Retirement Party for Marilyn Smulders

After six years as Executive Director of WFNS, Marilyn’s tenure has concluded. But in recognition that this weekend’s weather may make travel difficult or dangerous, we are postponing our retirement party for Marilyn Smulders, originally planned for Sunday, September 17. The party will still be held in Halifax, with the new date and time announced the week of September 18.

In lieu of any retirement gifts, please consider donating to support the Charles R. Saunder Prize, named in honour of the journalist and founder of the sword-and-soul fantasy genre, who was also Marilyn’s former colleague at Halifax Daily News. The annual prize supports emerging writers with in-progress works in nonfiction and speculative fiction, with priority given to writers of marginalized backgrounds—writers like Charles at the beginning of his career. For more on the Saunders Prize, you can hear other former colleagues, Jon Tattrie and Portia White, discuss George’s life and his eponymous prize on CBC’s Information Morning, aired September 4.

If you’re unable to attend but would like to send Marilyn a message of appreciation, best wishes, or fond farewell, you can do so below.

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Recommended Experience Levels

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) recommends that each workshop’s participants share a level or range of writing / publication experience. This is to ensure that each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their current writing priorities.

To this end, the “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions developed by WFNS:

  • New writers: those with no professional publications (yet!) or a few short professional publications (i.e., poems, stories, or essays in literary magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks).
  • Emerging writers: those with numerous professional publications and/or one book-length publication.
  • Established writers/authors: those with two book-length publications or the equivalent in book-length and short publications.
  • Professional authors: those with more than two book-length publications.

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

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