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SWG Conference: Un/Controlled Experiments
  Friday-Sunday, October 14-16, 2011
Ramada Hotel
1818 Victoria Avenue
REGINA SK (306-569-1666)


Friday October 14, 2011

12:30 p.m.                             Registration table opens
1:00 p.m.—2:15 p.m         

Living Phenomena: Literary processes and adaptations

Stargazing or grass grazing, sometimes the relationship of words to environment/processes/biodiversity and the world around them are what we need to write about. Get your fingers out of the mud, pull your head from the sky, and haul your butt to this session to hear Rebecca Grambo and Mari-Lou Rowley discuss the processes of writing about the world that surrounds us.


Active Transport: The Chemistry of a Dramatic Scene

"Active transport is the movement of a substance against its concentration gradient (from low to high energy)." (Wiki).

Tracy:     (directed at the Courier) Is that a bomb in your hands, or are you just happy to see me?

Courier:     It’s a bomb. Are you terrified?

Tracy:     No, because this is a dream and I’ve already woken up with a keyboard-pocked forehead.

Yeah. This is why I’m going to go to this session. Need I say more?
Presenters: Leeann Minogue and Kelley Jo Burke

2:30 p.m.—3:30 p.m.       

Into the Great/Un/Known--Emerging vs Established

To brand or not to brand! What are the differences between being established and emerging and how do promotional/marketing concerns change—or do they? Join our panelists as they explore getting known and being known in the ever changing world of the word.

Presenters: Guy Gavriel Kay, Sandra Birdsell, Brenda Niskala, and Lisa Wilson
3:45 p.m.—4:45 p.m.      

Con/Structions: The Pros and Cons of Self-publishing

Lose 10 pounds of publishing stress in one session! For the first time in one place, the top secrets of self-publishing revealed! Gather those pages—assemble those notes and bring your questions. Join James Anderson as he discusses the benefits and detriments to publishing your own work.

Independent Variables: The Innovative Process

 "In the design of experiments, the experimenter is often interested in the effect of some process or intervention (the "treatment") on some objects (the "experimental units")" (Wiki).

Are you tired of ghazals and sonnets, of always writing the “ode” way? Maybe you’re addicted to form and want to get off the couplet track. What you need is an intervention! Join Jon Paul Fiorentino and Bruce Rice as they discuss varied methods of experimentation and innovations in writing poetry.
5:00 p.m.—6:00 p.m.            

Controlled Substances: Writers Groups/SWG program session

Ask not what you can do for your Guild, but what your Guild can do for you.

Presenters: Alison Lohans and SWG Staff
7:00 p.m.—8:00 p.m.               Social/New Member Reception
8:00 p.m.—9:15 p.m.               Caroline Heath Lecture : Guy Gavriel Kay
9:15 p.m.—11:00 p.m.             Post-Heath Reception

Saturday October 15, 2011

9:00 a.m.—10:30 a.m.                  Stakeholders Session
10:45 a.m.—11:45 a.m.               

Research Lab

"I never did a day's work in my life, it was all fun." Thomas Edison

Are you resourceful? Do you see the new in the old with more “I’s?” Join Rebecca Grambo as she leads the quest into raw information, inquiry, investigation, interviews and artistic invention.

10:45 a.m.—11:45 a.m.        

Transforming Principles: Literary translation and transformation

Да ли сте уморни од брбљања? Нико вас не разуме у потпуности? Не треба да се плашите! Êtes-vous fatigué des bavardages? Nul ne comprend pas bien? Ne devrait pas avoir peur! Sind Sie müde von Klatsch? Niemand versteht nicht? Sollte keine Angst! Are you tired of gossip? No one does not understand? Should not be afraid!

Lost in translation? How does the essence of a translated work survive and/or thrive? Let Rita Bouvier and Anne-Marie Wheeler transform your ideas on translation!

12:00 p.m.—1:15 p.m.       

Short MS Awards Lunch
1:30 p.m.—2:30 p.m.             

Genre-soluble: Insights, Reactions and Possible Solutions

 "The word 'hopefully' has become the litmus test to determine whether one is a language snob or a language slob" (William Safire).

Imagine a litmus test for literature—how is the work of multi-genre writers measured and received—is there one single indicator that defines a writer? Literary, genre, or multi-genre—slobby or snobby—we defy a single indicator, those public spit tests, and search for possible solutions.

Presenters: Guy Gavriel Kay or Jon Paul Fiorentino


Aboriginal Members Focus Group (Facilitated by Aaron Tootoosis)

The Guild is seeking input on what sort of programming all our members are looking for – and we are especially interested in developing more programs that welcome and include our Aboriginal members. Come out and let us know what sort of programs/events/adventures you’d like to see the Guild support. Let’s get the conversation rolling.

2:45 p.m.—3:45 p.m.   

The Science Within You: Biographical Methods
Do you have a great story to tell, but it’s somebody else’s life? Do you automatically think in terms of you, you, you rather than me, me, me? Alexandra Popoff and Cindy Mackenzie will lead you through the intriguing world of biography (from writing to scholarly criticism). Why write about yourself when you can write about someone else!


Formal Hypotheses: Observations on the Oral/Written Relationship  
What happens when a story moves from the oral tradition to written tradition? What are the trends? How is this process changing? Is traditional oral story telling regaining popularity in performance? Is it hip-hop or stop, drop and roll?

Presenters: Jesse Archibald-Barber, Thomas Roussin, Brad Bellegarde

4:00 p.m.—5:00 p.m.               Readings by Guy Gavriel Kay, Jon Paul Fiorentino

5:00 p.m.—6:00 p.m.               Cocktail Conversations: TWUC with Rep Anita Daher 
6:30 p.m.—8:30 p.m.               John V. Hicks Dinner
9:00 p.m.—11:00 p.m.             Open Mic
Sunday October 17, 2011
9:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.              AGM

Volunteers Needed

We need volunteers for the registration table and for general duties. If you would like to donate a little time, please get in touch with Tracy Hamon (306-791-7743 or programs@skwriter.com), or indicate your interest on your registration form. We regret that we are unable to provide free admission to volunteers.  


A block of rooms has been reserved at the Ramada Hotel, 1818 Victoria Avenue Regina, SK. Call 306-569-1666 or visit hotel's website, in order to make your reservation.

Parking For Hotel Guests

Parking is free at the meters on Saturday and, for those staying at the hotel, available in the hotel parkade. More details available at registration.


Members in good standing who live more than 100 kilometres from Regina may apply for a travel subsidy of 20 cents per kilometre to help defray their costs. To qualify for this subsidy, members must attend the Annual General Meeting on Sunday.


The book table is open the following hours: 

Friday: 12:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.; 6:45 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; 1:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m;
Sunday: 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Members and guests of the conference can leave up to five copies of a title at any one time. Please make sure the price is clearly marked on the book (rounded up to the nearest dollar). It is the author's responsibility to fill in the log-in sheet (author's name and book info—the number of books per title). Please pick up your unsold books by 10:30 a.m. Sunday morning (during the break at the AGM).

After the conference, we will send you a cheque for the amount owing after your sales (less 10% for administrative costs).

Billets and Carpooling


Registration Form


Conference Bios

James G. Anderson is a teacher, musician, and poet, has always been a “scribbler,” writing for pleasure. He began taking his craft more seriously in collaboration with Mark Sebanc, self-publishing The Stoneholding, the first in their epic fantasy series, in 2004. Originally from the Upper Ottawa Valley, Jim now resides with his wife and three sons in Bruno, Saskatchewan, where he is the director of St. Therese School of Faith and Mission.

Jesse Archibald Barber teaches First Nations and Métis poetry, fiction, and drama at the First Nations University of Canada. His publications include articles on cognitive theories of oral and written traditions in the The International Journal of Canadian Studies, on the use of mythic realism in Thomas King’s works in The Canadian Journal of Native Studies, and on Indigenous gambler myths and oral stories in Textures: Philosophy, Literature, Culture.

Brad Bellegarde, aka InfoRed, started writing rhymes in 1992 and began doing live performances around 1998. He has been recording music since 2000 and has worked with artists from across Canada and the United States, collaborating on and off stage. In 2009 InfoRed was a guest artist in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics as part of the Cultural Olympiad which featured hundreds of artists from all over Canada. He has done guest spoken word performances at UBC and the Mackenzie Art Gallery. Brad was also the Regina Cathedral Arts Festival Poetry Slam winner in 2010. His music has been featured on radio stations across Canada and on internet stations in Europe as well as featured in arts performances such as Nuit Blanche in Toronto.

Sandra Birdsell was born in Manitoba and lived for many years in Winnipeg. Her novel The Russlander was nominated for the Giller Prize and her best selling Children of the Day was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and she lives in Regina.

Rita Bouvier writes poetry (Blueberry Clouds, 1999, nominated for the First People’s Publishing Saskatchewan Book Award and pâpiyâhtak, 2004, nominated for Saskatchewan’s Book of the Year Award, published by Thistledown Press; Better That Way, 2008, a collaborative work with Sherry Farrell-Racette and Margaret Gardiner, nominated for the Saskatoon Book Award, published by Gabriel Dumont Institute). Rita is enrolled in Ryerson’s Publishing program and freelances as a researcher/writer and community-learning facilitator. Current creative projects include a contribution to a contemporary take of Rougarous stories and songs to sing (a working title)–a collection of new poetry. Rita lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Kelley Jo Burke is an award-winning playwright ,director, storyteller, documentarian, and broadcaster. Her plays include "Ducks on the Moon" (Hagios), "The Selkie Wife" (Scirocco), "Jane's Thumb" (Signature), and "Charming and Rose: True Love (Blizzard). She is the host/producer of CBC Saskatchewan’s radio arts performance hour SoundXchange, and the 2009, 1997 and 1992 winner of the City of Regina Writing Award and the 2009 Saskatchewan Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Leadership in the Arts, and the 2008 SATA for Playwriting.

Jon Paul Fiorentino's first novel is Stripmalling which was shortlisted for the 2009 Hugh MacLennan Award for Fiction. His most recent book of poetry is Indexical Elegies which recently won the 2010 CBC Book Club Award for Best Book of Poetry. He is the author of the poetry books The Theory of the Loser Class which was shortlisted for the 2006 A.M. Klein Award for Poetry and Hello Serotonin and the humour book Asthmatica. He is the editor of 20 books including Blues and Bliss: the selected poems of George Elliott Clarke, Career Suicide: contemporary literary humour, Post-Prairie – a collaborative effort with Robert Kroetsch, (Talonbooks, 2005). He lives in Montreal where he is a professor of creative writing at Concordia University, and the Editor of Matrix magazine and Snare Books.

Rebecca L. Grambo is an award-winning photographer and the author of more than 25 acclaimed natural history and science books for adults and children. A geological engineer by training, she brings the curiosity and enthusiasm of a 6-year-old to each new project, and delights in sharing her passion for discovery with others. She and her husband, Glen, live in Warman, Saskatchewan in a house filled with rabbits, chinchillas, finches, guinea pigs and rats.

Guy Gavriel Kay is the author of eleven novels (most recently Under Heaven), and a book of poetry. Kay was Principal Writer and Associate Producer for the CBC series, “The Scales of Justice”. He has written reviews and social and political commentary for the National Post, the Globe and Mail, and The Guardian in England. Translations of his fiction exceed twenty-five languages and Kay has toured and read on behalf of his publishers and at literary events around the world. He was been nominated for and has won numerous literary awards and is the recipient of the International Goliardos Prize for his contributions to the literature of the fantastic.

Cindy MacKenzie is an educator who has taught in many classrooms. After receiving a B.A. and B.E.A.D. degrees in French, and spending a semester as au pair for a family in Paris in the early ‘70’s, she began her career teaching French at Central, Campbell, and Thom Collegiates. Eight years later during a maternity leave, she began to take classes in English at the University of Regina, eventually earning another B.A. Honours. This degree was followed by an M.A. and finally, a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado in Boulder. Her particular interest in nineteenth-century American poet, Emily Dickinson, began in the mid ‘80s and since that time, she has pursued her study of this fascinating woman writing both an M.A. thesis and Ph.D. dissertation, as well as several articles, three books, and numerous papers presented at conferences in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. As a board member of the Emily Dickinson International Society, she attends annual meetings and conferences all over the world and regularly in the poet’s homestead in Amherst, Massachusetts. While carrying on her teaching at the University of Regina, she is currently working on another book-length study that emphasizes the relationship between Dickinson’s letters and poems.

Leeann Minogue writes plays, articles, short fiction and promising to-do lists in south-east Saskatchewan. Her plays – the comedies "Bloom," "Homecoming," and "Dry Streak"  - have been on stage across rural Saskatchewan as well as at the Persephone, the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario and the Edmonton Fringe festival. You can read Leeann's articles in Country Guide, Wheat, Oats and Barley and Saskatchewan Business.

Brenda Niskala is a poet, fiction writer and currently the Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Publishers Group. She is the author of a short story collection For the Love of Strangers (Coteau 2010), and her novella Of All the Ways to Die was published by Quattro Books in 2009. Her poetry has been published in two chapbooks, What Butterflies do at Night (2005, BPrint Editions) and Emma’s Horizon (2000, Hagpapers), one co-authored collection, Open 24 Hours (1997, Broken Jaw Press), and a book of poetry, Ambergris Moon (1983, Thistledown Press).

Born in Moscow, Alexandra Popoff published her journalistic work in Russian national newspapers and magazines. As 1991 Alfred Friendly Press Fellow, she wrote for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Upon immigrating to Canada in 1992, she taught Russian literature and history at the University of Saskatchewan. Her post-graduate degrees in literature were earned in Toronto and Saskatchewan. Popoff’s biography of Sophia Tolstoy (Free Press, 2010) received two awards for non-fiction at the Saskatchewan Book Awards of the year.

Bruce Rice has published four books of poetry. His latest collection, Life in the Canopy (Hagios), has been shortlisted for the 2009 Saskatchewan Book of the Year and an excerpt was shortlisted for the 2008 CBC Literary Awards. His other poetry collections include Descent Into Lima and The Illustrated Statue of Liberty (both from Coteau), and Daniel, which received the Canadian Authors Association Award for poetry.

Poet and science writer Mari-Lou Rowley has published seven collections, most recently Suicide Psalms (Anvil Press 2008), which was short-listed for best poetry in the Sask Book Awards. In 2010, she was one of twenty invited participants in the Banff International Research Station’s “Creative Writing in Mathematics and Science.” She was also awarded a month-long artist residency in Spain. Her work has been published internationally—including on the Canadian Association of Physicists’ website. Rowley has a Master’s of Liberal Studies from Simon Fraser University.

Aaron B. Tootoosis is a full-time undergrad student at the First Nations University of Canada pursuing his final year in the BA Indigenous Studies (Honours) program. He hails from the Poundmaker Cree Nation located in the heart of Treaty No. 6 Territory. Aaron is the grandson of the late great Cree leader John B. Tootoosis. A recipient of the John B. Tootoosis Scholarship in 2011, he journeys to follow the footsteps of his grandfather in learning and keeping the stories and knowledge of the Cree people alive through the preservation of the agreements made in the Numbered Treaties. This is a learning process that he balances well both in university and within his active cultural participation in ceremonies, songs, and dances. Upon completion of his undergrad program, Aaron will then apply himself to a Master’s Degree in Indigenous Studies. He has chosen to focus his research and thesis on the exoneration of Chief Poundmaker and the disassociation of the Poundmaker people as participants during the 1885 Riel Rebellion.  

Anne-Marie Wheeler
earned her Master’s degree in Cinematography at the Sorbonne in 1997, and after working in the Film Industry for a few years, went on to earn her Phd in Modern Languages at the University of Oxford 2008. Dr. Wheeler’s research is in the area of film, translation and women’s studies. She strongly believes in supporting theory with translation practice, and has found a particular challenge with the writings of Nicole Brossard. She is interested in extending her translation practice into film subtitling. Dr. Wheeler now teaches French and Translation at the University of Saskatchewan, and her first book, Towards a Poetics of Translation, is forthcoming.

Lisa Wilson is a Saskatchewan Métis writer whose fiction has appeared in magazines like Grain, Geist, Dalhousie Review, and Prairie Fire, as well as in an anthology of Aboriginal love stories. Lisa’s non-fiction book on the history of the Gabriel Dumont Institute is slated for publication in the fall of 2011; Coteau Books will publish her collection of short stories, Just Pretending, in spring 2013. Lisa lives in Saskatoon with her husband Declan and their seven children.

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