Mark Finnan


Mark is the author of a series of books dealing with mysteries of early Canadian(east coast) history (Oak Island Secrets, The Sinclair Saga, The First Nova Scotian). His book about the world famous Oak Island mystery explores the possible involvement of seventeenth century Freemasonry or Rosicrucianism. He is also one of the authors chosen for a collection of essays (The View Beyond) on the life, thought and times of the renowned Elizabethan visionary Sir Francis Bacon.

His documentary scripts for television (The Curse of Oak Island, The Prince and the Grail) have been presented on the History Channel and on Vision TV.

Born in Irelend, he became interested in theatre while still a student. After a stint studying at the Stanislavsky Studio in London, England he returned to Dublin to pursue an acting career and later performed in plays in a number of Dublin area theatres. His first play, Once Upon Eternity, a political satire, was presented by the Dublin Theatre Festival. He came to Nova Scotia in 1991 following a ten year stretch as a broadcaster and performing arts presenter in southern Ontario (Cobourg. Port Hope, Trenton). 

In Nova Scotia he also resumed playwriting and acting and has since written and performed in a series of historically based works that combine story with traditional music and song (The Blind Shantyman, The Ballad of D’Arcy McGee, The Corktown Man, Without the Shedding of Blood). He has also written and performed a series of one-man sacred dramas (The Messiah Mystery, The Master and the Essenes, John at Ephesus), which have been performed in the U.S., Ireland as well as in Canada. In addition he developed a dramatic narrative for actors to accompany Bach’s St. Mathew’s Passion, performed with full orchestra and chorus.

The Boy who sailed to the Stars. his recently completed story for children ageed 9-12 is soon be published.

He has conducted writing workshops in a number of high-schools and for adult educational/recreational programmes, including ElderHostel. Over the years his work has been supported by a number of provincial and federal government grants.

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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