Marjorie Simmins

Marjorie Simmins is the author of four non-fiction titles: Coastal Lives (2014);  Year of the Horse (2016), Memoir: Conversations and Craft (2020), and Somebeachsomewhere: The Harness Racing Legend from a One-Horse Stable (2021).

Simmins began her career as a freelance journalist in Vancouver, appearing regularly in the Vancouver Sun and writing for trade magazines. She also published numerous essays and articles in magazines and newspapers across Canada, and in the United States, and has stories in Canadian and American anthologies. She has won a Gold Medal at the National Magazine Awards for “One-of-a-Kind Journalism,” and two Gold Medals at the Atlantic Journalism Awards for Best Atlantic Magazine Article, and in Arts and Entertainment, Any Medium.

In November 2020, she was awarded the prestigious Established Artist Recognition Award by Arts Nova Scotia.

Among the magazines Simmins has written for are: Canadian Living, Magazines Canada, United Church Observer, Halifax Magazine, Progress, Atlantic Business, and Saltscapes. She is a regular reviewer for The Antigonish Review and Atlantic Books Today. She has also written feature interviews for The Reporter, the community newspaper in Port Hawkesbury, NS.

Marjorie Simmins has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of British Columbia, a Certificate in Adult Education from Dalhousie University, and a Research Master of Arts in Literacy Education, at Mount Saint Vincent University. She teaches memoir writing across Canada, at venues such as at the UBC Alumni Centre, in Vancouver, BC (2016); at StoryFest, in Hudson, QC (2017); at Thinkers Lodge, Pugwash, NS (2014-2019); and the Fortress of Louisbourg, NS (2019). Recently, she has begun to teach coast to coast (still waiting for the north coast!) Zoom workshops.

In September 2020, Simmins took part in the Cabot Trail Writers Festival, as a panellist and workshop leader. The following spring of 2021, Simmins was honoured to serve as a reader for the 2021 CBC Non-Fiction Prize.



100s of magazine and newspaper articles in the U.S. and Canada, and four non-fiction books


National Magazine Award Gold, for One-of-a-Kind Journalism

Two Atlantic Journalism Awards, Gold, for Best Magazine Article, and Arts and Entertainment, Any Medium

2020 Arts Nova Scotia Established Artist Award

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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