Submitted by director@writer... on
Thursday, May 9, 2019 - 11:00am

Nova Writes, the WFNS’s competition for unpublished manuscripts, is thriving, with 45 per cent more entries than last year. All of our readers and judges remarked on the high quality of entries this year.

We rely on the expertise of our members to provide meaningful feedback to our entrants who are judged blind. Thank you for the care and commitment provided by this year’s 13 readers and four judges. A big thank you also to Annick MacAskill, the WFNS’s programming and membership officer, for organizing the competition. It’s a massive job.

And now, without further ado, here are the shortlisted writers in the various categories:

Joyce Barkhouse Award

Recognizing excellence in the category of writing for children.


  • Karen Kelloway
  • Jill Martin
  • Anne Odell

Budge Wilson Short Fiction Prize

Recognizing excellence in the category of short fiction.


  • KR Byggdin
  • Brad Donaldson
  • Susan Drain
  • K. Brendan Dunbar
  • Bretten Hannam
  • Nigel Herritt
  • Sarah Pitoello

H. R. (Bill) Percy Short Creative Non-Fiction Prize

Recognizing excellence in the category of creative non-fiction.


  • Barbara Cullen
  • Mary Dodd
  • Joanne Light
  • Cynthia Manley
  • Joe Muething
  • Julie Strong
  • Ariel Watson

The Rita Joe Poetry Prize

Recognizing excellence in the category of poetry.


  • Rachel Edmonds
  • Mary Verna Feehan
  • Rosalie Osmond
  • Cheri Wilson

Congratulations to all the writers on our shortlists and everyone who entered this year’s competition. We’ll announce the winners in each category on our website on May 27.

In the meantime, we encourage all shortlisted writers, friends and family to attend our Celebration of Emerging Writers on Wednesday, May 29, 6:30 pm at NSCAD’s Art Bar. We’ll hear the winners read their entries aloud, and we’ll also hear from the mentors and mentees who participated in the 2018-19 edition of the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program.

This event is a highlight for the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. Come hear some excellent writing, meet writers, and enjoy cake and beverages. We are very pleased that elder Geri Musqua-LeBlanc will open our event with an Indigenous teaching and blessing.

The Art Bar is located at 1873 Granville Street. Parking is available at parking meters on downtown streets or at nearby Scotia Square at 5201 Albemarle Street, Purdy’s Wharf parkade at 1977 Upper Water Street, or The Law Courts parkade at 1815 Upper Water Street.