Canada Writes '07

Finalists: Saskatchewan


Jenny Ryan


Subject: sex and the prairies

Mood: anxious

oh, my god. i just realized something: i’ m the family spinster.

i’ m the family old maid.

granted, there are only three female cousins on both sides. but the other two are spoken for!

notes to self:

never, ever, EVER get very thin or very fat.

never, ever, ever get a cat. a dog is okay. a dog would indicate boundless energy and a willingness to be adventurous. especially a large dog. a small dog would mean i still live in an apartment, or had missed the boat fashionwise (the clutch-dog is so simple life: season one) and was clinging to a long lost youth. and with that in mind…

never ever ever wear tight jeans and turquoise eyeshadow again. while with boyfriend, this seemed flirty and fashionforward (forgive me: i live in the prairies) but sans boyfriend and pushing thirty this may be considered cougaresque!

oh, god. i have to learn a whole new set of rules. how to be single in my (very) late twenties!

any tips from those of you who are currently rockin’ the spinsterhood?


Head-shot of Jenny Ryan

Jenny Ryan, a transplanted Ontarian living in Saskatoon, is a librarian, a writer, and an improv artist with the comedy troupe The No-no’s. Rarely able to make up her mind, she is both a lover and a fighter, dividing her time between bitter and sweet.


Jesse Green


Tired of your obscene gestures going unnoticed? Tired of wasting sarcastic comments on your car’s upholstery?

You need The Road Rager. The patented communication system is mounted to the top of your car and can’t be missed by other motorists, cyclists and even those pesky pedestrians. Strap on the over sized goggles and fake moustache, activate the licence-plate guard and let loose with The Road Rager!

Choose from The Hand’s three motions: “The Fist of Fury” , “The Bird” , or the threatening “Back of my Hand.”

Gesticulating not enough for your particular shade of rage? Then fire up the bull horn and choose from a wide variety of sayings including “Come on, Grandma, drive like it’s a rental,” “Back off, fat head,” and the ever-popular, “Don’t make me get out of this car, Buster!” The Road Rager TM is not liable for any actions arising from the operator or passengers exiting the vehicle thereof, placing any body parts outside said vehicle or the detainment or eventual arrest due to concealment of the identification plate.


Jesse Green grew up in Fort Qu’ Appelle, Saskatchewan. Due to allergies, her only childhood pets were a pair of goldfish she received as a gift for her high-school grad. Luke died tragically but Boh turned out to be a hardy traveler, accompanying Jesse to Calgary where she studied journalism.

Jesse bought a one-way ticket to Britain when she was 21. She took fifty bucks and enough clothes to outfit a small village. She lived in Edinburgh for three years and had the time of her life there.

On returning to Canada she bunked in with her sister Lisa in Toronto. It was on a lost camping weekend at Wasaga Beach where she met her future husband, Chad.

Over the years Jesse’s nighttime capers have changed from swilling tequila and telling random people she “loves them like a brother,” to reading Dr Seuss and warming milk.

Her sons, Joe and Bruce, find new ways to amaze and frustrate her each day. Jesse has worked as an ice-cream scooper, a ranch hand, a ski instructor, a bartender and in soccer stadium security. She is now trying her hand at freelance writing between diaper changes and Ring Around the Rosy.

Simon Lewis


The Younger Brothers

Four brothers, all musicians, find their personal and creative lives in tatters. The family unit is broken. However, they believe that good music is worth playing, that heart and soul are everything.

We learn of the trials of the Youngers that led to their current nadir. We meet the earnest Cletus, the bookish Carson, the ne’er-do-well Cordell, and the gruff and driven Coleman.

Cletus decides to reunite the family band after a mystical encounter with the ghost of Elvis. He is assisted by a trio of dead musicians, Elvis, Bob Marley and Hank Williams, who conduct godlike interventions from atop their version of Mount Olympus. The trio recurrently appears to Cletus giving him advice and magical tools, including a Martin guitar, which is soon stolen.

In an Odyssey like sequence of events Cletus fights to reunite his brothers; vanquish their arch enemies, the crassly commercial Dogs of War, practitioners of the dark arts; locate Carson and Coleman; spring Cordell from prison; and retrieve the stolen guitar.

Finally, a good deed from the past is rewarded. An old friend retrieves the guitar and fits the final piece in the puzzle, rewarding the brothers with a recording contract.


Born in: Cardiff, Wales

Raised in: High Prairie, Alberta

Lived in: Winnipeg, Kingston, London, Lethbridge, Edmonton, Calgary and Saskatoon.

I share my life with Drahomira and our sons Thomas and Richard, and Gary the cat.

They gave me some kind of aptitude test when I was in high school and told me I’d likely be good with words. Turns out they knew what they were talking about. I’ve worked as a television producer, paused for a Bachelor of Education degree, and now I’m working, and writing, as a producer of television commercials.

My friends will tell you that I’m more than willing to give you my opinion. Over the years I’ve done this as a music columnist for a short-lived Edmonton weekly, a hockey columnist for an internet magazine, and as a songwriter.

The Younger Brothers are a real band. I’m a member. We always liked the idea of mythologizing our act. This movie pitch is just a sample of the idea for a novel I’ve been slowly crafting based, very loosely, on my friends and band mates. Write what you know, eh?

God bless Peter Gzowski!

Save the comma!

Thanks to the judges!

Brita Lind is a comedy writer, poet, playwright and star of three of her own one-woman shows.

Michael O’Brien is a comedy writer and an actor with a recurring role on “Corner Gas.”

How it works!

1. October 1st to October 12th

We have received your submissions in the following categories:

Thank you!

2. Auditions are over. Five finalists have been chosen!

Now they’ll head to Toronto for the taping of Canada Writes with Jian Ghomeshi. They’ll have to compete with each other—and the clock—to impress the three judges.

3. Listen to Canada Writes, the radio show, and visit Canada Writes on-line beginning November 20th...

Writing skills—and nerves—will be put to the test as contestants get one hour to complete each writing challenge. They’ll have to be versatile too. Each challenge is in a different Canada Writes category. But the moment of truth is in the delivery: the contestants will have to impress the judges with their read to stay in the game!

You can take the same timed challenges right here at AND vote for (and win) a People’s Choice Award for on-line entries.

Words At Large