Symposium on Manitoba Writing to mark the 30th birthday of the Manitoba Writers Guild

Celebrating the rich history of Manitoba writers during the last century (or so)

We’ve survived our own debt, the computer, the internet, the Kindle, light-emitting diodes, communism, capitalism, two wars in Iraq, the Kardashians and Harry Potter. And we’re celebrating in a way that only writers would: with a Symposium on Manitoba Writing. And an anniversary Cabaret to cap it all off!

“We want celebrate the rich history of writing that has been part of Manitoba culture,” says Chris Rutkowski, vice-president of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild (MWG). “We’ve been very fortunate to have had support from so many people and organizations throughout the guild’s existence, and we think 30 years is a good length of time to reflect on where we’ve come from and to honour those that have helped us get here.”

The Symposium on Manitoba Writing runs from May 9-12, 2012. It kicks off with a series of “Writers Under-30” readings at the Winnipeg Free Press Cafe on May 9, 2012.

Then, from May 10-12, 2012, the Symposium moves to the campus of the Canadian Mennonite University, featuring keynote speakers, dozens of readings, six panels and over 30 research papers examining the last 100 years of Manitoba writing.

The celebration ends with a words-and-music Cabaret at the West End Cultural Centre on May 12, 2012. Performers will include: Charlene Diehl; Steve Kirby; Patrick Friesen; Marilyn Lerner; Margaret Sweatman; the Glenn Buhr Band; and Tomson Highway.

“We want to invite writers and the reading public into the same room to be informed and inspired by the talent we have in this province,” says writer Dennis Cooley, and past-president of the MWG. “And we want to have a bit of fun while we’re at it.”

In the meantime, the Guild is on a quest to find the best book written by a Manitoban. Poet and symposium committee member Victor Enns has already compiled his own Top-30 list about which anyone is free to disagree and make suggestions.

You can look at the list (and register for the symposium) at the website:

For additional information, please email the Symposium on Manitoba Writing at: or contact: Dennis Cooley at: 204-269-9734 or Chris Rutkowski at 204-474-9514

Skip to content