Penny Ferguson


Born in 1957 in Storeytown, New Brunswick, Penny Ferguson attended Nova Scotia Teachers College (A.Ed.) and Acadia University (B.Ed., & B.A.). While studying at Acadia, Penny edited Alpha Arts Magazine for three years. She taught full and part-time in public and private schools in Nova Scotia, served as the Writer-in-residence at the N.S.T.C., and visited numerous schools and colleges to give writing workshops. She also participated in many public readings and offered workshops in Canada and in England.

Her poetry, short stories and art work have appeared in publications in Canada, the US and England in The New Quarterly, Room of One’s Own, The Antigonish Review, Cormorant, A Maritime Christmas, New Stories and Memories of the Season (2008), In The Open(Roseway, 1996), The Nashwaak Review, Pottersfield Portfolio, Canadian Author, Minus Tides, Shout and Speak Out Loud, Tulane Review, Poetechniciens, The Gentle Reader and other journals.

Her work has been broadcast on Bragg Community Network TV; CBC Radio Weekend (Nfld.); Ashes, Paper and Beans (radio, NB); Ryerson Radio (Toronto); University of Toronto Radio and BBC (Newcastle, England).

A founding member of The Amethyst Review, Penny also freelanced with Truro Magazine, judged provincial and national poetry and short story competitions and edited two books of poetry. Penny is a past president of the Canadian Poetry Association. She also writes gospel songs, with four CDs to her credit (Going to Live Forever; Let the Rafters Ring; Oh, How the Angels Sang; and On that Day). Let the Rafters Ring (2006), Oh, How the Angels Sang (2006) and On that Day (2007) were nominated by Music Nova Scotia for Inspirational Recording for the Year. She has also published a Senior Adult Choir Christmas Musical (SATB), Follow the Star to Calvary.


Runaway Suite: Two Voices (Hidden Brook Press)

Clarity that Is Darkness (Borealis Press)

Follow the Star to Calvary (Through His Grace Music)


Winner, Weekly Record’s 1993 Christmas Short Story Contest

Shortlisted for the 1998 Acorn-Rukeyser Chapbook Award

Shortlisted for the 1998 Sandburg-Livesay Poetry Award

Editor’s Choice Award for SEEDS. A Poetry Anthology, 12 Canadian Poets. 1998

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