Joanne Jefferson


Joanne Jefferson has been passionately involved in the Nova Scotia writing community ever since she helped create Quod Libet, the QEH arts and literary magazine in 1981. She was a contributing editor with the Halifax-based newspaper, Pandora; a founding member of the Oxford Street Writers Group; and she helped establish Community of Writers, a Tatamagouche Centre program. Joanne has also been a teacher at Write Here, Write Now, the Centre’s March Break program for young writers. She facilitates hands-on writing, performance, and zine-making workshops for creators of all ages.

Joanne’s first novel, Lightning and Blackberries, was released by Nimbus Publishing in April 2008. Her short fiction, poetry, and personal essays have been published in various anthologies, including The Vagrant Revue of New Fiction, and her non-fiction work has appeared in Saltscapes, The Chronicle Herald, and The Globe and Mail. She also works as a freelance editor.

Born and raised in Halifax, Joanne now makes her home in West LaHave, Lunenburg County. She received a BA from Acadia and an MA from Dalhousie. er other passions include music, visual art, history, and baseball.


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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