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.


From Inspiration to Publication: A Fiction Workshop with Rebecca Silver Slayter

In this four-week fiction workshop we’ll follow the creative journey from the earliest spark of an idea to finding a publisher or agent, with stops along the way at key writing stages and story elements. The unfolding conversation will engage both novice and veteran writers, as we explore the fundamentals of crafting a story to share with the world. Our workshops will include exercises, readings, discussions, sharing work with your instructor and peers, and with any luck, some laughter and helpful insights into your own writing practice!

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Rebecca Silver Slayter is a freelance writer and editor. She is an editor of Brick, A literary journal and the Executive & Artistic Director for the Cabot Trail Writers Festival, and she was named one of CBC’s Ten Writers to Watch. Her first novel, In the Land of Birdfishes, was published by HarperCollins in 2013 and shortlisted for the William Saroyan International Writing Prize. Her new novel is forthcoming from Doubleday in 2020. She lives in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, with her husband and two children.

 

This workshop will take place at St. James United Church in Antigonish from 1-4 pm on Saturdays October 26, November 2, November 9, and November 23. Please note there is no workshop scheduled for November 16. 

$169 for WFNS members

$199 for non-members (includes a membership to the WFNS for the remainder of 2019)

 

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: 
St. James United Church, 197 Main Street, Antigonish
Price: 
$199.00
Member Price: 
$169.00
Date: 
Saturday, October 26, 2019 - 1:00pm to Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 4:00pm

Taking the Next Step: Pitching Your Book to Publishers

You are working on a book and unsure of what to do next. This workshop will give you practical tips on how to put your best foot forward when pitching to a publisher. What should you emphasize? How do you make yourself stand out? Participants who have a project underway are encouraged to bring their pitch to the workshop where they will receive feedback.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Elaine McCluskey is the author of three books of short fiction and two novels. One of her stories was a Journey Prize finalist; another placed second in the Fish short story contest in Ireland. All of her books are set in the Maritimes and they have been described as darkly humorous. Elaine’s stories have been published in Canadian literary journals including The Dalhousie ReviewThe Antigonish ReviewRoomThe FiddleheadRiddle FenceQWERTYThe Puritan, and Other Voices. She has an MA from Western and is also a former non-fiction editor with Nimbus Publishing.

SORRY! This one is full. Please email programs@writers.ns.ca or call 902-423-8116 to get on the waitlist. 

$49 for WFNS members

$79 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, NS B3H 1M1
Date: 
Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Making Freelancing Gigs Work

In the immortal words of Randy Bachman, “Look at me, I’m self-employed; I love to work at nothing all day.” Any freelancer worth a regular byline knows this sentiment is wrong (or sarcastic). Work is all we seem to do all day (and all night). But can we make it pay? This workshop, which is geared to aspiring and starting-out scribblers of non-fiction prose for journalistic markets (all media), takes a look at the business end of the craft:

How do you make a decent living as a freelancer?

What are the freelance markets out there anyway?

How do you get started?

How do you keep going?

What are the do’s and don’ts of the business?

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Alec Bruce is a seasoned reporter, writer and editor with a flair for producing award-winning stories. He is a nationally syndicated columnist on business, politics and social issues for Troy Media. His senior editorial positions have included those with the Globe and Mail, the Financial Times of CanadaCommercial News Magazine, the Moncton Times & Transcript, and Atlantic Business Magazine. His by-lines have appeared in ROB MagazineFPNYT, CBC, Canadian LivingReader’s DigestThe Hollywood Reporter, the Halifax Chronicle HeraldHalifax Magazine, and Huddle.Today, among others.

$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
Price: 
$139.00
Member Price: 
$109.00
Date: 
Sunday, November 24, 2019 - 10:00am to 5:00pm

Beauty, eh? A workshop for beginning and emerging writers on beauty and poetry

What makes something, including a poem, beautiful?

Is beauty still something to strive for in poetry?

What can beauty and beautiful poetry do to help our world?

Let's talk and write about it. In addition to discussing the topic of beauty and poetry, this workshop will lead participants through a series of prompts to write poems reflecting their experience of beauty.

This workshop is for beginning and emerging poets who want to get their hands dirty making beautiful things. Participants are asked to bring one item they find beautiful to the workshop.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR

Anna Quon is a Halifax poet and novelist who loves beauty and loves to think and talk about it with other people who care. She has a B.A. in English literature from Dalhousie University. Anna has created several short films featuring her poems, including Missing Women, which won the audience favourite award in the short shorts category at the 2017 Parrsboro Film Festival. Invisible Publishing released her first two novels, Migration Songs and Low, in 2009 and 2013, respectively. She has self-published a number of chapbooks, and her first traditionally published chapbook is forthcoming.

 

$49 for WFNS members

$79 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
Price: 
$79.00
Member Price: 
$49.00
Date: 
Saturday, November 30, 2019 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

First Words: Fiction

The Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia is pleased to offer a new session of First Words: Fiction for the winter 2020 season. This section of the nine-week fiction writing course will be led by Andrew Battershill, Valerie Compton, and Kris Bertin. This session will be offered on Tuesday evenings (7-9 pm) beginning January 14.  

As a welcoming space for beginner or emerging writers, First Words: Fiction 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.

Andrew Battershill – January 14, 21, 28

Valerie Compton – February 4, 11, 18

Kris Bertin – February 25, March 3, 10

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS

Andrew Battershill is the author of two novels, Pillow (2015) and Marry, Bang, Kill (2018). His work has been longlisted for the Giller Prize and shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Award. He was the 2017-2018 Writer-in-Residence at the Regina Public Library and the 2018 Writer-in-Residence for the City of Richmond. 

Valerie Compton is the author of the novel Tide Road (Gooselane, 2011; shortlisted for the Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award) and a number of short stories. She is also a co-founder of http://www.narrativeagency.ca, where she mentors emerging writers and edits fiction and narrative nonfiction. 

Kris Bertin is a writer of from Halifax, NS. His first book of short stories, Bad Things Happen, won the Writers' Union of Canada's 2017 Danuta Gleed Award and the ReLit Award for short fiction. Kris's graphic novel (illustrated by Alexander Forbes) The Case of the Missing Men, published in 2017 by Conundrum Press, was nominated for a Doug Wright Award, and is being adapted for TV. He's had his work featured in The WalrusThe Malahat ReviewTNQPRISM International and The Journey Prize Anthology, Oberon's Coming Attractions and more. He is also a two-time winner of the Jack Hodgins' Founders' Award for Fiction. Kris and his frequent screenwriting partner, Naben Ruthnum have projects in development with Oddfellows Entertainment. Kris Bertin is represented by Sam Haywood & Stephanie Sinclair at Transatlantic Literary Agency.

$215 for WFNS Members

$279 for non-members (includes a membership to the WFNS for 2019)

(Payment plans are available—please contact programs@writers.ns.ca)
(No refunds available after the start of the course)

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
Price: 
$279.00
Member Price: 
$215.00
Date: 
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 7:00pm to Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 9:00pm