Deborah Stiles


Deborah Stiles was born and raised in Appalachia, in West Virginia, but found herself moving northward in 1988. A graduate of the University of Maine’s M.A. in Creative Writing in 1990 with the thesis No Curtains on These Windows (a collection of short stories), she has published poems, short stories, agriculture and cooking articles, and scholarly articles in a wide variety of journals in Canada and the U.S.

In 2002, BrickHouse Books (Baltimore, Maryland), published her book-length poem, Movement Catalogued; in 1991, Northern LightsPress (Orono, Maine) published her poetry collection, Riding Limestone. She has completed two additional poetry manuscripts, whose poems have appeared in The Fiddlehead, The Carleton Arts Review, To, Kennebec, Zymergy, Nashwaak Review, Pottersfield Portfolio, and elsewhere. In 1997, after living in Fredericton, NB for three years, she applied for landed immigrant status and also completed her Ph.D. (University of Maine, History) with a doctoral thesis on the Fredericton-based-but rurally-oriented poet and newspaper editor, Martin Butler (1857-1915). Currently, she is working on several projects, including a novel and also the revision of her thesis on Martin Butler. In January 2004, she became a Canadian citizen.

An Associate Professor in Humanities at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, and a part-time farmer, Stiles enjoys teaching history, writing and literature courses and sharing her love of the natural world, agriculture, and rural society that is an integral part of her creative work.


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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 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 who have been writing creatively for less than two years and/or have not yet been published in any form.
  • Emerging writers: those who have been writing creatively for less than five years and/or have some short publications (poems, stories, or essays) in literary magazines, journals, or anthologies.
  • Established writers/authors: those with numerous publications in magazines, journals, or anthologies and/or a full-length book publication.
  • Professional authors: those with two or more full-length book publications.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” workshops, which provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer (that is, 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