Paul MacDougall

Paul is the author of Distinction Earned, (2011) published by Cape Breton University Press. Paul researched the boxing era in Cape Breton and collected dozens of interviews from participants, enthusiasts and their heirs. The book’s title is taken from a citation of Cape Breton boxers at a Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame investiture in 1987. It was a Nova Scotia best selling book for five months.

In 2019 he worked with documentary film director Charles Currie to make a film based on his book, “Distinction Earned, Cape Breton Boxing’s Golden Era” which was shown at numerous venues, on Eastlink TV and can now be found on YouTube.

Paul also writes short fiction, book reviews, newspaper and magazine articles and one-act plays. He has four plays and co-written three plays all of which were originally produced at the Elizabeth Boardmore One Act Play Festival and five have won the Boardmore Prize for Best Original Script. His three most recent plays are The Venetian Gardens (2013), Wraslin (2015) and Solstice (2018).

In 2020 he completed writing the script for Donair, the Musical with songs and music by Duncan Wells. It was released as a 78 minute audio in December 2021 and hopefully will find a home on stage in the summer of 2022 (CoVID permitting) in Sydney and Halifax.

He conducts outdoor writing workshops in unique locations, and in local high schools, taught a number of introductory non-credit writers’ class at Cape Breton University, has organized a book club for the CBU Seniors College, and was a member of the local CBC radio book panel for a number of years.

He writes a monthy column for the Cape Breton Post entitled “The Sporting Life” and is the host of “The Good Sentence” an almost weekly radio program on “Dialogue” on The Coast 89.7 FM (Bell FibreOp station 773 and streaming online) in which he interviews local authors and arts community members about their recent works.

He also gives lectures and presentations on his work to interested groups.

Paul is a registered microbiologist  and a Senior Instructor in the Health Sciences Department at Cape Breton University.


Geist Magazine Time Zones short story writing contest. Made short list. 2015

The Venetian Gardens (play) Boardmore Prize for Best Original Script 2013.

Rockabye Baby (play) Boardmore Prize for Best Original Script 2009.

Ave Maria (play) Boardmore Prize for Best Original Script 2008. Co-written with Ken Chisholm.

All Souls’ Eve (play) Boardmore Prize for Best Original Script 2007. Co-written with Ken Chisholm.

O Night Divine (play) Boardmore Prize for Best Original Script 2005. Co-written with Ken Chisholm.

Chemical Difference (play) Best Play from another source (a short story of mine) Boardmore One-Act Play Festival 2003. Co written with Ken Chisholm.

Gambit (short story) Indigo Books contest 2nd place winner 2003

Double Double (short story) WFNS 2nd Place winner 1992

Some interesting online publications of Paul’s

The Sporting Life, my monthly column in CB Post

Local history pieces

Book reviews

Scroll to Top

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