The latest: Canadian Stories 1st Prize

A Greenhorn Teacher by Oriole Vane Veldhuis

Volume 25 No.143 February/March 2022

Oriole has been using this time of isolation to tell her own stories of growing up in Manitoba. Greenhorn Teacher, reveals in a delightful short story the great changes in society and education. Check the link on her blog, or go to the Canadian Stories website.

The highest and lasting ‘Reward’ has been the reception Elise’s story  by her descendants and general public. Her family lived over a 100 years with a shameful secret laid on them by a selfish and privileged British male. Many are deeply moved by Elise’s story and also the light it shines on many pioneer women’s lives. Her true story is inspirational as it is sad. Readers say, “Thank you.”

For Elise was published July, 2012, It is now in its 4th printing with over 3,300 copies sold. It is available through the public library system. Publishers estimate four readers for every book sold so if my math is correct that would be over 13,200 people now know a women who had vanished into the mists of history. My German relatives exclaim, ‘Wunderbar!’; my English family, ‘How extraordinary!’

Manitoba Historical Society — Margaret McWilliams Award in local history, 2012.

For Elise: Unveiling the Forgotten Woman on the Criddle Homestead

Supported by family and friends I published this ‘secret breaking’ story of Elise Harrer’s sacrificial life.

On behalf of the Vane family I accepted the award.

Whistler Independent Book Awards 2016 Finalist

 For Elise was self-published in order to include footnotes, pictures, and documentation. In March, 2016, the Manitoba Writer’s Guild newsletter announced the Inaugural Whistler Independent Book Award.  I entered, and as one of three finalists attended the festival. It was a most rewarding experience. I thank Vivalogue Publishing Canada Ltd. for providing support and recognizing the talent of independent writers.

Reaching the finals was a huge reward that brought a bundle of new experiences. I was blessed indeed.

Members of the Vancouver Chapter of the Canadian Authors’ Association selected the finalists according to four criteria: Ideas/Organization/Content, Style/Voice, Word Choice/Sentence Fluency and Conventions/Production Values.

For Elise, received 93 out of 100 points.
The group’s summary of the book follows:
This compelling story is at times almost too painful to be read. But it uncovers women’s history that, as Veldhuis describes, “disappears like meals placed before hungry men.”  The content is rich in many ways: family ties, Canadian history, class structures perpetuated by settlers, etc. This is a story that cannot easily be forgotten. Its rich detail and personal style create the power for it to become a classic in print, and perhaps as a stage or screen play. The narrative and primary sources are seamlessly woven into a story that keeps the reader on the edge with Elise and her family. The design and format of the book will appeal to readers of history and women’s studies.