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 http://martychan.com.

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 www.leahdorion.ca.

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 mariepowell.ca.

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 http://www.kristinescarrow.com.

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 http://michaelbradford.ca.

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

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.

To join CANSCAIP: http://canscaip.org/JoinCANSCAIP

Questions?  Jeanette at jcmontgomery@sasktel.net or prairiehorizons@gmail.com

Online Registration & Payment: http://canscaip.org/EventsCalendar

Download a PDF of the Poster for Prairie Horizons 2017.

Thank you to our Sponsors!

And thank you for your donations:

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 canscaip.org/JoinCANSCAIP.

  • 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 http://canscaip.org/EventsCalendar
  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: 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 prairiehorizons@gmail.com 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.