The Writers’ Council (WC) is a special designation for members who have produced a professional body of work. Members must be part of the Writers’ Council in order to participate in Writers in the Schools (WITS), lead workshops and professional development sessions, and sit on peer assessment juries. 

There are three streams an author can follow to gain Writers’ Council membership: 1) writers who have had a book professionally published; 2) periodical writers with at least 30,000 words published; 3) writers who hold professional standing in another writers’ organization.  

All applications to the Writers’ Council must include the following, along with supporting documentation outlined under each stream:

  • A brief biography (no more than 500 words.)
  • An assertion that the applicant is a Canadian citizens or landed immigrant (a simple declaration will suffice.)  

STREAM ONE 

Authors with a  book professionally published by a third party book publishing company. (Self-published authors may be eligible for Writers’ Council membership through Stream Three below.)

This is the most common and straightforward Writers’ Council stream. 

Requirements:
If you are professionally published, send a link to your publisher’s website with the book listing.
OR
If the book is out of print or the publisher has folded, send us a link to a library listing or some other information demonstrating the book’s professionally-published status. 


STREAM TWO

Authors with work (short stories, poems, articles, etc.) published in professional periodicals produced by a third party editorial board or committee. 

Requirements:

  • If your work to date consists of professional periodical publications,  you must clearly identify which of your  periodical publications make up the eligible body of 30,000 words. 
  • Send links to online copies of the articles or scans of articles in publications as part of your application. Word counts must be verifiable. 

PLEASE NOTE: Contact the office if you are unsure whether or not a periodical you have been published in counts towards your total. 


STREAM THREE

Writers who have joined other professional writers’ associations.

If you have been admitted into a professional writers’ organization, you are also eligible for Writers’ Council membership. Send some form of confirmation that you are a member in good standing of the organization. This could include a link to your profile on their website, or a confirmation email sent from the organization to the WFNS. 

NOTE: Associate or friend-level membership does not count. The membership must have an application process. If you are unsure whether or not your professional designation counts, please contact the office. 

Professional associations include, but are not limited to:

  • The Writers’ Union of Canada
  • League of Canadian Poets (Full membership)
  • Professional Writers’ Association of Canada (Professional designation)
  • Canadian Authors’ Association (Professional designation)
  • CANSCAIP (Member)

NOTE: Self-published authors can apply to join the Writers’ Council if they are accepted by the Writers’ Union of Canada. (Click here for details.

For playwrights, screenwriters and other kinds of writers not covered under the above, please contact the office. 


PROCESS

  1. Make sure you have paid your Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia annual member dues. You are not able to apply to the Writers’ Council without being a WFNS member in good standing. Please note: we cannot speculate on the likelihood your Writers’ Council application being approved in lieu of you becoming a WFNS General Member. Information about membership can be found here.  If you are unsure whether or not you have renewed your WFNS membership, please contact the office. 
  2. Send the required information to director@writers.ns.ca with the subject line “Writers’ Council - <your name>” 
  3. Your application will be reviewed by the  WFNS Membership Committee. If approved, your application will go to the  WFNS Board of Directors for a vote. Please note that this process can take up to six weeks as our Board and the Membership Committee meet once a month. We endeavour to turn applications around sooner if at all possible. Please note that committees meet less frequently during the summer. 
  4. You will be contacted regardless of whether your application is approved. 
  5. If your application is approved, you will be activated  as a member of the Writers’ Council on the member profile section of the WFNS website. You will need to log on to your online account and fill out details in order for your profile to appear in our online directory. Creating a profile isn’t mandatory. 
  6. Approved WC members will be eligible to apply for opportunities marked ‘Writers’ Council Only.’ 

NOTE: If your WFNS membership lapses, you will not lose your Writers’ Council status. You will be eligible for all WC benefits once you pay your member dues and are reactivated. 

 


WRITERS' COUNCIL MEMBER BENEFITS

Once you become a Writers’ Council member, you will become eligible for several paid opportunities, either in the form of an honourarium or an hourly rate depending on the opportunity.  

Writers’ Council Members:

  • can submit an expression of interest to lead a workshop or professional development session (rate of pay: $87.50 per hour of instruction); 
  • may be invited to join a peer assessment jury for the book prizes overseen by the WFNS (rate of pay: $250 + $5 per book under consideration);
  • may be invited to participate in a public reading (the WFNS aims to pay writers $250 for a solo reading and $125 for a shared reading);  
  • are able to join the Writers’ in the Schools Program (Note: we do not guarantee visits. The schools choose authors, so it is in your best interest to create an interesting and thorough profile. Click here for more information about WITS.).