NEW: The booking dates for the 2017-18 WITS program are September 4th - September 8th 2017 (inclusive)
IMPORTANT: Don Aker is not participating for the 2017/2018 school year.
*WITS requests can be made throughout the school year for as long as funding allows. Please be aware many writers book up quite quickly, and if there is a specific writer you wish to have attend your school it is highly recommended you put in your application during the booking dates.
Please click here for the list of participating writers and illustrators.
What exactly is WITS?
Writers in the Schools (WITS) is a program administered by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia whereby Nova Scotia writers visit schools to provide presentations, workshops, and readings to students of every grade. The program encourages students’ enjoyment of reading and writing, and engages students in the development of literacy skills. Financial support for the program comes from the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Arts Nova Scotia. Writers in the WITS program are all professional writers and members of the WFNS, and able to cover a variety of topics such as creative writing, research, journalism, illustration, and comic books. Many of the writers are open to suggestions, and amenable to working with teachers, librarians, and principals to have their visits complement school curriculum.
How does it all work?
Teachers, librarians, and principals select the writers they want to have visit their classroom/school using our online booking form, and WFNS evaluates the applications based on a variety of factors such as location of school, distances the writer is willing to travel, the length of the expected session, etc. WFNS tries to ensure all schools get their top choice of writer, and facilitates visits throughout the school year so long as funding is available. After WFNS approval, teachers, librarians, and principals are expected to contact the writer(s) to arrange a date for the visit. Allowing writers and school staff the flexibility to book sessions based on mutual availability allows for writer visits to work in conjunction with school curriculum or to facilitate a re-booking due to possible illness or inclement weather.
*Once a date has been set, applicants must send the information to the WFNS office for the purposes of prompt invoicing of the visit. (For more information, please see Booking Process) WITS is a co-pay program: WFNS covers a portion of the writer’s fees (and mileage) and the school covers the remaining costs.
*Writers do not receive payment from the schools directly. All cheques for WITS visits are to be sent to the WFNS office. The cost of the visits are $75.00 for a half day, and $150 for a full day. Please be aware that writers requiring to travel 2+ hours to a school for a WITS visit may require overnight accommodations at the expense of the school, and part of hosting a WITS visit is ensuring writers have adequate breaks between sessions and an offer of lunch for a full day session.