Unmute Your Mic

Unmute Your Mic was a 2021 virtual event series that adapted the traditional open mic night and writers' salon formats for life during the pandemic.

Each Unmute Your Mic event featured a different mode of writing & performance. Participants signed up in advance to share works-in-progress and receive written feedback from a professional author working in their genre.

Unmute Your Mic events were free, and all were welcome to attend or to perform.

Poetry & Spoken Word

(Friday, February 12, 8:00pm to 9:30pm)

with feedback provided by Halifax Poet Laureate Sue Goyette

Fiction & Storytelling

(Friday, March 19, 8:00pm to 9:30pm)

with feedback provided by novelist Donna Morrissey

Nonfiction & Storytelling

(Friday, April 9, 8:00pm to 9:30pm)

with feedback provided by journalist Stephen Kimber

Ten participants, joining from across Nova Scotia and other provinces, read or performed during each event. All three Unmute Your Mic events were hosted by Abena Beloved Green.

Abena Beloved Green is a poet, writer, and dancer who seeks to create, engage, and elevate through her artistic work. She was a two-time member of the Halifax Slam Team, competing in the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. She is also the 2016 winner of the Atlantic Writing Competition’s Poetry Prize (now Nova Writes’ Rita Joe Poetry Prize) and the 3rd place finalist in the 2017 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam (Vancouver, British Columbia). Abena is a Canadian of Ghanaian heritage who lived in Nova Scotia most of her life and recently moved to Eastern Ontario. She is passionate about sustainability, creativity, and connection between living beings. Her first book of poetry is The Way We Hold On (Pottersfield Press, 2018), and her newest release is Ode to the Unpraised (Pottersfield Press, 2020).

Photo by Patrick Shannon
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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 communications@writers.ns.ca