The Quebec Writers’ Federation (QWF) grew out of the strong roots put down by the Federation of English Writers of Quebec (FEWQ) and the Quebec Society for the Promotion of English Language Literature (QSPELL). In 1998, those two organizations were dissolved and QWF was founded in their place to promote and encourage English-language writing and writers in the community. We do this by organizing an annual literary awards ceremony with a total of $12,000 in prize money; by providing professional development and employment opportunities for Quebec English-language writers; by communicating with all levels of government; by increasing public awareness of literary arts and institutions through public activities; and by encouraging dialogue between anglophone and francophone literary communities.
Since the founding of QWF, and particularly over the past several years, the wealth and breadth of its activities have expanded to far surpass those of its two parent organizations. We play an increasingly prominent role in the life of Quebec’s English-language literary community as an arts presenter, professional and community educator, and representative of Quebec’s English-language writers. Along with professional and emerging writers, QWF’s membership includes those who have a personal interest in writing and many who have joined because they are interested in high-quality literary events, activities and programs. All of these constituents are linked by the QWF vision that works toward ensuring a lasting place for English literature and its practitioners on the Quebec cultural scene.
QWF is working actively to expand our reach to a larger community. As such, we have established collaborations in Quebec City, the Eastern Townships, the Gaspé region and western Quebec, and have presented workshops and readings in these areas. As well, we have begun to offer readings and workshops specifically for children (age 7 to 12) and young writers (Grades 7 through 10).
Among the programs and activities QWF produces and/or supports are the following:
• Writing workshops to hone skills in, for example, travel-writing, marketing for freelancers, novel-writing, poetry-writing, short-story writing, screenwriting, and writing for children.
• A Mentorship program that pairs emerging writers with established authors.
• Writers in Schools and Writers in CEGEPS, programs of the Ministry of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, that bring authors into the education system.
• “Writers Out Loud,” a series that features readings and conversations with award-winning and emerging English-language writers of fiction, non-fiction, drama and poetry.
• QWrite, a quarterly newsletter with information on literary events, financial aid and news from members.
• The Quebec Literary Database, a growing online database of English-language Quebec writers and their books (currently over 670 authors and 1130 books) launched in the winter of 2006 (http://quebecbooks.qwf.org).
• Partnership with CBC Radio One, Maisonneuve magazine and Véhicule Press in the Quebec Writing Competition (administered by QWF).
• Creating the “QWF Collection,” a collection of all books submitted for the QWF Awards, dating from 1988, housed at the Atwater Library in Montreal; and, as of 2008, “The QWF Children’s Literature Collection” housed at the Montreal Children’s Library.
• Collaboration with the Quebec Centre for Literacy in a community writing outreach program.
• Support of Montreal’s Blue Metropolis Festival, an annual celebration of writers and writing from around the world.
• A national campaign to promote Quebec’s English-language writers & publishers throughout Canada, in collaboration with the Association des éditeurs anglais du Québec (AELAQ) and with funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage.
Every year, QWF shines the spotlight on the best English-language writers to emerge from Quebec. The annual Awards Gala, which began in 1988 under QSPELL, has grown into one of Montreal’s most eagerly anticipated literary events, and includes prizes for published books of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, First Book, Translation, and Children’s and Young Adult Literature. The Gala is also the venue where we announce the winners of the carte blanche Quebec prize, for the best piece published in our online literary journal, and the Quebec Writing Competition.
The Quebec Writers’ Federation – a community organization creating community for the province’s English-language writers and those who read their work.