Ron Lightburn


Ron Lightburn’s career as a children’s book illustrator was launched with his Governor General’s Award-winning artwork for Waiting for the Whales in 1991. Since then he has illustrated numerous other best selling picture books and has become internationally renowned for his sensitive storytelling skills and range of illustration styles, from the touching realism of How Smudge Came to the exuberant whimsy of Pumpkin People. During the past quarter century his artwork has graced the covers of over sixty books and has been featured in magazines, calendars, posters and advertisements across North America.


Pumpkin People review: “From the endpapers through the different styles of artwork, this book is a Canadian gem…Highly recommended for elementary school classrooms.”  – Resource Links




Resource Links The Year’s Best 2008 list; ‘Pumpkin People’


Shortlisted, 5th Annual Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in Illustration, 2007 Atlantic Book Award; ‘The Happily Ever Afternoon’


Finalist for the 2006 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award; ‘A Poppy Is To Remember’


Winner of the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize for text and illustration, 1999; ‘Driftwood Cove’


Shortlisted for the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature, 1999; ‘Driftwood Cove’


Winner of the 1996 Mr. Christie Book Award; ‘How Smudge Came’


Winner of the 1992 Governor General’s Literary Award for Children’s Illustration; ‘Waiting for the Whales’


Winner of the 1992 Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award for Illustration; ‘Waiting for the Whales’


Winner of the 1992 Elizabeth Mrazik-Cleaver Picture Book Award; ‘Waiting for the Whales’

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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