Nancy Rose

Nancy is the author/photographer of 4 picture books in the Secret Life of Squirrels series, and two board books featuring Oakley the Squirrel. She is a retired high school Family Studies teacher and Guidance Counsellor. In 2010 she started making squirrel size props (a barbecue, mailbox, washer and dryer, etc) and dioramas, and she captured photos of backyard squirrels when they explored her sets to find the hidden nuts. Her humorous photos of the squirrels appeared online and in newspapers and magazines world-wide. In 2014 her first children’s book, The Secret Life of Squirrels, was published in Canada, U.S., Japan and South Korea.

For classroom visits, Nancy brings along a big tote box filled with a variety of her homemade props and she talks about the challenges of writing a story that is illustrated with photos of her backyard squirrels as well as the fun of creating her props with found, recycled and dollar store materials. She invites students to think about what the next adventures of her squirrels could be if they were writing the next book and how they would make the props and get the squirrels to interact.

Nancy is available for live classroom presentations and also for Google Meet/ Zoom sessions, which went over very well in the 2020-2022, and with schools in other provinces.


The Secret Life of Squirrels (2014), Merry Christmas Squirrels (2015), The Secret Life of Squirrels: A Love Story (2016), The Secret Life of Squirrels: Back to School (2018) Oakley the Squirrel: The Search for Z (2021), Oakley the Squirrel: Camping 1,2,3 (2023) The Secret Life of Squirrels Wall Calendars (2021-2024)


Short-listed for the Lillian Sheppard Award for Excellence in Illustration (2015), Washington Children’s Choice Picture Book Award (Washington Library Media Association, 2016), selected for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library (2017 to 2019)

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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