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Bernadette Wagner is an award-winning writer and community-builder. Recipient of the YWCA of Canada Award for Program Design and Delivery, the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild Hyland Volunteer Award, and Individual Artist Awards from Sk-Arts and the Canada Council for the Arts, she strives to give back what she’s been given. She’s worked as a publisher, editor, mentor, and instructor. For more than 25 years she’s developed and presented webinars, workshops, and courses designed to help writers find their unique voice, build a practice, and craft their work. She’s created safe, supportive, and friendly environments, both online and off, for numerous nonprofit, community-based organizations, dozens of classrooms, and many communities.
A veteran Board member, she's served on more than 20 boards of directors over 30 years, founded organizations and writing groups while raising two children to adulthood. At present, she's the 2024 Creative Nonfiction Collective Conference Co-Chair, bringing the national members' conference to Saskatchewan for the first time. Writing True 20: Living Skies, Living Words will take place May 30 to June 2, 2024 and feature readings, workshops, classes, and celebrations of creative nonfiction by prairie authors.
Bernadette’s two poetry collections, The Dry Valley (Radiant Press, 2019) and This hot place (Thistledown Press, 2010), appeared on Sask Book Awards shortlists. An excerpt from an unpublished novel placed first for Children’s Literature in the 2012 SWG Short Manuscript Awards. In 2020 an excerpt from her hybrid manuscript of poetry and creative nonfiction about uranium tied as runner-up for the City of Regina Writing Award. In 2021 dthat manuscript was recognized with 3rd place in the John V Hicks Long Manuscript Awards for Poetry. She lives and works in Regina SK and loves spending time in her inlaw’s three-season cottage in the Qu’Appelle Valley.
Poems, stories, anecdotes, and images inspired by two visits to Hiroshima, Japan, two years of research, and two years of recovery and revisions. In naming this work as tied for runner-up City of Regina Writing Award judges, J. Jill Robinson and Jordan Abel, said,
"The work ... is bold, difficult, and necessary. The writing here happens at the intersection between poetry and creative non-fiction, and, because of this, moves between genres in a way that requires careful reconsideration of what genre is and to where its boundaries extend. Here, the writer also tackles an intergenerational line of questioning that requires both a reflection on the past and an insistence to think through the future. This is excellent work."
Together with the Saskatchewan Council for International Co-operation, a four-part workshop series linking the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals with the craft of writing as a means of building a larger, stronger voice for people, worldwide. Can be adapted for classroom use.
Radiant Press, 2019, Publication
Thistledown Press, 2010,