawback is finding enough of those tiny but significant details in the people around you to create distinctive and believable characters in your poems and stories. In the case of a writer’s retreat, the participants are rife with fascinating habits, eccentricities, and idiosyncrasies, but then you discover that all the downtrodden coal miners you created for your story have beautiful 20


diction, play nothing but Mozart on their fiddles, and find hockey and football boorish. In many cases, becoming a writer comes at the expense of other life skills. The chances are good that most writers have done other things, but within any concentrated group of writers, there are always some limits to their skill sets. One morning during the retreat, a new expresso machine appeared on the do-it-yourself snack table. Many of the writers were familiar with the concept (“Oooo, coffee! Me like coffee!”), but when it actually came to using the machine to make something, it was kind of like watching a group of Neanderthals trying to make sense of the first wheel. They took turns hovering around it and poking at some of the buttons, hoping that demonstra-

tions of superior will might make it begin operating on its own. Eventually, a writer appeared who actually knew how to use it, so she demonstrated and taught a few of the others. In less than an hour, the room was awash with lattes and cappuccinos. It just goes to show you that writers can do anything if they stop writing long enough to learn. Now, if you’ll excuse me, one of the writers is giving a saxophone recital out on the patio. Reprinted with the permission of Sage Hill Writing Experience Five Stories and Bob Wakulich. Bob Wakulich is a BC writer. Bob attended the Sage Hill Writing Experience summer workshops.


The Intricacies of Writing a Book Series Part 1 Some Saskatchewan writers are having phenomenal success publishing a book series or two. Is writing a series in your literary future? Five SWg members with published series share their experiences. By Toby Welch egina resident Gail Bowen, the author of the wildly popular Joanne Kilbourn mysteries, shares her thoughts on her series: “I made some ‘decisions’ (lucky guesses?) at the beginning of the Joanne Kilbourn Shreve series that have turned out well. The protagonists of many stand-alone mysteries are lone wolves with troubled or non-existent private lives. I made Joanne a widow, a mother, a dog owner, and a professor of political science with many friends and deep ties to her community. As well, I decided to allow Joanne to age. This has given me immense latitude to develop Joanne’s character and to explore the journeys of many of the secondary characters in the series. I’ve just sent the 14th book in the series to McClelland & Stewart. Readers are keenly interested in hearing what happens next in Joanne’s life. Writing is a solitary profession, but knowing that there are readers out there actually waiting to read your next book is immensely encouraging.”


Saskatoon resident Arthur Slade is an award-winning author and creator of two series. He details his experience: “In my Canadian Chills series, each book had different narrators and no crossover of story line, so I was only seeking to create a similar type of novel for the series. Each can stand alone. With The Hunchback Assignments series it was slightly different. The four novels stand alone in that they each tell a separate story, but there are also plot lines and character developments that spread across all four novels. They were written so that you can pick up any novel in the series and easily jump right in, but you’ll get a richer experience if you read them in order and see how the characters change over time. The most difficult aspect of this process was to not have a repetitive storyline and to keep track of all the minutiae OCTOBER–NOVEMBER 2012

thoughts of future books with ensuring that I am giving all I’ve got to the book I’m writing right now. I don’t want to feel as if I’m withholding plot or character development or clever ideas with the plan that I’ll put it in the next one. I always try to write as if the book I’m currently working on might be the last one, so it should be the best one.” Mary Harelkin Bishop is a nonfiction and fiction writer who also resides in Saskatoon. She is the author of the popular Tunnels of Moose Jaw series. She explains how the series came to be, “I pretty much had the idea for the whole series in my head before I started writing the first book. I knew my ideas would likely be way too big for one children’s or young adult book, so I began thinking about where it would make sense to end the books. It’s interesting that in my head, the

that crop up during the course of a novel. Just times that minutiae by four. It meant I had to keep a truckload of notes!” Saskatoon-based Anthony Bidulka has created two series as well. “In terms of writing series versus stand-alones, I think there is a difference in terms of initial planning. When I began writing the Russell Quant series, and now as I prepare to launch the new Adam Saint series in the spring of 2013, I spent a lot of time preparing/developing the lives of the characters and the world they will live in. I then considered how they might fare beyond the first book. I thought about whether these are characters who can sustain long-term interest and enjoyment from both the perspective of me as a writer and for my readers. All that being said, it is of utmost importance to balance

“What happened is that the characters and their situations became so interesting to me that they couldn’t be contained in a single book.”



Tunnels stories run like one big adventure which the characters are having, even though a lot of time passes. I don’t think I approached writing the series any differently because I was just telling the stories, just like I would with any writing. I also had to be careful not to repeat too much in the following books and to make sure each book added more to the adventure and wasn’t just a repeat of the first story. I think sequels are always difficult for this reason.” Anne Patton writes books for children and young adults. She never set out to write a series but now has three different stories with sequels. “What happened is that the characters and

their situations became so interesting to me that they couldn’t be contained in a single book. In a sequel the challenge is to weave just enough backstory for readers who haven’t read the first book, without putting a drag on the action launching readers into the current book. When I wrote the first book, I never thought, “Oh, this is going to be a series.” But when I wrote the second book I was very aware of the history that took the entire first book to tell. I had to remind myself that every work of fiction has a rich backstory. Characters don’t spring to life full-formed when the story begins.” Writing a series obviously produces unique challenges that

St. Peter’s Writing Diploma Turns Five or Maybe Ten By Candace Savage


he Writing Diploma program at St. Peter’s College – one of the gutsiest literary endeavours in the province – celebrated a milestone birthday this spring. But deciding how many candles to put on the cake turned out to be a little tricky.

As a relative newcomer to the college (I’ve taught there on and off for the last several years), I didn’t know the whole story, but I knew where to turn for help: my friend Barbara Langhorst. Barb is a scholar, teacher, and poet who, in her role as Humanities Coordinator at SPC, has also become the guiding force behind the college’s writing program. But she wasn’t there to see her baby take its first faltering steps. The program was launched in 2002 (just before Barb arrived at the college) under the leadership of former SPC president Colleen Fitzgerald and poet-philosopher Tim Lilburn, then a long-serving member of the college faculty. 22


Intended to equip students for a life as writers by providing them with a grounding in poetry, fiction and professional practices, the Creative Writing Diploma honoured its first graduates two years later. Having achieved this mark of success, the program abruptly wheezed to a halt (lack of enrollment was the problem, as Barb recalls), and creative writing reverted to a minor place in the curriculum. Happily, however, thanks in equal measure to Barb’s determination and to SPC’s long-standing commitment to the humanities and fine arts, the diploma program was revived in the fall

stand-alone titles don’t have. Bidulka leaves us with a final thought, “I can’t stress enough, the idea of getting to know your characters extremely well while you are creating them for a potential series. You may end up spending years of your life with them. This doesn’t mean you need to like the character – sometimes quite the opposite – only that you find them interesting, or challenging, or entertaining that they fulfill a longtime purpose in your storyline. There is nothing worse than a dull character – for both the reader and the writer. Or a character who does not fulfill a long-term purpose in the universe you’ve created.”

of 2007, with its foundational course in poetry and fiction, plus new classes in “Creative Non-fiction” (where I would eventually find a home), an eclectic program of summer workshops, and opportunities for internships in the writing and publishing world. Herein lies the reason for the head-scratching about the number of candles needed for that metaphorical cake. If you start the countdown at the inception of the program, you’ll need most of the box. (By that count, the diploma will be entering its eleventh year this fall.) But if you acknowledge the three-year hiatus and begin with the re-launch in 2007, then five candles will do the job, and you’ll have enough left over to celebrate again in the future. Sustaining an accredited, university-level program in the literary arts for a significant period, whether for five years or ten, is a significant accomplishment. And to do so in a rural setting, an hour-plus drive from the closest major center of population (Saskatoon, 120 kilometers to OCTOBER–NOVEMBER 2012

the west), adds an extra degree of difficulty and wonderment. But why go to all that trouble? Given that the first attempt at a Writing Diploma had crashed after take-off, why bother redesigning the program and trying to keep it aloft? Barb’s answer is simple: “How could I not?” Put it down to coincidence, but just as the initial writing program was fading, she picked up a copy of Listening With the Ear of the Heart: Writers at St. Peter’s (Coteau, 2003), an anthology edited by Dave Margoshes and Shelley Sopher and inspired by the SWG’s tradition of hosting writers’ colonies at St. Peter’s Abbey. (SPC is affiliated with both the University of Saskatchewan and the Abbey and, though a non-denominational school, describes itself as “animated by our Catholic Benedictine tradition.”) “Listening stood as a testament to all of the fine and intuitive work that was produced at

St. Peter’s,” Barb told me in a recent email exchange. “The Abbey is as saturated with writing as it is with prayer, and people always tell me that they write as much in a retreat at St. Peter’s as they do in months at home. It’s as though the flow of all that reflection and meditation makes writing here like turning on a tap. I believe in the power of writing at St. Peter’s.”

writing courses at St. Peter’s are among the most productive and meaningful I have ever taken.”

From my vantage point as a participant in the program, I’ve seen close up how hard Barb and other staff at the College have worked to make sure that the tap stays open wide: recruiting teachers and students, organizing and publicizing readings, designing and accrediting new courses, and handling a hundred-and-one administrative and budgetary details.

Young professional/writer Caitlin Ward: “I don’t think any of us realized at the time what an unusual opportunity it was to work with exceptional writers in a very supportive environment. I carry a special place in my heart for St. Peter’s.”

Has it been worth all the effort? I put that question to several of the Writing Diploma graduates: Teacher/writer Brent Loehr: “The

Farmer/writer Carol Gossner: “Writing-type people are drawn together at St. Peter’s to share ideas and experiences.” Retiree/writer Helen Kellner: “I have been encouraged to attempt to write genres I never thought I could.”

Information about the sixth (or is it eighth or eleventh?) running of the SPC Writing Diploma, with faculty including mainstay Allan Safarik, new talent Kelly Jo Burke, and me, is available.

The Space-Time continuum By Edward Willett


he World Science Fiction Convention. Most people plan their summer vacations based on places they’d really like to go or people they’d really like to see.

Us? We plan it around the World Science Fiction Convention, which meant that this year we vacationed in Chicago. Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “Science fiction convention? Isn’t that one of those wacky events where everyone dresses up in Star Trek uniforms and swings light sabers at each other?”


To which I can only reply, “Well, yes, sort of...but that’s only a small part of it.” This year’s World Science Fiction Convention, the 70th of its ilk and the seventh to be held in Chicago (hence the convention’s title, Chicon 7) drew more than 5,000 people to the Hyatt Regency in the heart of downtown Chicago over the Labor Day weekend (from Thursday

to Monday), and it’s safe to say no two of those people experienced the convention in exactly the same way, because at a WorldCon, there are so many things happening all at once that a dozen people could arrive together and never see each other again for the entire weekend. As the website (www.chicon7. org) points out, WorldCon this year offered discussions on writing, publishing, and criticism; comics and graphic novels; film, television, and other media; art; and anime, cartoons, and costuming. In addition, there was a very strong science track focusing on everything from Mars to space telescopes to quantum mechanics.



There were also readings, autograph sessions, small gatherings with authors (called Kaffeeklatches or Literary Bheers, depending on the beverage served), and a strong “filk” track (“filk” music being the SF equivalent of folk music). Guests of Honor were author Mike Resnick, astronaut Story Musgrave, artist Rowena Morrill, agent Jane Frank, fan Peggy Rae Sapienza, and author John Scalzi, who acted as toastmaster. A very special guest was Sy Liebergot, the NASA Apollo EECOM Flight Controller in Mission Control for all Apollo manned missions and all Skylab program missions. I did an autograph session (I signed a few things, but, alas, my line did not stretch out of sight like George R.R. Martin’s did), took part in a panel on writing science fiction and fantasy scripts, and sang, as part of the aforementioned filk music track, The Road Goes Ever On, a song cycle of poems from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien set to music by Donald Swann (of famous music-hall duo Flanders and Swann). So what does WorldCon have to offer writers? Plenty. My panel on writing scripts was only one of dozens on vari-

ous aspects of writing, featuring well-known authors and some of the field’s top editors. Many would be of use to any writer of any genre: “Why Editors Are Your Friends,” “Can New Writers Still Break in with Short Stories,” “Writing Gender Roles in Science Fiction,” “Acquiring an Agent,” “Self-Editing Your Fiction,” “Young Adult Trends,” and “Social Media for Authors.” Others are very sci-fi/fantasy specific: “Logic and Time Travel,” “The Steampunk Genre,” “Essential Worldbuilding,” “Dystopian or Post-Apocalyptic or Both,” “Exoplanets, Exobiology, Extensions of SF.” There are sessions on specific writers: L. Frank Baum, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Mary Shelley, and Philip K. Dick. There are sessions on sci-fi publishing in other countries, notably China, and sessions on how to start your own small press and if and how to self-publish. Besides the panels, there are the events: the masquerade (where the costumers show their stuff on stage), the art show (where the work exhibited includes pieces from the top illustrators in the field) and the Big One, the Hugo Awards, whose winners are nominated and then voted on by the members of the convention.

Notable winners this year included Montreal writer Jo Walton, whose novel Among Others (Tor) won the Hugo for Best Novel, Neil Gaiman, for his Doctor Who episode “The Doctor’s Wife” (Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form), George R.R. Martin, who accepted on behalf of Game of Thrones, the HBO series based on his novels (Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form), and best of all from my point of view, Betsy Wollheim, who won the Hugo for best editor (long-form). Betsy, who has been an editor for 37 years, is, along with my editor, Sheila Gilbert, the publisher of DAW Books. DAW’s name is derived from the initials of Betsy’s father, publisher and editor before her, the late Donald A. Wollheim. As Betsy said in her speech, “at last there’s a Hugo with the name Wollheim on it.” WorldCon is always a fantastic (if exhausting) event, a bit like trying to drink from a fire hose: you just can’t take it all in. There’s only one solution to that, of course: go to the next one. The 71st World Science Fiction Convention, LoneStarCon 3 ( will be held next Labor Day weekend in San Antonio. See you there?

MEMBER NEWS Welcome New Members • Cory Charles (Cardinal), Saskatoon SK • Robert Damm, LeRoy SK • Bernadette FriedmannConrad, Moose Jaw SK • Laurie Gosselin, Regina SK • Jonina Kirton, Vancouver BC



• Kim Kuzak, Prince Albert SK • Patricia Kuzak, Winnipeg MB • Ashleigh Mattern, Saskatoon SK • Connie McGarth, Saskatoon SK • Aleksandra McHugh, Regina SK • Ed Onishenko, Saskatoon SK • Randa Palfy, Regina SK

• Suzanne Pare, Saskatoon SK • Carrie Ann Schemenauer, Paddockwood SK • Vanda Schmockel, Regina SK • Cassie Stocks, Eston SK



Listen, Honey By Shelley A. Leedahl DC Books ISBN 978-1-897190-79-1

The Other Side of Devotion By Marie Donais Calder Borealis Press ISBN 978-0-88887-450-4

The Other Side of Rescue By Marie Donais Calder Borealis Press ISBN: 978-0-88887-415-3

In Listen, Honey, prolific multigenre writer Shelley A. Leedahl exposes emotionally electric lives with grit, humour, and tenderness. Familial and romantic relationships turn strange or go altogether awry, wild idiosyncrasies develop, and characters navigate their personal joys, ironies, and crashing disasters with courage and grace. These finely crafted stories resonate with emotion and are impossible to predict. These twelve stories include “Johnny Dead Bed,” “Paraplegic Sex,” “Heads Down, Keep Low,” and “The Lay of the Land.”

The Other Side of Devotion is the ninth book in the Other Side series. There is much dissention at the Canadian barracks. The mission team leader has caused a great deal of friction between his team and Eddie’s regiment. There are fences to mend.

The Other Side of Rescue is the eighth book in the Other Side series. The novels are based on real people including the author’s father. Ed Donais was a Canadian soldier serving in the Occupation force in Germany immediately after the Second World War ended. He risked his own safety and disobeyed his orders. In doing so, he saved a young German boy and his family from starvation.

Author Bio Leedahl is Saskatchewan born and raised. She frequently presents her poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and children’s literature across Canada and often leads writing workshops and residencies. She divides her time between Middle Lake, SK and Edmonton, where she also works as a radio advertising copywriter. Her many titles include Wretched Beast, Orchestra of the Lost Steps, Riding Planet Earth, and The Bone Talker.


This latest novel relates the true story of another Saskatchewan soldier and his experience when he was wounded in Belgium. It highlights the goodness of the German soldiers during the war. Author Bio Marie Donais Calder continues to compose new novels for the Other Side series. The tenth book will be released before Christmas, 2012. Three more additions to the series are planned for publication in 2013. However, the series will continue into 2014 and beyond. Please visit and the Other Side series facebook page.

This new addition to the other Side series continues to highlight the relationship between a Canadian soldier and a German family. We also continue to experience the loneliness of Ed’s wife and three preschool children in Alida, SK. This unique series examines the lives and struggles of people on both sides of the pond after the Second World War. Much has been written about the war but very little attention has been paid to those striving to survive in adverse conditions after the war ended.




Parka Party: Winter Welcome The Weeping Chair Donald Ward Thistledown Press ISBN: 978-1-927068-00-7 Donald Ward’s stories in The Weeping Chair are confidently layered with unexpected situations and characters whose faith in themselves provides the strength to confront whatever weird or challenging experience befalls them. Ward’s imaginative settings and eccentric characters push the stories’ energies into contemporary spheres of literary entertainment. His thematic pursuits usually deal with the human willingness to carry on in the face of an often hostile and baffling universe, where nothing is as it first appears. Author bio Donald Ward sold his first story to CBC when he was nineteen-years-old and he has been writing professionally for the last forty years. In 2004 his short fiction collection Nobody Goes to Earth Any More, won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Book of the Year, and his story “Badger” won the 2009 CBC Literary Award. Ward is also an editor and book designer. He has written, cowritten, ghost-written, edited, and/or designed more than 120 volumes of nonfiction and fiction in the past 30 years.



Shake off the fall and pull on a parka! Come out to the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild and celebrate the arrival of winter at our annual Open House.

The excitement occurs Thursday, December 13 from 4-7pm at Suite 100- 1150 8th Ave. Seasonal cocktails and a plethora of tasty treats await your arrival. In conjunction with the onslaught of the cold season, bring your old wearable parkas/coats, toques and mitts as a donation box for charitable organizations will be set up.



Help us continue to serve Saskatchewan’s Writing community. SWG General Donations for pressing or imminent needs in administrative, equipment and programming

Andrew Suknaski Writers Assistant Fund (WAF) to assist members in an urgent and immediate need

Writers/Artists Retreats to help provide a quiet refuge for uninterrupted writing time and thought-provoking exchange of ideas after working hours

Patricia Armstrong Fund to support educational programming for rural writers.

Grain Magazine to assist in publishing SWG’s nationally and internationally recognized literary quarterly

Make cheque or money order payable to: Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, Box 3986, Regina SK S4P 3R9 You can also donate via Paypal at: payments-and-donations

CH A RI TY REG I ST R AT I O N # 81894 3870 RT0001

Donate today and help to create a legacy for the Guild. SWG Foundation General for immediate priority programs and administrative costs

Facilitated Retreat Fund— to support Facilitated Retreats for emerging writers

SWG Foundation Endowment Fund—a long term investment fund, the interest of which is to fund programs and the organization annually

Judy McCrosky Bursary Fund—covers the registration fee for a selected participant to attend one week at the SWG Writers/Artists winter retreat

Legacy Project Fund—the sole purpose is for procurement and maintenance of a building, which will become a permanent home for the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild.

Caroline Heath Memorial Fund— to sustain the Caroline Heath Memorial Lecture series, which features senior writers and publishers as guest lecturers at the SWG Fall Conference

Make cheques or money orders payable to: SWG Foundation, PO Box 3986, Regina, Saskatchewan, S4P 3R9. You can also donate via Paypal at:






he SWG Forums enable members to share ideas and information, chat informally about the craft and business of writing, ask questions and respond to queries that may be of general interest to members about the aspects of writing and the writers’ life. There are two forums, the SWG Forum and the SWG Aboriginal Forum, each with their own topics and threads. The SWG Forum and the SWG Aboriginal Forum are a service to the membership administered by the staff of the Guild with the assistance of volunteer moderators. Opinions expressed by forum participants are those of the individual member, and not the SWG. FORUM USER GUIDELINES Welcome to the SWG’s online forums. We hope you feel comfortable here to chat about the craft of writing, to exchange ideas and support your fellow writers. The forums are a place for members to share ideas and information, ask questions, and respond to queries that may be of general interest to participants about aspects of writing and the writers’ life. Please feel free to jump into any discussion that interests you.

The SWG forums are not intended for personal information, platforms or issues that are better served through other mediums or resources. Discussions, questions, complaints or accolades involving the operations of the Guild or the process of the SWG Board may be addressed by contacting the Board, Executive Director or Staff of the SWG. Alternatively, a direct letter may be sent to the Regina Guild office at Box 3986, Regina SK, S4P 3R9. Although sharing calls of interest, competitions and similar information is an acceptable use of the forums, we also encourage you to forward them for Ebriefs.



Any information about awards and SWG member news should be submitted for publication in Freelance. Please send material for Ebriefs or Freelance to communications@ SWG members wishing to participate in the forums must first register with forum moderators before being able to post. Moderators are notified each time a post is added to a forum thread. Participants who are in violation of forum rules and etiquette may forfeit their privilege to participate in the forums.


FORUM RULES AND ETIQUETTE The SWG strives to maintain a respectful, engaging and informative conversation on the craft and business of writing. If you wish to participate in the SWG forums, we ask that you follow the guidelines below and the spirit of the community they seek to create. By participating in forum discussions, participants are agreeing to follow the following rules and etiquette: • The SWG Forum and SWG Aboriginal Forum are for writing-related discussion only. • The forums are private, members-only discussion boards. Please do not share contributors’ ideas and opinions outside these forums and respect the copyright of forum participants. The messages posted on the SWG forums are the property of the person posting. Copying messages, forwarding messages, and quoting messages without permission is a violation of copyright. A forum participant who violates the copyright of another member may be blocked from participating in the forums.


• Each SWG forum is a community of colleagues. Participants must register and post using their own names and not a pseudonym or ‘handle’. • Commercial websites, personal websites, offtopic news, merchandise advertisers, other “for profit” announcements will be removed. • The forums allow for writing professionals to exchange views frankly, but with courtesy and respect. Any forum participant who directs personal insults may be blocked from posting on this forum.

• Rants, slander and abuse will not be tolerated. There should be no nonwriting related discussion of politics, race, gender, culture or religion, except as directly related to the writing community. • Congratulatory types of messages are best sent to the person privately, rather than on the forums. • If you feel a post is contrary to our guidelines or the spirit of the forum, please use the “post report” feature, which will bring the post to the attention of an SWG forum moderator.



cALLS oF INTEREST: 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.

Spring Volume VIII Call for Submissions Submissions are being accepted for Spring Vol. VIII, the SWG’s magazine showcasing emerging Saskatchewan writers. Spring editors will consider poetry, fiction, and non-fiction from Saskatchewan residents or members of the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild. For full submission guidelines please visit: http://www. Deadline for submissions is 4:30 pm Friday, November 30, 2012. Please submit by email to with Spring in the subject line. Call for ApplicationsCity of Regina Writing Award The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild is seeking applications for the 2013 City of Regina Writing Award, funded by the City of Regina. This competition is an award for literary merit in creative writing; it is open to writers in all genres. Applications can be emailed to: by midnight Thursday, January 31, 2013. If sent by mail, they must be postmarked by Thursday, January 31, 2013. For more information contact Tracy Hamon, Program Manager by phone: 791-7743 or by email:



Hosts Wanted for Rural Readings / Workshops Program The Rural Readings/Workshops Program (sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts) sees professionally published Saskatchewan authors going to communities to give a public reading and a workshop—both at no cost to participants. The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild is offering these workshops to 5-10 communities in Saskatchewan. If you are interested in hosting a Rural Readings/ Workshop please contact Tracy at 306-791-7743 or by email at For more information visit: http://

Call for Submissions for Windscript Volume 29 Call for Submissions SWG Windscript Teachers and Librarians are encouraged to have high school students submit their creations for the upcoming issue. For complete submissions guidelines please visit: www.skwriter. com/publications/windscript. For more information, please contact: Milena Dzordeski, Program Assistant, by email at or by phone at (306) 791-7746. Deadline: March 1, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Call for Editor of Windscript Volume 29 SWG Windscript Editor for the 2012/2013, Volume 29 issue of Windscript, the SWG’s magazine of high school writing. The successful candidate will have recent experience working with high school students along with the necessary editorial knowledge. Editor responsibilities are to: • Select the pieces to be published, notify the successful contributors, and work with them on any editing that may be necessary. • Notify selected writers in early spring. • Provide The Communications Coordinator with the edited work along with its placement order within the publication. Review the final layout. • Adhere to a timeline of early May for publication and a launch for mid-May. • Be available to attend and assist in the planning of the launch in Regina in conjunction with the Cathedral Village Arts Festival in May. The remuneration for this contract position is $500 payable in two installments; the first on completion of the selection process and the second on review of the final layout. The SWG will reimburse long distance telephone and courier charges related to this project and costs related to attending launches. Please send your resumé to: Milena Dzordeski Box 3986, Regina, SK S4P 3R9 OCTOBER–NOVEMBER 2012

Vertigo Call for Interest: 2013 Winter Season If you are a published or unpublished writer and are interested in reading at the Vertigo Series between January and June 2013, please send an email to If you are a musician and are interested in playing at a Vertigo event, get in touch! We are especially looking for writers who haven’t read in the past year. Writing in the Margins Second Annual Creative Writing Contest Briarpatch Magazine is now accepting submissions of original, unpublished writing in the categories of short fiction and creative non-fiction (memoir, personal essay, literary journalism) that bring to life issues of political, social, and environmental justice. Deadline for entry is December 1, 2012. For more information visit Berton House Writers’ Retreat

Berton House Writers’ Retreat provides a unique opportunity for professional Canadian creative writers to work in a remote northern community. The writer is housed in a cozy two-bedroom bungalow in Dawson City, Yukon. The residence is the actual boyhood home of author Pierre Berton. The program is intended to provide writers with an opportunity to further develop their professional career. It is also an opportunity for them to become familiar with a part of the country they might otherwise not experience. For more information visit: or find the application form at OCTOBER–NOVEMBER 2012

August through May Field: Contemporary Poetry and Poetics ( ocpress) Published twice a year by Oberlin College Press, Oberlin, Ohio. Reads submissions August through May. Accepts poetry only. Pays contributors at the rate of $15 a page. Poems (2-6 at a time) should be submitted through online submission manager. Continuous Submission BookLand Press submissions (book-length manuscripts only) non-fiction—Canadian History; non-fiction—Canadian Sports; Aboriginal Literature—booklength manuscripts of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry by Aboriginal authors; Fiction; Poetry. Send submissions via email (preferably in a Word file as an attachment) to submissions@ For details visit

Continuous Submission Plenitude aims to complicate expression of queerness through the publication of diverse, sophisticated literary writing, graphic narrative and short film, from the very subtle to the brash and unrelenting. We are not interested in genre writing, political essays, or rants. We are only interested in literary fiction, nonfiction, poetry, graphic narrative and short film at this time. If you are interested in writing political essays, or other analyses, please contact us about contributing to our blog- we would love to hear from you. For submission requirements and further information visit

Continuous Submission Pink Magazine is 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 or call (306) 529-5169 Continuous Submission ENC Press (www.encpress. com) accepting submissions of fresh, original, entertaining novels (45,000 to 75,000 words) driven by engaging characters. “We are looking for full-length, character-driven novels that contain elements of social and political satire or commentary, offer unusual insights into foreign cultures, have a strong element of humour and tip a few sacred cows along the way. We avoid genre fiction unless the genre is but a context for a satirical commentary on human condition.” Details on website.



PRoFESSIoNAL DEVELoPMENT SWG Conference and AGM Join us on October 25-28, 2012 at the TCU Place and Hilton Garden Inn, Saskatoon for the 2012 SWG Conference & AGM!

ince residents, members of SWG or CARFAC SASK), or $550 per week (out of province residents, non-members of the SWG or CARFAC SASK).

The SWG is home to hundreds of different writing voices and this year’s theme explores the concept of voice with sessions that provide a variety of choices in genre, in experience and in style. New this year is the partnership with the Ânskohk Aboriginal Literature Festival. Their festival begins on Thursday, October 25, where you can listen to festival headliner Daniel David Moses and many others for an exhilarating evening at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Deadline for receipt of applications is 4:30 p.m, November 16, 2012.

We’re extremely excited to have Sylvia Tyson as our guest lecturer for the Caroline Heath Lecture. She joins us to talk and perform about writing and music surrounding her new book, Joyner’s Dream. The Writers Union of Canada joins us for the John V. Hick Award Cocktail Reception, and this year we’ve added the chance for writers to propose projects and their work at Pitch Sessions with Literary Agents and Consultants and two 90-minute workshops. For more information and to register visit http://www. Winter Retreat 2012 The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild will be holding a Winter Retreat at St. Peter’s Abbey February 8-March 1, 2013. Cost is $300 per week for Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild or CARFAC SASK members (Saskatchewan residents), $475 (out of prov-



Please send completed applica-


tions to: Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild, Attention Retreat Coordinator, Box 3986, Regina, SK, S4P 3R9. To apply online please visit: http://www.skwriter. com/sk-writers-artists-retreats/ retreat-application-form. For more information, please contact the retreat coordinator at


Saving for the Guild’s future (Donor status is cumulative)

“Are you a Builder or a Bystander?” Contributors— up to 99 Friends— $100 to $999 Supporters— $1,000 to $4,999 Benefactors— $5,000 to $10,000 Patron— over $10,000 Please make cheques or money orders payable to: SWG Foundation PO Box 3986, Regina SK S4P 3R9 You can also donate via Paypal at: SWG Foundation Reg. Charity Number 818943870 RR 0001

Thank you for your donation. A tax receipt will be issued.


BAcKBoNE SWG Thanks Our Donors PATRON (over $500) Bidulka, Anthony Calder, Robert BENEFACTORS ($200-$499) Henders, Jean Klassen, Karen MacIntyre, Rod Monahan, Lynda Toews, Terry

Moore, Jacqueline Morrell, Kathleen Parley, Kay Rogers, Evelyn Sunday Afternoon Co-op Wood, Janice

SUPPORTERS ($100-$199) Bishop, Mary Harelkin Boechler, Ileen Bower, Annette Durant, Margaret Fenwick, Cathy Halfe, Louise Khng, George Lorer,Danica March Consulting Associates Pierson, Ruth Roach Richards, David St. Thomas More Students Union Toews, Terry Warwaruk, Larry Young, Dianne

CONTRIBUTORS (up to $50) Andrist, Shirley Calder, Robert Ewing-Weisz, Chris Freeman, Jean Glaze, David Haas, Ted Hamilton, Sharon Heagy, Sharon Herr, Helen Jahn-Thue, Delila Leech, Robert Lonsdale, Margaret Miller, Dianne S. Muirhead, Laurie Olson, Joan Popp, Muriel Rogers, Evelyn Uitti, Alison Wardill, William

FRIENDS ($50-$99) Bowen, Gail Conacher, Myrtle Epp, Joanne Guymer, Myrna Koops, Sheena Krause, Pat McArthur, Wenda Mitchell, June Mitchell, Ken

ANDREW SUKNASKI MEMORIAL FUND Adam, Ian Anonymous Anonymous Anonymous Anonymous Birdsell, Sandra Blum, William Campbell, Anne

Coulter, Brian Currie, Robert Domanski, Don Graham, Laurie Harras, Tony Harris, John Kaldor, Connie Karasinski, Joe Kostash, Myrna Krause, Judith Krause, Pat Marty, Sid Melnyk, George McRae, Bronwen Moose Jaw Public Library Newlove, Susan Nilson, John Noble, Charles Savage, Candace Shakotko, Shanon & Don Sheppard, Annabel Sorestad, Glen WRITERS ASSISTANCE FUND RETREATS Buchmann-Gerber, Annemarie Eissfeldt, Jessica Galbraith, William Goetz, Melody Sarsfield, Pete GRAIN Kloppenburg, Cheryl

Thanks To Our SWG Foundation Donors SWG FOUNDATION Adam, Sharon Buhr, Nola Daunt, Felicia Estate of Mossie Hancock Freeman, Jean Glaze, David Jeerakath, George La Ronge Wild Rice Writers’ Group Nilson, John & Linda Peter, Anthony Sorestad, Glen


FACILITATED RETREAT Hogarth, Susan JUDY MCCROSKY BURSARY McCrosky, Judy SWGF LEGACY PROJECT Bannatyne-Cugnet, Jo Boerma, Gloria Dickinson, Rod Fenwick, Cathy Friesen, Bernice Gossner, Carol

Khng, George Lohans, Alison Powell, Marie Remlinger, Paula Jane Silverthorne, Judith Slade, Arthur Sorestad, Glen Story, Gertrude Yeager, Michele




October / November 2012 Volume 41 Number 6

Publication Mail Agreement #40063014 Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to: Administration Centre Printing Services 111–2001 Cornwall Street Regina, SK S4P 3X9 Email: We gratefully acknowledge the support of SaskCulture, Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund and the Saskatchewan Arts Board

Oct/Nov 2012 Freelance  

SWG October/November 2012 issue of Freelance