Janet Barkhouse



Janet Barkhouse retired from professional theatre in 1982, and from teaching high school English in 2005. She’s written and directed plays for children from ages 8 to 18, written innovative English curriculum for the Province of Nova Scotia, and given workshops and readings for young people, teachers and writers across the Province.

In 2006 she fell in love with writing poems. Since then she has studied with many extraordinary poets, at universities in Halifax, and at the Banff Centre. Her debut book of poems, Salt Fires (Pottersfield, 2018) follows on two chapbooks, Silence and Sable Island Fieldnotes. In 2013-14, through their Humanities-HEALS program, she was Artist in Residence (Writing) at Dalhousie University’s Medical School.

Janet lives near Mahone Bay on Nova Scotia’s South Shore.



Barkhouse, Janet. The New Quarterly, Winter 2018. Three poems.

—. The Dalhousie Review, Spring 2017. Three poems.

—. “Mermaid“. Whispers of Mermaids and Wonderful Things: Children’s Poetry and Verse from Atlantic Canada. Ed. Sheree Fitch and Anne Hunt. Halifax: Nimbus Publishing, 2017.

—. Silence. Mahone Bay: Mid-Drumlin Press, 2015. Chapbook.

—. “Weir”. Galleon III. December 2014. 

—. “Hung Jury, Sable Island.” Literary Review of Canada. Vol. 21, No. 1, January/February 2013. Poem.

—. “The Girls in the Snapshot.” Untying the Apron: Daughters Remember Mothers of the 1950s. Ed. Lorri Neilsen Glenn. Toronto: Guernica Editions, 2013. Poem. 

—. “Little Billy.” Room 34.3, 2011. Short story.


Atlantic Writing Competition, 2007. Second prize, Poetry.

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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