Syr Ruus

Syr Ruus was born in Tallinn, Estonia during the Second World War. As a small child, she escaped with her mother to Germany and subsequently immigrated to the United States where she earned an MA in English, an MS in Education and taught briefly in the English Department of Illinois State University.  Since 1970, she has lived in Crescent Beach, Nova Scotia where she worked as an elementary school teacher while raising her three children before devoting herself full-time to writing. Her short fiction has appeared in anthologies and journals. In 2009 her novel “Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart” was published by Newfoundland’s Breakwater Press. Since then she has independently published three books of fiction inspired by the South Shore of Nova Scotia: “Devil’s Hump” (2013), “The Story of Gar” (2014), and “In Pleasantry” (2016).  These are available in local stores or can be purchased directly from the author. “Krambambuli,” a memoir of her childhood years was published by Inanna Press (York University) in 2018. A novella, “Walls of the Cave,” was published by Quattro  in 2020.


Finalist for the Salty Ink Short Fiction Award, 2010 for Hazard.


Shortlisted for the Ken Klonsky Novella Award, 2010 for The Story of Gar.


Longlisted for ReLit Award, 2010 for Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart.


WFNS H.R. (Bill) Percy Prize, First Place, Novel, 2006 for Lovesongs of Emmanuel Taggart.


WFNS Joyce Barkhouse Prize, First Place, Children’s Literature, 1994 for Edgar.

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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