After graduating from NSCAD in the early 70’s, Norene worked in the not-for-profit sector with the elderly and persons with intellectual disabilities, and in the book publishing industry. She has been a bookseller, editor, writer, teacher, book reviewer, book publisher, publicist, event organizer and cultural administrator.
She belonged to a children’s writing group for over twelve years, during which two anthologies of writing for children were published. She has served on the boards of many arts organizations, regionally and nationally, primarily to do with books, writing or fine art. She was a founding member of the Nova Scotia Children’s Literature Award and the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Atlantic Children’s Literature. In 2002, she received the Mayor’s Award for Cultural Achievement in Literature.
After five years of facilitating The Word On The Street Book Festival and coordinating the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award for another six, she moved to Pugwash NS where she has become involved in community development. She has been an organizer of Writing on Fire Youth Experience on the North Shore of NS and Art Jam! with Rita Wilson and Helen Castonguay since 2013. She received the Governor General’s Sovereign Medal for Volunteerism in 2019.
Besides writing for children, she is a visual artist, scriptwriter and filmmaker. In 2005/2006, she wrote, directed and edited a one-minute film, Saving the Best for Last, through the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative, and created a short digital mock-documentary, Urban Myths, with the help of a Media Arts Scholarship through the Centre for Art Tapes. Between 2017 and 2020, she wrote and co-produced a short film, Maurice, with collaborator Shannon Bell.
• “Winter Yard” in Whispers of Mermaids and Wonderful Things. Nimbus Publishing 2017, ISBN 978-1-77108-471-0
• Simon and Catapult Man’s Perilous Playground Adventure. Illustrations by Brenda Jones, Nimbus Publishing 2009, ISBN-13: 978-155109-714-5
• French edition: Simon et El Catapulte La périlleuse aventure au parc. Illustrations de Brenda Jones, Nimbus Publishing 2009, ISBN-13: 978-1-55109-721-3
• That Stripy Cat. Illustrations by Tara Anderson. Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2007. ISBN 78-1-55005-164-3
• “Winter Yard” in Grade Six Textbook. Toronto: Thomson Nelson, 2006
• “Winter Yard” in Till All the Stars Have Fallen. Toronto: Kids Can Press, 1989. ISBN 0-921103-90-5
• Four short stories in Open Windows. Kingston: Quarry Press, 1988. ISBN 0-919627-58-7
• Four short stories in The Fiddlehead. Fredericton: Autumn 1988
• Short story in Shivers in your Nightshirt. Halifax: Children’s Writer’s Workshop, 1986. ISBN 0-969-2342-1-X
• Poetry in Seaweed in your Stocking. Halifax: Children’s Writer’s Workshop, 1985. ISBN 0-969-2342-0-1