Apply to Join the Writers' Council

Writers’ Council status is a special, permanent designation for WFNS members who have produced a professional body of work.

Members of the Writers’ Council are eligible for numerous competitively compensated opportunities through WFNS programs.

If your General Membership ever lapses, you will retain your Writers’ Council status and will be eligible for all Writers’ Council benefits as soon as you renew your General Membership.

Rates of pay are noted in parentheses.

You must be a General Member in good standing of the WFNS and have produced body of work that is professionally recognized according to one of the below streams.

Stream 1

Writers with a book professionally published by a third-party book publishing company

Supporting documentation

A link to your book’s listing on your publisher’s website or a link to your book’s library listing or other public info demonstrating the book’s professionally-published status

If your book is self-published or published through a partner or hybrid press, please apply under Stream 3.

Stream 2

Writers with works in periodicals published by third-party editorial boards or committees

Supporting documentation

A list of eligible periodical publications that total 30,000 words; for each work, note the word count and provide a link to the work as published (if online) or a scan of the work as published (if in-print only)

Contact our office if you are unsure whether a periodical you have been published in counts towards your total.

Stream 3

Writers with a full professional membership in another professional writers’ association or organization

Supporting documentation

Confirmation from the association that you are a full professional member in good standing, such as a link to your profile on the association’s website or a confirmation email from the association sent directly to the WFNS

Membership in the association or organization must be granted only after an application process and cannot be associate- or friend-level membership

Eligible associations include but are not limited to The Writers’ Union of Canada (which accepts writers who have self-published or published through a partner or hybrid press), the League of Canadian Poets (Full membership), the Professional Writers’ Association of Canada (Professional designation), Canadian Authors’ Association (Professional designation), and CANSCAIP (Member).

Contact our office if you are unsure whether your professional designation counts or if you are a playwright, screenwriter, or other type of writer not covered under the above.

Stream 4

Spoken word artists and storytellers with a full body of work demonstrating a professional commitment and proficiency in their field (as determined by the Membership Committee)

Supporting documentation

An outline of your performance history and involvement with the spoken word or storytelling community and links to audio tracks or videos that the membership committee can listen to or view online

A full body of spoken word or storytelling work may include

  • a recorded studio album
  • participation on a spoken word team, including touring and competing for at least two years
  • three featured performance sets of at least 15 minutes each
  • print materials, including chapbooks, anthology contributions, publications in literary magazines, etc.
  • commitment to the community through teaching and/or creating performance spaces for other artists

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis and may be submitted at any time.

  1. Ensure you are a General Member in good standing of the WFNS. Before assembling an application, ensure you have paid your annual dues for the current membership year. Check the status of your General Membership at any time in the “Memberships” tab of your Account page.

  2. Email your biography, declaration, and supporting documentation to with the subject line “Writers’ Council – [Your name].”
    • A brief biography (no more than 500 words), including either a statement that you are a Nova Scotia resident or an explanation of your significant connection to Nova Scotia (as determined by the membership committee)
    • A simple declaration that you are a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant
    • The supporting documentation outlined under one of the four streams under the “Eligibility” tab

  3. Wait for the review and approval of your application by the WFNS Membership Committee and the WFNS Board of Directors. This process can take up to six weeks, as our Membership Committee and Board of Directors meet once per month, excluding July and August.

  4. Upon notification of your application’s approval, you will be eligible to create a publicly accessible Writers’ Council profile on the WFNS website. You may then complete or update your Writers’ Council profile at any time in the “Writers’ Council / WITS profiles” tab of your Account page
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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 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