Saskatchewan

Sharing the love: Authors want your stories about what makes Saskatchewan special

Two authors are encouraging people to submit their stories about why they love Saskatchewan for their latest endeavour, The Sask Love Project.

Submissions will be accepted all summer for The Sask Love Project

Michael Slobodian, left, and Krista McDivitt are gathering Saskatchewan stories and memories for a new book. (CBC News/Alex Soloducha)

Krista McDivitt and Michael Slobodian want to unite Saskatchewan by gathering stories from people across the province. 

The business partners — who are also authors and teachers — are encouraging people to write about why they love Saskatchewan for their latest endeavour, The Sask Love Project.

McDivitt and Slobodian will gather and curate the stories for a book, which McDivitt says will show where Saskatchewan is today. 

"I think something like this will build Saskatchewan pride and kind of show the rest of Canada ... 'Hey, we're kind of awesome' and bring our communities together," said McDivitt.

"I hope that people can look around and realize how lucky we are and realize that this is a really great place to live and there's some really wonderful people and wonderful things happening in Saskatchewan."

The pair published their first book, and away they went, this spring, which tells the story of two children on an adventure in Saskatchewan. They also started their own publishing company Here We Inspire this year, with the goal of publishing work from kids, for kids. 

We're very interested to see what other people are grateful for in Saskatchewan.- Krista McDivitt

For The Sask Love Project, they want stories from kids and adults of all ages — people who have lived in Saskatchewan for decades and newcomers to the area. 

They will be travelling to various communities this summer, holding readings and workshops and gathering submissions. Their stops will include Hudson Bay and Saskatoon, but they are hoping to have more. The small town that enters the most submissions will be the focus of their next children's book.

McDivitt said the response to the project has been positive, but lots of people have told her they can't write. She said she wants to see people abandon that mentality and give writing a shot. 

"Everyone's a writer and everyone can benefit from writing down things that they love, their memories, and it sort of solidifies them in history," said McDivitt. "As soon as you write them down people aren't gonna forget them. 

"So if we can get, you know, eight-year-olds to write their story, everybody can do it." 

McDivitt said she and Slobodian were inspired by their classrooms, where they practise mindfulness and gratitude with students on a regular basis.

Both said those practises help them deal with mental health issues, and for that reason, they want to see all positive submissions. 

"We're very interested to see what other people are grateful for in Saskatchewan," McDivitt said. 

So far, they've had a range of submissions, including a story from a kid at a writer's camp who said he loves going to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. One woman is working on a story about the 6,000 quilts that were given to the first responders and the families involved in the Humboldt tragedy.

If you have a story to submit, you can do so online until Aug. 31. You can also sign up to plan a workshop in your community or sponsor the project on their website.

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