"Showed me what it means to be a writer."

At exactly the right time, when I needed an accomplished mentor and a solid writer-friend, Gerard Beirne appeared. (He) showed up and showed me what it means to be a writer. I use his critiquing techniques in every creative writing class I teach and I often ask my students Gerry's favourite question -"What is this story about?" 

Gerry leads writers to their most important version of themselves as decent humans and decent artists. He taught me that writing is not a competitive sport, and the only way to make my writing better was to read carefully, listen well, and respond with kindness and humour to other people's writing. 

He made a huge impact on my progress as an emerging writer and he gave generously of his time, advice, and talents to every participant in his classes. A true inspiration and a grand friend. 

— Donna Besel, author of the short story collection Lessons From A Nude Man (Hagios Press), shortlisted for two Manitoba Book Awards including the Margaret Laurence Fiction Prize

Three years ago, Gerard Beirne, as Fiction Editor at The Fiddlehead, coached me through the writing of a short story called 'Bush-Hammer Finish.' I find short stories very difficult to write. 'Bush-Hammer Finish' got published in the Autumn 2013 issue of The Fiddlehead and then, to my slack-jawed astonishment, got picked up for the 2014 issue of Best American Mystery Stories. I'm proud of that story, and I'm grateful to you, Gerard.

Michelle Butler Hallett, author of the novel This Marlowe (Goose Lane Editions) 

Gerard Beirne will find the heart in your story even when it’s so deeply buried you can’t see it for yourself. He asks great questions that open up your narrative and reveal unexpected possibilities. He cares about his students’ work and respects their intent. Thoughtful, funny and wise, if you get the chance to study with this great writer and teacher, grab it. 

- Jill Sexsmith, author of the short story collection Somewhere a Long and Happy Life Probably Awaits You