Bretton Loney

Bretton Loney is a novelist and non-fiction writer who has published two books that were nominated for Whistler Independent Book Awards: a biography, Rebel With A Cause: The Doc Nikaido Story in 2015 and in 2018 his first novel, The Last Hockey Player.

His short stories have appeared in various Canadian short story anthologies and literary journals, including the short story collection Everything Is So Political. In 2019 his story, “The Coulee Song”, appeared in The Group of Seven Reimagined, a collection of very short stories inspired by the artists’ paintings.

In 2022 Bretton independently published his second novel, Joe Howe’s Ghost. The novel tells the story of Erin Curran who is a rookie Government MLA when a startling encounter with the ghost of Joe Howe, Nova Scotia’s most famous politician and journalist, changes the trajectory of her career and her life.

Joe Howe’s Ghost is a reflection on Howe’s tumultuous political era and of provincial politics today, and an exploration of the personal struggle between the desire for political power and upholding heartfelt personal convictions that are common to both.

Bretton was an award-winning journalist for more than 20 years in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and worked in communications for the Government of Nova Scotia for 16 years. He was born and raised in Bow Island, Alberta and has undergraduate degrees from the University of Lethbridge and the University of King’s College. He lives in Halifax with his wife, Karen Shewbridge.

More information on Bretton’s writing is available at


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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