Practicum in Publishing

Prairie Fire Press has a long-standing commitment to educating youth in the area of publishing. Over the years, this commitment has evolved into a uniquely designed seven-month practicum program that provides a hands-on, intense learning experience in all aspects of publishing with special emphasis on the interests of each student. Each year Prairie Fire hosts one or two students from September to the following May during which time we strive to provide an extraordinary experience.

Demand for the program far exceeds availability of placements. My goal is to expand the program so that we can host at least two students every year, and offer summer employment for 2-4 months at the end of the practicum, which would be of benefit to both the student and Prairie Fire. In order to fund the practicum program we host an annual fundraiser every year called “Speaking Volumes.”

If you would like to help us foster a new wave of publishing professionals, please consider making a donation to the program, and if you would like to know more about our practicum, please contact me. Because we receive so many requests, preference is given to students from Manitoba.

We are grateful to our collaborators at the University of Winnipeg, Canadian Mennonite University and University of Manitoba for sending us so many lovely, talented and willing students.
 

Janine Tschuncky
Student Practicum Co-coordinator

WHAT OUR PRACTICUM
STUDENTS SAY

I sometimes can’t quite believe I had the opportunity to be part of the practicum program at Prairie Fire
Press. Besides providing an experience that I consider to be invaluable in understanding and appreciating
Canadian Literature and the culture that surrounds it, this program also allowed me to gain confidence
professionally, creatively, and personally. From reading and assessing submissions, discussing the
importance of health and well-being in creative careers, and to seeing, first-hand, the ins and outs of one
of Canada’s most respected literary magazines, Prairie Fire’s practicum program truly fosters all areas of
development in its students. I am forever grateful to Janine, Lindsey, Carolyn, and my fellow practicum
student, Misha for their knowledge, generosity, enthusiasm, and kind, kind hearts.

Hunter Miller
2019-2021

The practicum program at Prairie Fire has been a unique and wonderful compliment to my learning about
the literary and arts worlds through my undergraduate work and writing practice. This program gave me
hands on experience reading and adjudicating submissions and seeing the day to day work of how a literary
journal operates. I am incredibly grateful to Janine, Lindsey, and to my fellow practicum student Hunter,
for all their acceptance, encouragement, and sharing of laughter over coffee and tea each Monday morning
through the last year. Prairie Fire is an invaluable platform for emerging and established writers to share
their work and I am honoured to have had the opportunity to learn from and be a part of it for a time!

Misha Falk
2019-2020

 

Participating in the practicum program at Prairie Fire Press has been an uplifting and immensely valuable experience. I am so fortunate to have taken part in this unique program, which fosters students’ personal, professional and artistic development and encourages empathy and integrity in all endeavors. As a result of the thoughtful guidance provided by Janine and Lindsey, I am a better reader and communicator, and have gained a much deeper understanding of the publishing industry. The program has given me confidence in my abilities, and optimism for the future. Thank you Janine, Lindsey, and Andris for providing me with such a kind and knowledgeable support system. The Prairie Fire Press publishing practicum is truly one-of-a-kind, and a vital component of Winnipeg’s creative community.

Ferron Guerreiro

2018-2019

I am very grateful for my time as a practicum student at Prairie Fire. Through this program, I learned all about the day-to-day operations of a literary journal. Janine, Lindsey, and Andris are all incredibly warm and welcoming individuals with whom it has been a joy to learn with. The program itself challenged me to expand my skills, while its flexible curriculum allowed me to contribute to the magazine in ways that suited my strengths. Prairie Fire’s practicum program has provided me with an invaluable experience in the publishing industry and has shown me what an integral role a magazine can play both within the local arts community and the national literary scene.

Joel Robert Fergusson
2017-2018

I was at ease the moment I walked into Prairie Fire, and I have Janine, Lindsey, and Andris to thank for that. Throughout the course of this student practicum, I have always felt that my input is valued, and that every question is worth asking. In addition to teaching me about writing, editing, and publishing, Janine’s unique program has provided me with an incredible opportunity for personal growth. The leadership and communication exercises, along with Janine and Lindsey’s constant support, have increased my sense of confidence in all areas of life. Andris, thank you for sharing your knowledge with me and making me feel welcome. Janine and Lindsey, thank you for your enthusiasm and encouragement, and for making me laugh every week. I am endlessly grateful for this experience, and I hope that many more students will have the chance to participate in this program. There is no doubt in my mind that they will find it as life-changing as I have.

Emilie Derksen-Poirier
2016-2017

Prairie Fire’s practicum program has been an immensely meaningful experience, not only for affording me practical experience in the publishing field, but for its core emphasis on personal development. Throughout this past year, I have participated in Janine’s specially crafted training modules which along with exposing me to the industry, have helped to develop a skill set of increased confidence, leadership abilities, and improved wellbeing. Thank you to Andris and Heidi for welcoming me so sincerely. Thank you to everyone who has supported the magazine and have made this opportunity possible. And finally, thank you to Janine for your endless guidance, kindness and support— I am so grateful for this invaluable experience and I know that future students will benefit from their time at Prairie Fire as much as I have.

Natalie Podaima
2015-2016

Prairie Fire’s practicum program has provided Natalie and I with an incredibly valuable experience to work hands-on with the writing and publishing process. As an aspiring writer, it has been one of the best experiences for me to hone my skills and learn the editing and publishing process behind each issue of Prairie Fire. Under Janine’s tireless creative guidance and upbeat attitude each morning, I have been able to try new things with my writing and develop techniques for maintaining a consistent writing practice. Not only have I gained further insight into the writing and publishing process, but the professional and personal development portion of the practicum, based on Janine’s unique skill-set and interests, has truly changed the way I look at the world and communication. As a writer and future professional, communication skills are important and Janine has done a wonderful job with teaching us how to properly use language in sensitive conversations. Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to Heidi and Andris for their support and hospitality, as well as Barb for spending so much time with us on the poetry side of Prairie Fire. This has been the best opportunity, both as a writer and as a future professional, and has been the highlight of every week for the past few months. For the future students, I am certain they will find as much joy, enlightenment, and value in this program as I have.

Katrina Zmavc
2015-2016

The practicum program has afforded Jena and me an incredible opportunity to witness and practise the processes that are vital to a literary magazine — precious experience, as there is limited access to formal publishing training in Canada. However, the occasions for personal development were perhaps the most valuable. Janine’s untiring leadership and unique training modules have taught us to be confident, emotionally centred, passionate, and always kind. I’ve not only gained a useful skill set — I’ve become a better person. To say that I’m grateful for the opportunity to participate in the program is a gross understatement. Thank you to those who support the magazine and its practicum. I owe so much to the amazing people at Prairie Fire, and I’m sure that future students will benefit from the program as much as I have.

Melissa McIvor
2014-2015

For a student interested in joining the literary profession, the Prairie Fire practicum has been an even better experience than I could have imagined. The support and encouragement from the staff have been the best introduction into publishing I could have asked for and I am so grateful. Prairie Fire is a cornerstone in Canadian literature, and learning all about its inner workings has been an absolute dream. Janine, thank you for your guidance, kindness and leadership. Your patience and generosity are truly inspirational. Heidi and Andris, thank you for making me feel so welcome and allowing me this great opportunity. I hope that whoever is lucky enough to be accepted into this practicum next will find as much support and guidance as I have.

Shanleigh Klassen
2013-2014

I can’t imagine a better first practicum. Thank you, Janine, for your time, patience and energy in introducing me to the world of writing and publishing. Through this practicum, I have learned what it takes to get work published, the process behind getting a magazine on the newsstands and the enthusiastic energy needed to keep a magazine like Prairie Fire going. Thank you, Janine, Andris and Heidi for opening up your office to me and showing me that happiness is the foundation for good work and a good life. I am happy in knowing that this opportunity will be available to some lucky, creative student in the future.

Wencke Rudi
2012-2013

I feel very fortunate to have been able to include a practicum at Prairie Fire as part of my course of studies. It has been great to see into the inner workings of a long-standing literary journal. I am very grateful to Janine, Heidi and Andris for sharing their enthusiasm and expertise. I would also like to thank Catherine Hunter for approaching me about this opportunity. One of the highlights of my practicum was receiving feedback on my own creative work from professional editors. I also had the opportunity participate in an editorial meeting, which gave me an idea of how submissions are chosen for publication. I have gained a better understanding of the day-to-day business of running a magazine, from reading and selecting submissions to applying for grants and obtaining funding. Most importantly, I have seen firsthand the passion and creativity that goes into producing a successful journal. By sharing what I’ve learned at Prairie Fire, I hope to help other emerging authors see their work in print.

Bronwyn Jerrett Enns
2011-2012

Educational Resources

GETTING READY FOR PUBLICATION

Ever wondered what’s involved in submitting your work for publication? How to create a cover letter? How to prepare your manuscript? This one-hour, informative presentation will answer all your questions about what’s needed to create a good submission, and provide you with “ten tips” to getting published and a list of community resources available to writers. This presentation is appropriate for beginning writers ages 13 and up. It can be delivered at a location of your choice or in the boardroom of Artspace, next to the Prairie Fire Press office.

For information on availability and cost, please contact Janine Tschuncky.

Workshops are available outside of Winnipeg, although we require travel costs to be covered.

Friends & Partners

Government Funders

Canada Periodicals Fund
Canada Council for the Arts
Manitoba Arts Council
Winnipeg Arts Council
Manitoba Sport, Culture and Heritage

Patrons

The Winnipeg Foundation
The WH & SE Loewen Foundation

FRIENDS & COLLABORATORS

Artspace Inc.
Assiniboine Credit Union
Brandon University Department of English and Creative Writing
Canadian Mennonite University
City Press
Contemporary Verse 2
Hignell Book Printing
Instant Noodles Design
League of Canadian Poets
Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
Manitoba Magazine Publishers’ Association
McNally Robinson Booksellers
Promenade Café (Fort Gibraltar)
Red River College – Creative Communications
Sage Hill Writing Experience
Tétro Design
The Banff Centre
Tony Gautier, CA
Turnstone Press
Université de Saint-Boniface
University of Manitoba Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture
University of Winnipeg Department of English
Winnipeg International Writers Festival