Hugh R. MacDonald

Hugh R. MacDonald is a writer of fiction, and a singer/songwriter. Hugh has been a member of the Writers Union of Canada and the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) for many years. His YA novel, Trapper Boy was published by Cape Breton University Press, and the sequel entitled Us and Them waas released in October 2016. Hugh is a graduate of Cape Breton University, and worked in the human services field for 25 plus years, and is now happily retired.

September 2017 — “Trapper Boy” was included in the Reading Nova Scotia publication of “150 Books of Influence” in Nova Scotia–see the link below, which will redirect you to the site.  You may have to copy and paste the link.

Hugh’s song, “Trapper Boy,” that he wrote prior to the novel of the same name, has been added to the repertoire of the world famous Men of the Deeps, and was included on their 50th Anniversary Compilation CD, which was released in April 2016. Hugh’s version of his song, “Trapper Boy” can be found here: https//

Hugh’s song “A Cape Breton Lament” (written and performed by Hugh) was included on the CD Cape Breton Songs of Steel, Coal and Protest, produced by Dr. Richard MacKinnon (Cape Breton University). See the Youtube link here:

Trapper Boy was selected by Dr. Patrick Howard of Cape Breton University’s Education Department as a novel around which to develop a Teacher Resource. The resource is currently available at no charge for teachers using Trapper Boy.

Hugh is a member of the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program through WFNS. Hugh enjoys going into schools to meet with young people and sharing his passion for writing. His presentation includes readings from his work, using his songs and his videos to share thoughts on his writing process, and encouraging young people to try their own hand at writing. WITS grade levels P-12.


  • Trapper Boy, Cape Breton University Press, Sydney, Nova Scotia, 2012
  • ”Stillborn,” Grey Area: 13 Ghost Stories, Third Person Press, Cape Breton, NS, 2013
  • Us and Them, Cape Breton University Press, Sydney, Nova Scotia, 2016
  • ”What Christmas is All About.” Cape Breton’s Christmas Book 3. Breton Books, 2016.
  • ”Kirk’s Challenge,” Selected Stories From Scroll in Space, Scroll Press, Prince George, BC, 2013
  • ”Talent Shows in Cape Breton,” The Centre of the World at the End of the Continent, UCCB Press, Sydney, Nova Scotia, 1996
  • Dead of Night Award 2007, Estronomicon E-Zine.The December 2016 issue of Resource Links (vol. 22. no. 2) has a review of Hugh R. MacDonald’s Us and Them.
  • Trapper Boy was included in The Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids and Teens Spring Edition 2013. Us and Them was included in the Spring Edition 2017.
  • In 2017, Trapper Boy was chosen as 1 of the 150 Books of Influence by Reading Nova Scotia, in a province-wide library project of the Nova Scotia Library Association and Nova Scotia’s nine Regional Public Library systems in honour of the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

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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