Unbound is an audiobook series featuring poetry, fiction, and nonfiction by Nova Scotian authors. The series breathes new life into the works of foundational and exceptional authors, giving Nova Scotians (and the world) an opportunity to experience and explore them in a new format.

Produced in partnership with Neptune Theatre, Unbound audiobooks are performed by local actors and are available for purchase either through the Neptune at Home streaming service (for new releases) or through the WFNS Gift Shop (for past releases).

What’s the inspiration behind Unbound?
WFNS Executive Director Marilyn Smulders speaks with
Louise Renault and Portia Clark on CBC’s Information Morning >>

New Releases

Scotch River by Linda Little
(performed by Matthew Lumley)
Released fall, 2022

Scotch River is a novel of powerful secrets. It tells the story of Cass Hutt, a bull rider living out West, who has nothing left to lose. With nothing and no one to hold him—his rodeo partner has been killed—Cass heads East, lured by the arrival of a mysterious land deed for property in Scotch River, Nova Scotia.

Back in his boyhood hometown, Cass encounters people as eccentric and as lonely as himself. They may even be related to him.

Scotch River won the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction in 2007.

Scotch River is out print

Ocean by Sue Goyette
(performed by Leah Pritchard)
Released fall, 2022

The ocean has never had a biographer quite like Sue Goyette. Living in Halifax, Goyette’s days are bounded by the substantial fact of the North Atlantic, both by its physical presence and by its metaphoric connotations. And like many of life’s overwhelming facts, our awareness of the ocean’s importance and impact waxes and wanes as the ocean sometimes lurks in the background, sometimes imposes itself upon us, yet always, steadily, is. Goyette plunges in and swims well outside the buoys to craft a sort of alternate, apocryphal account of our relationship with the ocean. In these linked poems, Goyette’s offbeat cast of archetypes (fog merchants, lifeguards, poets, carpenters, mothers, daughters) pronounce absurd explanations to both common and uncommon occurrences in a tone that is part cautionary tale, part creation myth and part urban legend […]. (Summary courtesy of Gaspereau Press)

Ocean is the winner of the 2015 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia’s Masterworks Art Award and finalist for the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize. The French translation of Ocean by Georgette LeBlanc won the 2020 Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation.

Ocean is also available in paperback

Song of Rita Joe: Autobiography of a Mi’kmaw Poet by Rita Joe
(performed by Catherine Anne Martin)
Released fall, 2022

This honoured elder has left us her own story, a book of exceptional courage and insight. Born in poverty on a Cape Breton reserve, Rita Joe was a gentle woman who fought for family, justice, and her own independent voice. She faced intolerance, ignorance and abuse—searched her culture for strength—and wrote poems of clarity and encouragement that continue to inspire. Song of Rita Joe includes 75 of her poems. A winner of the Order of Canada, Rita Joe writes about her life’s journey, and the promise of hope and healing. (Summary courtesy of Cape Breton Press)

Song of Rita Joe is also available in paperback

Past Releases

Lagomorph by Alexander MacLeod
(performed by Alexander MacLeod)
Released spring, 2021

A short story told from the perspective of a father who brings home a rabbit for a family pet, “Lagomorph” explores the significance this critter takes on for the narrator as the family’s dynamic shifts and fractures.

Originally published in the literary magazine Granta, “Lagomorph” was one of the winners of the 100th O. Henry Prize in 2019. The special edition book of “Lagomorph,” designed and printed by Andrew Steeves of Gaspereau Press, won the 2021 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award.

The Leaving by Budge Wilson
(performed by Margaret Muriel Legere)
Released spring, 2021

In the eleven short stories comprising The Leaving (1990), Budge Wilson, the popular author of Lorinda’s Diary and Thirteen Never Changes, explores growing up in a colourful but imperfect world from women’s points of view.

A pen pal halfway around the world, starting a diary, a favourite teacher’s romance with metaphors, the intricacies of family relationships, a high school reunion, the bittersweet taste of first love — all are fodder for stories that will be read over and over again, and to treasure for a lifetime.

The Leaving is also available in paperback

We Keep a Light by Evelyn M. Richardson
(performed by Martha Irving)
Released spring, 2021

On an isolated lighthouse station off the southern tip of Nova Scotia, the Richardsons shared the responsibilities and pleasures of island living, from carrying water and collecting firewood to making preserves and studying at home. The close-knit family didn’t mind their isolation, and found delight in the variety and beauty of island life.

We Keep A Light (1945) is much more than a memoir. It is an exquisitely written, engrossing record of family life set against a glowing lighthouse, the enduring shores of Nova Scotia, and the ever-changing sea.

We Keep a Light is also available in paperback

The Door of My Heart and Other Poems by Maxine Tynes
(performed by Tara Taylor)
Released spring, 2021

Curated by poet and scholar Evelyn C. White, this audio anthology gathers the best poems from the collected works of Maxine Tynes: her debut, Borrowed Beauty (1987), winner of the Milton Acorn People’s Poetry Award; her follow-ups, Woman Talking Woman (1990) and The Door Of My Heart (1993); and her collection of children’s poetry, Save the World For Me (1991).

Maxine Tynes was a highly celebrated poet, a recipient of the Governor General’s Canada Medal for her teaching, and a champion in the search for Black Nova Scotian identity and community.

Several Maxine Tynes titles are also available in paperback

Investors & Partners

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia acknowledges the Nova Scotia Creative Industries Fund for the Arts for its investment in Unbound and Neptune Theatre for its partnership in realizing this project.

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia is also grateful to Cape Breton Books, Fitzhenry and Whiteside Limited, Gaspereau Press, Nimbus Publishing, Penguin Random House Canada, and Pottersfield Press for their permission to produce and distribute Unbound audiobook titles.

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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 that 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 with no professional publications (yet!) or a few short professional publications (i.e., poems, stories, or essays in literary magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks).
  • Emerging writers: those with numerous professional publications and/or one book-length publication.
  • Established writers/authors: those with two book-length publications or the equivalent in book-length and short publications.
  • Professional authors: those with more than two book-length publications.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” creative writing workshops, which provide more opportunities for 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 communications@writers.ns.ca