Elaine McCluskey


Elaine McCluskey is the author of two novels and three short-story collections. She has recently signed to publish her newest collection with Goose Lane Editions. The Most Heartless Town in Canada, a novel, was released in Spring 2016. She has published over 50 stories and won numerous contests. Her third collection, Hello, Sweetheart, was published by Enfield & Wizenty in Winnipeg in 2014. Her debut collection of short stories, The Watermelon Social, was published in the spring of 2006 by Gaspereau Press. The title story of that collection was a finalist in The Journey Prize contest. Her second collection, Valery the Great, was published by Anvil Press in Vancouver. Her novel, Going Fast, was published by Goose Lane Editions in Fredericton. Elaine’s stories have appeared in The Fiddlehead, The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, Gaspereau Review, Room, Other Voices, Pottersfield Portfolio, Riddle Fence, and many others. Her stories have appeared in anthologies, including the Fish anthology in Ireland. She graduated from Dalhousie and the University of Western Ontario (MA) and lives in Dartmouth, with her husband, a photojournalist. They have two children. 




Going Fast, Winner of the H.R. (Bill) Percy Award given out by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia.


Final three in Journey Prize Stories contest 2004 for “The Watermelon Social.”

Second place in the Fish Publishing Short Story Contest 2013, Cork, Ireland, for “Something Pretty, Something Nice.”


Winner of Other Voices Annual Short Fiction Contest 2005 for “Valery the Great.”


Winner of Pottersfield Portfolio’s Compact Fiction Contest for “Bad Boys.”


Honourable Mention Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Contest 2008: David Adams Richards Prize for unpublished manuscript or short stories for The Houdini.


Winner of the Saturday Night diamond contest.


Honourable Mention Writers’ Federation of New Brunswick Contest 2008: short story category for “The Favorite Nephew.”


Shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards for “Maurice.”


Finalist for John and Margaret Savage First Book Award.

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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