Andy Verboom

Unmute Your Mic

Remember “open mic nights”? When you’d screw up your courage, approach the mic stand, maybe perch uncomfortably on a high stool, and then recite your latest piece of writing? Glancing up from the page, you’d look out at… what’s that? An audience?! Real people looking back at you?

Well, we’re bringing back the feel of that old-timey writers’ salon — with a twist!

Spoken word artist and poet Abena Beloved Green will host three Unmute Your Mic events (held through Zoom), inviting you to “unmute your mic” and to share work in progress.

Friday, February 12, 8:00pm to 9:30pm: Poetry & Spoken Word

Friday, March 12, 8:00pm to 9:30pm: Fiction & Storytelling

Friday, April 9, 8:00pm to 9:30pm: Nonfiction & Storytelling

The twist? A member of the WFNS Writers’ Council will listen in on each event and offer feedback to the participating writers. (By email and after the event, of course. No performer needs the extra pressure of being publicly critiqued!) For the first event, Halifax Poet Laureate Sue Goyette will provide all participants with feedback.

Unmute Your Mic events are free, and all are welcome to attend and to perform.

Pre-register once to attend any or all of the events:

Sign up to share your work by pre-registering (at the link above) and then fill out the form below.
Performance slots are limited (10 per event) and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you sign up for a full event, we’ll add you to the waitlist.

Unmute Your Mic sign-up form

Taking Care of Business: A Professional Development Series

Like writers everywhere, our members are at many different levels of experience. We’re offering this four-session professional development series at one very low price, allowing you to focus on the areas where you need the most help. Simply register for one session, and you can drop in on any — or all — of them!

All sessions will be held via Zoom Webinar, and you must pre-register before the first session you wish to attend. You do not need a Zoom account to attend. If you are unfamiliar with Zoom and would like a preliminary introduction, here’s an overview of the platform.

Each session will start at 7:00pm (Atlantic Time) and will run for 1 to 1½ hours. Time will be set aside for participants to ask questions of the presenters.

The Name of the Game: Finding a Publisher for your Book

Tuesday, Feb. 2 (7:00pm)
Prolific author and publisher Lesley Choyce will unravel the mysteries around finding a publisher for your book manuscript. Because publishing is an ever-changing business — and it is just that, a business — creativity is not enough. For first time authors and for those with a publishing record, Lesley will illuminate the dark corners, give you a map through this maze, and discuss the process from both sides — that of a writer and that of a publisher.

Sign on the Dotted Line: Agents and Contracts

Tuesday, Feb. 9 (7:00pm)
What can you expect from an agent? How can you evaluate a publishing agreement? Join award-winning writer Vicki Grant and senior agent Fiona Kenshole (Transatlantic) as they discuss their author-agent relationship. Then stick around as lawyer Katie Paterno (McInnes Cooper) examines the fine print in publishing contracts.

Grant Writing

Tuesday, Feb. 16 (7:00pm)
Maybe you’d like some dedicated time to write. Or maybe you need to travel to do research. Maybe you’d like to do a writer’s residency and could use some support. Join us as writer Kate Inglis gives her tips for successful grant writing. Providing additional details on programs available to writers will be Enrique Ferreol (Program Officer, Arts Nova Scotia) and Andrew Steinmetz (Program Officer, Canada Council for the Arts).

Super Fans: Building an Engaged Social Media Community

Tuesday, Feb. 23 (7:00pm)
When you’ve spent two years with your head in a manuscript, jumping into social media doesn’t always feel like a natural transition. Yet with traditional book coverage at an all-time low, that’s exactly what prospective publishers expect you to do. In this PD session, author and communications specialist Sarah Sawler will give you the tools you need to build an engaged and supportive social community.

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