The PEI Writers’ Guild is pleased to announce funding from Innovation PEI for five bursaries to attend Wild Threads Writing Symposium, a national writing symposium taking place this summer in Charlottetown. Two of these bursaries are specifically for Indigenous writers.

Writers from all stages of their career, along with nationally acclaimed writing facilitators, will gather in Charlottetown for the first annual Wild Threads Writing Symposium from August 22 to August 25.

The symposium, which also have the support of the University of Prince Edward Island, the Bookmark, and Reading Town PEI, includes author workshops facilitated by some of Canada’s most established writers in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and storytelling.

Additionally, there will be panel sessions where industry professionals will speak to current and emerging publishing trends, the publishing industry in 2019–2020, and marketing and branding for authors.

Mo Duffy Cobb, PEI Writers’ Guild President, is thrilled to offer these bursaries. “The PEI Writers’ Guild exists to support writers from Prince Edward Island, and, thanks to the generosity of Innovation PEI, we are able to allow five Island writers to attend a national writing symposium at no cost to them. Participants are going to benefit from not only the talented writing faculty who are coming from all over the country, but also from the shared experiences of being with fellow creatives, and we are very excited to remove the financial barrier of this symposium for five Island writers.”

Some of the confirmed facilitators include George Elliott Clarke, Anne Simpson, Pauline Dakin, Julie Pellissier-Lush (current Poet Laureate of PEI), and Sharon McKay. In addition, Richard Lemm and Laurie Brinklow will add their voices to the workshop choral in offering a discussion on sense of place in writing, and specifically, “Islandness”. Hilary McMahon, a literary agent from WestWood Creative Artists and Craig Pyette, an editor with Random House Canada, will be offering workshops, as well as Island entrepreneur, Patti Larsen.

To apply for one of these bursaries, the PEI Writers’ Guild is asking interested writers to submit a letter of intent, describing a vision for their artistic contributions to the writing and publishing industries on PEI, as well as a 5–page sample of their work, which can be a short story, personal essay, or up to three poems. Those interested in one of the two bursaries for Indigenous writers are asked to state so on their letter of intent. Applications should be emailed by June 15 to peiwritersguild@gmail.com or mailed in to 81 Prince Street, Charlottetown, C1A 4R3.

Registration for Wild Threads is now open. To attend the four-day symposium, which includes an evening cocktail welcome party, a faculty public reading, a Sunday brunch, and open mic experience is $325 (+ tax) for PEIWG members, $375 (+ tax) for non-members, and $325 (+ tax) for seniors and students. Please note that travel and accommodations are not included in this fee (there is a group rate available with the Rodd Charlottetown Hotel).

Spaces are limited, so the PEI Writers’ Guild encourages interested participants to register early. For more information and to register, please visit the Wild Threads website (wildthreadscreativewriting.com).


Mo Duffy Cobb
PEI Writers’ Guild President

Press Release by Christine Gordon Manley.

Faculty member Julie Pellissier-Lush welcomed as Poet Laureate of PEI

People standing in front of stairwell

Islanders gathered today at Fanningbank to welcome and celebrate Prince Edward Island’s new Poet Laureate Julie Pellissier-Lush.

In her new role, Ms. Pellissier-Lush will act as a spokesperson for literature in Prince Edward Island and raise awareness of poetry and the spoken word.

“It is my great pleasure to welcome Julie Pellissier-Lush as our province’s newest Poet Laureate and ambassador for culture and the literary arts,” said the Honourable Antoinette Perry, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island. “Islanders will be inspired by her amazing capacity to use the beautiful and powerful art of poetry to express her love of our rich Island history and the Mi’kmaq culture.”

Julie Pellissier-Lush is an actress and best-selling author of ‘My Mi’kmaq Mother’. Born in Summerside, she is a graduate of University of Winnipeg and works with young families at the Mi’kmaq Family Resource Centre. She wrote and performs in Mi’kmaq legends and was vice president of the Aboriginal Women’s Association for four terms.

“We have great confidence in Julie’s ability to perform in this special and very important role,” said Premier Wade MacLauchlan. “She will engage Islanders in the literary arts and particularly poetry which Islanders enjoy so much. We look forward to the important perspective that Julie will bring as a fine writer, storyteller and one of the Island’s most loved Indigenous people.”

Ms. Pellissier-Lush replaces Deidre Kessler who has just completed her three-year term. Previous PEI Poets Laureate include: John Smith (2003-2005), Frank Ledwell (2005-2008), David Helwig (2008-2010), Hugh MacDonald (2010-2013), Diane Hicks Morrow (2013-2016), and Deirdre Kessler (2016-2019).

Poets Laureate often choose to engage in composing poetry related to legislative or state occasions and events of significance, visiting schools, presenting or arranging poetry readings and assisting with writing workshops and other activities.

The PEI Public Library Service has responsibility for the program. Poets Laureate are chosen through a peer assessment process and appointed by the Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture. To be selected, the Poet Laureate must be active and recognized as a poet of stature who has published at least one volume of poetry within the last ten years with a reputable publishing house, or whose body of work over the years has brought honour to themselves and the province.

The tradition of crowning poets with a wreath of laurel dated from classical Greece and became an institution in 1688 with the designation of the first British Poet Laureate. The custom honours the very best of poets and generally takes in to consideration the whole writing career of an individual rather than one specific work.

via https://www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/news/prince-edward-island-welcomes-first-mikmaq-poet-laureate

Rodd Charlottetown added as Host Hotel

Welcome to the heart of downtown Charlottetown!

The Rodd Charlottetown is a historic property known for its historic elegance and distinctive guest rooms, close to restaurants, shops, and all the workshop spaces for Wild Threads. 

The group booking rate is $204 (+ tax) per evening.  To book your rooms, please contact (902) 894-7371.  When making your reservation, please ensure to mention PEI Writers Guild or Wild Threads Writing Symposium.

The Bookmark added as Official Bookseller of Wild Threads

We couldn’t bring you this conference without the help of our sponsors. Dan runs PEI’s best independent bookstore, The Bookmark.

Thanks to The Bookmark for coming on as the official bookseller of Wild Threads. We are thrilled to welcome them onboard as a conference sponsor!

If you are a Wild Threads participant and would like for The Bookmark to carry your book at our book fair, please get in touch with peiwritersguild@gmail.com. We can’t wait to read your work!

The Bookmark has locations in Charlottetown and Halifax. To learn more about them, please visit their website here: The Bookmark


why wild threads?

In 2009,  I attended my first writing conference, SeaWords, held at the Haviland Club in Charlottetown. I was a late twenty-something English teacher with a manuscript and a dream. 

I met writers, agents, industry pros. I met bloggers, marketers, emerging young creatives.  A decade later, some of these young writers have gone on to have successful careers in their fields. I learned of the value of editors and first readers. More importantly than why to tell my story, I learned how to tell my story. I began to see what the publishing world could do for me, and to navigate the waters of change, at a time when print was meeting digital.  I decided that weekend that I wanted to be a WRITER.  

Although I haven’t always lived here, PEI has always been my home. This year I am honoured to serve as the PEI Writers’ Guild President, a small job inherited by most by of the island literati at one time or another. And by some means, through a manuscript on the heels of a first editor, then an MFA, and with some careful advisors, and eventually a publisher who believed in me, I have managed to join the ranks of published authors in Atlantic Canada. 

Books themselves aren’t necessarily special to me anymore, they are just a cumulative aggregate of sentences you made better and better until some editor, somewhere,  liked them. But it’s the process of being a writer that is special,  a pathway created by figuring out your way in a content created world. It is the act of crossing over bridges that makes up pliable, of dashing through intersections, of squeaking through craggy rocks, of bolting madly up peaks to deadlines and of quietly sitting in valleys where dense fog occasionally rolls in. And you pitch. And you pitch. And you pitch. 

In the meantime, there are tiny pockets of wonder; literary gatherings and movements of energy like Wild Threads that keep you going, each time to a newly inspired epicentre, up hills of gravity where the light bursts through, into strawberry fields, and determination, and to the place where you find your tribe.