In the midst of the business of living and writing came an invitation to serve on the Creative Nonfiction Collective Society‘s Writing True 12 Conference Committee. I’d attended three or four previous conferences, loved them, and was happy to help out. Smart decision; it’s been great!
Writing True 12: The Roots of Story, taking place April 21-24, 2016, will be fantastic! Deni Béchard, Elly Danica, Hal Wake, Camilla Gibb, Heather Conn, Wade Davis, James Fell, Lori A. May, Trevor Herriot, Beth Kaplan, and John Barton will all be there. As well, the ever-popular Literary Cabaret (this year with a twist), a Members’ Dinner, and the presentation of the carte blanche/CNFC Award all take place at the Saturday night gala.
Take a look at the conference schedule then go here to register today, February 14, 2016, and take advantage of the earlybird rate which ends at midnight. It is going to be a fantastic extra-long weekend at the Banff Centre in Canada’s glorious Rockies this April. You don’t wanna miss it!
In October, I’ll be making my way to the Maritimes for a couple of readings (details forthcoming), a couple of CD launches and a radio appearance as well as a stop in Ottawa to visit my daughter and give a reading with a group of writers I’ve met through various parts of the writing community, including two of the finest writing schools in the country, the Sage Hill Writing Experience and the Banff Centre.
It’ll be great to finally see eastern Canada as well as to meet and reconnect with singers and writers!
But before I do that, I’ll be celebrating the success of my new work! An unpublished excerpt from the young adult fiction I’ve written has netted me First Place in the Children’s Literature category of the Short Manuscript Awards sponsored by the Saskatchewan Writers Guild.
(Do you know how many entries I’ve sent to that competition over the years?)
To say I’m very excited to receive this recognition is an understatement. When I sat down to write this manuscript, I thought I was going to write a poem about divorce. But the voice of the main character, Chrissy, took over. I knew enough about writing to know that I needed to listen to the work, to let it guide me. And I did. The working title quickly became Crybaby. This work quite literally cried its way out of me. Needless to say, a theme running through Crybaby is the reclamation of crying as a healthy human capacity.
So, yes, of course I cried when I learned the work had placed first. I laughed and squealed and hollered, too. And I jumped up and down!
I feel quite privileged to be both a product and a beneficiary of the programs, services and other assorted offerings of the SWG. I’m thankful the judge, Janet McNaughton, saw fit to single out my work at this time. It’s a great vote of confidence! I’m also very grateful to have the support of the Canada Council for the Arts to work on this manuscript. And, I am truly honoured to be named a winner of a SWG Short Manuscript Award!
It’s been a long time coming!
The Saskatchewan writing community can continue celebrating today!
Last week, when I heard that Young Adult fiction writer, Art Slade, won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for The Hunchback Assignments I grinned from ear to ear!
Today, when I clicked onto the Governor General’s Awards for Literature website, I raised my arm to the sky and shouted, “Yes! Dianne took it!” And then I proceed to read further down the page. Again, I shouted! “We got two! We got Nonfiction, too! And then I went further down the list and saw that a Coteau author won in another category! “Oh my gawd!” I hollered, “Three for Saskatchewan!”
So, my sincere congratulations to Dianne Warren for bringing home the Fiction Award for her book, Cool Water. Congrats also to Allan Casey on his Nonfiction Award for Lakeland: Journeys into the Soul of Canada. And, finally, congratulations to Coteau Books, publisher of Wendy Phillips book, Fishtailing, which won for Children’s Literature.
Congrats to all winners and all nominees. I will have a lovely drive to Fort Qu’Appelle this afternoon. I’ll be reading with Brenda Niskala at the Echo Cafe at 7:30 tonight.