Digital Originals

In October, 2020, with pandemic conditions prohibiting the annual Celebration of Emerging Writers, WFNS celebrated the graduates of the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program by sharing their work in video form, illustrated and animated by Nova Scotia visual artists.

  • Bev Shaw reading “Undertow,” with animation by Anna Quon
  • Brad Donaldson reading “Away,” with illustration by Patrick McWade
  • Joanne Gallant reading an excerpt from her memoir, with videography by Catherine Bussiere
  • Angela Bowden reading “Black Boy Guilty” and “The Belly of the Beast,” with artwork by Doretta Groenendyk
  • Sandra Murdock reading “No is a Complete Sentence,” with illustration by Marijke Simons
  • Katie Cameron reading “Anticipatory Grief” and “Fences,” with animation by Paton Francis
  • Sue Murtagh reading “Lost Purse,” with illustration by Belle DeMont


The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia acknowledges the Canada Council for the Arts for its investment in the creation of these videos through its Digital Originals initiative.

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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