Jo Ann Yhard

Jo Ann is the author of the Canadian Children’s Bestseller (Quill and Quire), The Fossil Hunter of Sydney Mines, a middle reader mystery.

Jo Ann grew up addicted to Nancy Drew mysteries and cryptoquotes. She has lived in the Maritimes all her life. As an avid lover of beachcombing and playing tourist, she draws on local inspiration for her story settings – from fossil hunting to whale watching. The people and places around her are a treasure trove of ideas. Jo Ann lives in Halifax with her husband, James, where she writes mysteries and other stories on her yellow laptop, Bumble Bee.


“Best Books for Kids and Teens 2011” Canadian Children’s Book Centre; ‘The Fossil Hunter of Sydney Mines’


“The Year’s Best 2010” Resource Links; ‘The Fossil Hunter of Sydney Mines’


“The Year’s Best 2011” Resource Links; ‘Lost on Brier Island’

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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