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.

Getting True Stories Published with Sandra Phinney (online)

Writing non-fiction is growing in popularity. But where oh where are the markets? Perhaps you have a memory you want to celebrate; someone you want to honour; an idea for an essay that’s stewing in your belly; or a travelogue that’s oozing from your pores. You may even want to profile someone you find fascinating. What are the steps involved that can lead you to a market, and where are those publications—especially the ones that pay? 

This workshop will take participants on a non-fiction “tour of possibilities” in the writing world. 

Sandra Phinney has written for over 70 publications (print and online) and penned four books. She’s currently smitten with the word “essay” and is diving into that realm. She loves sharing tips, how-to’s and market knowledge. She’ll also share her vast database with participants.


Sandra Phinney is an award-winning writer whose byline has appeared in over 70 publications. She’s also penned four books. Her latest, Waking Up In My Own Backyard, a travel memoir with Pottersfield Press, is a huge success. As well, Sandra has given workshops throughout the Maritimes and Ontario on various writing topics. In her spare time, she teaches Tai Chi and paddles in the wilderness. She lives off the grid with her husband, Barrie MacGregor, on the Tusket River, in Southwest NS. Sandra is a member of TWUC, TMAC, WFNS, WFNB and CMG.

$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 instructors not use racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, or other discriminatory language in WFNS workshops and professional development sessions. Instructors who hear participants use such language have the right to ask the participants to leave.

Member Price: 
Saturday, April 25, 2020 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm

So You Want to Be Published - Online, April 26

So You Want to Be Published - A Professional Development Session with David Huebert and Sarah Sawler (Online - April 26, 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.


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. 

Member Price: 
Sunday, April 26, 2020 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Écriture romanesque : les premiers pas

Vous avez toujours eu envie d’écrire mais ne savez pas où commencer? Cet atelier vous offrira un bon nombre d’éléments pour créer votre personnage principal et son environnement, et le lancer dans sa propre aventure. Plusieurs aspects stylistiques seront aussi abordés afin d’affiner votre plume vers une écriture plus élaborée. En peu de temps, votre premier chapitre sera déjà écrit!

Notre animatrice

Martine Jacquot a écrit plus de 30 livres (poésie, romans, nouvelles, essais et romans jeunesse) et a reçu plusieurs prix. Elle a enseigné la création littéraire et a donné des ateliers d’écriture poétique et romanesque dans plusieurs pays, s’adressant tant aux jeunes qu’aux adultes. Elle écrit dans la vallée de l’Annapolis. Ses derniers livres sont Au gré du vent, roman historique situé dans l’Acadie de la N-É à la fin du XIXe siècle, et Les oiseaux de nuit finissent aussi par s’endormir, roman psychologique retraçant la quête d’une femme à travers les voyages et l’amitié.

Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia, 1113 Marginal Road, Halifax
Saturday, May 2, 2020 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm