Marilyn Smulders, Executive Director
Marilyn Smulders joined the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia as executive director in November 2017. Other jobs include working as the Communications Director at NSCAD University (Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) and as a reporter and editor at the Halifax Daily News. She has a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ont. and a Bachelor of Fine Art from NSCAD University.
Marilyn Smulders took the reins of WFNS in November of 2017.
"Marilyn brings an impressive mix of skills to the WFNS," says WFNS President Kim Pittaway. "We were fortunate to have attracted an impressive field of candidates, but only Marilyn brought experience in all three areas of communications, management and fundraising, as well as a deep knowledge of and passion for the work of Nova Scotia writers."
"I'm delighted to join the Writers Federation and to work on behalf of this province's writers, people who play such an essential role in capturing and conveying Nova Scotia's diverse culture," says Smulders. "My bookshelves at home are filled with the books of Atlantic Canadian writers, many of whom I had the chance to talk to as arts writer at the Halifax Daily News. I look forward to doing what I can to promote and support their important work, and to support Nova Scotia writers at all stages of their careers in developing their skills and reaching readers."
Smulders was most recently Director of Communications at NSCAD University, and was previously Manager, Communications and Marketing at Dalhousie University and Arts Editor at the Halifax Daily News. She has been a National Magazine Awards finalist and has won a number of awards from the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education for communications-related work. She is also a juried member of Craft Nova Scotia and produces original screen-printed fabrics and home decor items under the name Ellemeno Textiles.
Annick MacAskill, Programming & Membership Officer
Annick MacAskill joined the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia as Programming & Membership Officer in April 2018. She is also a poet whose first book, No Meeting Without Body (Gaspereau Press, 2018), was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and shortlisted for the J.M. Abraham Poetry Award (Atlantic Book Awards). Her second book will appear with Gaspereau in the spring of 2020. In addition to working for the WFNS, she teaches French part-time at a couple universities in Halifax.
Linda Hudson, Arts Education Officer
Linda earned an Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English Literature from Mount Saint Vincent University, a Masters of Arts from Acadia University, and a Masters in Library and Information Studies. She has been employed at several institutions, providing her with diverse experience that helps guide her work for the WFNS. She has been a graduate Research Assistant at Acadia, completed her MLIS practicum at the Halifax Public Library, and was an intern at the Dalhousie Centre for Learning and Teaching. Linda has also assisted in the coordination of a number of events over the years (such as the annual CLT conference), provided literacy training, and currently also works for the Halifax Regional School Board in the Excel program.
Andy Verboom, Communications Officer
Andy joined our staff in September, 2019, to shepherd the WFNS through an extensive brand and website redesign process. He has an academic background in contemporary poetry, postcolonial and feminist literatures, and critical theory--and a practical background in writing and editing poetry, curating creative collaborations, and organizing literary events. Andy also works as a communications instructor (primarily in STEM fields) and a freelance editor.