CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons Conference 2019: Vision and Voice

WHEN: Fri. May 24th – Sun. May 26th

WHERE: Queen’s House (601 Taylor St. W., Saskatoon)


NOTE: Although the conference will be held at Queen’s House, all available rooms at Queen’s House have been booked. If you will need a place to stay in Saskatoon, here are some places you can try:

If you are staying somewhere other than Queen’s House, you can still eat your meals with the other conference attendees at Queen’s House. Register for the Conference + Meals on the registration site.

Conference Prices:

Three Day Pass: Conference + Meals (Fri. supper – Sat. breakfast, lunch supper – Sun. breakfast)
By March 30th
$120 CANSCAIP Members or Friends /$150 non-members
After March 30th
$145 CANSCAIP Members or Friends /$175 non-members

Three Day Pass: Conference only
By March 30th
$60 CANSCAIP Members or Friends /$80 non-members
After March 30th
$80 CANSCAIP Members or Friends /$100 non-members

Friday only: Supper and Conference
By March 30th $25 CANSCAIP Members or Friends /$30 non-members
After March 30th
$30 CANSCAIP Members or Friends /$40 non-members

Saturday only: Conference and Meals (breakfast, lunch and supper)
By March 30th $75 CANSCAIP Members or Friends /$90 non-members
After March 30th
$85 CANSCAIP Members or Friends /$100 non-members

Saturday only: Conference only
By March 30th $40 CANSCAIP Members or Friends /$55 non-members
After March 30th
$50 CANSCAIP Members or Friends /$70 non-members

Sunday only: Conference only
By March 30th $15 CANSCAIP Members or Friends /$20 non-members
After March 30th
$20 CANSCAIP Members or Friends /$25 non-members

First Thousand Words Editorial Event: Saturday 1:00 pm to 2:45 pm
Only 14 slots available
$75 CANSCAIP Members or Friends/$85 non-members
Manuscripts to be submitted by May 10th. (Submissions details provided upon registration.)

Post-Conference Videos only
$40 CANSCAIP Members or Friends/$60 non-members

Interested in becoming a CANSCAIP Member ($85) or Friend ($45)? Details and applications can be found here.

Book Table: Attendees are invited to bring their books to sell at the book table. Please list titles and prices on an envelope, and sign up for a supervision shift at registration.

Brenda Baker (author and performer)
Miriam Körner (author and illustrator)
David A. Robertson (author)
Rolli (author and illustrator)
Kristine Scarrow (author)
Arthur Slade (author)
Judy Swallow (illustrator)
Shelley Tanaka (author and Groundwood Press editor)
Tanya Trafford (Orca Book Publishers editor).

4:00 pm – 
Arrival and settling in to Queen’s House
4:30 pm – Registration in conference room
5:30 pm – Supper
6:45 pm –
Greeting and Opening Remarks
7:00 pm –
Vision and Voice Panel (with Miriam Körner, David A. Robertson and Art Slade, moderated by Alice Kuipers): Each of these distinguished guests will share what vision and voice means to them in the changing landscape of creating books for children and young adults.
9:00 pm –

QUESTION BOX OPEN: At the back of the room, a box will be wating for you to pop your questions for David Robertson and for Shelley Tanaka. These questions will be considered and may be used in the interviews.

8:00 am – 
8:45 am –
Journaling with Kristine Scarrow: This is an opportunity for a workshop with talented, award-winning local author Krisine Scarrow. Participants will be invited to dig deeply and expand their practice with a guided writing experience and discussion.
9:45 am – Break
10:00 am –
David A. Robertson Interview: David will talk about two of his books: Monsters and When We Were Alone. He’ll share how these books began as ideas, the themes and topics he explores in them (anxiety, the legacy of colonization, the history of residential schools) and how to connect these huge ideas with young readers. From this, attendees will be invited to deepen their ambition when it comes to their own creative practice–taking on bigger issues and learning how to share these ideas with children and young adults.
11:00 am –
I Wrote a Children’s Book. Now What? Tanya Trafford will offer an insider’s view of the journey of a manuscript, from acquisition through to publication.
12:00 pm –
1:00 pm –
First Thousand Words Editorial Event (with Shelley Tanaka and Tanya Trafford): For an additional fee, submit the first thousand words of your manuscript and up to two questions and you will get to meet with one of these editors for fifteen minutes and they will give you feedback so you can polish those pages and find out if you’re headed in the right direction.
(You will not be getting written feedback.) Manuscripts to be submitted by May 10. (Only 14 slots available)
1:00 pm – Illustrator Panel (with Miriam Körner, Rolli, and Judy Swallow) moderated by Sharon Plumb Hamilton): Come and discover the process of illustration and how each of us can think about stories with visual language. Illustrators will also share how illustrations interact with text. (Throughout the weekend, the work of these illustrators will be showcased on the walls of the conference room to inspire and invite conversation and ideas.)
2:30 pm –
2:45 pm –
Rolli – author of the acclaimed middle grade novel Kabungo (Groundwood Books) and frequent contributor to Highlights, Ladybug and Spider – will take you on a whirlwind tour of the world of children’s literary magazines. In addition to surveying the top markets in Canada, the US and Europe, Rolli will provide a variety of tips, tricks, and insights to help put you on the path to magazine success. Three random attendees will receive beautiful mystery gifts!
3:45 pm – Authentic, Spontaneous Performances: How to Fake It Till You Make It with award-winning writer, performer and performance coach, Brenda Baker. Learn the art of sharing your vision and voice with an audience in this incredible opportunity to hear from one of the best!
5:30 pm –
6:30 pm – Shelley Tanaka Interview: Shelley will talk about how to figure out what to do with an idea in a changing market. She will answer questions and go in-depth sharing her unique perspective.
8:00 pm –
Keynote address: Author talk with YA, picture book and middle grade Governor General’s award-winning author David A. Robertson to explore his writing practice, working with an illustrator and the way the publishing industry works. He will explore especially the need for vision and voice in a writing practice.
9:30 pm –

7:00 am – Writing Practice: 
A time for quiet writing together in the conference room with prompts collected during the conference. This is self-directed.
8:00 am –
9:30 am –
Coffee and Discovery Panel (with Rolli, Judy Swallow, Shelley Tanaka, and Tanya Trafford, moderated by Kristine Scarrow): A chat about books and the working relationships between authors, editors and illustrators. Come with questions!
10:45 am –
Conference wrap-up and new conference committee for Prairie Horizons 2021.
11:00 am –
Biennial General Meeting for CANSCAIP Sask Horizons, including election of officers.

Thank you to the following organizations who helped fund this conference:


CANSCAIP (Mini) Prairie Horizons Conference!

Getting together once every two years just isn’t enough! So CANSCAIP Sask Horizons is holding a mini-conference this year: GROWING STORIES, GROWING MINDS: CREATING FOR CHILDREN OF ALL AGES


WHEN: Saturday, May 26th, 2018, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Queen’s House (601 Taylor St. W., Saskatoon)

COST (includes lunch and snack breaks): $50 for CANSCAIP Members and Friends, $60 for non-members

Can’t make it but really want to check it out? You can register to receive post-conference video links for $20 (CANSCAIP Members or Friends) or $30 (non-members).

SPEAKERS: Vikki VanSickle (author and Marketing & Publicity Manager for Young Readers at Penguin Random House Canada), Danica Lorer (storyteller), Alice Kuipers (author).


Registration is now closed, but if you would like to order the recordings of the three sessions, email us at Cost for all three sessions is $20 for CANSCAIP Friends and Members, and $30 for non-members.

If you would like to come a day early and/or stay a day late at Queen’s House, you can contact Pauline at 306-242-1925 for reservations. ($60/night for a single room, $15/supper, $9/breakfast, $13/lunch)

Saskatchewan Writers Guild


Thank you to the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild for sponsoring part of this conference with a Writing Group Grant.

2017 Prairie Horizons Sessions

Prairie Horizons 2017: Beyond Limits!

Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017

9:15-10:45a.m.  Conference Kick-off Presentation:  “A Cheat Code for Conflict”

Playwright and author Marty Chan draws from his theatre background to share a technique for crafting dramatic scenes in fiction. Whether you’re a pantser or a plotter, his cheat code for writing will help you organize a story that will keep readers turning the page until the end.


11:00a.m.-12 noon.  “2nd book” Panel Discussion:  “Lightning Strikes Twice” 

Marie Powell, Kristine Scarrow and Michael Bradford discuss the challenges of marketing one book while editing another. Marie and Michael have a second book in a series accepted, while Kristine has a second (and third!) stand-alone book coming out.  There will be an audience question period.


1:15-2:15 p.m. Presentation:  Illustrating Metis Culture in Children’s Books”

Write and illustrator Leah Marie Dorion discusses the process of illustrating and representing Metis culture in children’s books.


2:45-3:45 p.m.  Publishing Panel:  “What in the World Do They Want?”

Find out about the current challenges and trends in publishing.


4:00- 5:00 p.m. Fantasy Foundations Presentation:  “Out of This World”

Fantasy worlds fascinate our imagination. From landscapes to technologies, these worlds seem so complete we could almost catch the next shuttle there! Have you ever tried to create a fantasy world? What kind of beings live there, and how do they relate to each other and their environment? Join author Marie Powell to explore fantasy world building.


7:00 -8:00 p.m. Keynote:  “How to Succeed at Writing, One Yes at a Time”

Marty Chan recounts the highlights of the journey that led him to a successful career as a creative artist. He unveils the highs and lows of being a freelance writer as well as the strategies he developed to survive and thrive in the ever-changing marketplace of publishing.

2017 Prairie Horizons Presenters

Marty Chan

Marty Chan

Marty Chan

Marty Chan writes plays for adults and books for kids. His hit play Mom, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl has been produced across Canada and received an Off Broadway production in New York. His thriller, The Bone House, captivated audiences in Edmonton, Toronto and Edinburgh. Marty’s novels for kids inspire and entertain reluctant readers. The Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul won the 2007 Diamond Willow Award and was selected for the Edmonton Public Library’s inaugural Kids Read Edmonton campaign. He was a regular humour contributor to CBC Radio and the Edmonton Journal, and you can watch him on CTV 2’s Alberta Primetime news, where he appears regularly as a panelist. Marty continues to work and write in Edmonton, where he lives with his wife Michelle and their two cats. Find him at

Leah Marie Dorion

Leah Marie Dorion

Leah Marie Dorion

Leah Marie Dorion is a self-taught Métis interdisciplinary artist and writer from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, with cultural roots to the historic Métis community of Cumberland House. She is a respected children’s book writer/illustrator and several of her books have been nominated for various awards for their art and cultural content. For more information visit

Marie Powell

Marie Powell

Marie Powell

Marie Powell is the author of the young adult fantasy novels  Hawk (Five Rivers) and Hawk and Crown (coming soon), as well as 38 other published children’s books. Marie’s award-winning short stories are published in such literary magazines as subTerrain and Room. Recently she has been the fiction and nonfiction editor for SWG’s literary magazine Spring, and also editor of Windscript. Find Marie at

Kristine Scarrow

Kristine Scarrow

Kristine Scarrow

Kristine Scarrow is the author of the young adult novels Throwaway Girl (Dundurn Press, 2014), If This Is Home (Dundurn Press, 2017) and The 11th Hour (Dundurn Press, 2018).
Kristine has published articles for Fine Lifestyles, Dogs in Canada, Boomer Generation, Lake Country, Alert, Eagle Feather News, Edmonton’s Child, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon Newsletter. Kristine was editor-in-chief to the former publications Boomer Generation and Lake Country and has also been an editor for Hear My Heart Books. Kristine is the writer-in-residence at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon, as part of the Healing Arts Program. She is a certified instructor of Journal to the Self, and is currently in the process of becoming a certified journal facilitator from the Center for Journal Therapy in Colorado. Kristine lives in Saskatchewan and is thrilled to be fulfilling her lifelong dream of writing. You can find her at

Michael Bradford

Michael Bradford

Michael Bradford

Michael Bradford was born in 1975 in St. Albert, Alberta. He has worked as a grass cutter, waiter, pizza-delivery boy, literacy teacher, elementary-school vice-principal and published poet. Button Hill, his first novel, was nominated for the 2015 Kirkus Prize. He lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, with his wife and two teen children (his first readers and limitless source of inspiration), as well as three lazy dogs and an extremely fat cat. Find Michael at

2017 Schedule

Prairie Horizons 2017: Beyond Limits!

Prairie Horizons 2017: Beyond Limits!
September 15-17, 2017
Queen’s House Retreat & Renewal Centre

Friday, September 15th

6:00 p.m. Registration Opens

7:00 p.m. Welcome, Social time

7:30 p.m. Live Action Slush

9:00 p.m. Mix and Mingle (cash wine bar)

Saturday, September 16th

8:00 a.m. Breakfast

9:00 a.m. Opening remarks

9:15-10:45a.m. Conference Kick-off Workshop  with Marty Chan: “A Cheat Code for Conflict

10:45-11 a.m. Break

11:00a.m. -12 noon  “2nd book” Panel Discussion / Q&A  “Lightning Strikes Twice

12:00 -1:15 p.m. Lunch

1:15-2:15 p.m. Presentation – Leah Dorion

2:45-3:45 p.m. Publishing Panel:  “What in the World Do They Want?”

3:45 p.m. Nutrition Break

4:00-5:00 p.m. Fantasy Foundations Workshop with Marie Powell:  “Out of This World

5:15-5:30 p.m. Group Photo

5:30-6:30 p.m. Dinner

7:00 -8:00 p.m. Keynote – Marty Chan: “How to Succeed at Writing, One Yes at a Time

8:15-9:15 p.m. Open Mike – 3 min/participant

Sunday, September 17th

8:00 a.m. Breakfast

9:00 a.m. Conference Summary/Evaluations/Door Prizes/Book Count/Committee for 2019/Farewell

10:00 a.m. Biennial General Meeting: CANSCAIP SK Horizons

11:00 a.m. Departure

Registration Open for CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons 2017

The 2017 CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons conference takes place September 15-17 at Queen’s House in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Arrive Friday, September 15 at 7 p.m., and leave Sunday September 17 at 10 a.m.–unless you live in Saskatchewan. Then you get to stay until 11 a.m. at the Bi-annual General Meeting of CANSCAIP Sask Horizons.

 Registration Options:

  • Full Conference with Room at Queen’s House– includes all sessions, accommodations for both nights, Friday reception, Saturday breakfast, lunch, supper and snacks, Sunday breakfast. Note: supper is not available on Friday. Also, rooms at Queen’s House are first-come, first-served. If all rooms are booked, we will help you find accommodation in Saskatoon and you will be charged only the conference fee.
    • Up to Aug 31: $320
    • Sept 1-8: $345
  • Full Conference, no room – includes all sessions, Friday reception, Saturday lunch, supper and snacks
    • Up to Aug 31: $225
    • Sept 1-8: $250
  • Saturday Only – includes all Saturday sessions plus lunch, supper, and two snacks.
    • Up to Aug 31: $175
    • Sept 1-8:  $200

Important Dates:

  • Aug 31, 2015: Last day for no late registration fee.
  • September 8, 2015. Last day to register.
  • September 15, 2015: Conference begins. Live Action Slush event
  • September 16, 2015: Saturday sessions and workshops
  • September 17, 2015: Wind-up and door prizes, CANSCAIP Sask Horizons Biennial General Meeting

More Registration Opportunities

  • Friday night Live Action Slush
  • 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 Saskatoon, or volunteer to give a ride to someone who needs one.
  • 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 2017 Printable Registration Form.
    2. Write a cheque to CANSCAIP Sask Horizons.
    3. Mail completed form and cheque to CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons 2017, c/o 4820 Castle Road, Regina SK, S4S 4X3

 Refund Policy

  • Full refund minus $35 up to September 8 (one week before conference)
  • After September 8, 50% of fee will be refunded
  • In emergency situations, full fee will be refunded.

CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons 2017 Conference



Beyond Limits!

Beyond Limits!


Join us for the 12th biennial

CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons Conference

September 15-17, 2017 in Saskatoon, SK

Theme: Beyond Limits!


Find out more about the presenters.

Conference Events:

Sessions: writing page-turners, publishing your second book, illustrating Metis culture, building fantasy worlds, succeeding at writing, writing what publishers want. Find out more.

Schedule: Download the Conference Schedule 2017.

Friday night Live Action Slush – Add the first page of your manuscript (children’s or YA) anonymously to the Prairie Horizons slush pile. A panel of editors and experienced writers will read it aloud and give feedback. A great way to learn what works and what doesn’t.

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

Book Table: Sell your books and CDs, and sign up to help at the book table. No commission, but bring your own change.

Registration Information

Full Conference (including accommodation and meals):

  • Full conference with accommodation:  $320
  • Full conference with no accommodation: $225
  • Saturday only: $175
  • After Aug 31, add a late fee of $25
  • Final Registration Deadline: Sept 8, 2017.

Register online or by mail. Complete details and instructions are on the Registration Page.


Questions?  Jeanette at or

Online Registration & Payment:

Download a PDF of the Poster for Prairie Horizons 2017.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

And thank you for your donations: