Book Launch - Surprised Pink Geraniums by Pat Brown

Congratulations to HHWEN management committee member Pat Brown. Her memoir, Surprised Pink Geraniums, was launched on August 3, 2012 at the Agnes Jamieson Gallery, Minden, Ontario. See

What’s a celebration without goodies?

Beth Johns and Norris Turner entertained with their folk and Celtic tunes. Outloud Womyn's Voices sang three beautiful choral arrangements.

Brenda Peddigrew read and reflected on selections from Surprised Pink Geraniums.

Pat signed copies of her books. Anje Hilgers assists with the brisk sales of Surprised Pink Geraniums.

Pat reads two selections from her memoir

SCORE! First Annual 20 Hour MARATHON of POETRY and SONG

This fundraising event for Artists in the Schools, an Arts Council~Haliburton Highlands project, took place Wednesday, July 20 to Thursday, July 21, 2011, in Minden, Ontario. Local and international poets read non-stop for 20 hours (6 am Wed to 2 am Thu) at the Dominion Hotel—the oldest operating hotel in Haliburton County, and one of the oldest operating hotels in Ontario. This event was presented as a partnership between the Haliburton Highlands Writers' and Editors' Network (HHWEN), the Dominion Hotel, the Conjurers of County Town and TheRightEyedDeer Press, with the generous assistance of Arts Alive Minden. The event was broadcast live over the internet.

All donations received will support the Artists in the Schools project. The Arts Council~Haliburton Highlands began the Artists in the Schools Program in 2004 and has been providing opportunities for children in elementary schools to learn from artists who live in their community. Sessions are offered by ceramic artists, puppeteers, actors, musicians, dancers, painters, sculptors, print-makers, percussionists, jewellery artists, storytellers, writers of prose and poetry, artist blacksmiths, glass blowers, and fabric artists. .

Watch for this event, coming again next year. For more information, please visit the SCORE! web site.

2011 Poet Tree Contest Winners

We are pleased to announce the winners in HHWEN's Third Annual Poet Tree Project. First Place for 2011 went to Doug Pugh of Haliburton for his poem, "Morning ballerinas". Honorable Mentions were: "Be Kind" by Wilf McOstrich of Toronto and "Loneliness" by Gailon Valleau of Haliburton. Surprisingly, we received no Youth entrants this year. Thanks to Alex Hamilton-Brown and Ron Evans for blind-judging this contest; to Pat Brown and Peggy Kennedy for co-ordinating it; and to Sheryl Loucks (R.D. Lawrence Place) and Kay Millard for their work in organizing and presenting another excellent celebration of the contest winners. The poems are now on display and in a binder for public viewing at R.D. Lawrence Place in Minden.

2010 Poet Tree Contest Winners

April, 2010 - Congratulations to the three winners of our Poet Tree Contest. First place went to Antonia Armstrong of Warkworth for her poem Unfinished. Honourable Mentions were given to Alex Hamilton Brown of Bancroft for his poem In The Morning of The Silence and to Heather Forman of Ottawa for her poem Sisters.

A Writer's Christmas

On December 1, 2009, HHWEN members and friends filled the Pepper Mill Steak & Pasta House for our fifth annual Writer’s Christmas. Pictured below are Lynda Voycey, Laura Redman and John Unrau presenting their Christmas readings.


April 8, 2009 - In honour of Poetry Month, the Haliburton Highlands Writers’ and Editors’ Network sponsored a Poetry Contest, with a deadline of March 15, 2009. Judges were acclaimed Haliburton poets, Brenda Peddigrew and Lea Harper.

  • 1st - Funeral at Commando Lake by Stacy Jennifer Kirkbride
  • 2nd - What Matters by Kathy Purc
  • 3rd - (a tie) - Bail Out by Doug Aldworth
  • 3rd - (a tie) - Elegy for the Senses by Judy Breau
  • Best Under Age 18 - Queen + David Bowie by Amanda vanLieshout

On Saturday, April 4, winners read their poems aloud, prizes were awarded, and a great time was had by all. We are extremely proud of the showing by our local poets, who demonstrated their excellence in the face of strong opposition by gifted poets from all across Ontario. If you were part of the audience, we thank you for supporting our poets and HHWEN's First Annual Poet Tree Project.

Thank you to Brenda Peddigrew and Lea Harper, for taking on the onerous task of blind judging this contest; to our local press and broadcast media for your interest in our efforts; and to Sheryl Loucks and the volunteers at R.D. Lawrence Place for your usual gracious hospitality.

All poems submitted remain available for viewing by the public at R.D. Lawrence Place, with the winning entries displayed on RDLP's "Poet Tree". We invite you to judge, for yourself, the quality of our local talent. And why not consider entering HHWEN's Second Annual Poet Tree Project to celebrate April and Poetry Month next year.


Congratulations to HHWEN member Reg Holloway on the publishing of his book, The Evolution and Demise of the Larger Format Press Camera. Reg admits that the title is not exactly snappy, but he thinks it appropriately describes an important period in the history of photography and is in keeping with the laborious procedure involved in using the early press cameras - a procedure that he describes in detail. He traces the beginnings of press photography and the large format equipment available; the introduction of new techniques; the use of flash powder (and some disastrous explosions); the development of other means of illumination; the challenge provided by roll film and 35mm; some of the enterprising methods used to obtain pictures (including the suspension of one photographer from weather balloons which had to be deflated by a sharp-shooting priest to bring him back to earth); and some of the ways used to get material back to the office (carrier pigeons were kept on the staff of some newspapers until 1938 and later). The book is profusely illustrated and contains detailed descriptions of more than 20 classic press cameras. Reg believes it will interest anybody who is or was involved in photography, or is fascinated by old cameras.

Those of us who attended this year's third Books Alive! will attest to our enjoyment in hearing Reg read from this book—which would make an excellent Christmas gift for anyone interested in photography. Reg can be contacted at

Congratulations also to members Pauline Johnson (2nd prize) and Graham Ducker (Honourable Mention) who came out winners in the recent Writing Fairy Senryu Contest.

Let's hear it for our volunteers ... We couldn't do it without you!!

October, 2008 - We don't usually have major events so close together, but the end of September had us working on both Word on the Street (WOTS), held in Toronto on September 28, and our own "Books Alive!" at R. D. Lawrence Place in Minden on October 4.

Reg Holloway drove all the way down to Toronto to join Sheryl Loucks and Marge Green for a very full day in our popular booth at WOTS. Thanks to Pauline Johnson and Sharon Lawrence, for time spent with us as well. We are told more than 200,000 visitors strolled through the grounds of Queen's Park again this year at Canada's largest annual literary festival. And by golly, we think we may have seen them all!

Our sincere thanks to the Haliburton County Development Corporation, The Arts Council ~ Haliburton Highlands, Minden Hills Cultural Centre and Haliburton Tourism for their generous financial assistance, literature supplies and displays. It was our pleasure to represent our County, our writers, and R. D. Lawrence Place at this major cultural event.

Books Alive! would not happen each year if it weren't for our major league hostess, Kay Millard. And this year—our third annual—she did it again! Thanks to Pat Brown and Sharon Lawrence for assisting Kay with the edible offerings; for Peter Millard, Sharon Loucks, Marge Green and others who assisted with set-up and/or clearing away tables and chairs; to our readers—Hilda Clark, John Forrest, Marjorie Ludlow Green, Alex Hamilton-Brown, Reg Holloway, Pauline L. Johnson, Jacqui Morrison, Carolyn Pogue, Robert K. Smith and John Unrau.

Did we enjoy ourselves? Here's what two of the presenters—Carolyn Pogue (visiting here from Alberta) and John Unrau (of Minden)—had to say in their notes of appreciation to Kay:

"I had the loveliest time yesterday. Thank you for your warm welcome and care. It was a wonderful event. I very much enjoyed the readings and meeting other writers. Thanks again! Carolyn"

"Thank you so much for your part in arranging that great book session at Lawrence Place yesterday. I met so many interesting, creative people, and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of my time there. With very best of wishes, John Unrau"

Thanks again to those volunteers! To paraphrase a famous wordsmith: "We get by with a little help from our friends."

The R.D. Lawrence Commemorative Anthology

Issued in memory of the world renowned naturalist, journalist and author

Ronald Douglas Lawrence
1921 — 2003

Edited by Pauline L. Johnson, this 160-page anthology contains:

  • a full colour cover, photo by Murray Palmer
  • R.D.'s fascinating life, world travels and adventures; his work with Sharon, his wife
  • 53 contest-winning entries from writers in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. (14 of which are from Haliburton) ... Click for contributor profiles...
  • 20 well-chosen excerpts from R.D.'s best-selling books
  • 14 photos and 7 testimonials
  • a complete bibliography of novels and non-fiction works by R.D. Lawrence

Jenny Wallace of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory wrote:
"Thanks for sending the R.D.Lawrence Commemorative Anthology. I thoroughly enjoyed this book which was filled with excellent writing. A really good read! Hope to visit the RDLP when I come back to Ontario in the summer. I am still engaged in wolf research in the YT and northern BC."

Just a few left, buy your copy today!

Price: $20 (GST included)

Available only through the the Minden Hills Cultural Centre, Box 648, Minden, Ontario, K0M 2K0. Call 705-286-2808 or email

Make cheques payable to the Minden Hills Cultural Centre; Visa and Mastercard accepted. Add $2.50 per book for shipping and handling and print postal address clearly if mailing is required.

Sharon Lawrence, wife of the late R. D. Lawrence, spoke about her husband, his life and his works, at the HHWEN AGM on July 7, 2007. She chats with Stella Ducker, from Oshawa, while inscribing a copy of the anthology for her.


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