Prairie Horizons 2015: Ready, Set, Pitch!

Prairie Horizons 2015 Conference logo

Prairie Horizons 2015 Conference logo

Do you have a Picture Book or Middle Grade manuscript ready to show to publishers? Prairie Horizons 2015 is the place for you!

Sign up for the Friday night Ready, Set, Pitch! event when you register.

  • 10 conference participants will give a 5-minute pitch in front of three judges.
  • 3 winners will have their manuscripts moved to the top of the slush pile at Scholastic Canada.
  • Anne Shone, senior editor from Scholastic Canada, will be at the conference to receive the winning manuscripts.

Contestants will be selected by a draw on August 1, 2015.


  • Only full conference participants are eligible. (“Saturday Only” participants won’t be there on Friday night to take part.)
  • One entry per person.
  • Picture Book and Middle Grade manuscripts only.
  • Your manuscript must be complete at the time you enter the contest.
  • Registration fee must be paid before you are entered in the draw.

If you want to participate:

  • If your manuscript is ready to go, tick the box on the registration form (paper or online).
  • Provide the title, word count, and genre of your finished manuscript.
  • Watch your email on Aug 1, 2015 to find out if you are one of the lucky 10.
  • If your manuscript isn’t complete when you register for the conference, but you finish it before August 1, you can email before August 1 to be included in the draw.

If you are not one of the lucky 10, you will be placed on the runner-up list in case a spot opens up. In any case, you will still be able to talk to Anne Shone and the other judges at the conference.


Children’s Writers’ Retreat – DEADLINE IS THIS FRIDAY

Do you write for children? Would you like 5 days this summer to just write? No workshops – just time to write and time to socialize with other children’s writers. Join us at St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster, Saskatchewan July 28th to August 1st. We arrive Monday July 28th after lunch and depart Friday, August 1st before lunch. Any adult writing for children is welcome. The cost is $312.25, which includes accommodation and meals. Deadline for registration is Friday, June 13th. If you’re interested, or if you have questions, contact Dianne Young (

Are You Interested in an Online Course?

It’s nice to see that there’s so much discussion evolving out of our monthly topics. Maybe we can even utilize the blog to have ‘virtual meetings’ to discuss arising matters with our chapter. One question that has been raised during the meeting we had after the CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons conference is what we could do for another project in the next year when there is no conference? Since we are spread across four provinces, the suggestion of an online-writing class came up as a fair way to include all geographies of our membership. So here’s my question for the month:

Do you have any suggestions for possible online workshops and instructors? Any positive experience of participating in an online workshop? Or do you have another project idea to spend our money on?

As for myself: I have participated in an online workshop for picture books by Alice Kuipers. The workshop was spread over several weeks. It consisted of several hands-on lessons and participants critiqued each others’ work. It was very intense, lots of fun and very useful. I would most certainly participate in a similar workshop. We could charge participants a small fee to make our money go even further. CANSCAIP members would pay a lower fee.

Other ideas: We could use it for a mentorship program similar to what the national chapter offers for either writers or illustrators. That means creators can send in 10 pages of their manuscript/portfolio and if accepted by the program they would get their work critiqued by a professional writer/illustrator and could ask five questions in response to their critique. Which would also mean we would need a jury to decide who will be accepted. A bit more work involved here than just hiring an instructor.

But these were just a couple ideas to get the creative juices flowing. Looking forward to hearing everyone’s ideas.

~Miriam Koerner

An Afternoon with Sheree Fitch


Mark your calendars for Saturday, April 13, 2013 and set your sights on Saskatoon!

CANSCAIP Sask Horizons is sponsoring Canadian author Sheree Fitch  to do a workshop called:

Wordplay, Whimsy, and Seriously Joyful Nonsense

 Whether we are writing fiction or nonfiction, picture books, plays or novels–(for any age )– our words matter. Not just the “right” words, how we can use them in new and surprising ways. In a workshop designed with guided exercises to free every one’s “poet” brain and inner word maniac we will explore how words can lead us to plot, character and endless possibilities in our work as writers.

Sheree Fitch

Sheree Fitch

Sheree Fitch has been offering writing workshops for over twenty-five years in places as close as Moose Jaw and as far away as Bhutan. She has published at least 24 books for adults, young adults, and most of all, children. Her engaging, tongue-twisting, fun-filled verse rollicks across the pages of such classics as There Were Monkeys in My Kitchen, Mabel Murple, Sleeping Dragons All Around, and her newest kids’ book, Kisses, Kisses, Baby-O.

Her young adult novel Gravesavers won several awards, including Saskatchewan’s own Readers’ Choice Award, the Willow. Her most recent young adult novel is Plutos’ Ghost.

The workshop will take place:

  • Saturday, April 13, 2013
  • 1-4 pm
  • at Queen’s House Retreat and Renewal Centre, 601 Taylor St. W. in Saskatoon.
  • Fee: $30
  • Limit of 20 participants, so register early!
  • If you are coming from out of town, you are invited to have lunch first at Queen’s House for an extra $12 (total $42).  Lunch is served at 12 noon.
  • Coffee, tea, water, and muffins will be available during the workshop break (included in workshop fee).

How to Register:

  1. Email your name and whether you would like lunch to
  2. Pay for the workshop one of two ways:
  • write a cheque made out to CANSCAIP SK Horizons. Mail it to  Sheree Fitch Workshop, c/o  76 Dolphin Bay, Regina, SK, S4S 4Z8.
  • use the Paypal buttons below.

You will be emailed a confirmation once your payment has been received.

Questions? Email .

CANSCAIP Creator-in-Residence Program: deadline Dec 7, 2012!

CANSCAIP is 35 years old this year, and is celebrating with its first-ever Creator-in-Residence program!

Author-illustrator Dianna Bonder and author Kathy Stinson will each provide feedback on 12 submissions from CANSCAIP Members and Friends. All SK CANSCAIP members are eligible.

This mentorship is free, unlike the regular Blue-Pencil Mentorship Program, which has a fee attached.

You may submit:

  • up to ten pages of illustrations from one children’s picture book for a mentorship with Dianna Bonder.

Or you may submit:

  • up to ten pages of manuscript in the genre of young-adult fiction, middle-grade fiction or picture-book text for a mentorship with Kathy Stinson. Manuscripts must be double spaced with 12-point type in a standard font with one-inch margins. You may include a covering letter and/or one-page synopsis with your submission.

Details are at

The program will run from January 15 to May 15, 2013, and submissions are due December 7, 2012. Email your submission to, and be careful to follow the submission guidelines. CANSCAIP will select 12 submissions for each mentor.

This is a wonderful opportunity for writers and illustrators to receive feedback from two of Canada’s most creative creators. Thank you to BMO Financial Group for sponsoring a portion of this event.