Staff & Board of Directors

Oriana Duinker, Executive Director

Oriana Duinker (she/her) is an arts & culture administrator who holds a Bachelor of Arts with combined honours in History and Music (Dalhousie/University of King’s College), a Masters in Medieval Studies (U of T), and a Masters in Museum Studies (U of T). Oriana’s professional experience spans several cultural fields, all contributing to her deep understanding of, and appreciation for, the role that arts and culture play in enriching public life. She has worked in collections management, in public-facing museum roles, in program and event management at arts organizations, and most recently, in the Atlantic literary sector as the Executive Director of the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award. In Oriana’s spare time, she serves as the Treasurer of the Board for the Chebucto Orchestral Society (in which she also plays the French horn), loves to explore Halifax by bicycle, and delights in reading with her two young children.

Andy Verboom, Program Manager (Membership Services)

Andy Verboom’s (his) literary studies at Dalhousie, U of Alberta, and Western U included specializations in contemporary poetry, postcolonial & feminist literatures, and critical theory. His communications experiences have included STEM & EAL instruction, web design, academic & literary editing, and print & digital publishing. He joined WFNS in 2019 to shepherd the organization through its extensive brand and website redesign process and is now staff lead for digital development (including the WFNS website & e-commerce); design of policies, programs, & program application processes; and management & delivery of writers’ residencies, workshops, and special projects & events.

Linda Hudson, Program Manager (Arts Education)

Linda Hudson (she/her) earned an Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English Literature from Mount Saint Vincent University, a Masters of Arts from Acadia University, and a Masters in Library and Information Studies. She has been employed at several institutions, providing her with diverse experience that helps guide her work for the WFNS. She has been a graduate Research Assistant at Acadia, completed her MLIS practicum at the Halifax Public Library, and was an intern at the Dalhousie Centre for Learning and Teaching. Linda has also assisted in the coordination of a number of events over the years (such as the annual CLT conference) and provided literacy training.

Terry Pulliam & Tessa Mendel, Residency Attendants (Jampolis Cottage)

Terry Pulliam, formerly of SoundMarket Recording Studio, and Tessa Mendel, Artistic Director of Halifax Theatre for Young People, live nearby Jampolis Cottage in Hantsport. They are happy to be working together to support writers through the Jampolis Cottage Residency Program.

Philip Moscovitch, President

Philip Moscovitch has published non-fiction, fiction, poetry, and comics. A long-time contributor to The Halifax Examiner and Saltscapes, he has been a finalist at the National Magazine Awards and the Atlantic Journalism Awards. Philip is the author of the book Adventures in Bubbles and Brine and the editor of Write, the magazine of the Writers’ Union of Canada. He has served several terms on the WFNS Board and was previously Board Chair for Halifax Public Libraries.

Whitney Moran, Vice President

Whitney Moran is an editor and writer from Nova Scotia, the unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. She has spent the past decade editing dozens of Nova Scotia authors in her role with Nimbus Publishing and Vagrant Press, where she currently serves as Managing Editor. Whitney works with both new and established writers, editing books for all ages, with a specific focus on adult fiction and children’s picture books. Her editorial projects have won or been nominated for numerous awards and honours, including the Dublin Literary Award, the Marilyn Baillie Children’s Book Award, IBBY White Ravens Selection, the First Nation Communities READ Indigenous Literature Award, the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People, the ReLit Awards, and multiple Atlantic Book Awards. In 2017, she published her first book, East Coast Crafted, co-authored with Christopher Reynolds. Her first children’s picture book, I Want to Build A Seahouse, illustrated by Josée Bisaillon, was released in early 2023.

Alison DeLory, Secretary

Alison DeLory is a writer, editor, teacher and business communicator. She’s written news and feature stories, blog posts, personal essays and papers for print publications and web. As an author, she’s published two children’s chapter books and a contemporary adult novel called Making it Home (Nimbus Publishing, 2019) that was short-listed for the Rakuten Kobo Emerging Authors Prize, 2020. She’s taught dozens of writing workshops and courses, been a judge and juror for local and national writing competitions, and currently works in marketing and communications at Dalhousie University.

Carol Shillibeer, Treasurer

Carol Shillibeer, a recent Cape Breton arrival, is happily adjusting to life in Mi’kma’ki. She brings with her a long history of work with artist-run nonprofits. As a retired academic, she blends her long-established interests in art and anthropology with investigations into what it means to be a writer in the contemporary world. She has published more than 200 poems in a variety of literary journals under a variety of heteronyms, and has a chapbook coming out in August of 2023 with Dancing Girl Press.

Sean Paul Bedell, Past-President

Sean Paul Bedell has been writing and publishing for more than 30 years. He lives in Dartmouth with his wife, Lisa. His first novel, Somewhere There’s Music, is a new release from Now or Never Publishing. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in numerous journals and magazines throughout Canada and the United States. Sean has been on the Board of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia since 2019.

Joe Britto

Joe Britto is a Burmese immigrant to Canada via the UK. He is a published fiction author and non-fiction author. Joe graduated with a BA in English with a minor in Creative Writing from St. Mary’s University in Halifax, where he received the Jane Law Shaw Scholarship for demonstrated ability in the arts, and placed second in the Hisa-Marshall Literary Prize. Joe also earned an MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature from The University of London in the UK. He has a strong communications background and has been a radio producer in both Vancouver and Halifax. Joe is a management and mindset consultant who works with organisations including Microsoft, Coca Cola, Bayer, Lockheed Martin, NSTrails, and CMHA NS in the areas of leadership, change management, as well as strategy development and implementation. His published works are Worth, a Story of Love and Self-Esteem (New World Publishing) and The Six Attributes of a Leadership Mindset (Crown House Publishing). Joe is currently shopping his second novel and is working on his third.

Charlene Carr

Charlene Carr studied literature at university, attaining both a BA and MA in English, including a study program at Oxford. She attained a degree in Journalism and, after travelling the globe for several years and working an array of mostly writing related jobs, she decided the time had come to focus exclusively on her true love – novel writing. She has independently published nine novels and her first agented novel, Hold My Girl, has sold to HarperCollins Canada, Sourcebooks Landmark (US), Welbeck Publishing (UK), Alma Littera (Lithuania), and is set for adaptation to TV by Blink49 Studios in partnership with Groundswell Productions. She received grants from Arts Nova Scotia and Canada Council for the Arts to write and revise her next novel. She lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and young daughter.

Robert de la Chevotière

A few years after graduating from Mount Allison University, Robert made Halifax his home, one far away from the tropical sands of his birth. Twenty years later, he’s still here, teaching French to high schoolers, and advocating for equitable education for Black and Indigenous learners, as well as championing both Women’s and LGBTQ+ rights. He’s a lifelong learner, a soccer dad, avid soccer player himself, not to mention being knee-deep in the querying trenches. These days, he’s pretty much up for most challenges—most.

Joanne Gallant

Joanne Gallant is the author of the memoir A Womb In The Shape Of A Heart (Nimbus, 2021), which won the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award for non-fiction. In 2020, she was an apprentice writer in the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program, working with mentor Carole Glasser Langille. Along with her memoir, she has published pieces in Oh Reader and Mutha magazines, speaking about her experiences with loss, grief, and motherhood, and her book reviews have been featured in The Miramichi Reader. Joanne works as a registered nurse at the IWK Health Centre and in 2020 she received the Margaret Ross Award for Nursing Excellence. In 2022, she was recognized for her service during the COVID-19 pandemic and was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal. When she isn’t writing or working at the hospital, you can find her spending time with her family, attempting to sew her own clothes, or reading as much as she possibly can. She lives in Halifax with her husband, six-year old son, and dog named Maddy who has received the affectionate nickname, “Baddy Maddy.”

Kevin MacDonell

Kevin MacDonell is a lifelong compulsive diarist living in Bedford. A journalism grad of the University of King’s College, he worked for rural, farming, and commercial fishing magazines in Nova Scotia and British Columbia and also freelanced several years as a reporter and editor. He held various operational support and management roles in higher education advancement for 19 years and currently consults in that field in semi-retirement. He compiled and edited the book Getting Rid of Alders: 100 Seasons of Farm and Country Living from the pages of Rural Delivery Magazine (Nimbus, 2001) and co-wrote Score! Data-driven Success for Your Advancement Team (Council for Advancement and Support of Education, 2014). For the past year, Kevin has served on the WFNS Fund Development Committee.

Tiffany Morris

Tiffany Morris is a Mi’kmaw/settler writer from Kjipuktuk (Halifax), Nova Scotia. Focusing mainly on speculative fiction and poetry, her work has appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, and Apex Magazine, among others. She has a Master of Arts in English from Acadia University, with a focus on Indigenous speculative literatures and Indigenous Futurisms. She has edited for Apparition Lit Magazine and Eye to the Telescope and is a member of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia, the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and the Horrors Writers Association. Her debut poetry collection, Elegies of Rotting Stars, is forthcoming from Nictitating Books in 2022.

Danica Roache

Danica Roache is a mixed ancestry Mi’kmaw mother-of-four living in Kjipuktuk. Danica holds a BA with combined honors in English and Creative Writing from Dalhousie University. She was commissioned by WFNS to write an essay for Rita Joe Heritage Day events in 2023. A graduate of the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program (with mentor Stephanie Domet), Danica is working on her first novel.

Jessica Scott Kerrin

Halifax-based Jessica Scott Kerrin is the best-selling author of 16 books—but she didn’t always want to be a writer. She wanted to be an astronaut. Then she had to get glasses in grade two, putting an end to her starry dreams. So, she started writing stories, and when she grew up, an astronaut signed her book about rockets! Still fascinated by outer space, Jessica’s latest novel, Clear Skies, takes place during the 1960s Space Race to the Moon. Jessica’s mentored many writers, she’s toured hundreds of schools and libraries across Canada and the United States, she teaches writing workshops for teens and adults, and her books have been translated into six languages.

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Recommended Experience Levels

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) recommends that participants in any given workshop have similar levels of creative writing and / or publication experience. This ensures that each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their career stage. The “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions used by WFNS.

  • New writers: those with less than two years’ creative writing experience and/or no short-form publications (e.g., short stories, personal essays, or poems in literary magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks).
  • Emerging writers: those with more than two years’ creative writing experience and/or numerous short-form publications.
  • Early-career authors: those with 1 or 2 book-length publications or the equivalent in book-length and short-form publications.
  • Established authors: those with 3 or 4 book-length publications.
  • Professional authors: those with 5 or more book-length publications.

Please keep in mind that each form of creative writing (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and writing for children and young adults) provides you with a unique set of experiences and skills, so you might consider yourself an ‘established author’ in one form but a ‘new writer’ in another.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” creative writing workshops, which provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback, the recommended experience level should be followed closely.

For all other workshops, the recommended experience level is just that—a recommendation—and we encourage potential participants to follow their own judgment when registering.

If you’re uncertain of your experience level with regard to any particular workshop, please feel free to contact us at communications@writers.ns.ca