SWG weekend, the Hicks celebration

Thank you to the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild for not only putting on a great conference this past weekend in Regina, but also for offering the John V. Hicks Award, this year in the Long Manuscript Fiction category. I guess it’s not happened before, but my first novel, Small Reckonings, won in 2019. And I was very happy to receive the same award this time for the sequel, Inheriting Violet. What an honour and I’m quite giddy and humbled by it. Congratulations to the other winners; I was proud to be on the podium with Kate O’Gorman (May I Myself Be Not Lost and Other Stories), Byrna Barclay (Everything is Under Control: Birdy & Jock-o Short Stories), and Beth Goobie, who received the Honourable Mention (The More Stories). I’m so looking forward to reading their books. I was thrilled to meet one of the two judges, Kagiso Lesego Molope, an award-winning novelist and playwright from South Africa. She was lovely and I found myself soaking up every comment she made about my manuscript. Kevin Hardcastle, a fiction writer from Ontario, was the other judge for this year’s competition. Lisa Bird-Wilson was the MC, and it was an honour to meet her, too.

Thank you to everyone at SWG; I hope you got home okay. It was such a wonderful evening. We felt a bit cheated having to make the decision to go home even before the reception was over. So did my fellow winner Kate and her husband Darren, also from Saskatoon. When we heard 10 to 20 cms of snow and freezing rain would arrive during the night, we thought we’d get out of town while the getting was good. Jim was looking forward to a hotel overnight, only the second in three years since the world went wonky. Turns out it was the right move to get on the road, though we hated to leave the party. Thanks again to everyone at the SWG!


A new lease on life

I’m very happy to say that Small Reckonings will now be out in the world as part of the Shadowpaw Press family with the Reprise imprint. Our revised edition is nearly sold out, just as the first two printings were with the original publisher. Now with Shadowpaw Press Reprise, the novel will be re-released, coming soon in 2023.

Thank you to Ed Willett for accepting the novel and for seeing its potential for an even wider readership. I’ll post the news when it’s available for purchase.

Visiting the old homestead

We attended an event the other day at the Western Development Museum and took the opportunity to visit the Winning the Prairie Gamble exhibit. If you’ve never been, it’s really a fascinating look at how the province was built after the homesteaders arrived. I like to visit the soddy, which the WDM generously allowed me to photograph and use for the cover of the revised edition of my novel. It’s such a familiar image now that going to the ‘real thing’ feels like a trip back to the family farm. For anyone who has seen the book and wondered what was just beyond that window, here’s a view from the outside, too!