The Manitoba Writers’ Guild (MWG) was inaugurated in August 1981 at Aubigny, Manitoba as a grassroots organization created for and by Manitoba writers. In that first year, the Guild attracted 18 founding members!
As is the case with many arts organizations just starting out, the success of the Guild was built on the time, energy, conviction and determination of the many volunteers who worked for the Guild in the early years. Now, 29 years after the establishment of the Guild, membership has grown into a vibrant community of both emerging and experienced writers who work in all genres of writing. While most of our members reside within the City of Winnipeg, many live-in rural Manitoba and even a few who live outside the provincial and even Canadian borders.
February 11, 1982, the MWG was incorporated as a corporation without share capital (e.g., a not-for-profit corporation) under the laws of Manitoba.
The legal name of the organization is MANITOBA WRITERS’ GUILD INC.
The MWG was granted charitable tax status on January 30, 1986, and its charitable tax number is 11903-0856-
The fiscal year of the MWG runs from July 1 to June 30.
100 Arthur Street – Artspace Building (September 2015)
Source: Gordon Goldsborough (Manitoba Historical Society)
In 1986, when a group of literary and visual artists got together to form Artspace Inc., the Guild moved its office into its current home at 100 Arthur Street in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District.
As one of a handful of founding Artspace members who first moved into the building, the MWG started out sharing space in a large area on the second floor with the Manitoba Association of Playwrights, the Canadian Book Information Centre and, eventually, Prairie Fire Press. Eventually, in the late eighties and early nineties, the Guild took on additional space as it had grown substantially in size and operation. It was named The Burns Family Classroom after the people who donated money to help pay for the space’s transformation. In 2016, when our government funding was withdrawn, we gave up the Classroom and moved to a smaller, more sustainable space on the fifth floor.
The Writers’ Handbook
The first edition of The Writers’ Handbook was researched and produced by The Manitoba Writers’ Guild. This comprehensive manual offered clear, concise advice and information.
Designed to be easy to use and informative, The Writers’ Handbook is an ideal resource manual for Manitoba writers.
A/Cross Sections: New Manitoba Writing
In celebration of its 25th anniversary, The Manitoba Writers’ Guild compiled an anthology. Guild members and other writers who lived in Manitoba between 1981 and 2006 were invited to submit.
Included within its pages are three Guild-specific contributions:
- A Letter to My Friends Who are There by Sandra Birdsell – a factual memoir of the Guild’s founding
- Bread & Water by Daria Salamon – a touching recollection of Sheldon Oberman’s mentorship skills
- The Suitcase by Smaro Kamboureli’s – a mischievous revisiting of the Guild’s (fictional) early days
A/Cross Sections is a meeting and merging of the literal and literary landscapes of Manitoba.
Sheldon Oberman Mentorship Program established.
Designed for emerging writers who have made a commitment to their writing, this mentorship program pairs emerging writers with established, professional writers to work together one-on-one for a five month period.
During the program, the emerging writer is encouraged to utilize the expertise of the professional writer in the areas of manuscript evaluation, markets and publishing, and grants and employment opportunities.
Inauguration of Dave Williamson National Writing Competition.
Our inaugural annual Dave Williamson National Short Story Competition is open for submissions from writers across Canada. The Guild encourages all writers who are 18+ years of age, including writers with disabilities; writers in the 2SLGTBQIA+ communities; BIPOC writers; and other under-represented communities
Winners and honourable mentions were compiled into the contest’s first anthology, Beyond Boundaries.