Gather 'Round

Gather ‘Round: An Evening of Storytelling and Song was a winter holiday concert whose proceeds benefitted the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program. Held on December 5, 2019, at St. Andrew’s United Church (Halifax), the event featured eight writers and performers:

  • hosting by Kayla Hounsell (First Degree)
  • an excerpt from “Lighting Up the Dark,” written by Lisa Moore (Something for Everyone) and performed by Costas Halavrezos, former host of CBC Radio’s Maritime Noon and now host of Nimbus Publishing’s podcast, Book Me!
  • an excerpt from “Wonder About Parents” written and performed by Alexander MacLeod (Light Lifting), professor at Saint Mary’s University, winner of the prestigious O. Henry Prize, and son of Alistair MacLeod
  • an excerpt from The Reindeer Herder, written by Amanda Peters and performed by Stephanie Domet, novelist, co-chair of the Afterwords Literary Festival, and Peters’ former mentor in the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program
  • musical performances by singer-songwriter Ryan MacGrath and the Halifax Gay Men’s Chorus, who previewed their holiday concert, Our Gay Apparel

Tickets for the event were $20 (or $15 for students).


The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia is grateful to BOYNECLARKE LLP and Gordon Stirrett Wealth Management for their investment in this event.

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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