Welcome to the SWG’s Conference! All events, unless otherwise noted, are held at the Atlas Hotel in Regina, SK, at 4177 Albert Street. Events that are accessible as a livestream are noted in location descriptions.

All presenter bios are available here.

Registration will open on September 1.


Friday October 21, 2022

10:00 - 11:30 am - Concurrent Workshops

Writing Your Way Into Prairie - outdoor workshop with Trevor Herriot

Location: White Butte Recreation Area parking lot

Whether you are the next Willa Cather, an aspiring John Newlove or simply looking for ways to bring some prairie detail and depth to your poetry or prose, this outdoor workshop in native grassland will help you find some grounding for your writing practice. Naturalist and writer Trevor Herriot will guide us in the art of close observing, sitting, and walking in a natural area. Bring pen and notebook and dress for the weather. Rain or shine. Limit of 12 participants.

Please note that this event is held at the White Butte Recreation Area near White City and will require walking and may not be accessible for everyone. Please contact the SWG if you would like to request carpooling from Regina.




Fold and Live to Fold Again: How (and Why) to Write a Fold-In Poem workshop - with Daniel Scott Tysdal

Location: Atlas Hotel - Benson Room

For fifty-six years, Al Jaffee’s illustrated fold-ins comprised the back inside cover of every issue of MAD magazine. A page-filling image, with a brief caption at the bottom, would be transformed by folding the page to reveal a visual and textual punchline. Borrowing Jaffee’s fold-in technique, I began writing fold-in poems. I found this form invaluable for confronting and understanding my mental health struggles, for challenging and inspiring myself as a poet, and for engaging and expanding literary tradition. In this hands-on, interactive workshop, I will provide a series of prompts and guides designed to help you write your own fold-in poems and aimed at inspiring you, in the words of Stu Ungar, to “fold and live to fold again”—to experience poetry as a method for exploration, empowerment, and survival.

1:00 - 2:30 pm - Talk - Preparing Your Manuscript for Publication

Preparing Your Manuscript for Publication - talk with Elizabeth Philips

Location: Atlas Hotel - Benson Room + Live streamed

How can you best prepare your manuscript for a publisher’s critical consideration?  How can you be sure your words are ready for such close scrutiny? What does a publisher want to see when they look at your writing?  What don’t they want to see?  This talk by Thistledown Press’ Editorial Director Elizabeth Philips will help you learn to prepare a professional submission, as well as offer you suggestions and techniques to test the readiness of your work and present it to a publisher in the most appealing light. 

2:45 - 4:15 pm - Concurrent Events

Write, Print, Fold and Staple: On Poetry Chapbooks  - talk with Jim Johnstone

Location: Atlas Hotel - Watson Room

Jim Johnstone will speak on the state of poetry and small presses in Canada. His talk will include a breakdown of his journey to editing and publishing, what makes a good chapbook press, and how to put together the ideal chapbook submission. Free Anstruther Press chapbooks will be available for attendees. Please note this talk will end at 4:00 pm.




Writing Queerly: Workshopping LGBTQ+ Characters and Settings - workshop with Jes Battis

Location: Atlas Hotel - Benson Room + Live streamed

This generative fiction workshop will help participants to craft queer, trans, and nonbinary characters and stories in a supportive setting. There are particular joys and challenges that come with telling queer stories, and we’ll explore some of those elements, while sparking the participants’ own ideas. The facilitator will provide writing prompts while discussing ways to tell innovative, resistant, and ethical LGBTQ+ stories (beyond the coming out narrative) and pitch them to publishers. Participants will be contacted by the facilitator prior to the event with an (optional) request to bring to the workshop their favourite LGBTQ2S+ character, a story they’ve already written, or a particular story they’d like to write.

There will be a 30-minute free discussion and Q+A session at the end of the workshop for participants to ask the facilitator any questions they may have or further discuss any of the topics covered in the session. Please note that this workshop is limited to 15 participants.

4:30 - 5:30 pm - Concurrent Panels

Poetic Memory Panel

Location: Atlas Hotel - Benson Room + Live streamed

How do poems remember? What about poetry allows memory to assert itself, reveal its slant truths? In what ways is poetry a tool to share memories—of families, cultures, bodies, landscapes with readers? This panel presentation with Canadian poets Tolu Oloruntoba, Medrie Purdham and Diana Hope Tegenkamp and host Carol Rose GoldenEagle will explore questions about memory’s place in their poetry, the difference between kinds of memory, and what poetic memory means to them.




Agents for Fiction Writers Panel

Location: Atlas Hotel - Watson Room

Do you need an agent? What will an agent do for you and your writing? These common questions for beginner and emerging writers have a variety of answers. Join Saskatchewan fiction writers Lisa Bird-Wilson, Suzy Krause and Tonia Laird, as well as host Shane Arbuthnott, as they discuss their experiences with agents, how to query agents and how to work with an agent.

7:00 - 8:00 pm - Talk - Creating Sacred Spaces in Urban Centres

Creating Sacred Spaces in Urban Centres - with Joely BigEagle-Kequahtooway and Melissa Worme

Doors open at 6:30 pm.

Location: Atlas Hotel - Benson Room + Live streamed and available free on SWG’s YouTube channel

As citizens of Treaty 4 territory, how do we acknowledge the histories of this land pre-confederation and how are we re-imagining our urban centres as sacred spaces for Indigenous peoples, especially in the era of Truth and Reconciliation? Joely BigEagle-Kequahtooway will share her insight and provide provocative discussion and stories in answering these relevant and urgent questions. Hosted by Melissa Worme.

8:15 - 9:15 pm - Caroline Heath Memorial Lecture - My Writing My Work with Dr. Norma Dunning

My Writing My Work with Dr. Norma Dunning

Reception to follow

Location: Atlas Hotel - Benson Room + Live streamed and available free on SWG’s youtube channel

The 2022 Caroline Heath Memorial Lecture by Dr. Norma Dunning explores the heart of the writer and how we as artists recognize when we've 'hit it'. This lecture explores the solitude and loneliness of a writer and exhilaration that can be the end result of what can be a very difficult time.


Saturday October 22, 2022

9:00 - 10:30 am - Concurrent Workshops

Taking it On: The realistic novel in a time of ecological crisis - workshop with Joan Thomas

Location: Atlas Hotel - Benson Room

In this workshop, Joan Thomas will invite participants into a conversation about the question that occupies her daily: How do we write compellingly about a world in ecological crisis? Is the realistic novel, with its reliance on the consolations of the nature, its focus on the individual, its emphasis on insight rather than event, up for the job? Disputing the notion of “cli-fi” as a separate genre, this workshop looks at the challenge precarious times pose for all contemporary fiction, and leads participants to identify strategies that take on the world in trenchant and engaging ways.




The Young Adult Voice - workshop with Kagiso Lesego Molope

Location: Atlas Hotel - Watson Room

How do we write for and about young adults? What are some of the most important things to consider when choosing themes and plots for young adult stories? This workshop with Kagiso Lesego Molope will take writers through helpful strategies when creating works for youth.

10:45 - 12:15 pm - Concurrent Workshops

How to Observe - workshop with Tolu Oloruntoba

Location: Atlas Hotel - Benson Room

Before language and form, I believe poetry begins with observation. This observation could be internal, external, or speculative. This 1.5 hour workshop will repurpose the visual art form of still life, making it a vehicle for poetic observation. The group will observe the characteristics of chosen quotidian objects and, with a focus on the more obscure and surreal facets, generate short poems. This will be followed by presentation and feedback, and an opportunity for each participant to revise their work. In the second part of the workshop, participants will be invited to temporarily exchange their poems (from the first part of the workshop) with another participant. Participants will then go into a period of meta-observation, in which they can observe the observations of another participant, make inferences and extrapolations of their own, and respond in another short poem.




The Fundamentals of Creating a Character  - workshop with Dr. Norma Dunning

Location: Atlas Hotel - Watson Room

This workshop with Dr. Norma Dunning is designed to have writers recognize not only the ease of creating a character but also the complexity that can be the end result.

12:30 - 1:45 pm - Lunch & Conversation with Joan Thomas and Elizabeth Philips

Lunch & Conversation with Joan Thomas and Elizabeth Philips

Location: Atlas Hotel - Benson Room + Live streamed

Meal included in conference pass and will be served during the conversation event.

Menu TBD

Joan Thomas and Elizabeth Philips have had a long friendship founded in writerly conversation and connection.  Listen in as they discuss the many ways that their lives have intersected as they’ve supported one another through a shared devotion to the life of the imagination.

2:00 - 2:45 pm - Panel on Storytelling and Art

Storytelling and Art Panel

Location: Atlas Hotel - Benson Room + Live streamed

Why should writers create or study different forms of art? What can other forms of art teach us about storytelling? What does the creation of different forms of art tell us about writers as creative people? In this panel, we will hear from writers who are also involved in other arts forms – film, photography, visual art, music – about how they create different forms of art and what writers can learn about storytelling in different mediums. Host Carla Harris and panelists Tonia Laird, Kagiso Lesego Molope, and Lara Stoudt discuss these topics.

3:00 - 5:00 pm - AGM

Annual General Meeting

Location: Atlas Hotel - Benson Room

SWG’s 2022 Annual General Meeting and presentation of the 2022 Hyland Volunteer Award.

7:00 - 8:30 pm - 2022 John V Hicks Long Manuscript Award in Fiction ceremony

Doors open at 6:30 pm

2022 John V Hicks Long Manuscript Award in Fiction Ceremony

Location: Atlas Hotel - Benson Room + Live streamed

Join the SWG in celebrating the winners of the 2022 John V Hicks Long Manuscript Award in Fiction.

First place - Karin Melberg Schwier for Inheriting Violet

Second place - Kate O'Gorman for May I Myself Be Not Lost and Other Stories

Third place - Byrna Barclay for Everything is Under Control: Birdy and Jock-o Short Stories

The first, second and third place winners will read from their work; for more information on our winners, please see our announcement. Hosted by Lisa Bird-Wilson. Reception to follow.

8:30 - 11:00 pm - Community Stage Open Mic & Social

Community Stage Open Mic and Social with host Dash Reimer

Featuring a Found Poem by Shayna Stock

Location: Atlas Hotel - Benson Room

As writers, we wrestle, grapple, bend, twist, contort, and bargain with a sometimes-unyielding alphabet, until small letters become whole works inspired by infinite sources. Like fire needs air, writers need an audience to bear witness to this endeavor.

Perform or just listen at our Community Stage, an open mic where writers have 3 minutes to share work – new or old, unpublished or published, in any genre – with your writing community.

Poet Shayna Stock will create a found poem using the evening’s performances as source material and will share their new work at the end of the event. Hosted by Dash Reimer. Sign up at the door immediately before the event. We may limit performers in the interest of time.


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