Kathleen Martin


Kathleen Martin was born in Toronto, lived in Sudbury, Ontario, until she was 12 and then moved to Spring Valley in Illinois, a place that has been home to her father’s family for five generations. Her mother’s family has been rooted in Halifax for almost as long, and although her parents and older brother are still in Illinois, and she still misses hot summers and fields of corn stretching to the horizon, Halifax is where Kathleen is very happy to have ended up.

Kathleen came to Halifax by way of the University of Toronto, where she earned her BA (Honours) in English, and Queen’s University in Kingston, where she earned her master’s degree in English. She moved to Nova Scotia when Mike, now her husband, came to study the endangered leatherback sea turtle.

Kathleen is the author of six non-fiction books for children: Sturdy Turtles, Building Beavers, Floating Jellyfish, Gentle Manatees, Soaring Bald Eagles and Swimming Salmon (Lerner Publishing Group). She is also the author of Kamakwie: Finding Peace, Love and Injustice in Sierra Leone (Red Deer Press) for teenagers and adults. She is the Nova Scotia representative for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, has edited children’s fiction books for Front Street/Cricket Books in Chicago, and was an acquisitions editor for the Cricket Magazine Group.

Kathleen also writes for adults. She was the Atlantic correspondent for Marketing Magazine for a decade. She edits fiction, poetry and non-fiction books for publishers in Canada and the United States, and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. She previously taught communications at Acadia University.

When she isn’t freelancing, Kathleen is the executive director of the Canadian Sea Turtle Network, which allows her to spend a lot of time with fishing community members across Nova Scotia and a lot of time learning about and attempting to help sea turtles, her favourite animals.


  • Harp Seals. Lerner Group, 2008. ISBN 978-0-8225-7889-5.
  • Gentle Manatees. (Pull Ahead Books) Lerner Publishing Group, 2005. ISBN 0-8225-2441-4 (pb); ISBN 0-8225-2422-8 (hc).
  • Swimming Salmon. (Pull Ahead Books) Lerner Publishing Group, 2003. ISBN 0-8225-0687-4 (hc); 0-8225-0963-6 (pb).
  • Soaring Bald Eagles. (Pull Ahead Books) Lerner Publishing Group, 2001. ISBN 0-8225-3640-4 (pb); 0-8225-3636-6 (hc).
  • Floating Jellyfish. (Pull Ahead Books) Lerner Publishing Group, 2001. ISBN 0-8225-3769-9 (pb); 0-8225-3766-4 (hc).
  • Building Beavers. (Pull Ahead Books) Lerner Publishing Group, November 1999. ISBN 0-82253-628-5.
  • Sturdy Turtles. (Pull Ahead Books) Lerner Publishing Group, September 1999. ISBN 0-82253-631-5 (pb);0-8225-3627-7 (hc).
  • Kamakwie: Finding Peace, Love and Injustice in Sierra Leone. Red Deer Press, December 2011. ISBN 978-0-88995_472-4.

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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