In 1984, Alison Lohans put a notice in The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild‘s magazine Freelance seeking other Saskatchewan children’s writers to correspond with. Seven people responded (Mary Love, Mary C. Wood, Theresa Heuchert, Shirley Lalonde, Sigfus Bergmann, Pat Armstrong and Gillian Richardson).
Pat suggested the round robin format of a package of letters that would circulate among the members. When the package arrived, the person receiving it would read all the letters, then replace the one she had written last time and send the package on to the next person.
This is how things went for 5 years, but in 1989, with a grant from SWG, the group was able to hold the first biannual meeting of the Children’s Writers’ Round Robin at the Davidson Senior Citizens’ Centre on February 18, 1989. By then the group had grown to 9 members:
These meetings eventually became the biannual CANSCAIP Prairie Horizons conferences, now under the leadership of the Saskatchewan chapter of CANSCAIP. The Robins now meet twice a year, in the spring and fall, somewhere in Saskatchewan. In Prairie Horizons years, one of the meetings is the conference.
Members came and went, and we still wrote those letters for another 20 years or so, until email became our preferred communication method. The group has nurtured children’s writing in all genres and for all ages. Only Gillian and Alison are still with the group.
Want to know more?
See our Gatherings Page to see where we’ve been.