The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia is based in Kjipuktuk, in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq People. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship,” which Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) Peoples first signed with the British Crown in 1725. The treaties do not deal with surrender of lands and resources but in fact recognize Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) title and establish the rules for an ongoing relationship between nations.
The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) is an arts service organization founded on a collaborative philosophy: writers helping writers. This philosophy informs a complete cycle of development programming and a wide array of professional services that support the craft of writing, the business of being a writer, and the promotion of Nova Scotia writers as integral to the province’s cultural life and creative economy. WFNS has approximately 600 members, at all career stages, who are engaged in a diverse range of forms, genres, and writing practices.
WFNS was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1976 and obtained official charitable status in 1990. WFNS now operates with funds raised from membership dues, program and service fees, and ongoing grant support from the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture, and Heritage, the Nova Scotia Department of Education, Arts Nova Scotia, and the Canada Council for the Arts. WFNS also seeks out mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses and other not-for-profit organizations, which help keep programming costs low and membership and workshop fees affordable. See our full list of investors and partners.
In fulfilling its province-wide mandate, WFNS is guided by the following Mission Statement and Core Values:
To foster creative writing and the profession of writing in the Province of Nova Scotia; to provide advice and assistance to writers at all stages of their careers; to encourage greater public recognition of writers and their achievements; and to enhance the literary arts in our regional and national culture.
The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, including our membership, staff and board of directors, works to maintain a supportive and vibrant writing community in Nova Scotia.
- We value the diversity of writers in all regions of Nova Scotia and are inclusive of all backgrounds, abilities, and languages represented in the province. We value all genres of writing and strive to create a welcoming, accessible, and supportive atmosphere for all writers.
- We value the practice of writing and the importance of developing our skill and craft as writers.
- We value writing as a profession and a passion. We strive to represent the interests and protect the rights of all writers.
- We value community building among writers. We encourage writers to connect to readers, services, and resources. We have an appreciation for writing and a commitment to supporting its role in the life of Nova Scotians. We value the contributions of Nova Scotian writers regionally, nationally and internationally.
- We value the inherent skills and resources of our community and, where possible, will use the skills and resources of our membership and community at large.
- We value professionalism and conduct ourselves with a high level of integrity. We are resourceful and creative in how we manage our organization’s operations.
What We Do
- Represent the interests of writers to a variety of agencies and government departments, and lobby on behalf of the interests of these writers
- Organize and promote projects and events that serve writers and readers and that foster literary community
- Organize and promote professional development sessions, creative writing workshops, and writer’s panels for both members and non-members
- Offer the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program for writers on the cusp of professional publication
- Administer and manage five of the fourteen Atlantic Book Awards: the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Canadian Children’s Literature, the Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award, the JM Abraham Poetry Award, the Nova Scotia Poetry Award, and the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award
- Offer the annual Nova Writes Competition for Unpublished Manuscripts, which provides valuable feedback on all submitted manuscripts once a year
- Facilitate writer-to-writer manuscript feedback and advice through the Manuscript Review Program and the Coffee Chats program
- Administer Writers in the Schools (WITS), a program which brings nearly 100 writers a year to schools in every Nova Scotian county
- Maintain www.writers.ns.ca as an online resource containing a directory of NS writers and illustrators, event and submission listings, and other creative writing and professionalization resources
While WFNS has much to offer, there are some functions we are not able to serve:
- WFNS cannot publish books or provide ghostwriting or editorial services. (Feedback on manuscripts is available through our Manuscript Review Program and our Nova Writes Competition for Unpublished Manuscripts.)
- WFNS cannot offer career or legal advice. (Advice on the writing life is available through our Coffee Chats program. If you have questions of a legal nature, please contact the Nova Scotia Artists’ Legal Information Society.)
- WFNS cannot offer funding, bursaries, or grants to individuals. (Support for authors is available through our professional development and creative writing learning opportunities.)
The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia has three core communications priorities: communications with members, communications on behalf of and in the interests of members, and communications with the diverse markets for Nova Scotia writers and writing. These communications priorities are achieved through a range of approaches, including our bi-weekly email newsletter (Subtext) and our comprehensive social media communications strategy (with its regional and national profile-raising channels).
- The official newsletter of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, Subtext communicates time-sensitive information on WFNS’s programs & awards, projects & events, and workshops, PD sessions, & writers’ panels. We also note the accomplishments and publications of our members; convey the events, writing groups, & writing retreats offered by the broader Nova Scotia literary community; and list a selection of opportunities for literary employment, publication, & prize-winning. Subtext is emailed to all general members at least once bi-weekly, usually on Thursdays.
- WFNS uses Facebook (@WritersFedofNS), Twitter (@WritersFedofNS), and Instagram (@WritersFedofNS) to promote WFNS programming and share our members’ events. Our Facebook Page (with its concentrated local impact) is primarily leveraged for outreach, while our Twitter account (with more than 3000 followers across Canada’s writing and publishing sectors) helps raise the profile of Nova Scotia writers and writing farther afield.