John A. Read

JOHN A. READ is a telescope operator at the Burke-Gaffney Observatory a member of the Halifax Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) and recently graduated with a degree in astrophysics from Saint Mary’s University. In 2020 he was presented with an RASC award for Excellence in Science Communication. John also cohosts RASC’s series “Explore the Universe Online.” He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


50 Things to See with a Telescope (2018)

110 Things to See with a Telescope (Summer 2021)

50 Things to See with a Small Telescope (2013)

50 Things to See with a Telescope – Kids (2017)

50 Things to See on the Moon (2020)

50 Animals that have been to Space (2020)

50 Space Missions that Changed the World (2021)

50 Things to Know about the International Space Station (Summer 2021)

50 Things to See with a Mid-Sized Telescope (2016)

The Martian Conspiracy (Sci-Fi) (2015)

Callisto Deception (Sci-Fi) (2017)

50 Things to See with a Telescope – Activity Workbook (2020)


Simon Newcomb Award for excellence in science communication.

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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