CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons 2015 Conference

Prairie Horizons 2015

Prairie Horizons 2015



Join us for the 11th bi-annual

CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons Conference

September 18-20, 2015, Lumsden, SK


For Full information on Presenters, see the Presenters page. For information on events, see the Sessions page.

  • Frieda Wishinsky (60+ picture books, Middle Grades, non-fiction books)
  • Anne Shone, (senior editor, Scholastic Canada)
  • Ted Staunton (performer/humorist; dozens of books from picture books to Young Adult)
  • Dakota McFadzean (comic and storyboard artist/illustrator, author)
  • Alison Lohans (over two dozen picture books, middle grades, YA, fantasy)
  • Gillian Richardson (nonfiction, juvenile novels and picture books)
  • Heather Nickel (owner of  Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing)

Conference Events:

Candlelight Labyrinth Walk: Get in touch with your inner voice as we venture out after dark on Friday night.

Ready, Set, Pitch!: 10 contestants will have 5 minutes to pitch their completed Picture Book or Middle Grades manuscripts for a chance to place their manuscripts at the top of the slush pile at Scholastic Canada.

Open Mic: Got something to share? Sign up to read or perform a 3 minute piece on Saturday night.

Q & A Session: Spend an hour getting your questions answered by the entire group of presenters.

Workshops: Learn about humour, performance, graphic novels, writing non-fiction, history and fantasy, author-publisher relationships and self-publishing.

Saturday Night Events Open to the Public:

  • Keynote Address by Frieda Wishinsky
  • Performance by Ted Staunton

Book Table: Sell your books and CDs, and sign up to help at the book table.

Registration Information

Full Conference (including accommodation and meals):

  • Full conference Early Bird. $285.00;
  • Regular Registration. $315.00.
  • Other options available. See Registration page.
  • CANSCAIP Members or Friends, deduct $45.00 from the registration cost.
  • After Aug 31, 2015, add a late fee of $25.

Final Registration Deadline: Sept 9, 2015.

You can register online or by mail. Complete registration details and instructions are on the Registration Page.


Need More Information? Email 

Online Registration & Payment:

Thank you to our Sponsors!

And thank you for donating door prizes:

Rhyme Crimes – What makes good children’s poetry?

Paula Jane and cat

Paula Jane Remlinger. And cat, Dickens.

On June 19, 2015, Paula Jane Remlinger gave a talk about writing good poetry for children. Paula Jane says:

We’ve all read Shel Silverstein, Sheree Fitch, and other children’s writers that we want to be because they have such a way with words. How do they do that? How is writing for children different (and the same) as writing for adults? I will talk about what works and what doesn’t in children’s poetry.

If you missed the talk, or would like to see it again, you can now watch it on Youtube! (Unfortunately, the first 1 minute and 54 seconds are just static. Move past that and you will be able to hear it all well. Sorry.)


Paula Jane Remlinger has a M.A. in English (poetry) from the University of Saskatchewan and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, as well as other degrees. She writes poetry for all ages, short stories and science fiction, and is working on a children’s picture book. You can learn more about Paula Jane at the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild website.

This event was sponsored by the Saskatchewan Writers Guild through their Writers Groups Grants.

Registration Open for CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons 2015

Prairie Horizons 2015 Conference logo

Prairie Horizons 2015

The 2015 CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons conference takes place September 18-20 at St. Michael’s Retreat House in Lumsden, Saskatchewan.


 Registration Options:

Important note: These prices are for the general public. If you are a CANSCAIP Friend or Member, deduct $45. To join, go to

  • Full Conference with Room at St. Michael’s – includes all sessions, accommodations for both nights, Friday reception, Saturday meals, snacks and reception, Sunday breakfast. Note: supper is not available on Friday. Also, rooms at St. Mike’s are first-come, first-served. If all rooms are booked, we will help you find accommodation in Regina or Lumsden and you will be charged only the conference fee.
    • Up to Aug 1: $285  (members $240)
    • Aug 2-31: $315  (members $270)
    • Sept 1-9: $340  (members $295)
  • Full Conference, no room – includes all sessions, Friday reception, Saturday meals, snacks and reception, Sunday breakfast.
    • Up to Aug 1: $195 (members $150)
    • Aug 2-31: $225 (members $180)
    • Sept 1-9: $250  (members $205)
  • Saturday Only – includes all Saturday sessions plus lunch, supper, and two snacks.
    • Up to Aug 1: $145  (members $100)
    • Aug 2 – Aug 31: $175  (members $130)
    • Sept 1 – 9:  $200 (members $155)

Important Dates:

  • August 1, 2015. End of Early Bird registration; all fees go up by $30. Also, draw date for Ready, Set, Pitch! (see below)
  • Aug 31, 2015: Last day for no late registration fee.
  • September 9, 2015. Last day to register.
  • September 18, 2015: Conference begins. Ready, Set, Pitch! event
  • September 19, 2015: Saturday sessions and workshops

More Registration Opportunities

  • Friday night Ready, Set, Pitch! Session
  • Saturday night Open Mic
    • Sign up to read or perform for 3 minutes
  • Book Table
    • Bring books or CDs to sell
    • Volunteer to help at the table
  • Be a buddy to a first-timer, or get a buddy
  • Request a ride to or from the airport or bus depot in Regina
  • Volunteer to sit at at the sign-in table and:
    • Check-in participants
    • Hand out conference packages
    • Direct participants to sign in to their rooms and show them the floor plan to find their way around
  • Volunteer to help with set up or clean up
  • Alert St. Mike’s about dietary requirements

To Register

  1. Online: register and pay with PayPal at
  2. Offline:
    1. Download and print the Prairie Horizons 2015 Registration Form.
    2. Write a cheque.
    3. Mail completed form and cheque to CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons 2015, c/o 4820 Castle Road, Regina SK, S4S 4X3

 Refund Policy

  • Full refund minus $35 up to September 11 (one week before conference)
  • After September 11, 50% of fee will be refunded
  • In emergency situations, full fee will be refunded.

Prairie Horizons 2015: Conference Schedule

Prairie Horizons 2015

Prairie Horizons 2015



CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons Conference 2015

St. Michael’s Retreat, Lumsden SK
September 18-20, 2015

See the Session page and the Presenter page for descriptions of the sessions and the presenters. You can also download a PDF copy of the Prairie Horizons 2015 Conference Schedule.


Friday, 18 September

6:00 p.m. Registration Opens

7:00 p.m. Welcome Ice Breaker

7:30 p.m. Ready, Set. Pitch!

9:00 p.m. Mix and MingleWine and Cheese Reception

9:30 p.m. Candlelight Labyrinth Walk

Saturday, 19 September

8:00 a.m. Breakfast

9:00-9:50 a.m. Conference Kick-off Workshop –Anne Shone and Frieda Wishinsky

9:50 a.m. Break

10:00 a.m. Workshop – Dakota McFadzean

10:50 a.m. Nutrition Break

11:00-11:50 a.m. Workshop – Alison Lohans

12:00 p.m. Lunch

1:00-1-50 p.m. Workshop – Gillian Richardson

1:50 p.m. Break

2:00-2:50 p.m. Workshop – Ted Staunton

2:50 p.m. Nutrition Break

3:00-3:50 p.m. Publishing Panel – Heather Nickel, Alison Lohans, Dakota McFadzean

 4:00-4:50 p.m. Q & A – All Presenters

 4:50-5:10 p.m. Group Photo

5:15 p.m. Dinner

6:30 p.m. Participant Networking/Free Time

7:00 p.m. Keynote Address-Frieda Wishinsky

7:45 p.m. Public Performance-Ted Staunton

8:30 p.m. Open Mic – 3 min/participant (not in pitch session)

Sunday, 20 September

8:00 a.m. Breakfast

9:00 a.m. Conference Summary/Evaluations/Door Prizes/Book Count/Committee for 2017/Farewell

10:00 a.m. Annual Meeting: CANSCAIP SK Horizons

11:00 a.m. Departure

Prairie Horizons 2015: Presenters

Frieda Wishinsky (Keynote Speaker)

Frieda Wishinsky

Frieda Wishinsky

Frieda Wishinsky is the international award-winning author of over sixty trade and educational books. She writes in a variety of genres: picture books, novels and non-fiction. Her books have been translated into many languages and her picture book, Please, Louise! (Groundwood) won the 2008 Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award.  She is the author of the popular Canadian Flyer Adventures (Owlkids). Frieda’s latest books are Avis Dolphin (Groundwood) and Colossal Canada (Scholastic).  Frieda loves sharing the writing process with students at all levels.

Ted Staunton

Ted Staunton

Ted Staunton

Ted Staunton is the author of many books for young people, from long-time picture book Puddleman, to the young adult novel Who I’m Not, winner of the CCBC John Spray Mystery award in 2014. His most recent book, Coda, is part of the popular SEVEN series. Over the years he’s also performed and led workshops everywhere from Inuvik to Addis Ababa. When not writing, Ted plays music in the Maple Leaf Champions Jug Band and in 2014 toured the prairies on the Home Routes folk music trail. Born very young, Ted is now older and lives with his family in Port Hope, Ontario.

Alison Lohans

Alison Lohans

Alison Lohans

Alison Lohans is an award-winning, internationally-published author who has been writing since childhood. She decided at age 12 that she wanted to write YA fiction, and to date has 9 young adult books to her credit, as well as 17 additional books in four other categories of young people’s fiction. In her YA novels Alison has worked intensively in realistic fiction (both contemporary and historical) as well as exploring the realm of fantasy with her Passage Through Time Series (Collapse of the Veil, and Crossings). Her historical novel This Land We Call Home won the 2008 Saskatchewan Book Award for YA fiction. In recent years Alison has turned to self-publishing in addition to her work with commercial and educational publishers. Alison Lohans lives in Regina, and is one of the founding members of the CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons Conference. and

Dakota McFadzean

Dakota McFadzean

Dakota McFadzean

Dakota McFadzean is the author of Other Stories and the Horse You Rode in On (Conundrum Press, 2013) and Don’t Get Eaten by Anything: A Collection of “The Dailies” (Conundrum Press, 2015). His work has appeared in Mad Magazine, The Best American ComicsFunny or Die, and Prairie Dog. He also co-edits a comics anthology called Irene with American cartoonists Andy Warner and d.w. and currently works as a storyboard artist for DreamWorks Animation TV.

Gillian Richardson

Gillian Richardson

Gillian Richardson

Gillian Richardson is a former Saskatchewan resident now living in BC. She has published 18 books for children that include nonfiction, juvenile novels and picture books. She has written educational books for Scholastic and Weigl Publishers, and her nonfiction books with Annick Press (Kaboom! Explosions of All Kinds and 10 Plants that Shook the World) have earned multiple awards. Her work includes numerous short stories and articles for children’s magazines such as Cricket and KNOW. As an instructor for The Institute of Children’s Literature (2002-2015), she taught adults through correspondence courses in writing for children. She writes reviews of children’s books for CM magazine.

Anne Shone

Anne Shone

Anne Shone

Anne Shone is a Senior Editor at Scholastic Canada. She has worked in book publishing for close to twenty years, concentrating on children’s books for the last fifteen. In that time, she has worked with many of Canada’s top children’s book authors and illustrators. Anne edits in all genres, including picture books (recent highlights include Fox and Squirrel Make a Friend by Ruth Ohi, Goodnight, Canada, by Andrea Beck, and The Duck Says by Troy Wilson, illustrated by Mike Boldt); novels (The Opposite of Geek by Ria Voros, and Vikki VanSickle’s Love Is a Four Letter Word); and myriad non-fiction titles, including the recently released Colossal Canada: 100 Epic Facts and Feats by Elizabeth MacLeod and Frieda Wishinsky.

Heather Nickel

Heather Nickel

Heather Nickel

Heather Nickel is the founder and operator of Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing in Regina SK, a company that helps authors to self-publish their books. YNWP publishes 15-20 books a year. It was established in 1998, and has been a member of SaskBooks since 1999. Heather holds a B.A. in English from the University of Saskatchewan (1989), and attends industry-related seminars and workshops hosted by SaskBooks, the Saskatchewan Writers Guild and the Editors’ Association of Canada, Saskatchewan branch. She has served on the SaskBooks board since 2007 and is its current president.

Prairie Horizons 2015: Sessions

Prairie Horizons 2015

Prairie Horizons 2015

Sessions from the CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons 2015 conference are presented here in order of presentation. For information about the presenters, see the Presenters Page.

From Idea to Printed Book: Seeds of Inspiration and Flowering Imagination in the Writer-Editor Relationship

Frieda Wishinsky (author) and Anne Shone (editor) have worked together on numerous and varied projects published by three different publishing companies. In this question-and-answer presentation, Frieda and Anne will talk through the collaborative process that sees a concept grow from an idea to a printed book in different genres from picture book to non-fiction, historical fiction and series.

Drawing Every Day

Join Canadian cartoonist Dakota McFadzean for a presentation about his comics, self-publishing in the contemporary comics scene, and a studio practice that has involved drawing a comic strip every single day since January 10, 2010 (which will be 2,077 strips as of CANSCAIP 2015).

Dandelion puffs and burrs: Some ways of growing fantasy and realism in YA fiction.

Fantasy, or realism? Both types of YA fiction offer many opportunities for characters to take root, and grow, in their journey toward maturity. Alison Lohans’ workshop will explore some of the key differences in crafting the two genres, and ways of making your work blossom.

The Fascination with Facts

Gillian Richardson’s combination of curiosity, passion for learning, desire to apply that knowledge — and a helping of serendipity – has resulted in her finding success in nonfiction writing. She will share the inspiration that led her from writing short articles for magazines, through the skills gained in Work-For- Hire experiences, to the goal of acquiring contracts with a major trade publisher.

Dandelion Whine: Rooting for Humor in the Imaginative Garden

Ted Staunton will look at how humor for novels and picture books can grow from characters in your own back yard.

From Roots to Blossoms: Is Self-Publishing for You?

Join Heather Nickel (owner of Your Nickel’s Worth Publishing), Alison Lohans (author) and Dakota McFadzean (comic book creator) for a discussion of the benefits and the ins and outs of self-publishing. This panel discussion will give insights from both the publisher and author perspectives, compare experiences in self-publishing and traditional publishing, and provide an opportunity for you to ask questions.

Writing About…Just about Everything; The Joys and Challenges of a Multi-Genre Career (Keynote Address)

Frieda Wishinsky will touch on how the “seeds” for a new project come from so many different sources and how these sources of inspiration are constantly changing. She’ll convey the excitement of the variety of projects that have taken her down unexpected paths.