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 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 http://canscaip.org/EventsCalendar
  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

CANSCAIP

CANSCAIP

Beyond Limits!

Beyond Limits!

 

Join us for the 12th biennial

CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons Conference

September 15-17, 2017 in Saskatoon, SK

Theme: Beyond Limits!

Presenters:

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:

Alice Kuipers: A Writing Life – Maximizing Your Writing Time While Finding the Joy in Your Work

Alice Kuipers

Alice Kuipers

Come and hear award-winning author Alice Kuipers talk about “A Writing Life: Maximizing your Writing Time while Finding the Joy in your Work.”

Alice gave this talk live on her Facebook Fan Page (https://www.facebook.com/AliceKuipersWriter/) on June 19, 2017. But in case you missed it, it is still available on Facebook, as well as on YouTube on the Sask CANSCAIP channel!

 

Here’s a summary:

Become the productive writer you want to be. Join bestselling, award-winning author Alice Kuipers for this practical talk on managing a writing life. Alice shares her tips and tricks to help you select your best ideas, focus your time and hone your writing process. Alice has published seven books for children and young adults, with three more books coming out in the next two years. She teaches both online and in person, and she has four children, so she knows exactly what it’s like to manage a creative yet busy life.

Sign up to her newsletter  and receive free access to her online writing course Freeflow: A Writing Journey.

Who:  Bestselling author Alice Kuipers was born in London. She moved to Canada in 2003. Her first novel, Life on the Refrigerator Door, won several awards. Since then, she has published three further award-winning YA novels internationally, with the fourth, The Death of Us, a CLA shortlisted title. Me (and) Me, her fifth YA novel, is described by Bif Naked as mesmerising. Her picture book Violet and Victor Write the Best Ever Bookworm Book was selected as an Amazon best pick and Violet and Victor Write the Most Fabulous Fairy Tale was a Winter Indie 2015 Selection. She has an upcoming chapter book series with Chronicle Press.

Alice’s work has been published in 34 countries and her first novel made into plays in London, Paris and Tokyo.

Learn more about Alice, find her writing tips and hints, and access her free, online writing course at http://www.alicekuipers.com/ .

Sponsor:

Many thanks to the Saskatchewan Writers Guild for sponsoring this talk with a Writing Group Grant.

 

 

Arthur Slade: 10,000 Easy Ways to Market Your Book

Arthur Slade

Arthur Slade

Come and hear award-winning author Arthur Slade describe 10,000 Easy Ways to Market Your Book!

Art gave this talk on his Facebook Fan Page (https://www.facebook.com/arthursladefan/) on June 19, 2017. But in case you missed it, you can catch it now on Facebook or on Sask CANSCAIP’s YouTube channel.

Here’s a summary: Arthur Slade looks at methods to get the word out about your book, including social media (Facebook & Twitter etc.), finding reviewers, and using the most powerful tool of all—newsletters.

Who: Arthur Slade was raised on a ranch in the Cypress Hills of Saskatchewan. He is the author of eighteen novels for young readers including The Hunchback Assignments, which won the prestigious TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and Dust, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature. He also co-created the graphic novel Modo: Ember’s End.  He lives in Saskatoon, Canada.

P.S. He does all of his writing on a treadmill desk. And he listens to heavy metal. At the same time.

Find out more at http://www.arthurslade.com/ .

Sponsor:

Many thanks to the Saskatchewan Writers Guild for sponsoring this talk with a Writing Group Grant.

 

 

Revisions: Working with Different Sets of Eyes/I’s

Collapse of the Veil, by Alison Lohans

Collapse of the Veil, by Alison Lohans

Crossings, by Alison Lohans

Crossings, by Alison Lohans

Post by Alison Lohans

I’ve just finished revising my second previously-published book for re-release by a different publisher. The whole process – seeing my work through yet another lens, after having spent well over ten years working the book to a polished draft, and then going through it with the editor of the original publishing house – has been an eye-opening experience. During this time I’ve also seen good friends working hard at their own revisions in fervent hopes of their creative “child” finding its home in the publishing world.

How do we know when a book is finally “ready”? During this process with Timefall (which is the new title for the combined Collapse of the Veil and Crossings), I was shocked on more than a few occasions by things that had slipped past me during those ten-plus years of work, and had also slipped by the first editor. These different sets of eyes (I’s?) all come to a manuscript with subjective lenses, and these multiple perspectives quickly demonstrate the value of critiquing in a writer’s group. We all laugh when caught red-faced: “But isn’t it obvious? I can see it all in my head!”

I’d always figured I was reasonably good with characters, and their motivations and goals, so it was quite a surprise to see in the Track Changes margin:  “Out of character”. Fortunately this mostly happened with the secondary characters. But it’s a clear reminder that ALL of our characters need to be in our story for specific reasons, each with their own agendas, and flaws, that drive the conflict arc of the character-driven novel. “Out of character!” was a useful reminder to examine what a character’s response would actually be, and how long that response would play out – and working out a more realistic response led me to subtle shifts that freshened the protagonist’s response as well.

And … responses? Oops! Character X said/did something. Why didn’t Character Y respond? Caught up in one character’s point of view, and with the scene goal in sight, umm…..maybe things got rushed ahead just a little too fast, without honouring the perspective of Character Y? Definitely worth thinking about…

The choreography within a scene, again in the Track Changes balloon: “And Tyler is where?” This round of re-revisions got me looking long and hard at the mother-instinct not only in my teen mom protagonist, but also in her mother. The baby is a pivotal character in the book, and needed to be accounted for in all the scenes where he is present. Oops…. And lo and behold, in a high drama scene where (this time around) I caught myself on two giant faux pas that the present (excellent) editor didn’t catch…whoa!

There those Big Issues were, staring me in the face. By honouring each character’s integrity in the height of the emergency, the way unfolded to show both characters in realistic action together; this, in turn, also served to reinforce a tentative reconciliation. The shifts needed to play this out were amazingly simple to work in and, better yet, had all my characters accounted for. It is so easy for characters to fade out of a scene before they’ve actually exited.

So this was another wake-up call:  Characters are in a scene for a reason. If we’ve put them there, they need to have a tangible role to play whether it’s a speaking part or an action part. If they’re a secondary character, their presence has to have some kind of impact on what the protagonist is doing. And if the secondary characters happen to be more articulate/active than a more-reserved protagonist, our protagonist still must be truly “present” in a sensory and mental way, rather than simply to listen to what the other guys are all talking about.

When is a manuscript truly ready? Such a tough question! Sometimes deadlines will get us up and hopping, maybe with a hint of panic. If we stop and second-guess ourselves too many times, searching for the right word, the most evocative image, we can take the proverbial “forever” to get done – and too much of this can kill the spark that ignited earlier drafts. Yikes…we don’t want to do that!

When considering this question nearly forty years ago I used certain criteria, and for the most part I still adhere to them:

  • If it’s as good as I can possibly make it
  • if I still get excited (re)reading it (for the umpteenth time!)
  • if I can experience my narrative through the emotional lens of my protagonist and in a sensory way
  • if I’ve read chunks of it aloud to my computer monitor and the words sound pleasing and have a good feel on my tongue

Then yes, maybe it’s okay to let it go. That is, of course, after careful scrutiny:

  • Are the characters believable, and consistent?
  • Is the plot believable, and the goal worthwhile?
  • Is there strong enough motivation, with further conflict arising from the interplay of the characters’ diverse goals and motivations?
  • Is there a satisfying resolution that resonates beyond “The End”?

Yes? Then maybe it’s okay to hit send.

But maybe a book is never truly finished. For once it’s out there in the world, it will be re-created every time a reader plunges into our story – through yet another set of eyes.

Join the Discussion:

What is your revision process like? How do you know when your manuscript is finished and ready to send to a publisher? What have you learned about your writing style from your revisions?