Past Program Participants


  • Fiction: Chris Benjamin & apprentice Dana Mount
  • Fiction: Tom Ryan & apprentice Theo Feehan-Peters (recipient of the Charles R. Saunders Prize)
  • Memoir: Donna Morrissey & apprentice Storme Arden
  • Memoir: Sandra Phinney & apprentice Elizabeth Jeha
  • Poetry: Alice Burdick & apprentice Janelle Levesque


  • Fiction: Carol Bruneau & apprentice Michelle Samson
  • Fiction: Anne Simpson & apprentice Nadia Aumeerally
  • Fiction: Darryl Whetter & apprentice J.P. Smith
  • Nonfiction: AnnMarie MacKinnon & apprentice Monika Dutt
  • Poetry: Annick MacAskill & apprentice Hollis Holden
  • Poetry: Margo Wheaton & apprentice Andrea Hubley


  • Fiction: Chris Benjamin & apprentice M. V. Feehan, who went on to publish the short story collection In The Shadow of Crows (Baraka Books, 2024)
  • Fiction: Becca Babcock & apprentice Susan LeBlanc, who went on to publish the novel The Nowhere Places (Vagrant Press, 2024)
  • Memoir: Cooper Lee Bombardier & apprentice Claudette Bouman
  • YA Fiction: Jo Treggiari & apprentice Nayani Jensen


  • Fiction: Stephanie Domet & apprentice Danica Roache
  • Fiction: Evelyn White & apprentice Robert de la Chevotiere
  • Poetry: El Jones & apprentice Martha Mutale
  • Poetry: Rebecca Thomas & apprentice Justyne Leslie
  • YA Fiction: Sylvia Gunnery & apprentice Nicolas Paquette
  • YA Fiction: Tom Ryan & apprentice Lori McKay

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 Scotian 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.


View animated readings featuring 2020’s apprentice writers in the Digital Originals tab.


  • Fiction: Carol Bruneau & apprentice Sean Bedell, who went on to publish Somewhere There’s Music (Now or Never Publishing, 2022)
  • Fiction: Dian Day & apprentice Vanessa Lent
  • Fiction: Jacqueline Dumas & apprentice K.R. Byggdin, who went on to publish Wonder World (Enfield & Wizenty, 2022)
  • Fiction: Linda Little & apprentice Judy Kaiser


  • Fiction: Ian Colford & apprentice Bretten Hannam
  • Fiction: Sylvia Gunnery & apprentice Bethany Lake
  • Fiction: Bethany Myers & apprentice Laura Redman
  • Fiction: Norene Smiley & apprentice Allison Richard


  • Fiction: Stephanie Domet & apprentice Amanda Peters, who went on to publish The Berry Pickers and Waiting for the Long Night Moon (HarperCollins, 2023)
  • Fiction: Stephen Law & apprentice Louise Cameron
  • Poetry: Margo Wheaton & apprentice Caira Clark



  • Fiction: Binnie Brennan & apprentice Sally Reardon, who went on to publish The Spanish Boy (Signature Editions, 2016)
  • Fiction: Keir Lowther & apprentice Helen Petrulak
  • Poetry: Alice Burdick & apprentice Bethany Hindmarsh
  • Poetry: Carole Langille & apprentice Maryann Martin
  • YA Fiction: Krista Johansen & apprentice Lindsey Carmichael



  • Jaime Forsythe & apprentice Kristin Slaney
  • Heather Jessup & apprentice Joshua Tibbetts
  • Stephens Gerard Malone & apprentice Corrinne Gilroy
  • Ian McGillis & apprentice Jessica Chisholm
    • McGillis, a member of the Quebec Writers’ Federation, participated in the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program as part of an exchange initiative made possible by the generous support of The Writers’ Trust of Canada. In the same year, Alexander MacLeod mentored an apprentice writer from Quebec.
  • Shandi Mitchell & apprentice David Hood, who went on to publish What Kills Good Men (Nimbus Publishing, 2015)


  • Fiction: Stephanie Domet & apprentice Meagan Campbell
  • Fiction: Susan Haley & apprentice Carmelita Boivin-Cole
  • Fiction: William Kowalski & apprentice Iain MacLeod
  • Fiction: Jackie Torrens & apprentice Ella Silver
  • Poetry: Kate Kennedy & apprentice Vincent MacIllivray


  • Fiction: Carol Bruneau & apprentice Catherine Cooper
  • Fiction: William Kowalski & apprentice Jack Florek
  • Poetry: Brian Bartlett & apprentice Anna Mancini
  • YA Fiction: Philip Roy & apprentice Katrina Nicholson


  • Fiction: Stephens Gerard Malone & apprentice Melanie Furlong
  • Memoir: Mary Jane Copps & apprentice Jane Finlay-Young
  • Memoir: Maureen Hull & apprentice Sara Jewel-Mattinson
  • Poetry: Lorri Neilsen Glenn & apprentice Brian Braganza
  • Poetry: Matt Robinson & apprentice Jenny McDougall



  • Fiction: Christy Ann Conlin & apprentice Julie Glaser 
  • Fiction: Maureen Hull & apprentice Camilla Morrow 
  • Fiction: Leo McKay, Jr., & apprentice Don Roy 
  • Poetry: Sue Goyette & apprentice Kathryn Bjornson 
  • Poetry: Tonja Gunvaldsen Klaassen & apprentice Mary Kathryn Arnold


  • Vicki Grant & apprentice Ann Foster 
  • Tonja Gunvaldsen Klaassen & apprentice Marilyn Rudi 
  • Susan Haley & apprentice Marlene Stanton, who went on to publish Mercy, Mercy (Acorn Press, 2019)
  • Marilyn Iwama & apprentice Christina McRae, who went on to publish Next to Nothing (Wolsak and Wynn, 2009) 
  • Bill Kowalski & apprentice Keir Lowther, who went on to publish Dirty Bird (Tightrope Press, 2012)


  • Fiction: Kelly Cooper & apprentice Elizabeth Venart 
  • Fiction: Susan Haley & apprentice Abby Whidden 
  • Fiction: Bill Kowalski & apprentice Glenna Jenkins, who went on to publish Somewhere I Belong (Acorn Press Canada, 2014) 
  • Poetry: Don Domanski & apprentice Matilka Krow 
  • YA Fiction: Don Aker & apprentice Brenda Tate



  • Fiction: Carol Bruneau & apprentice Laura Trunkey
  • Fiction: Richard Cumyn & apprentice Ryan Turner, who went on to publish What We’re Made Of (Oberon Press, 2009)
  • Poetry: Don Domanski & apprentice David Potter
  • Poetry: Sue Goyette & apprentice Munju Ravindra
  • Writing for Children: Norene Smiley & apprentice Jacqui Halsey, who went on to publish Peggy’s Letters (Turtleback Books, 2005)


  • Fiction: Christy Ann Conlin & apprentice Rosaria Campbell
  • Fiction: Richard Cumyn & apprentice Ami McKay, who went on to publish The Birth House (Knopf, 2006)
  • Fiction: Pamela Donoghue & apprentice Renée Hartleib
  • Poetry: Carole Langille & apprentice Joanne Jefferson
  • Poetry: Eleonore Schönmaier & apprentice Rose Adams

2001 – 2002

  • Fiction: Carol Bruneau & apprentice Susan Cameron, who went on to publish The Four Walls (McArthur & Co., 2008)
  • Fiction: Lesley Choyce & apprentice Kim Scaravelli
  • Fiction: Anne Simpson & apprentice Karin Cope
  • Poetry: Sue Goyette & apprentice Genevieve Lehr, who went on to publish The Sorrowing House (Brick Books, 2004) 
  • Poetry: Sue MacLeod & apprentice Marilyn Iwama, who went on to publish Skin Whispers Down (Thistledown Press, 2003)
Scroll to Top

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