1919 soldier returning from Great War

1919—PEI Soldiers Return from the Great War

Writers wanted for new Culture Summerside project

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1919 could be described as a year of intense mixed emotions on Prince Edward Island. The Armistice that brought an end to the Great War had been signed on November 11, 1918, and the majority of Canadian soldiers who had served in the conflict were coming home.

For some Islanders the news brought great relief that a loved one would return, but it also brought great trepidation. Would the man returning resemble the naïve, loved-one that had left to do his duty to King and Country? Could he resume the threads of the life he had left behind knowing time had not stood still at home? Would the love between couples remain? Would a grieving mother be able to bear the pain of seeing her dead son’s friends return?

Culture Summerside is once again bringing attention to the soldiers of the Great War. The current project will address the return of soldiers to PEI with emphasis on the men whose homes were in the western half of the province.

One component of the project is the publishing of a booklet that explores the return of the soldiers to PEI. While it will contain hard facts, a section of the booklet will be given over to creative writers to capture the emotions of the times.

Volunteers are being recruited to gather research for the booklet through the reading on microfilm of several Island newspapers that existed in 1918-19. Newspaper images related to the return will be part of the search.

Fifteen Prince Country writers will be matched to fifteen images with the objective to create their own microfiction story about what is happening in the image. The writer must have the feel and facts of the time period, but will have the freedom to bring to life the image in their own creative fashion.

Using the image shown above, amateur and professional writers are invited to create a story of 200 words or less to submit for selection judging. The deadline is March 1. The chosen writers will then attend a microfiction workshop led by Island writer Deidre Kessler.

The booklet will be launched as part of a music and drama public event on May 26. A lecture series is also planned.