Meet your 2022 Mentorship Program participants

Congratulations to the four apprentice writers selected for this year’s Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program, and thank you to each of the authors who will mentor them!


M.V. Feehan (apprentice) has published work in Canadian, American, and European journals. She was the 2018 recipient of WFNS’s Budge Wilson Short Fiction Prize. In recent years, she received the Hedy Zimra scholarship from Frequency Writers of Rhode Island as well as the fiction award from Elizabeth Bishop’s Centenarian Festival. She spent years as a reader and editor for Room Magazine. She completed her Masters of Philosophy in Creative Writing at Trinity College Dublin in May of 2021 and currently resides on Cape Breton Island with her husband and son.

Chris Benjamin (mentor) is the author of four award-winning books. His most recent is Boy With A Problem, which was shortlisted for the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction. He is also a freelance features writer and magazine editor.


Susan LeBlanc (apprentice) grew up mostly in Halifax, though spent grade four moving between three provinces and attended half of high school in Toronto. She has a BA in English from the University of King’s College/Dalhousie University and a journalism degree from King’s. She studied French for a year at Laval University, where she wished for warmer boots. She worked in Halifax as a newspaper and magazine journalist for twenty years, sharing in two Atlantic Journalism Awards with Chronicle-Herald colleagues. She has edited a few nonfiction manuscripts for a regional publisher and, for six years, worked as a writing/reporting tutor at the King’s School of Journalism. She then enrolled in fiction workshops and classes and learned it’s okay to make things up. She was shortlisted for the 2018 Budge Wilson Short Story Prize. She lives in Dartmouth with her family and her cat.

Becca Babcock (mentor) grew up in Alberta, but since 2005, she’s lived just outside of Halifax with her husband Trent, and now with their almost-five-year-old son, Thorin. Becca's first book, Every Second Weekend (a short story cycle) was published by Blaurock Press in 2012; her first novel, One Who Has Been Here Before, was published this year by Vagrant Press, and her next novel, also with Vagrant Press, is set for release in 2023. Becca is a writer, writing instructor, and sometimes an actor and a filmmaker, as well. She teaches writing and English at Dalhousie University in Halifax, and occasionally at other universities in the region.


Born in Barbados, Claudette Bouman (apprentice) arrived in Canada as a student in 1986. After successfully completing graduate studies at UNB and then UBC in Educational Administration, she lived in Saskatchewan. In the late 1990s, she relocated with her family to Nova Scotia. She is married and has two adult children.

Cooper Lee Bombardier (mentor) is the author of the memoir-in-essays Pass With Care, a finalist for the 2021 Firecracker Award in Nonfiction. His writing appears in The Kenyon Review, The Malahat Review, Ninth Letter, CutBank, Nailed Magazine, Longreads, Narratively, BOMB, and The Rumpus and in 19 anthologies, including the Lambda Literary Award-winning anthology, The Remedy–Essays on Queer Health Issues and the Lambda-nominated anthology Meanwhile, Elsewhere: Speculative Fiction From Transgender Writers, which won a 2018 American Library Association Stonewall Book Award. He teaches in the MFA in Creative Nonfiction program at University of King’s College and in women and gender studies at Saint Mary’s University.

YA Fiction

Nayani Jensen (apprentice) grew up in Halifax, NS, and most of her writing has the ocean in it. She writes short stories, novels, and poems. She was a winner of the Atlantic Writing Competition in 2014, and her poetry has been published in the ASH Oxford student journal (2019, 2020). When not writing, she studies the intersection of science and literature, and she has recently completed her MSc in History of Science at Oxford University.

Jo Treggiari (mentor) is the multi-award nominated author of five books for children. Her most recent YA novel, The Grey Sisters (Penguin Teen 2019), was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, for the Arthur Ellis Mystery Award, and for the Ann Connor Brimer Children’s Literature Award.

Poetry in Motion Celebration

Join us (virtually) on Tuesday, Nov 16, at 7:30pm as we celebrate the third edition of Poetry in Motion.

Poetry in Motion is a public poetry program which puts poems by 10 Nova Scotian writers on more than 120 Metro Transit buses. This year, the selected poems—on the theme of “connection”—have also been printed on postcards and will be delivered weekly to more than 400 recipients of Meals on Wheels programs in Halifax, Dartmouth, Sackville, and Bedford.

“Spring 202” by Brian Bartlett
“Spring Arrival” by Deborah Banks
“Roots” by Joanne Bealy
“Light & Darkness” by Martha Mutale
“Open” by Anna Elmira
“Used Envelopes” by Leanne Schneider
“Blaze” by Carole Glasser Langille
“And Yet” by Christina McRae
“Clematis” by Susan Drain
“One Bite” by Robin Metcalfe

Each of the 10 poets of Poetry in Motion 2021 will read their selected poem along with one or two additional short poems.

Investors and Partners

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia is grateful to Arts Nova Scotia for their investment in Poetry in Motion. We are also grateful to Halifax Public Libraries, the Halifax Regional Municipality, Halifax Meals on Wheels, Dartmouth Meals on Wheels, and Sackville-Bedford Meals on Wheels for their partnership in realizing the 2021 Poetry in Motion program.

Meet your 2021 Mentorship Program participants

Congratulations to the six apprentice writers selected for this year’s Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program! And thank you to each of the authors who will mentor them!


Robert de la Chevotiere will be mentored by Evelyn C. White

Danica Roache will be mentored by Stephanie Domet


Justyne Leslie will be mentored by Rebecca Thomas

Martha Mutale will be mentored by El Jones

YA Fiction

Lori McKay will be mentored by Tom Ryan

Nicolas Paquette will be mentored by Sylvia Gunnery

Celebrating the 2020 graduates of the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program

In 2020, with pandemic conditions prohibiting the annual Celebration of Emerging Writers, we’re celebrating the graduates of the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program by sharing their work with you in video form, illustrated and animated by Nova Scotia visual artists. View all their videos here.

Bev Shaw reading “Undertow,” with animation by Anna Quon

Brad Donaldson reading “Away,” with illustration by Patrick McWade

Joanne Gallant reading an excerpt from her memoir, with videography by Catherine Bussiere

Angela Bowden reading “Black Boy Guilty” and “The Belly of the Beast,” with artwork by Doretta Groenendyk

Sandra Murdock reading “No is a Complete Sentence,” with illustration by Marijke Simons

Katie Cameron reading “Anticipatory Grief” and “Fences,” with animation by Paton Francis

Sue Murtagh reading “Lost Purse,” with illustration by Belle DeMont

Virtual Poetry in Motion Celebration

We’re proud to present our virtual Poetry in Motion Celebration for 2020 — on the theme “journeys” — featuring video readings of all ten selected poems by, of course, the poets themselves: Sue GoyetteAsha JeffersNanci LeeVanessa LentTiffany MorrisNolan NatashaLorri Neilsen GlennAnna QuonSamantha Sternberg, and Evelyn C. White.

You can also purchase all ten poems as a postcard set ($10 plus shipping). All proceeds from postcard sales will support the endowment for our new Nova Scotia Poetry Award.

2020 Poetry in Motion: Featured Poets

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) is thrilled to announce the names of the ten poets who will have their writing featured as part of this year’s Poetry in Motion. This year, we received over 120 submissions from emerging and established writers across the province. The theme for this year’s Poetry in Motion is journeys.

The ten poets selected for this year’s project are

  • Lorri Neilsen Glenn
  • Sue Goyette
  • Asha Jeffers
  • Nanci Lee
  • Vanessa Lent
  • Tiffany Morris
  • Nolan Natasha
  • Anna Quon
  • Samantha Sternberg
  • Evelyn C. White

The final selection of poems was made by a jury consisting of two Nova Scotian poets, Jaime Forsythe and Sylvia D. Hamilton, and Karen Dahl from Halifax Public Libraries.

The WFNS thanks the jury for contributing their time and expertise to this selection. We would also like to thank all the writers who took the time to submit their work to this year’s project.

A public poetry art project, Poetry in Motion displays short poems (and excerpts from longer poems) on transit ads in buses throughout the Halifax Regional Municipality.

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia is grateful to Arts Nova Scotia for their funding of Poetry in Motion and to the Halifax Regional Muncipality and Halifax Public Libraries for their partnership in realizing this project.

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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.

If you’re uncertain of your experience level with regard to any particular workshop, please feel free to contact us at