Island authors, Roger Gordon and Margôt Maddison-MacFadyen, have received first-place awards in a national writing competition, run by the magazine Canadian Stories. They are members of the same writing group, TWIG (The Writers in Group), in PEI. TWIG is comprised of a diverse group of around 20 people who meet weekly year-round, with a strong record of receiving prizes at the annual Island Literary Awards as well as publishing books. It is the longest continuing writers’ group on PEI, having been in existence for over 20 years.
Roger Gordon is a retired biologist, living in Stratford. He won the Marie Minaker/Beth Moore Prize in the True Stories section for his piece titled Life in the Canadian Ivory Tower, which is the lead story in the October/November issue of the magazine. Using a combination of personal reflections, anecdotes and humour, Roger recounts his experiences as a university professor and academic Dean at three Canadian universities—Simon Fraser, Memorial, and UPEI. During his 37-year career, Roger ran a successful research program on controlling pest insects using natural pathogens and taught a wide spectrum of courses. His prize-winning story captures the lighter side of his university experiences.
Margôt Maddison-MacFadyen is currently a Canada Research Chair Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Global Histories and Geographies. She lives near Hunter River. Her novella for Junior-aged readers, Mary: A Story of Young Mary Prince, won the Harry Buller Prize in the self-published book division of the contest. Mary Prince is the first known black woman to have her story of enslavement and freedom published. The novella, which is illustrated by Yvonne Soper of Rice Point, is also featured in the Canadian Stories magazine. It is inspired by Mary Prince’s 1831 slave narrative, but is also based on Maddison-MacFadyen’s extensive PhD research. The Canadian Children’s Book Centre has selected the novella for inclusion in Best Books for Kids and Teens, November 2017.
Both the Canadian Stories magazine and Mary: A Story of Young Mary Prince are available at The Bookmark in Charlottetown. The latter is also available in PEI’s Public Libraries and on Amazon.