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: 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

 

SORRY! Registration for this call is full. Please call 902-423-8116 if you wish to hear about a new session of First Words: Poetry. 

ADDITIONAL Please note, the last four classes of this workshop have been postponed due to COVID-19. Stay tuned for new dates once Nova Scotia's State of Emergency has been lifted. 

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
Date: 
Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 7:00pm to Wednesday, April 8, 2020 - 9:00pm

Between Tender and Bitter: A Food Writing Workshop (online)

There is more to writing about food than describing methods of cooking, or pleasures of tasting. It’s in looking at the spaces between those two steps that we really begin to understand food as a narrative or as a character. 

The Writers Federation of Nova Scotia and Simon Thibault will be presenting Between Tender and Bitter: A Food Writing Workshop on Monday, March 23rd (6pm - 9pm), and Tuesday, April 7th (6pm - 9pm). The workshop will provide a brief intro into various forms of food writing, from personal essay to journalism, from recipe copy to researching methods. Beginner and emerging writers welcome. 

Attendees are asked to submit a piece of writing to be discussed and workshopped during the class. Submissions are to be emailed to programs@writers.ns.ca before the start date. Works will then be reworked by individual attendees and workshopped again in the second session, on March 30th.

To sign up and arrange payment, please email programs@writers.ns.ca

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Simon Thibault is a journalist, editor, and author of Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food. He is also a Developmental Editor at Nimbus Publishing. 

His work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post, Vice, and CBC Radio. He has also been a judge in food writing categories for the James Beard Awards and the International Association of Culinary Professionals Awards (IACP).

 

$95 for WFNS members

$159 for non-members (includes 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
Date: 
Monday, March 23, 2020 - 6:00pm to Monday, March 30, 2020 - 9:00pm

Blueprint for Writing Stories with Donna Morrissey (online)

Everyone has a story. Learn HOW to tell it!!

A good story hinges on structure and a plotline. Donna Morrissey will teach you about beginnings, middle, and endings, and how to find the heart of your story and bring it life. 

This four-week course will teach you to:

  • Tap into your past for a STORY, identify the emotion triggering the story.
  • Build good sentences by stepping outside your comfort zone.
  • Use simile/metaphor to enrich your writing.
  • Use TONE/MOOD to bring feeling to your story.
  • Create memorable, authentic, well rounded CHARACTERS.
  • EDIT one of your stories with the group. Learn to EDIT others.

Donna welcomes: Beginners eager to craft their first story; Writers wishing to enrich their story-telling skills; and those curious about the writing experience who ‘wanna check it out’.


This four week class will take place on Thursday, April 9, 6-9 pm, Thursday, April 16, 6-9 pm, Thursday, April 23, 6-9 pm and Thursday, April 30, 6-9 pm. 

 

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. 

 

 

Date: 
Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 6:00pm to Thursday, April 30, 2020 - 9:00pm

Masterclass on Revision with Carol Bruneau

Masterclass on Revision: Working through the Fears & Dread of Revising to See Its Rewards

(This workshop has been temporarily suspended. We will be re-scheduling it for a later date as soon as possible.)

Join award-winning author Carol Bruneau for three concurrent sessions (over one day) in fine-tuning key elements of a story—character development, plot and structure, dialogue and setting—to best convey its central meaning. We’ll work on strengthening scenes, improving pacing, and deciding when to cut and when to add information, all to create a cohesive, propulsive read that’s satisfying from beginning to end. In other words, see how to make your long or short fiction the very best it can be.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

(author headshot by Nicola Davison)

Carol Bruneau is the acclaimed author of five novels, including A Circle on the Surface, winner of last year’s Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, and three short story collections. Her most recent collection, A Bird on Every Tree, was a finalist for the 2018 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction. Her first novel, Purple for Sky, won both awards in 2001. Re-released for the 100th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, her novel Glass Voices was a Globe and Mail Best Book for 2007 and has become a book club favourite. Bruneau’s reviews, stories and essays have appeared nation-wide in newspapers, journals and anthologies, and two of her novels have been published internationally. She is a 2019 recipient of an Arts Nova Scotia Established Artist Recognition Award, and lives and works in Halifax. Her current project is a novel about folk artist Maud Lewis.

In addition to her work as an author, Bruneau has taught writing for many years. She has led workshops and writing classes at WFNS and various universities, including NSCAD, Dalhousie, and Acadia, and has served as a mentor in the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program.

www.carolbruneau.com

https://www.nimbus.ca/authors/bio/carol-bruneau/

https://twitter.com/carolbruneau
https://www.facebook.com/carolrbruneau

 

Sorry! This workshop is full. Please call 902-423-8116 or email programs@writers.ns.ca to put your name on a waitlist. 

ADDITIONAL: Due to COVID-19, this workshop has been postponed. A new date will be set once Nova Scotia's State of Emergency is lifted. 

$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: 
Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax
Date: 
Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 10:00am to 5:00pm

So You Want to Be Published - Online, April 18

So You Want to Be Published - A Professional Development Session with David Huebert and Sarah Sawler (Online, April 18, 2-4 pm) 

Working on an essay, poem, short story, novel, or magazine article but not sure how to get it published when you're done? Hesitating to share your ideas because you think the process is more complicated than you're ready for? Then this professional development session is for you. Learn from David Huebert and Sarah Sawler as they share everything they know about the publishing process - from literary journal and magazine publication to agent queries and book manuscript submissions.

Sarah and David will talk transparently about the entire process, sharing practical, usable advice on a wide range of topics including (but not limited to):

- the evolution of a published book from idea to final product
- writing an effective query letter
- finding the right market for your work
- working effectively with editors and agents
- building your brand as a writer
- meeting tough deadlines
- logging submissions
- the realities of the publishing scene in Canada 

As a participants, you're encouraged to submit any questions you have in advance, so Sarah and David can answer as many specific questions as they can and tailor the presentation to the interests of the various regions. The first 60 minutes will feature presentations by David and Sarah about the writing and publishing process; the rest of the session will be a Q&A.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS

Sarah Sawler is the bestselling author of three books, including the Moonbeam Award-winning Be Prepared: The Frankie MacDonald Guide to Life, the Weather, and Everything (also nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading Awards and the Hackmatack Award) and 100 Things You Don't Know About Atlantic Canada – For Kids (currently nominated for a Hackmatack Award).

David Huebert’s work has won the CBC Short Story Prize, The Walrus Poetry Prize, and was a National Magazine Award nominee (fiction) in 2018 and 2019. David’s fiction debut, Peninsula Sinking, won a Dartmouth Book Award, was shortlisted for the Alistair MacLeod Short Fiction Prize, and was runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. His second book of poems, Humanimus, will be published in fall 2020.  

Location: 
Online
Price: 
$30.00
Member Price: 
$20.00
Date: 
Saturday, April 18, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

So You Want to Be Published - Online, April 23

So You Want to Be Published - A Professional Development Session with David Huebert and Sarah Sawler (Online, April 23) 

Working on an essay, poem, short story, novel, or magazine article but not sure how to get it published when you're done? Hesitating to share your ideas because you think the process is more complicated than you're ready for? Then this professional development session is for you. Learn from David Huebert and Sarah Sawler as they share everything they know about the publishing process - from literary journal and magazine publication to agent queries and book manuscript submissions.

Sarah and David will talk transparently about the entire process, sharing practical, usable advice on a wide range of topics including (but not limited to):

- the evolution of a published book from idea to final product
- writing an effective query letter
- finding the right market for your work
- working effectively with editors and agents
- building your brand as a writer
- meeting tough deadlines
- logging submissions
- the realities of the publishing scene in Canada

As a participants, you're encouraged to submit any questions you have in advance, so Sarah and David can answer as many specific questions as they can and tailor the presentation to the interests of the various regions. The first 60 minutes will feature presentations by David and Sarah about the writing and publishing process; the rest of the session will be a Q&A.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS

Sarah Sawler is the bestselling author of three books, including the Moonbeam Award-winning Be Prepared: The Frankie MacDonald Guide to Life, the Weather, and Everything (also nominated for the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading Awards and the Hackmatack Award) and 100 Things You Don't Know About Atlantic Canada – For Kids (currently nominated for a Hackmatack Award).

David Huebert’s work has won the CBC Short Story Prize, The Walrus Poetry Prize, and was a National Magazine Award nominee (fiction) in 2018 and 2019. David’s fiction debut, Peninsula Sinking, won a Dartmouth Book Award, was shortlisted for the Alistair MacLeod Short Fiction Prize, and was runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. His second book of poems, Humanimus, will be published in fall 2020.  

Location: 
Online
Price: 
$30.00
Member Price: 
$20.00
Date: 
Thursday, April 23, 2020 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

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