Sunday, September 20, 2009

On October 4th, Literature Lives at the Skydragon!

Barry Dempster reads from two poetry books he has published this year, Love Outlandish (Brick Books) and Ivan's Birches (Pedlar Press).

Creative Keyboards Short Fiction Contest! The top three stories will be read by their authors (or a designate) this evening. Congratulations to Dave Haskins, Judith Millar, and Alvin G. Ens on their prize-winning entries.

Christopher Willard presents excerpts from Sundre, his new novel from Vehicule Press.

Mary Frances Coady will help us sample stories from The Practice of Perfection, her new collection from Coteau Books.

Barry Dempster

Barry Dempster is the author of fourteen books, including a novel, a children's book, two volumes of short stories, and ten collections of poetry. He has been nominated for the Governor General's Award twice and has won a Petra Kenney Award, a Confederation Poets Prize, a Prairie Fire Poetry Contest and the Canadian Authors Association Chalmers Award for Poetry for his 2005 collection, The Burning Alphabet. In 2009, he published two new books of poetry: Love Outlandish, from Brick Books in April, and Ivan's Birches, from Pedlar Press in September. You can visit Barry Dempster at

Winners of the 2009 Creative Keyboards Short Story Contest

David Haskins, “Story Stealing in the Hungry Side of Winter”

Judith Millar, “Partners in Paradise”

Alvin G. Ens, “Licorice”

Congratulations to all who entered. Lit Live is extremely happy to present these stories on our stage on October 4th!

Winner Biographies

David Haskins has published poetry and fiction in over 30 literary journals and anthologies. His earlier poems are collected in his book Reclamation (Borealis, 1980). He has won first prizes from the CBC Short Story Competition, the Canadian Authors Association (Niagara), and the Ontario Poetry Society. His work has been broadcast coast to coast and is posted on several internet sites.

Judith Millar is a writer of short stories, essays, poems and song lyrics. She has won numerous awards for her creative writing, and is a frequent presenter at spoken-word events on Vancouver Island. Judith moved to Nanaimo from Kitchener, Ontario in 2007. Website:

Christopher Willard

Christopher Willard makes his home in Calgary where he works as a writer and visual artist. His art appears in collections worldwide including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. His recent novel Sundre explores the limits of love; an unsettling secret joins husband and wife as they sift through layers of recollection in a quest to find comfort, philosophical acceptance, and ultimately forgiveness. Set on a family farm in Alberta during the late 1960s, at a time of transition when farming was shifting away from tradition, Sundre is a haunting meditation on the limits of love and mercy, on the natural and the unnatural. Told in a tone that is as dignified as it is unsettling, this novel builds to a foreboding and fundamental revelation, in a mood reminiscent of Sam Shepard’s best drama. Sundre is an homage to a way of life bygone and to lasting hard-earned truths.

Mary Frances Coady

Mary Frances Coady is the author of six books. She writes fiction and biography and teaches at Ryerson University in Toronto. Her most recent book is a collection of short fiction called The Practice of Perfection, published this year by Coteau Books. The Globe and Mail review of the book said that the characters in these stories, “striving, doubting, stumbling, defying, are drawn with great care and touching humanity.”

Short-List for 2009 Creative Keyboards Contest

Carl Zvonkin
Carol Davies
Tambu Kahari
Jim Spicer
Margo Karolyi
Debra Porter
Anthony D. Markin
Cameron Smith

The Creative Keyboards Short Story Contest was held for the first time in 2008. It has two purposes:
  • to raise money for honoraria for authors who appear at Lit Live who might not have received Canada Council funding for their reading
  • to identify high quality short stories and draw attention to their authors.

The next contest deadline will be May 15, 2010.

Stories submitted must not exceed 1,500 words and must be unpublished.

For more information write to

Full details will also appear in The Canadian Writers’ Contest Calendar 2010, published by White Mountain Publications and distributed by Brian Henry.