Launched in 2020, the Coffee Chats program enables WFNS members at all career stages to seek advice and inspiration from professional authors.
Coffee Chats provide writers with affordable, subsidized access to the advice of professional authors on a wide range of topics related to the writing life, such as overcoming creative blocks and challenges, establishing healthy writing practices, and planning for publication opportunities. The aim of the program is to help newer writers solve creative problems, to point them toward strategies for professional growth, and to educate them about the literary landscape.
A Coffee Chat is an informal, half-hour conversation with a participating member of the WFNS Writers’ Council. It allows a more established author to share their experiences and opinions with a newer writer, who can draw on and benefit from these experiences to better plan their writing practice and to overcome issues they might be struggling with in their current writing. The conversation will be most successful if both participants bring their best selves, establish a safe and inclusive space for discussion, and focus on inspiration and creativity.
The program fee for advice-seeking writers is $40; advisors are compensated $65 for the 30-minute conversation, with the difference subsidized by WFNS.
Once a Coffee Chat scheduling request & fee have been received, WFNS confirms an advisor’s availability; arranges a mutually convenient date and time; schedules a meeting via phone or Zoom; and then confers payment to the advisor.
Coffee Chats emphasize flexibility and the natural flow of conversation, but we encourage advice-seeking writers to make the most of the conversation by planning three to five topics for discussion. We also ask each writer to respect the time of their advisor by keeping an eye on the clock and beginning to wrap up discussion a few minutes before the 30-minute conversation ends.
If an advice-seeking writer or an advisor is unhappy with the results of a Coffee Chat, they are encouraged to contact WFNS (email@example.com), which will mediate any dispute and handle any necessary refund.
To determine if a Coffee Chat is the best approach for you, please consult the following eligibility terms:
- Coffee Chats are conducted only by phone or by the free-to-use Zoom video conferencing platform; they are not conducted in person. This eliminates travel time and expense..
- Advisors are not expected to provide advice, answer questions, or review writing before or after a Coffee Chat. This ensures advisors are free from intended or unintended pressure to perform uncompensated labour.
- Advice-seeking writers may not directly contact advisors before or after a Coffee Chat. This ensures advisors spend minimal time responding to scheduling requests. Repeatedly or unwantedly contacting an advisor (or potential advisors) may result in cancellation of any scheduled Coffee Chat and/or in loss of access to the Coffee Chats program.
- WFNS may decline any Coffee Chat that is requested for a purpose outside the aim of the program, which is to help newer writers solve creative problems, to point them toward strategies for professional growth, and to educate them about the literary landscape. This limitation ensures best use of the funds available to subsidize Coffee Chats. Purposes outside the scope of Coffee Chats include compensating an advisor retroactively (i.e., for advice already given); obtaining detailed feedback on written material (see instead our Manuscript Review Program); conducting a medium- or long-term mentorship (see instead our MacLeod Mentorship Program); interviewing potential literary service providers (such as contract editors or publicists); and pitching manuscripts to potential publishers. If your request is declined, your scheduling fee will be refunded.
If you wish to seek writing advice or services outside of the above terms, you must negotiate compensation with any potential advisor directly. Because such an arrangement cannot be vetted or supervised by WFNS staff, it cannot be subsidized through the Coffee Chats program. However, WFNS (firstname.lastname@example.org) is happy to pass on a request for such an arrangement to a writer you’re interested in working with.
Make note of three potential advisors from the profiles below. If searching for advisors with experience in a particular genre of writing, you may type the genre into the search bar.
A.J.B. (John) Johnston is the author or co-author of books and museum exhibits, as well as articles in scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers. He was made a chevalier of France’s Ordre des Palmes Académiques in recognition of his body of work on Louisbourg and other French colonial topics. The best known of his history books is Endgame 1758, which won a Clio award from the Canadian Historical Assocation and was short-listed for the Dartmouth Book Award.
His two latest books, his 20th and 21st, will appear in 2020. First up will be Kings of Friday Night: The Lincolns (Nimbus). Then it will be Ancient World, New World: Skmaqn—Port-la-Joye—Fort Amherst (Acorn), co-authored with Jesse Francis.
In 2018, John released The Hat, a YA novel that offers a 21st-century take on the Acadian Deportation, and Something True, which was inspired by the real-life adventures of Katharine McLennan in late 19th and early 20th-century Cape Breton and in France during the First World War.
In 2017, he was Writer-in-Residence at the Center for the Writing Arts in Fairhope, Alabama. Back in 2016, John participated as a mentor to emerging writer Linda MacLean in the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program. From mid-April to mid-May 2017 he combined with Sal Sawler and Norma Jean MacPhee to offer sessions for the WFNS entitled “So You Want to be Published” in Halifax, Antigonish, Wolfville, Sydney and Yarmouth.
John has written three novels in the Thomas Pichon series: Thomas, A Secret Life in 2012; The Maze in 2114 and Crossings in 2015.
Back in 2013, Ni’n na L’nu: The Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island (Acorn), won three awards: “best-published Atlantic Book”, best PEI Non-Fiction, and a PEI Heritage Award. The French version of the book, Ni’n na L’nu: Les Mi’kmaq de l’Ile-de-Prince-Édouard, is now available from La Grand Marée (Tracadie Sheila, NB).
Released in 2015 was Grand Pré, Landscape for the World (Nimbus), co-written with Ronnie-Gilles LeBlanc.
Most of his books are available as e-books.
John writes exhibits as well, including the “Vanguard: 150 Years of Remarkable Nova Scotians” for the Nova Scotia Museum and the ground floor of the Black Cultural Centre. The award-winning travelling exhibition Ni’n na L’nu: The Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island opened at the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown and then travelled to the Museum of Canadian History in Gatienau, Quebec and other subsequent venues. More recently, John developed the storyline and texts for the revitalization of the Colchester Historeum in Truro. That exhibit opened officially in early 2016.
More information on John can be found at ajbjohnston.com and on Facebook at A J B Johnston, Writer. John is on Twitter at @ajbjohnston and on Instagram at AJBJohnston.
John donates his papers to the Beaton Institute of the Cape Breton University.
I am a poet and novelist originally from the UK, now a Canadian resident. I’ve published four novels and a poetry collection and bunch of other things. I’ve won a number of literary awards, including being shortlisted for the Booker Prize. I’ve taught creative writing at workshops and universities in Britain, Canada, and elsewhere.
Alice Burdick lives and writes poetry in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia and co-owned the former Lexicon Books in Lunenburg. Alice moved to Halifax in 2002 from Toronto, Ontario, where she was born and raised. She has also lived in Espanola, Vancouver, and on the Sechelt Peninsula in BC.
Burdick has been involved with the small press community in Canada since the early 1990’s, when she was co-editor, with Victor Coleman, of The Eternal Network. This very small ongoing imprint produced chapbooks, including several of her own works, such as Signs Like This, Fun Venue, and Voice of Interpreter. Her work has been published by other small presses in Canada, including: Proper Tales Press (a Time, My Lump in the Bed: Love Poems for George W. Bush); Letters Press (Covered); and BookThug (The Human About Us). It also has appeared in various magazines, such as Hava LeHaba (from Tel Aviv, Israel), Event Magazine, Canadian Poetries, Two Serious Ladies (from the US), Dig, What!magazine, subTerrain, fhole, This Magazine, and Who Torched Rancho Diablo? From 1992-1995, Alice was assistant coordinator of the Toronto Small Press Fair. She has also done numerous readings over the years in many different venues, including the Ottawa International Writers Festival, The Scream in High Park in Toronto, and the Halifax Word on the Street.
Alice’s fourth collection of poetry, Book of Short Sentences, came out in the spring of 2016 from Mansfield Press. Her last book, Holler, was released in April 2012, following Flutter, which came out in Fall 2008 (both Mansfield Press). Two collaborative poems have shown up in Our Days In Vaudeville by Stuart Ross and 29 Collaborators (Mansfield Press, Fall 2013). Her poems have appeared in Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (The Mercury Press, Fall 2005), Surreal Estate: 13 Canadian Poets Under the Influence, An Anthology of Surrealist Canadian Poetry (The Mercury Press, Fall 2004), and in Pissing Ice: An Anthology of ‘New’ Canadian Poets, (BookThug, 2004, as well as other anthologies. Her first perfect-bound book was Simple Master, published in 2002 by Pedlar Press.
”Deportment”, a book of selected poems from the early 1990s onward, was released by Wilfrid Laurier University Press in the autumn of 2018. Her essays have appeared in three recent anthologies: “Home” from MacIntyre Purcell, 2018, “Gush” from Frontenac House, 2018, and “Locations of Grief” from Wolsak & Wynn, 2020.
Read more about Alice Burdick in interviews conducted by Alex Porco on Open Book Toronto and on Lemon Hound and in gallery form here. You can watch and listen to Alice read some poems on a beach here.
Alice Walsh graduated fron St. Mary’s University with a degree in Criminology and English, and from Acadia with a master’s degree in Children’s Literature. She has worked as a preschool teacher, probation officer, creative writing instructor and hospital ward clerk.
Alice has written numerous articles and short stories for newspapers, magazines and literary journals, and has written educational material for various publications. Her published work includes a non-fiction book for adults, as well as four children’s books. She has won the Childen’s Book Centre Our Choice Award and has been nominated twice for the Hackmatack Award. In 2005, her book Pomiuk; Prince of the North won the Ann Connor Brimer award.
Alison DeLory is a writer, editor, publisher, teacher, and consultant in Halifax.
She’s the author of an adult novel called Making it Home (Vagrant/Nimbus Publishing, 2019); two children’s chapter books called Lunar Lifter (Bryler Publications, 2012) and Scotia Sinker (Sketch Publishing, 2015), and a story in the YA creative non-fiction anthology Becoming Fierce: Teen Stories IRL (Fierce Ink, 2014).
Alison has written news, feature stories and essays for publications including The Globe and Mail, Chicago Tribune, Chatelaine, Today’s Parent, Ryerson Magazine, Dalhousie Magazine, Medical Post, Halifax Magazine, and Canadian Traveler.
Alison was a finalist twice in the Atlantic Writing Competition and won prizes for her blog and poetry at Mount Saint Vincent University. She served as a judge for the 2017 Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award and as a reader for the 2016 CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize. She’s been a presenting author twice at Word on the Street Halifax (2015 and 2019).
She has two degrees from Mount Saint Vincent University including a masters of public relations, and was editor of the alumni magazine Folia Montana there for four years. Her third degree is from Ryerson University in journalism.
Alison has been a part-time instructor at Mount Saint Vincent University in communication studies since 2013. She’s also taught at the Nova Scotia Community College and taught workshops through the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS). She participated in the WFNS Writers In The Schools program from 2009 to2017, bringing writing workshops into more than 50 classrooms province-wide. Alison has served as council member at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) since 2009.
Alison enjoys working with emerging authors on their manuscripts, and also performs substantive, structural and copy-editing for various clients including creative writers, business writers, and academics.
She is currently the Associate Director of Communications for the University of King’s College where she writes content for print and digital publications, and is editor of the alumni newsletter and Tidings Magazine.
Alison Smith is the author of three books of poetry and one chapbook from Gaspereau Press. Her most recent collection, This Kind of Thinking Does No Good, was awarded the 2019 J.M. Abraham Award for Atlantic Poetry and was shortlisted for the 2020 Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award. She has written for radio, the stage, and has taught poetry workshops in prison, schools and other community settings. Alison lives in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.
Allison LaSorda’s writing has been nominated for National Magazine Awards and the CBC Poetry Prize, and selected as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2021. A recipient of scholarships from the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and the Vermont Studio Center residencies, she is a contributing editor at Brick, A Literary Journal. Her work has appeared in Literary Hub, The New Quarterly, The Malahat Review, Scientific American, The Walrus, CNQ, The Globe and Mail, Southern Humanities Review, Hazlitt, and other venues. Allison lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Andre Fenton is an award-winning African Nova Scotian author, spoken-word artist, screenwriter and arts educator. He is a recipient of the Emerging Artist Recognition Award at the 2022 Creative Nova Scotia Awards, and is the author of three young adult fiction novels. Worthy of Love was the bronze recipient in The Coast’s 2018 Best of Awards, and ANNAKA, that was Digitally Lit’s 2022 recipient of the Community & Place Award. Andre is also the author of The Summer Between Us, that won Gold in The Coast’s 2022 Best of Awards. Andre has facilitated writing and performance workshops at over 50 schools across Nova Scotia, and has represented Halifax at seven national poetry festivals across Canada. He is currently screenwriting the film adaptation of his novel ANNAKA that is being produced by Fine Devils Films. Andre is represented by Meridian Artists, and based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Andrea Miller is the author of Awakening My Heart: Essays, Articles, and Interviews on the Buddhist Life (Pottersfield Press), My First Book of Canadian Birds (Nimbus Publishing), and The Day the Buddha Woke Up (Wisdom Publications). She’s also the deputy editor and a staff writer at Lion’s Roar magazine (formerly called the Shambhala Sun) and the editor of three anthologies for Shambhala Publications, including Buddha’s Daughters: Teachings from Women Who Are Shaping Buddhism in the West.
Miller has an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia, a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of King’s College, and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Dalhousie University. Her writing has appeared in The Best Women’s Travel Writing series, the Best Buddhist Writing series, The Chronicle Herald, The Globe and Mail, Saltscapes, The Antigonish Review, Prairie Fire, and a wide range of other publications. Miller lives in Halifax with her husband and two children.
His poetry has won Frog Hollow’s Chapbook Contest and Descant’s Winston Collins Prize, been shortlisted for CV2’s Young Buck Prize and Arc’s Poem of the Year, and appeared in CAROUSEL, Prism, The Puritan, Vallum, and elsewhere.
Anne C. Kelly has loved to read and write for as long as she can remember. Her first publication was a class newspaper which she wrote with a friend in Grade four. She especially enjoys reading historical fiction and books about characters who discover who they really are after going through challenges in life.
Anne is an English teacher at heart. She taught English-as-an-Additional-Language (EAL) to adult newcomers to Canada for over twenty years. She loves learning about different cultures and traditions. She always says that she learned more from her students than they ever learned from her!
Anne’s first novel, Jacques’ Escape, was published by Trap Door Books in June 2019. Jacques’ Escape, which tells the story of a fourteen-year-old Acadian boy who is deported with his family to Massachusetts in 1755, is a middle reader for children aged 9-12. It was shortlisted for the 2020-21 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award.
Anne Simpson has been a writer-in-residence at the University of British Columbia, the Saskatoon Public Library, the Medical Humanities Program at Dalhousie University, and the University of New Brunswick, among others. She has also been a faculty member at the Banff Centre.
She writes novels, poetry, and essays. Four of her ten books have been Globe & Mail Best Books. Her short fiction has been awarded the Journey Prize, while her third novel, Speechless, won the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Her second poetry collection, Loop, was awarded the Griffin Poetry Prize. She has also written two books of essays. The Marram Grass: Poetry and Otherness explores poetry, art, and empathy, while Experiments in Distant Influence: Notes and Poems looks at friendship, courage, and community.
Bethany Lake is a playwright, novelist, and freelancer from Nova Scotia. As a playwright, she has had three of her plays produced in Halifax. Her play, No Animal, has been published in The Furious Gazelle, a literary magazine based in New York City.
She is a regular contributor to Rue Morgue magazine, where she has conducted interviews with artists such as Mark Soper (1987’s Blood Rage) and Damien Leone (Terrifier, Terrifier 2). Bethany’s work has also appeared in The Big Takeover, PRISM international, and Write magazine.
Her recently completed novel, Walk On (publisher TBD), began its development in the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program.
Bethany received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies from Dalhousie University before continuing her playwriting education at Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, ON.
Writing and reading have always been a big part of Brad Kelln’s life. From James & The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl and Pierre Berton’s The Secret World of Og as a child to ripping through Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston’s fast-paced books as an adult, he has read continuously.
Brad’s own history of writing stretches back to childhood. Initially, he wrote and illustrated his own small books then began writing short stories in junior high (eventually having one published in the school yearbook). He started his first novel-length work in high school – an action/comedy about a trio of oddballs who’ve escaped from a mental institution (possibly a foreshadow of careers to come). That book remains unfinished, unpublished, and virtually unreadable. His current writing projects are much darker than any of his previous works would have predicted.
His first book, Lost Sanity (Insomniac Press), hit bookstores in October 2001 and was picked by the Ottawa Sun as one of the best mystery/detective novels of the year. The paperback version of Lost Sanity was released Winter 2002. The sequel, Method of Madness (Insomniac Press) was released in Fall 2002 and was a roller-coaster ride of twists and turns. He has now signed on with ECW Press for the Fall 2008 release of a brand new book, In Tongues of the Dead – a religious thriller based around real-life mysteries!
In addition to being an author, Brad also has a day job. He obtained his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Calgary in 1998. He re-located to Nova Scotia to pursue his career in forensic work and began with Provincial Forensic Psychiatry Service of the Nova Scotia Hospital. He continued with the Service when it expanded to become the East Coast Forensic Hospital co-located with the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility. Forensic management briefly considered naming the new facility THE KELLN CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE but reconsidered at the last moment.
Dr. Kelln continues to work as a clinical and forensic psychologist with the East Coast Forensic Hospital and also as a special consultant to both the Halifax Regional Police and the Nova Scotia RCMP on hostage negotiation.
Briana was born in Salem Massachusetts in 1981.
She made her first picture book in 1988 for a contest, at the age of seven. Her incredible first grade teacher, Mrs. Chronholm, noticed how much she loved to draw and write and encouraged her to enter the contest. Although Briana did not win, she experienced a process that has stayed with her into adulthood.
In 2013, Briana reconnected with this childhood dream while drawing with her children at the kitchen table. She had been working as a fine artist since her graduation from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2005. As the primary care giver for her growing family, she felt an increased constraint on the time she had to make her large still life oil paintings. This frustration, combined with two bouts of postpartum depression, landed her in a deep artist’s block in 2010.
In 2013, something shifted. She drew a paper doll and cut it out for her daughter to play with. This simple activity created a joy that changed the course of her life. Briana felt a reconnection with her inner child, which ignited a new energy to create and share work that was inspired by her own childhood memories. Artful play, living close to the sea and in the woods, and re-imagining fairy tales became source material for her projects. Briana started this new path by making illustrations inspired by these childhood experiences, and vowed to follow her curiosity without question from then on. She broke her three year artist’s block when she created paper dolls as art kits, and she has been designing and selling them for a decade.
Through the years, the paper dolls turned into characters for picture books, as well as puppets for stop motion animations.
Following her curiosity without question led Briana to Sable Island, which became the subject of her first paper doll picture book published by Nimbus Publishing in 2018. Since then, Briana has relied on the ideas of play and curiosity to explore other themes, and she has created the images and words for eight books with Nimbus Publishing in a short five years.
Her stop motion animation titled “The Happy Island,” combined her words, paper doll puppets, and oil painted landscapes to tell the story of how she creates her art in her new found “happy place” and was screened at the Lunenunburg Doc Fest in 2021. Her short animation called “Little Islands,” soothed the souls of lonely children after being featured on CBC during the Covid 19 pandemic. She has retold the story of Thumbelina in her picture book “Wildflower,” illustrated mermaid babies in her board book “Mermaid Lullaby,” and reimagined the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” The repeating patterns of her paper doll’s clothing and the endpapers of her books have become a line of wallpaper. Her second picture book titled “The Book of Selkie”, was short listed for the David Booth Poetry prize for Children in 2022.
Briana has shown her work in solo and group shows in Halifax and Boston, and her illustrations have appeared internationally in online features, films and magazines. As wonderful as all this is, the best place to find her is in her happy place, wandering the shore with her paints, writing stories by the sea.
Bruce Bishop, originally from Yarmouth, N.S., has been writing professionally since the mid-1990s, primarily for travel, tourism and leisure freelance markets. He has written and contributed to several guidebook companies over the years, especially Fodor’s, Michelin, and DK Eyewitness Guides. From 2000 to 2002, he was the elected president of the Travel Media Association of Canada.
In 2020 at the outset of the pandemic, he decided to begin writing fiction for the first time, and his debut novel Unconventional Daughters (Icarus Press) was published the same year. Based on its popular appeal, he chose to embark upon writing a trilogy, and the second novel, Uncommon Sons, was released in 2021. The final novel in the trilogy, Undeniable Relations was published in December 2022.
He was one of five authors selected to read from his last novel at the Read by the Sea annual literary festival in July 2023.
Besides memberships in the Writers Union of Canada and Screen Nova Scotia, Bishop is proud to be associated with the WFNS and hopes to meet many likeminded writers (emerging, intermediate and established) in the future!
Carol Bruneau is the author of two critically acclaimed collections of short fiction, After the Angel Mill (1995) and Depth Rapture (1998), and three novels, Glass Voices (2007), named a Globe and Mail Best Book, Berth (2005) and Purple for Sky (2000). Published in the U.S. as A Purple Thread for Sky, the novel won the 2001 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and the Dartmouth Book Award.
Shortlisted the same year for the Pearson Readers’ Choice Award, Purple for Sky was recommended by Pamela Wallin on the CBC’s Canada Reads and as a prime pick on her Chapters website. In the U.S., Booklist praised it as a “hilarious, moving and poetic book.” Kirkus called it “a refreshingly unsentimental debut […] deeply original in style. In Canada, Purple for Sky was included in The Globe and Mail‘s “Best Books of 2000.” They praised Bruneau as “a first-class storyteller who uses words magically,” and Chatelaine called it “a warm engaging look at the small dramas that shape our lives…salted with down-home metaphors and pithy observations.”
Considered “one of the brightest lights of Atlantic fiction by acclaimed novelist Joan Clark, Bruneau’s stories have been anthologized recently in Victory Meat, edited by Lynn Coady, and Atlantica: Stories from the Maritimes and Newfoundland, edited by Lesley Choyce. As well, Bruneau has contributed book reviews to The Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire, Atlantic Books Today and the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, which has also published her essays and articles.
Besides the Atlantic Fiction and Dartmouth Book prizes, Bruneau has been awarded four grants by the Canada Council for the Arts, and appointments in 2001 as Writer-in-Residence at Acadia University and in 2009 as Writer-in-Residence at Dalhousie University. Among many guest appearances, she has read at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto, the Eden Mills writers’ festival in Ontario, the Northrop Frye Festival in New Brunswick, Read-by-the-Sea in Nova Scotia, and the Winterset Festival in Newfoundland, where she appeared with Cape Breton writers Alistair MacLeod and D.R. MacDonald. Though born and raised in mainland Nova Scotia, Bruneau’s maternal family roots are on the island.
Bruneau teaches classes and workshops in fiction writing, and has also worked as a photo editor and a journalist. She teaches critical writing part time at NSCAD University and fiction-writing at Dalhousie.
Carole Glasser Langille is the author of 4 books of poetry, 2 collections of short stories, 2 children’s books and a non-fiction book “Doing Time: Writing Workshops in Prison.”
Her second book of poetry, In Cannon Cave, was nominated for a Governor General’s Award in 1997, and the Atlantic Poetry Prize in 1998. “I Am What I Am Because You Are What You Are,” her second collection of short stories, was nominated for the Alistair MacLeod Award for Short Fiction. Her children’s book, Where the Wind Sleeps, was the Canadian Children’s Book Center Choice in 1996.
Several selections from Carole Glasser Langille’s book of poetry, Late In A Slow Time, have been adapted to music by renowned Canadian composer Chan Ka Nin. The production, also called Late In A Slow Time debuted at the 2006 Sound Symposium in St. John’s, Newfoundland and will be on Duo Concertante’s forthcoming CD.
Originally from New York City, where she studied with the poets John Ashbery and Carolyn Forche among others, Carole now lives in Black Point, Nova Scotia.
She has taught at The Humber School for Writing Summer Program, Maritime Writer’s Workshop, the Community of Writers in Tatamagouche, and at Women’s Words the University of Alberta. She has taught Creative Writing at Mount Saint Vincent University, Writing for the Arts at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and currently teaches Creative Writing: Poetry at Dalhousie University.
Carole has given poetry readings in Athens, Delhi, Prague, London England, New York City, Kirkcudbright Scotland, and throughout Canada. She has received Canada Council Grants for poetry, non-fiction and fiction as well as Nova Scotia Cultural Arts grants for poetry and fiction.
My interest is in researching and writing historical fiction and non-fiction. My book, William Forsyth: Land of Hopes and Dreams – a story from early Nova Scotia, was published in 2021 and my second book has the working title Traitors, Cannibals, Highlanders, and Vikings. It’s about the people who came to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island in the 1700s and early 1800s. It is due to be published in March 2023.
Chad Lucas has been in love with words since he attempted his first novel on a typewriter in the sixth grade. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, communications advisor, freelance writer, part-time journalism instructor, and parenting columnist.
His work has appeared in publications including Halifax Magazine, Black to Business, Sport Quarterly and The Chronicle Herald, where he wrote a biweekly column, “Life With Kids,” from 2011-2016. He’s a previous Silver Award winner at the Atlantic Journalism Awards, and his short fiction has appeared in EVENT and The Dalhousie Review.
A proud descendant of the historic African Nova Scotian community of Lucasville, Chad lives with his family in Nova Scotia. His debut middle grade novel, Thanks a Lot, Universe (Amulet Books/Abrams Kids) is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection and earned praise as “heartwarming and bold” in a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and “funny and deeply empathetic” in a starred review from School Library Journal. His second middle grade novel, Let The Monster Out, releases in May 2022.
Charlene has a Bachelor of Arts Honours (English) from Crandall University, a Master of Arts (English) from Dalhousie, and a Bachelor of Journalism from University of King’s College. After travelling the globe and working a number of years in various (mostly writing related) jobs, she left employed work to start a Communications business with the naïve hope of having more flexibility and time to finish her first full-length novel. She eventually did. And after her husband’s career took her to Newfoundland, she put aside her Communications work to focus exclusively on novel writing.
Since then, Charlene has independently published nine novels and a novella. Her upcoming novel, Hold My Girl, pitched for fans of Celeste Ng and Liane Moriarty, is her first agented book and has been picked up by HarperCollins Canada, Sourcebooks Landmark (US) and Welbeck Publishing (UK) in two-book deals, and Alma Littera (Lithuania). It has also been optioned for television adaptation by Blink49 Studios in partnership with Groundswell Productions.
Charlene recently received grants from both Arts Nova Scotia and Canada Council for the Arts to write, research, and revise her next book, tentatively titled We Rip The World Apart.
Author, Teacher, Mother, Farmer
Charlotte Mendel is a four times-published, award-winning author. For more information on her books, the prizes she has won, media coverage and reviews, you can visit her website.
She has published three literary fiction books and one YA novel:
“Turn Us Again”
Charlotte Mendel has taught Creative Writing at Dalhousie for the past seven years. She has also facilitated many writing workshops in her community, both for adults and in the schools. Charlotte also delivers the Climate Simulation Game to environmental organizations, schools and universities in NS and England, and has been invited by Consultants from the NS Ministry of Education to introduce the game to teachers at the Summer Learning Academy this summer.
Chris Benjamin is a freelance journalist and an author of fiction and non-fiction. He is currently the Managing Editor of Atlantic Books Today magazine.
His collection of short stories, Boy With a Problem, was shortlisted for the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction. His nonfiction book, Indian School Road: Legacies of the Shubenacadie Residential School, won the Dave Greber Freelance Book Prize before being published, was listed by librarians as a Book of Influence, and recently became a Nova Scotia bestseller.
His previous book, Eco-Innovators: Sustainability in Atlantic Canada, won the 2012 Best Atlantic-Published Book Award and was a finalist for the Richardson Non-Fiction Prize. A series of short video documentaries has been made based on the book.
Chris has written for a long list of magazines and newspapers in Canada and the United States. A few highlights include The Globe and Mail, Science Friday, Z Magazine, Saltscapes, Halifax Magazine, Progress Magazine, and The Coast.
Christina McRae lives and works in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Her work appears in many literary journals including Grain, Arc, Descant, The New Quarterly, Prairie Fire, Room, Windsor Review, and Understorey Magazine. Several poems also appear in Letting Go: An Anthology of Loss and Survival, published by Black Moss Press (2004). Her first full-length collection, Next to Nothing, was published by Wolsak and Wynn in 2009.
Clare O’Connor lives in Halifax with her family. She is the author of Skateboard Sibby, a middle-grade novel about an 11-year-old super skateboarder dealing with lots of changes, including the loss of her identity as a skateboarder. When not writing, Clare works as a communications consultant and is a past recipient of a Halifax-Cornwallis Canadian Progress Club Women of Excellence Award in Communications and Public Affairs. Clare is a former Director of Public Affairs for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and received the Heart and Stroke Foundation Chair’s Award for outstanding contribution.
She is a member of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, CANSCAIP, and SCBWI.
Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail is a multi-passionate, multi-genre author of several books who loves telling hidden, inclusive stories for audiences of all ages.
Danielle’s latest picture book, Freddie the Flyer is coming out in Fall 2023 from Tundra Books. It’s co-authored with Gwich’in pilot Fred Carmichael, and will feature the beautiful illustrations of Inuvialuit artist Audrea Wulf.
Her first chapter book – Fever on the Forgotten Coast – is out on submission, as is her first women’s fiction book, The 500 Year Flood.
In 2022, with the support of a Canada Council Creation Grant and Access Copyright Professional Development Grant, she will return to her creative nonfiction book about trauma, family, and the largest Indian Hospital in Canada.
If you’re looking for a sharp-eyed cheerleader to help you with editing and coaching, Danielle will help you through the writing and publishing journey with empathy and encouragement. Please contact her directly to discuss working together.
Daphne, a mother of four girls has worked with individuals with special needs for over 16 years. Her first novel, Maxed Out was a nominee for the 2013 Best Quick Read by the American Library Association. Before having children she volunteered on the Adult Help Phone in Halifax which provided her with the ability to use the Kids Help Phone in Maxed Out. She loves spreading the word about this amazing service that they provide for kids in Canada. She is very comfortable working with kids and will put people at ease very quickly. Her second YA novel, Jacob’s Landing, 2016- 2017 Hackmatack Nominee and a 2016 Silver Birch finalist is published by Nimbus. Her third novel, Camped Out sequel to Maxed Out) will be published by Orca in the fall of 2017. She has a Bachelor of Child Studies from Mt St Vincent University.
Darcy Rhyno writes novels, short stories, plays, non-fiction (travel, science, health, people profiles). His latest book is a memoir about life in post-communist Eastern Europe.
He is the author of the pre-teen fantasy novel set in 1950’s Halifax called THE UNDERWORLD MAGICIAN. He’s also the author of the YA novel MONSTERS OF SUBURBIA, which is a realism adventure story with themes of bullying, isolation, estrangement and myth. This novel is suitable for junior high readers. He has also published two collections of short stories, CONDUCTOR OF WAVES and HOLIDAYS. He’s been writing for Saltscapes magazine since 2007. He is an award-winning travel writer and a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada and has published hundreds of articles with Saltscapes, Canadian Geographic Travel, BBC Travel, Atlas Obscura, The Daily Beast, the Chronicle Herald and many, many more. His play Snowbirds, a comedy set at Christmas, has been produced twice in Nova Scotia.
Conductor of Waves is a collection of 12 stories set in a fictional Nova Scotia fishing community. The Globe and Mail called it “a strikingly accomplished collection.” His first novel for children placed second in the Atlantic Writing Competition. As a columnist for Saltscapes magazine, Darcy writes the back page for each issue, prepares feature articles and writes for special publications about travel, food and other topics. He writes for other magazines and newspapers as well. One of the stories in his collection called Holidays was published in The Vagrant Revue of New Fiction, an anthology of work by the most promising writers in Atlantic Canada.
For much of his career, Darcy has worked in education and with children. A teacher and arts worker by profession, he has worked with many schools and teachers across the province, as well as with artists from all genres. For 16 years, he was an instructor in the graduate program of the Faculty of Education at Mount St. Vincent University where he taught courses in popular culture, reading, media and literature. His readings and workshops are always engaging, informative and entertaining. See his website at www.darcyrhyno.com
Dr. Darryl Whetter is the author of 4 books of fiction and 3 poetry collections. His collection of stories, A Sharp Tooth in the Fur, was named to The Globe and Mail’s Top 100 Books of 2003. His debut novel, The Push & the Pull, was released in Spring 2008. Origins, his 2012 collection of poems, concerns energy, evolution and extinction as they can be observed at Joggins, Nova Scotia. Professor Whetter edited the nomination dossier of the Joggins Fossil Cliffs in their successful bid for inclusion on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. He has published nearly 20 stories in journals and anthologies, including Best Canadian Stories, The Fiddlehead, PRISM, Prairie Fire, The New Quarterly and Best Asian Short Stories 2020. In 2021, he won the Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award.
Darryl holds a PhD in English from UNB and has published or presented papers on contemporary literature in France, Sweden, Canada, Germany, the United States, India, Singapore, Australia and Iceland. Nearly 100 of his commissioned book reviews have appeared in venues such as The Toronto Star, The National Post, The Vancouver Sun, The Montreal Gazette, The Globe and Mail, and Detroit’s Metro Times. Darryl Whetter has been a professor of English and Creative Writing at various universities in Canada and was the coordinator of the creative writing program at Dalhousie from 2008-2010. In the mid-2000s, he was a regular panelist on the national CBC Radio program “Talking Books.”
Originally from Britain, Dave Beynon moved to Canada as an infant, growing up on a farm north and west of Toronto. He has been a cow milker, a short order cook, a waiter, a residence manager at the Hamilton Downtown YMCA (there’s a novel waiting to be written about those four years), a factory worker and a purveyor of fine corrugated packaging and displays.
Dave writes fiction of varying genres and lengths. His short fiction has appeared in anthologies, periodicals, on-line and in podcasts. In 2011, his novel, The Platinum Ticket was shortlisted for the inaugural Terry Pratchett Prize.
Dave co-hosted a local cable TV show called Turning Pages, an in-depth interview show that highlights authors, writing and publishing.
He lives on the South Shore and should have been living there his whole life.
His work is represented by Ed Wilson of Johnson & Alcock.
Dean Jobb is a true crime writer, book reviewer and a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax, and a member of the faculty of the university’s MFA in Creatiive Nonfiction program.
He is the author of seven books. His latest, Empire of Deception, tells the stranger-than-fiction story of master swindler Leo Koretz, who hoodwinked the elite of 1920s Chicago before escaping to a new life of luxury and excess in Nova Scotia. It won the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award, was named the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year and was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. His previous books won the Evelyn Richardson and City of Dartmouth awards for nonfiction, and he was runner up for the National Business Book Award.
Dean writes a monthy column on true crime for Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and is a contributing reviewer to the Chicago Review of Books. His articles, commentaries and reviews have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post and Winnipeg Free Press. He also has written for numerous magazines, including Canada’s History, Canadian Lawyer and the Literary Review of Canada, and has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Scotsman, The Irish Times and the Belfast Telegraph.
A reporter, editor and columnist during a 20-year career at The Chronicle Herald, Dean is a three-time winner of the Atlantic Journalism Award and a finalist for the National Newspaper and National Magazine awards.
Deborah Stiles was born and raised in Appalachia, in West Virginia, but found herself moving northward in 1988. A graduate of the University of Maine’s M.A. in Creative Writing in 1990 with the thesis No Curtains on These Windows (a collection of short stories), she has published poems, short stories, agriculture and cooking articles, and scholarly articles in a wide variety of journals in Canada and the U.S.
In 2002, BrickHouse Books (Baltimore, Maryland), published her book-length poem, Movement Catalogued; in 1991, Northern LightsPress (Orono, Maine) published her poetry collection, Riding Limestone. She has completed two additional poetry manuscripts, whose poems have appeared in The Fiddlehead, The Carleton Arts Review, To, Kennebec, Zymergy, Nashwaak Review, Pottersfield Portfolio, and elsewhere. In 1997, after living in Fredericton, NB for three years, she applied for landed immigrant status and also completed her Ph.D. (University of Maine, History) with a doctoral thesis on the Fredericton-based-but rurally-oriented poet and newspaper editor, Martin Butler (1857-1915). Currently, she is working on several projects, including a novel and also the revision of her thesis on Martin Butler. In January 2004, she became a Canadian citizen.
An Associate Professor in Humanities at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, and a part-time farmer, Stiles enjoys teaching history, writing and literature courses and sharing her love of the natural world, agriculture, and rural society that is an integral part of her creative work.
Deirdre Dwyer has been writing poetry since her teacher taught her about haiku in grade six. In the meantime, she’s worked as an English as a Second Language teacher in Tokyo, a Creative Writing instructor in Halifax, a Sessional Instructor of English in Windsor and a bookseller. Deirdre holds an MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Windsor, and was a founding member of the Bourbon Street Poetry Society. She has worked with the Hope for Wildlife Society, a wildlife rehabilitation facility on the Eastern Shore. Deirdre was also Coordinator of the Musquodoboit Harbour Farmers’ Market. She was chair of the Musquodoboit Harbour and Area Community Association, and has been writing prose about her three years in Japan and her subsequent travels; and a writing workshop in Iceland in 2019.
When she visits schools, she can talk about the differences between Japanese culture, discuss Nova Scotian wildlife, show pictures of some of the wildlife she met at Hope for Wildlife, do writing exercises relating to either prose or poetry connected to these discussions, and read and discuss her own work with the students. She can also discuss life in Iceland, publishing books and in journals.
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