Author spotlight: Jan Fancy Hull

Jan Fancy Hull lives in Lunenburg County. Prior to being awarded the 2022 Rita Joe Poetry Prize, her poetry was published in The Antigonish Review, and in an anthology, Gathering In (Windywood). She has also published two collections of short fiction, three mysteries in a series of twelve, and a non-fiction book (Moose House Publications).

As the title “Moss Meditations” suggests, your winning entry for the 2022 Rita Joe Poetry Prize reflects on nature. What are some of your favourite outdoor spots in Lunenburg County?

I wrote “Moss Meditations” as my personal response to an experience which excited my imagination. I live 100 feet from the shore of a small Lunenburg County lake. Looking out my windows, I watch the seasons, the weather, and the lake change a dozen times every day. In summer, I take my small boat on the water and just drift. Nature is awesome.

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How did you prepare to enter “Moss Meditations” in Nova Writes? Did you revise the piece on your own or did you seek out feedback from others before the submission deadline?

All the above. I shared the initial version with a couple of trusted readers, then submitted it hither and yon, including to a previous Nova Writes. The great value of NW is the commentary that all entries receive. My poem received praise and suggestions, but no prize—OW. I knew it had good bones. I implemented (most of) the suggestions, submitted it again—WOW!

If you could only read three books of poetry for the rest of your life, which collections would you choose and why?

I’d choose three thick anthologies of diverse poets from diverse periods of time including the most recent. For the variety, and the possibility of finding new favourites with every turn of the page.

You’re also a member of WFNS. What spurred you to sign up?

I wanted to be part of / benefit from / support the provincial writing community. By the end of this year I will have published six books of prose published by Moose House Publications. I learned about MHP in a WFNS newsletter, so membership paid off bigtime!

What’s one thing you can’t write without?

A tinfoil hat, naturally. Also: For prose I need virtual hiking boots so I can navigate the rocky story trail without twisting an ankle.  For poetry, I need a virtual shovel to unearth extraordinary meanings hidden in ordinary things.

For more about the Rita joe Poetry Prize, see our Nova Writes Competition for Unpublished Manuscripts.

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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 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 who have been writing creatively for less than two years and/or have not yet been published in any form.
  • Emerging writers: those who have been writing creatively for less than five years and/or have some short publications (poems, stories, or essays) in literary magazines, journals, or anthologies.
  • Established writers/authors: those with numerous publications in magazines, journals, or anthologies and/or a full-length book publication.
  • Professional authors: those with two or more full-length book publications.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” workshops, which provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer (that is, 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.

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