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October 21, 2017

2017 SWG Fall Conference

Time: All Day

Organization: Saskatchewan Writers' Guild

Location: Travelodge, 4177 Albert Street South, Regina

Announcing our 2017 Fall Conference and AGM!

Save the date! Our 2017 Fall Conference is coming up! See the schedule below or more details about the AGM on our website. We hope to see you there!

AGM Registration Form 2017 - Download and print

2017 Fall Conference Registration Form - Fillable PDF

The full conference early bird special is available until October 2nd, 2017! Send in your registration form to swgpr@skwriter.com or by mail. Payments can be made by cheque, or online through PayPal or Credit Card.

The SWG is pleased to extend our SWG member conference fee rate for the SWG Conference to members of the League of Canadian Poets and The Writers Union of Canada. Please provide your TWUC or LCP membership information when registering.

We  have a block of rooms set aside for the “Saskatchewan Writers Guild” group at the Travelodge Hotel and Conference Centre Regina.There are 35 rooms for check in on the 20th of October and check out on the 22nd  of October, 2017 set aside. The cutoff date for the said group will be on the 20th of September, 2017. Please make sure to book your room until said date.

Saturday October 21, 2017

9:30 a.m. Registration Table Opens

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Keeping it Fresh: Survival Tactics - Alison Lohans, Pat Miller-Schroeder, Anne Patton, Myrna Guymer, and moderator Sharon Plumb.
Our panelists address some of the “dark nights of the soul” that writers don’t like to talk about in public. It will offer some healthy and practical suggestions from our writing group – for keeping inspiration bubbling up fresh when the muse and/or the market have gone elsewhere.

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Poetry Workshop with Karen Solie
This 90-minute session will focus on poetry and will utilize the theme of inspiration.

11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. John V. Hicks Luncheon

1:00 p.m. Conference Registration Re-opens

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. The Reclamation Project: In Conversation with Louise Halfe
Burning in this Midnight Dream is a present-day account of the long-lasting effects of residential school. Through her healing journey, Halfe has collected pieces of her Cree language and infuses them into her poetry. In this discussion, Halfe will guide us through her longstanding experience with poetry, and perhaps more compelling, the reclamation of a language that was always hers along the way. 

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. How to Succeed as a Nonfiction Writer - Elizabeth Shih, Toby Welch, and moderator Paula Jane Remlinger
This panel will delve into the realities of what it is like being a nonfiction writer in Canada today. The two panellists, Elizabeth Shih and Toby Welch, come from opposite ends of the nonfiction spectrum and guarantee a well-rounded presentation on what it takes to be a successful nonfiction writer. 

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Poem(s) Talk: A Blue-cursor Café - Gerald Hill and Katherine Lawrence
Gerald Hill and Katherine Lawrence offer live commentary on poems submitted by SWG members and projected for all to see. Our commentary—serious but light, and respectful in tone—will include general observations about poetry and the conference theme. Note: Please see submission process.

Poem(s) Talk Submission Form

3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Dawn of the Read: Writing and Inspiration - Lynda Monahan and Carla Braidek
Relational artists use their role to progressive social ends. This is not simply 'art for art's sake' but the independent artist acts as a catalyst in the creation of powerful artistic projects. Join Lynda Monahan and Carla Braidek as they present how relational artists work as facilitators and motivators in engaging with participants.

3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Art that Saves Lives and its Residue - Bruce Rice, Anne Lazurko, and Merle Massie
Our panelists explore the force of art and how art moves in the world and over time: the impression it leaves on both the artist and the audience; its courage; its truths and confrontations. Sometimes art literally saves a life — perhaps more often than one would think.

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. Q & A with an Author
Dr. Blair Stonechild will briefly talk about his work as an Indigenous academic and author, discuss current opportunities and challenges for Indigenous writers and writing; while taking questions from the audience.

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Supper on Your Own

7:45 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. The Caroline Heath Memorial Lecture - Karen Solie
How can inspiration motivate and interrogate? How do you continue to be inspired by others and their writing? How important is inspiration to creation? The Caroline Heath Lecture will focus on what inspires and why.

9:00 p.m. – 11:15 p.m. Open Mic/Social/President's Jam Session - Open Mic theme is "Elvis"

Sunday October 22, 2017

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. AGM Breakfast

Presenter Bios

Carla Braidek’s latest work, A Map in my Blood, explores the quirks and trials of people in and out of sync with the ever-changing and challenged earth. Carla’s poems have been published in literary magazines, and have been included in a full-length documentary (“EMMA Unplugged”) and a poetic play.

A life-long curiosity and love of adventure, challenge and history, and her own large family (now with great grandchildren), have been the impetus for Myrna Guymer’s 30 years of published newspaper and magazine articles, three anthologies, and her award-winning book The Canadian Shield Alphabet.

Gerald Hill has published six poetry collections, most recently Hillsdale Book with NeWest Press. He was the Doris McCarthy Artist-in-Residence at Fool's Paradise in Toronto in 2015 and Poet Laureate of Saskatchewan in 2016.

Katherine Lawrence published her third collection of poetry, Never Mind, in the spring of 2016 from Turnstone Press. Coteau Books published her young adult novel-in-verse, Stay, in the spring of 2017. She is the 2017-2018 Writer-in Residence at the Saskatoon Public Library. 

Anne Lazurko's debut novel, Dollybird, received the 2014 WILLA Award for Historical Fiction and a nomination for a Saskatchewan Book Award. She has published short fiction and poetry, including a piece in the upcoming Menstruation anthology from Frontenac Press. Anne is currently at work on a novel set in and during the Indonesian War of Independence.

First published in her teens, Alison Lohans has produced twenty-six books for young people and countless short pieces. The ups and downs of a writing life can seem daunting, and for many years Alison has wished somebody else would talk about survival tactics at a conference.

Merle Massie is a writer, editor, and farmer in west-central Saskatchewan, specializing in local, rural, and environmental history. The farm view gives a certain hue to life, with special attention to the seasons, weather, and the amount of rain in the gauge. She holds a doctorate in History from the University of Saskatchewan, balancing academic training with a distinctly practical and public outlook.

As a child, Pat Miller-Schroeder collected bugs and searched for animals on frosty windowpanes. Now her love of animals and plants is showcased in seventeen books on wildlife, as well as film and TV including a series on Discovery and SCN. Pat's agent is circulating a novel set in prehistory, and a book on Neanderthals. She is working on her memoir.

Lynda Monahan is the author of the poetry collections A Slow Dance in the Flames, What My Body Knows and Verge. She has been writer-in-residence at St. Peter’s College, Victoria Hospital, and is currently Writer in the Community at the JM Cuelenaere Library in Prince Albert. She recently facilitated the teen writing camp for Sage Hill Writing Experience.

As a teacher Anne Patton shared countless children's books with her students, but found few set in Saskatchewan. After retiring she aimed to correct that deficit. She's published ten books: six picture books, two chapter books and three novels, and currently is finishing her trilogy about the Barr Colonists. Find her online on Facebook or at the Saskatchewan Children's Writers' Round Robin.

Sharon Plumb grew up writing stories in a small town that no longer exists. Now she lives in Regina and writes stories about places that exist only in her imagination. She has published a picture book and a Young Adult fantasy novel.

Bruce Rice is a Regina poet and editor. His five poetry collections have received many Saskatchewan and national awards. His most recent collection, The Trouble With Beauty (Coteau), received the Saskatchewan Book Award for Poetry.

Elizabeth Shih is a Saskatoon-based freelance writer and editor, with a background in academic English literature and in business writing. Her second ebook, Keep Going: Five Creatives Show Resilience, will be published in December. When not actually writing or editing, she can often be found hiking the trails of the South Saskatchewan or reading fiction and psychoanalysis.

Sky Dancer (Loise Bernice Halfe) was raised on Saddle Lake Reserve and attended Blue Quills Residential School. Louise is married and has two adult children and three grandsons. She graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Regina. She also completed two years of Nechi Training in St. Albert’s Nechi Institute where she also facilitated the program. She served as Saskatchewan’s Poet Laureate for two years and has traveled extensively throughout Canada, Northwest Territories, and the countries of the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Malaysia, Australia and others. She has served as “keynote speaker” at numerous conferences. Her books, Bear Bones and Feathers, Blue Marrow, The Crooked Good, and Burning In This Midnight Dream published by Coteau Publishers have all received numerous accolades and awards. Louise was also awarded an honorary degree from Wilfred Laurier University.

Karen Solie was born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. She is the author of several collections of poetry, including The Road In Is Not the Same Road Out (2015); The Living Option: Selected Poems (2013); Pigeon (2009), which won a Griffin Poetry Prize, a Pat Lowther Award, and a Trillium Book Award; and Short Haul Engine (2001), which won a Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Her work has also been featured in the anthology Breathing Fire: Canada’s New Poets (1995) and has been translated into Dutch, French, and Korean. Solie has served as an associate director of the Banff Centre Writing Studio program and as international Writer-in-Residence at the University of St. Andrews. She lives in Toronto.

Dr. Blair Stonechild is a member of the Muscowpetung Saulteaux First Nation, an a Professor of Indigenous Studies at the  First Nations University of Canada. . He attended Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School and Campion Collegiate then went on to obtain his Bachelor’s degree from McGill, and Master’s and Doctorate degrees from University of Regina. In 1976 Blair joined the First Nations University of Canada as its first faculty member. Blair has been Dean of Academics and Executive Director of Development responsible for construction of the university’s facility. Major publications include Loyal Till Death: Indians and the North-West Rebellion(1997),  a history book which won national attention; The New Buffalo: Aboriginal Post-secondary Policy in Canada (2006) a study of Canadian Indigenous higher education policy; and the biography Buffy Sainte-Marie: It’s My Way on the life of the internationally renowned singer which has received awards. His latest work The Knowledge Seeker: Embracing Indigenous Spirituality which relates the teachings of Indigenous Elders is published by the University of Regina Press in 2016. Blair resides in Regina with his wife and three adult children.

After living in a dozen countries and earning an accounting degree, Toby Welch followed her dream of becoming a writer. Since penning an article in 2003 on travelling to Saudi Arabia, she has published over 270 articles in magazines and newspapers, 400+ pieces online, and over 70 e-books. Her most current book is How to Kick Ass as a Hybrid Writer.

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