WITS requests can be made at any point during the school year. However, some writers book up very quickly. (Shauntay Grant, Don Aker, and Shalan Joudry are fully booked for the 2019/2020 school year.) If you want a specific writer to visit your school, we highly recommend submitting requests during the our booking weeks (which for 2019/2020 were September 2 - 6 & January 6 - 10), when every attempt will be made to ensure each school is visited by its top choice of writer. Writers booked completely in September may or may not have availability if requested in January.
Administered by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS), Writers in the Schools (WITS) is a program through which Nova Scotia writers visit schools to provide presentations, workshops, and readings for students of every grade. The program encourages students’ enjoyment of reading and writing and engages them in the development of literacy skills. All WITS writers are professional writers and WFNS members and are able to cover a variety of topics, such as creative writing, research, journalism, illustration, and comic books. Many WITS writers are open to suggestions and amenable to working with teachers, librarians, and principals to ensure their visits complement school curricula.
WITS is a co-pay program: WFNS covers the entirety of a writer's mileage as well as a portion of the writer's fees. The hosting school covers the remainder of the writer's fees. For a full-day visit, a school co-pays $175. For a half-day visit, a school co-pays $90.
How Does The Program Work?
- Using our online booking form, applicants (teachers, librarians, and principals) can select the writers they wish to visit their classroom or school.
- WFNS evaluates each application based on a variety of factors, including school location, writers' expected travel distance, and expected length of visit. In striving to ensure each school is visited by its top choice of writer, WFNS facilitates WITS visits throughout the school year so long as funding is available.
- After WFNS approval, the successful applicant contacts a WITS writer directly to arrange a visit date and time. By allowing writers and school staff the flexibility to book sessions based on mutual availability, WFNS encourages WITS visits to work in conjunction with school curricula and expedites any re-booking necessitated by illness or inclement weather.
- Once a visit date has been set, the applicant informs the WFNS of the details to ensure prompt invoicing for the visit. Schools do not co-pay writers directly: all cheques for WITS visits must be mailed to the WFNS office.
Writers who must travel 2+ hours for a WITS visit may require overnight accommodations at the expense of the school. Hosting a WITS visit also requires ensuring writers have adequate breaks (between sessions) and an offer of lunch (if working for a full day).
The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia recognizes the Province of Nova Scotia's support for our Writers in the Schools (WITS) program. We are pleased to offer this program with support from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and Arts Nova Scotia. We are also grateful to Cabot Trail Writers Festival, Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award, and Read by the Sea's Writing on Fire program for their recurring partnership in providing opportunities for WITS authors.