Morgan Murray

Morgan Murray (he/him) is a settler from the same backwoods central Alberta village as figure-skating legend Kurt Browning (Caroline, AB in Treaty 6 territory). He now lives in the backwoods of Cape Breton (Unama’ki) with his wife, cartoonist Kate Beaton, Mary the toddler, Agnes the dog, Reggie the cat, Peggy the ditch kitten, and Thelma, Louise, Lavern, Shirley and Heidi the chickens.

In between, he has been a farmer, a rancher, a roustabout, a secretary, a reporter, a designer, a Tweeter, a tour guide, a schemer, a variety show host, and a student in Caroline, Calgary, Paris, Prague, Montreal, Chicoutimi, and St. John’s.

He has a BA in Canadian Studies from the University of Calgary, a Certificate in Central and Eastern European Studies from the University of Economics, Prague, a MPhil in Humanities from Memorial University of Newfoundland, and a participation ribbon for beef calf showmanship (incomplete) from the Little Britches 4-H Club, Caroline, Alberta.


Morgan’s writing has been rejected by some of North America’s top publications, and has appeared in a bunch of other places like The Scope, The Walrus, Newfoundland Quarterly, and Echolocation. His short story “KC Accidental” was anthologized by The House of Anansi (2013) and Breakwater Books (2015).

His first novel, Dirty Birds was released in 2020 by Breakwater Books, and in 2021 as an audiobook by ECW Press’ Bespeak Audio Editions.


Morgan’s epic grade four novel Chester, Harry, Ding and Jack Get the Bulldog Bullies won Best Story in the Class, which came with it a day off school to attend The Young Author’s Conference, where chicken fingers were served for lunch.

More recently, his short story “KC Accidental” won the Broken Social Scene Story Contest in 2013.

His first novel, Dirty Birds has gotten him compared to Kurt Vonnegut, somehow, and was a finalist for the Leacock Medal for Humour, longlisted for CBC Canada Reads 2021, a for the 2020 ReLit Award for Fiction, a finalist for three Atlantic Book Awards (winning the Best Atlantic Published Book),  won silver in the 2020 International Forewords Indies Award for Humour, and the audiobook, narrated by David Ferry, won an AutoFile Magazine Earphones Award. It has also made his parents proud even though it’s full of cursing and carrying on.

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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