Workshops

Sorting Fact from Fiction: How to Get and Verify Information for your Non-Fiction Work (with Joan Baxter)

Mar 9 – 30, 7 – 9 pm >>

In this age of social media, when it is becoming ever more difficult to sort fact from fanciful fiction, the importance of well-researched non-fiction writing has never been greater. But where and to whom does one go to get facts, what are some of the most important and reliable sources of information for non-fiction writers? Let the treasure hunt begin—with practical activities, shared ideas, tips and experiences, and group discussions about how best to collect, verify and then sort through all that information that goes into a non-fiction book.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Joan Baxter is a Nova Scotian author, journalist, development researcher/writer and anthropologist who divides her time between Canada and Africa. Her 2017 book, The Mill – Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest, won the 2018 Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, and was shortlisted for three other awards. It also topped the Nova Scotia Chapters Indigo bestseller list for three months. Other books include Dust From Our Eyes (2008), an unblinkered look at Africa; A Serious Pair of Shoes: An African Journal (2001), winner of the Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award; and Graveyard for Dreams: One Woman’s Odyssey in Africa (1994). In addition to hundreds of news reports and features for BBC World Service, her short fiction has also been aired on this worldwide radio service in several languages. She has lived and worked in Mexico, Guatemala, Niger, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Mali and Sierra Leone, and is multi-lingual.

Location: Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (online with Zoom)

Dates of 4-week workshop: Tuesdays, Mar. 9 + Mar. 16 + Mar. 23 + Mar. 30 (7:00pm to 9:00pm)

Price: $214 (incl. 1-year WFNS membership for 2021)

Member Price: $149

Writing for Children and Youth (with Sylvia Gunnery)

Mar 2 – 30, 7 – 9pm >>

Develop your unique voice in writing for children and youth in this four-part workshop. Through focused activities and group discussion, you will reflect on all stages of the writing process as you create setting, characters, dialogue, storyline, and structure.  There will be opportunities to share draft writing, chat about books by your favourite authors, and consider how to move successfully toward publication. 

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Sylvia Gunnery first took her writing seriously by attending the Banff Centre in 1976 under the instruction of W.O. Mitchell, Alice Munro, and others.  Since then, she has published more than 25 books for teens and younger readers, including her 2017 YA novel Road Signs That Say WestOut of Bounds and Game Face were nominated for the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Award.  She has been honoured with a Prime Minister’s Teaching Award and a Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia legacy membership.  Sylvia lives at Crescent Beach on the South Shore where she’s writing a YA novel what I know about next.

Location: Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (online with Zoom)

Dates of 4-week workshop: Tuesdays, March 2 + March 9 + March 23 + March 30 (7:00pm to 9:00pm)

Price: $214 (incl. 1-year WFNS membership for 2021)

Member Price: $149

Registration for this workshop is closed.

Split, Float, Scatter, Trace: poetry workshop (with Anne Simpson)

Feb 24 – March 17, 7 – 9pm >>

We will consider one of four words – split, float, scatter, and trace – in each of the workshop sessions to understand how content and form come together in the making of a poem. We will look at the work of other poets, but we will concentrate first and foremost on the playful writing and shaping of new work. Many years ago, I took art classes with a Syrian artist who gave us a word to think about each week—words like “ancient” and “earth” and “celebration” became fascinating as we made art based on our ideas about these words. 

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Anne Simpson’s third novel, Speechless, came out in 2020, as did her book of essays, Experiments in Distant Influence. She has published five books of poetry, most recently, Strange Attractor, and a previous book of essays, The Marram Grass: Poetry and Otherness. Her work of mentoring other writers has taken her to libraries and universities across the country. She lives on an estuary in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, sharing space with ravens, herons, and bald eagles.

Location: Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (online with Zoom)

Dates of 4-week workshop: Wednesdays, Feb. 24 + Mar. 3 + Mar. 10 + Mar. 17 (7:00pm to 9:00pm)

Price: $214 (incl. 1-year WFNS membership for 2021)

Member Price: $149

Registration for this workshop is closed.

Contemplative Writing: Breathe, Stretch, and Write (with Sheree Fitch)

Feb 22 – Mar 15, 7 – 9pm >>

With poetry and prose prompts, Sheree will guide participants in first-burst writing activities and in using these activities as a point of departure for new work or works-in-progress. There will also be discussion on writing as a spiritual practice. 

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR:

Sheree Fitch’s first two books, Toes in My Nose (1987) and Sleeping Dragons All Around (1989), launched her career as a poet, rhymester, and a “kind of Canadian female Dr. Seuss.” Since then, she has won almost every major award for Canadian children’s literature, including the Vicky Metcalfe Award for a Body of Work Inspirational to Canadian Children. She has more than 25 books to her credit, including her latest book for children, Summer Feet, and a collection of moments, You Won’t Always Be This Sad. Her poem “Because We Love, We Cry,” written after the tragic events in Portapique, NS, has just been published as a keepsake book by Nimbus.

Location: Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (online with Zoom)

Dates of 4-week workshop: Mondays, Feb. 22 + Mar. 1 + Mar. 8 + Mar. 15 (7:00pm to 9:00pm)

Price: $214 (incl. 1-year WFNS membership for 2021)

Member Price: $149

Registration for this workshop is closed.

First Words: Fiction (with Sherry D. Ramsey, Julian Mortimer Smith, and Sarah Mian)

Jan 21 – Mar 18, 7 – 9pm >>

As a welcoming space for beginner or emerging writers, First Words: Fiction provides an overview of the craft from several professional perspectives. No prerequisites or pre-existing pieces of writing are necessary for participation in this course.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS:

Sherry D. Ramsey is a speculative fiction author and editor best known for her Nearspace and Olympia Investigations series. She has published six novels and a variety of shorter fiction, both at home and further afield. Sherry lives in Cape Breton with her family and dogs, where she consumes far more coffee and chocolate than is likely good for her. 

Julian Mortimer Smith is a science fiction and fantasy writer based in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. His work has been published in Asimov’s, Terraform, Lightspeed, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, and other venues.

Sarah Mian’s debut novel When the Saints won the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award, the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award and was nominated for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. She lives in Queensland, Nova Scotia.

Location: Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (online with Zoom)

Dates of 9-week workshop:
with Sherry D. Ramsey: Thursdays, Jan. 21 + Jan. 28 + Feb. 4 (7:00pm to 9:00pm)
with Julian Mortimer SmithThursdays, Feb. 11 + Feb. 18 + Feb. 25 (7:00pm to 9:00pm)
with Sarah MianThursdays, Mar. 4 + Mar. 11 + Mar. 18 (7:00pm to 9:00pm)

Registration for this workshop is closed.

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