Jane Finlay-Young


Jane Finlay-Young was born in England’s Lake District and emigrated to Canada when she was six. Since that time she has lived in the bush in Manitoba, by the ocean on Cape Breton Island, and in various places in Ontario, including Toronto. She moved to Halifax in the Fall of 2006 and hopes to stay a good long time. Born into a family of atheists, scientists and artists she converted to Orthodox Judaism for a while and spent a fascinating, tumultuous year in Israel in the late seventies. She has since returned to her atheist roots. She has been writing since the age of nine (secretly in closets) but didn’t take herself seriously until the mid-nineties when she began her daily (except when life gets in the way!) commitment to writing.

Jane has taught writing (developing a writing workshop, The Mini Writing Career, with her friend and colleague, Annie Jacobsen, now deceased) and has edited the work of others.

In 2000 she published her first novel, From Bruised Fell (Penguin), and before that various short stories. From Bruised Fell has been optioned by the film production company Sienna (New Waterford Girl, Touch of Pink, Marion Bridge). Jane’s non-fiction piece, Ten Million Atoms Fit on the Head of a Pin, was published in the anthology First Man in My Life: Daughters Write About Their Fathers. (Penguin, Canada 2007).

Jane has co-authored a novel, Watermelon Syrup, with Annie Jacobsen. A novelist and a poet, Annie died in May 2005. She finished the third draft of her novel two weeks before she died and asked Jane to act on her behalf should it be accepted for publication. Watermelon Syrup was published in August of 2007.


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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 communications@writers.ns.ca