Winners of the 2024 Nova Writes Competition

Congratulations to the winners and runners-up of the 2024 Nova Writes Competition for Unpublished Manuscripts!

Budge Wilson Short Fiction Prize: J.P. Smith for “The Hooper”

Runners-up: Matthew Anderson for “A Life in its Pieces”
and Victor Maddalena for “The Blind Pig”

H.R. (Bill) Percy Short Creative Non-Fiction Prize: Kyle Hooper for “Shining Abbie’s Shoes”

Runners-up: Kathy France for “Arrival”
and Anya Zub for “Shards of Glass”

Rita Joe Poetry Prize: Blue Bailey for “Lethe”

Runners-up: Susan Drain for “From the Great War”
and Logan Lawrence for “(a)part”

Our deep gratitude to the judges of this year’s competition, who provided written feedback for all entries in our five prize categories, including for the Joyce Barkhouse Writing for Young Adults Prize and Le prix Félix Thibodeau de la forme courte, which were not awarded this year. Written feedback will be sent to entrants starting on May 8.

J.P. Smith, Kyle Hooper, and Blue Bailey will read from their manuscripts at the Celebration of Emerging Writers—alongside the 2024 recipients of the Emerging Writers Prizes and the 2024 graduates of the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program—on Wednesday, May 29 (6:30pm – 8:30pm), at Café Lara (2347 Agricola St, Halifax).

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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