WFNS workshops and sessions usually run in the fall and winter, with the occasional summer program, and are often held at our headquarters in Halifax (1113 Marginal Road, Halifax, NS). We also partner with libraries, community centres, and businesses across the province to bring our programming to wherever it is desired.

We strive to offer a range of creative writing workshops covering a variety of genres and styles and suited to different skill levels, from introductory to advanced. Each creative writing workshop is led by a senior writer with extensive experience in the genre under exploration. Through our professional development sessions, we also seek to regularly educate and update our members and guests about trade-specific issues such as contracts, copyright, and literary agents.


First Words: Fiction

The Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia is pleased to offer a new session of First Words: Fiction for the fall 2019 season. This section of the nine-week fiction writing course will be led by Carol Bruneau, Stephanie Domet, and Carole Glasser Langille. This session will be offered on Tuesday evenings (7-9 pm) beginning September 17. 

As a welcoming space for beginner or emerging writers, First Words: Fiction provides an overview of the craft from several professional perspectives. No prerequisites or pre-existing pieces of writing are necessary for participation in this course.

Carol Bruneau – September 17 and 24, October 1

Carole Langille – October 8, 15, and 22

Stephanie Domet – October 29, and November 5 and 12

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS

Carol Bruneau is the author of five novels, including A Circle on the Surface (Nimbus/Vagrant Press, 2018), winner of the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award, and three short story collections, including A Bird on Every Tree, a finalist for the 2018 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction. Her first novel, Purple for Sky, won both awards in 2001. Her novel Glass Voices was a Globe and Mail Best Book for 2007 and is a book club favourite. Bruneau’s reviews, stories and essays have appeared nation-wide in newspapers, journals and anthologies. Two of her novels have been published internationally. She lives in Halifax. 

Carole Glasser Langille is the author of four books of poetry, two collections of short stories and two children’s books, and has been nominated for The Governor General’s Award for poetry, the Atlantic Poetry Prize, and The Alistair MacLeod Award for Short Fiction. She has been Artist/Writer in Residence at the Dalhousie Medical School, and given writing workshops and readings in France, India, South Africa and Hawaii. She teaches in the creative writing program at Dalhousie University. 

Stephanie Domet’s debut novel, Homing (Invisible Publishing, 2007), won the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award in 2008. Fallsy Downsies was published in October 2013 by Invisible Publishing, and won the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award in 2014. She is at work on a third novel. Her non-fiction writing has been published in the National PostQuill & QuireThe CoastMindful, and other local and national outlets. In addition she has taught writing workshops at the Shelburne Writers’ Festival, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia and the Tatamagouche Centre, and has served on literary arts juries for the Canada Council, the Province of Nova Scotia and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. She lives in Halifax, where she makes a mean brisket, and is probably wearing something she sewed herself.

$215 for WFNS Members

$279 for non-members (includes a membership to the WFNS for 2019)

SORRY! This workshop is now full. Please email programs@writers.ns.ca or call 902-423-8116 if you wish to get on the wait list. 

(Payment plans are available—please contact programs@writers.ns.ca)
(No refunds available after the start of the course)

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia strives to offer an inclusive space where all feel welcome. To this end, we ask that participants not use racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, or other discriminatory language in WFNS workshops and professional development sessions. Participants who use such language may be asked to leave.

Location: 
Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax
Date: 
Tuesday, September 17, 2019 - 7:00pm to Tuesday, November 12, 2019 - 9:00pm

From Inspiration to Publication: A Fiction Workshop with Rebecca Silver Slayter

In this four-week fiction workshop we’ll follow the creative journey from the earliest spark of an idea to finding a publisher or agent, with stops along the way at key writing stages and story elements. The unfolding conversation will engage both novice and veteran writers, as we explore the fundamentals of crafting a story to share with the world. Our workshops will include exercises, readings, discussions, sharing work with your instructor and peers, and with any luck, some laughter and helpful insights into your own writing practice!

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Rebecca Silver Slayter is a freelance writer and editor. She is an editor of Brick, A literary journal and the Executive & Artistic Director for the Cabot Trail Writers Festival, and she was named one of CBC’s Ten Writers to Watch. Her first novel, In the Land of Birdfishes, was published by HarperCollins in 2013 and shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Writing Prize. Her new novel is forthcoming from Doubleday in 2020. She lives in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, with her husband and two children.

 

This workshop will take place at St. James United Church in Antigonish from 1-4 pm on Saturdays October 26, November 2, November 9, and November 23. Please note there is no workshop scheduled for November 16. 

$169 for WFNS members

$199 for non-members (includes a membership to the WFNS for the remainder of 2019)

 

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia strives to offer an inclusive space where all feel welcome. To this end, we ask that participants not use racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, or other discriminatory language in WFNS workshops and professional development sessions. Participants who use such language may be asked to leave.

Location: 
St. James United Church, 197 Main Street, Antigonish
Price: 
$199.00
Member Price: 
$169.00
Date: 
Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 1:00pm to Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 4:00pm

Going Deeper: How Research Can Strengthen Your Memoir and Personal Essay Writing

In this memoir and personal essay workshop, we’ll explore how you can use photos and other personal memory prompts, sensory details, historical and other research, and metaphor development to deepen your writing and your insights. Please bring a section of memoir or personal essay that you are working on (it needn’t be polished—this is for your work alone, not for sharing). If possible, bring a photo, memento or diary entry that relates to the writing you are working on or the time period you are writing about. If you are able to bring a laptop computer, WiFi enabled tablet or smart phone, please do so.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Kim Pittaway is the executive director of the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at the University of King’s College. She is the former editor in chief of Chatelaine magazine and an experienced editor, writer and teacher. 

Location: 
Lunenburg County Multi-Purpose Centre (multi-purpose room), 135 North Park St., Bridgewater
Price: 
$79.00
Member Price: 
$49.00
Date: 
Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 2:00pm to 5:00pm

Alternatives to Traditional Publishing: An Author Panel

Join authors Jane Doucet, Andre Fenton, and Dawn Morrison for a discussion of their self-publishing experiences led by WFNS Programming & Membership Officer Annick MacAskill. There will be time allotted for questions from the audience. The panel will be followed by informal discussion. 

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Jane Doucet has been a journalist since 1993, based first in Toronto and then back home in Halifax since 2000. Her articles have appeared in dozens of Canadian magazines and newspapers, including Chatelaine, Canadian Living and The Globe and Mail. Her debut novel, The Pregnant Pause, about a married woman who is turning 37 and trying to decide whether or not to have a baby, was shortlisted for a 2018 Whistler Independent Book Award.

Andre Fenton is an African Nova Scotian author, spoken word artist, and arts educator who grew up in the North End of Halifax. He has performed and represented Halifax, Nova Scotia at 7 national poetry festivals across Canada. He was previously a member at large on Spoken Word Canada and on the board of directors within the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. He has won awards in both filmmaking and spoken word poetry and is an author of different works, such as his self-published chapbook Ode to Teen Angst and Worthy of Love with Formac Publishing. Andre’s work focuses on race, self-esteem, and creating more representation in the genre of young adult fiction. 


Dawn Morrison is an award-winning writer and communications and marketing professional, originally from Glace Bay, NS. Dawn's first novel, Local Flavour, was recognized with a Watty Award in 2018. To date, Local Flavour has over 750,000 reads on Wattpad, an internet community for readers and writers. Dawn was chosen as a Wattpad Star in 2019, and all three of her novels in the Local Flavour series have been selected for the newly-launched Wattpad Paid Stories Program. In her day job, Dawn is Senior Communications & Marketing Manager for the Faculty of Health at Dalhousie University. She is mom to 18-year old twins, Max and Olivia, as well as a Zumba enthusiast, long-distance hiker, an avid consumer of true crime podcasts, and vastly unqualified softball coach.

 

$20 for WFNS members

$40 for non-members

 

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia strives to offer an inclusive space where all feel welcome. To this end, we ask that participants not use racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, or other discriminatory language in WFNS workshops and professional development sessions. Participants who use such language may be asked to leave.

Location: 
Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax
Price: 
$40.00
Member Price: 
$20.00
Date: 
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Taking the Next Step: Pitching Your Book to Publishers

You are working on a book and unsure of what to do next. This workshop will give you practical tips on how to put your best foot forward when pitching to a publisher. What should you emphasize? How do you make yourself stand out? Participants who have a project underway are encouraged to bring their pitch to the workshop where they will receive feedback.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Elaine McCluskey is the author of three books of short fiction and two novels. One of her stories was a Journey Prize finalist; another placed second in the Fish short story contest in Ireland. All of her books are set in the Maritimes and they have been described as darkly humorous. Elaine’s stories have been published in Canadian literary journals including The Dalhousie ReviewThe Antigonish ReviewRoomThe FiddleheadRiddle FenceQWERTYThe Puritan, and Other Voices. She has an MA from Western and is also a former non-fiction editor with Nimbus Publishing.

SORRY! This one is full. Please email programs@writers.ns.ca or call 902-423-8116 to get on the waitlist. 

$49 for WFNS members

$79 for non-members

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia strives to offer an inclusive space where all feel welcome. To this end, we ask that participants not use racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, or other discriminatory language in WFNS workshops and professional development sessions. Participants who use such language may be asked to leave.

Location: 
Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax, NS B3H 1M1
Date: 
Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Making Freelancing Gigs Work

In the immortal words of Randy Bachman, “Look at me, I’m self-employed; I love to work at nothing all day.” Any freelancer worth a regular byline knows this sentiment is wrong (or sarcastic). Work is all we seem to do all day (and all night). But can we make it pay? This workshop, which is geared to aspiring and starting-out scribblers of non-fiction prose for journalistic markets (all media), takes a look at the business end of the craft:

How do you make a decent living as a freelancer?

What are the freelance markets out there anyway?

How do you get started?

How do you keep going?

What are the do’s and don’ts of the business?

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Alec Bruce is a seasoned reporter, writer and editor with a flair for producing award-winning stories. He is a nationally syndicated columnist on business, politics and social issues for Troy Media. His senior editorial positions have included those with the Globe and Mail, the Financial Times of CanadaCommercial News Magazine, the Moncton Times & Transcript, and Atlantic Business Magazine. His by-lines have appeared in ROB MagazineFPNYT, CBC, Canadian LivingReader’s DigestThe Hollywood Reporter, the Halifax Chronicle HeraldHalifax Magazine, and Huddle.Today, among others.

$109 for WFNS members

$139 for non-members 

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia strives to offer an inclusive space where all feel welcome. To this end, we ask that participants not use racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, or other discriminatory language in WFNS workshops and professional development sessions. Participants who use such language may be asked to leave.

Location: 
Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax
Price: 
$139.00
Member Price: 
$109.00
Date: 
Sunday, November 24, 2019 - 10:00am to 5:00pm

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