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.

To be considered for Writers’ Council designation, the applying writer must meet the following criteria.

  • You must be a current General Member of WFNS. General membership is open to anyone who writes.
  • You must have produced a professional body of work that matches at least one application stream below.

Stream 1

Writer with one or more book-length literary projects published through traditional publishing agreements

Supporting documentation: A link to your book’s listing on your publisher’s website

Under a traditional publishing agreement, a publisher covers all costs (and, therefore, risks) upfront, with money flowing from the publisher to the author and not the other way around. Specifically, the publisher engages in editorial selection (meaning any submitted manuscript may be declined) and in the development and production of a selected manuscript; enters into a contract with a selected manuscript’s author(s) and other copyright holders; and provides marketing, sales, and distribution of books published under the publisher’s imprint. Furthermore, under a traditional publishing agreement, the author is not an employee or owner of the publishing company.

Stream 2

Writer with numerous literary works published in periodicals run 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

Writer (including those with partner-, hybrid-, and self-published book-length literary projects) with a full professional membership in another literary writers’ association or organization whose membership is granted only after an application process

Supporting documentation: Confirmation from the association that you are a full professional member (not merely an associate- or friend-level member) and that your membership is current, such as a link to your profile on the association’s website or a confirmation email from the association sent directly to the WFNS

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 artist or storyteller with a full body of work that demonstrates 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.; and/or
  • commitment to the community through teaching 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 WFNS’s Membership Committee and Board of Directors. This process usually takes from one 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 participants in any given workshop have similar levels of creative writing and / or publication experience. This ensures that each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their career stage. The “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions used by WFNS.

  • New writers: those with less than two years’ creative writing experience and/or no short-form publications (e.g., short stories, personal essays, or poems in literary magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks).
  • Emerging writers: those with more than two years’ creative writing experience and/or numerous short-form publications.
  • Early-career authors: those with 1 or 2 book-length publications or the equivalent in book-length and short-form publications.
  • Established authors: those with 3 or 4 book-length publications.
  • Professional authors: those with 5 or more book-length publications.

Please keep in mind that each form of creative writing (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and writing for children and young adults) provides you with a unique set of experiences and skills, so you might consider yourself an ‘established author’ in one form but a ‘new writer’ in another.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” creative writing workshops, which provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer feedback, the recommended experience level should be followed closely.

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