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 winter 2020 season. This section of the nine-week fiction writing course will be led by Andrew Battershill, Valerie Compton, and Kris Bertin. This session will be offered on Tuesday evenings (7-9 pm) beginning January 14.  

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.

Andrew Battershill – January 14, 21, 28

Valerie Compton – February 4, 11, 18

Kris Bertin – February 25, March 3, 10

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS

Andrew Battershill is the author of two novels, Pillow (2015) and Marry, Bang, Kill (2018). His work has been longlisted for the Giller Prize and shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Award. He was the 2017-2018 Writer-in-Residence at the Regina Public Library and the 2018 Writer-in-Residence for the City of Richmond. 

Valerie Compton is the author of the novel Tide Road (Gooselane, 2011; shortlisted for the Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award) and a number of short stories. She is also a co-founder of http://www.narrativeagency.ca, where she mentors emerging writers and edits fiction and narrative nonfiction. 

Kris Bertin is a writer of from Halifax, NS. His first book of short stories, Bad Things Happen, won the Writers' Union of Canada's 2017 Danuta Gleed Award and the ReLit Award for short fiction. Kris's graphic novel (illustrated by Alexander Forbes) The Case of the Missing Men, published in 2017 by Conundrum Press, was nominated for a Doug Wright Award, and is being adapted for TV. He's had his work featured in The WalrusThe Malahat ReviewTNQPRISM International and The Journey Prize Anthology, Oberon's Coming Attractions and more. He is also a two-time winner of the Jack Hodgins' Founders' Award for Fiction. Kris and his frequent screenwriting partner, Naben Ruthnum have projects in development with Oddfellows Entertainment. Kris Bertin is represented by Sam Haywood & Stephanie Sinclair at Transatlantic Literary Agency.

$215 for WFNS Members

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

(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
Price: 
$279.00
Member Price: 
$215.00
Date: 
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 7:00pm to Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 9:00pm

The Two Voices of Memoir with Donna Morrissey

We each of us have a story to tell. Connecting with our voice enables to write those stories with authenticity.

This workshop focuses on the TWO voices of memoir: the narrator's and the character we become as we tell our stories.

Equally important are the voices of our secondary characters - all voices help strengthen our narrators voice as we search back through the dark looking for the light.

This workshop will take place over four Thursday evenings (January 23, January 30, February 6, and February 13) from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia in Halifax. 

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Donna Morrissey publishes through Penguin Canada and has written six nationally best-selling novels. She has received awards in Canada, the U.S. and England and her novel Sylvanus Now was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize. Donna’s fiction has been translated up to seven different languages. She was nominated for a Gemini for her script, The Clothesline Patch (which won a Gemini for best production). 

Her latest novel, The Fortunate Brother, spent six weeks on the bestseller list, and won the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel of 2017. Aside from mentoring with Humber College in Toronto, Donna teaches part-time at Dalhousie University, has finished a seventh novel, The Unclaimed, and is currently editing one of two memoirs, Seven Lamplights, and Our Father Who Art Not. All three are to be released by Penguin in 2020.

In her spare time she splays on the couch, watching Dr. Seuss with her grandson, Bentley.

 

WFNS member price: $149

Non-member price: $214 (includes one-year membership to the WFNS for 2020)

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: 
$214.00
Member Price: 
$149.00
Date: 
Thursday, January 23, 2020 - 6:00pm to Thursday, February 13, 2020 - 9:00pm

An Intro to Publishing in Lit Journals

Ready to start publishing in literary journals? Not sure why you haven’t had success with your submissions lately? Or maybe you just want a refresher on publishing in online and print literary magazines?

Join WFNS Programming and Membership Officer Annick MacAskill for a two-hour workshop and discussion on the fundamentals of publishing in literary journals. Intended for writers at all stages of their careers, this workshop will address the different kinds of literary journals, cover letters, contests, tracking submissions, and dealing with rejection. The session will also include some tips for writers looking to better their chances with submissions.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Annick MacAskill’s writing has appeared in journals and anthologies across Canada and abroad, with recent publications in Best Canadian Poetry 2019, Plenitude, Prism International, The Stinging Fly, The Puritan, and Arc Poetry Magazine. Her debut poetry collection, No Meeting Without Body (Gaspereau Press, 2018), was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, the J.M. Abraham Poetry Award, and named a knife fork book 2018 pick. Her second poetry collection will appear wtih Gaspereau in the spring of 2020. MacAskill currently works as the Programming & Membership Officer for the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia and is a member of Room Magazine's Editorial Collective. https://annickmacaskill.com/

 

Member price: $15

Non-member price: $25

 

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: 
$25.00
Member Price: 
$15.00
Date: 
Saturday, February 1, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Get It Right: Find Your Voice in Writing for Children and Youth

You have a great story you can’t stop daydreaming about. Or you started one and find yourself staring at a blank page... again. Or maybe you’re curious to learn more about writing for younger audiences. Grab this opportunity to get your daydreams off the back burner, fill up those blank pages, and explore writing for children and youth. Immerse yourself in your own writing through a variety of focused activities. Experiment with ways to get your characters talking and walking across the page. Share and discuss the choices you make in language, theme, and style to develop a strong writer’s voice.

 

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Sylvia Gunnery has published more than 25 books for teens and children, as well as professional resources for educators. A recipient of a Prime Minister's Teaching Award, she has presented at conferences, libraries, and schools across Canada. In 2016, she was honoured with a WFNS Legacy Membership. Currently, she serves on the editorial board for Write, the professional magazine of the Writers' Union of Canada. Road Signs That Say West, her latest YA novel, was published by Pajama Press in 2017. Sylvia lives at Crescent Beach, on the South Shore of Nova Scotia where she's working on another YA novel, what I know about next.

$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: 
Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre (multi-purpose room), 135 North Park St., Bridgewater
Price: 
$139.00
Member Price: 
$109.00
Date: 
Saturday, February 8, 2020 - 10:00am to 5:00pm

First Words: Poetry

The Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia is pleased to offer a session of First Words: Poetry for the winter 2020 season. This section of the nine-week poetry writing course will be led by Shauntay Grant, Alison Smith, and Sue Goyette. This session will be offered on Wednesday evenings (7-9 pm) beginning February 12.  

As a welcoming space for beginner or emerging writers, First Words: Poetry 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.

Shauntay Grant – February 12, 19, and 26

Alison Smith – March 4, 11, and 18

Sue Goyette – March 25, April 1 and April 8

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS

A former poet laureate for the City of Halifax (2009–11), Shauntay Grant is the author of several poetic picture books for children including Up Home, winner of a Best Atlantic Published Book prize from the Atlantic Book Awards, and Africville, a nominee the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Awards. Her poetry has been published in anthologies and literary journals including the Fieldstone Review and Contemporary Verse 2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing. Shauntay has shared her work internationally at literary festivals and events in Canada, the United States, England, the Caribbean, and Australia. She has been receipient of the Canada Council for the Arts' Joseph S. Stauffer Prize in Writing and Publishing, and Spoken Word Canada's Poet of Honour Prize. Shauntay holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. She teaches creative writing at Dalhousie University. Visit her online at shauntaygrant.com.

Poet Alison Smith is the author of three full-length collections, the most recent of which, This Kind of Thinking Does No Good (Gaspereau, 2018), won the 2019 J.M. Abraham Poetry Award (Atlantic Book Awards. Smith's poems have appeared in journals including Guernica Magazine, Fjords Review, Event Magazine, The Rusty Toque, and Lemonhound. She lives and writes on Nova Scotia's South Shore.  

Sue Goyette lives in K'jipuktuk (Halifax), the unceded and unsurrendered land of the Mi’kmaq peoples. She has published six books of poems and a novel. Her latest collection is Penelope (Gaspereau Press, 2017). Sue teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Dalhousie University. 

Location: 
Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax
Price: 
$279.00
Member Price: 
$215.00
Date: 
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 7:00pm to Wednesday, April 8, 2020 - 9:00pm

March Break creative writing camp

"The Art of Writing" will explore the written word using creative approaches, such as visual writing prompts, to discover and explore character development, build description through observation, expand the use of figurative language, and promote journal writing. Participants will delve into different genres and styles of writing, including poetry, fiction, non-fiction, picture books, and graphic novels. The week will feature visits by professionally published authors who are valued participants in the WFNS Writers in the Schools program, and have in-depth experience working with tweens and teens.

"The Art of Writing" is aimed at youth ages 11 to 13.

This class is the result of a partnership between the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia and NSCAD University's School of Extended Studies. Registration is handled by the School of Extended Studies as part of its full array of March Break programming. 

To register, please see: March Break Camps

The cost is $315 for the week, Monday to Friday, 9 am to 4 pm. The deadline for registration is March 3, 2020. 

 

Location: 
NSCAD University Port Campus (across the street from the Writers' Fed of Nova Scotia) 1107 Marginal Road Halifax, NS
Date: 
Monday, March 16, 2020 - 9:00am to Friday, March 20, 2020 - 4:00pm