Carol Bruneau


Carol Bruneau is the author of two critically acclaimed collections of short fiction, After the Angel Mill (1995) and Depth Rapture (1998), and three novels, Glass Voices (2007), named a Globe and Mail Best Book, Berth (2005) and Purple for Sky (2000). Published in the U.S. as A Purple Thread for Sky, the novel won the 2001 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and the Dartmouth Book Award.

Shortlisted the same year for the Pearson Readers’ Choice Award, Purple for Sky was recommended by Pamela Wallin on the CBC’s Canada Reads and as a prime pick on her Chapters website. In the U.S., Booklist praised it as a “hilarious, moving and poetic book.” Kirkus called it “a refreshingly unsentimental debut […] deeply original in style. In Canada, Purple for Sky was included in The Globe and Mail‘s “Best Books of 2000.” They praised Bruneau as “a first-class storyteller who uses words magically,” and Chatelaine called it “a warm engaging look at the small dramas that shape our lives…salted with down-home metaphors and pithy observations.”

Considered “one of the brightest lights of Atlantic fiction by acclaimed novelist Joan Clark, Bruneau’s stories have been anthologized recently in Victory Meat, edited by Lynn Coady, and Atlantica: Stories from the Maritimes and Newfoundland, edited by Lesley Choyce. As well, Bruneau has contributed book reviews to The Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire, Atlantic Books Today and the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, which has also published her essays and articles.

Besides the Atlantic Fiction and Dartmouth Book prizes, Bruneau has been awarded four grants by the Canada Council for the Arts, and appointments in 2001 as Writer-in-Residence at Acadia University and in 2009 as Writer-in-Residence at Dalhousie University. Among many guest appearances, she has read at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto, the Eden Mills writers’ festival in Ontario, the Northrop Frye Festival in New Brunswick, Read-by-the-Sea in Nova Scotia, and the Winterset Festival in Newfoundland, where she appeared with Cape Breton writers Alistair MacLeod and D.R. MacDonald. Though born and raised in mainland Nova Scotia, Bruneau’s maternal family roots are on the island.

Bruneau teaches classes and workshops in fiction writing, and has also worked as a photo editor and a journalist. She teaches critical writing part time at NSCAD University and fiction-writing at Dalhousie.


Winner of the 2001 Thomas Head Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award; ‘Purple for Sky’


Winner of the 2001 Dartmouth Book Award (Fiction); ‘Purple for Sky’


Third-prize winner in the Sunday Star short story contest, 1996.


Awarded Canada Council Explorations Grant, 1994.


Second-prize winner for children’s writing, Atlantic Writing Awards, 1994.

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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