Coffee Chats

The Coffee Chats programs enables WFNS members at all career stages to seek advice and inspiration from professional authors.

Overview

Newly launched in 2020, the Coffee Chats program provides writers with affordable access to the advice of professional authors on a wide range of topics related to the writing life, such as publishing strategies, writing practices, and overcoming creative blocks and challenges.

A Coffee Chat is an informal, half-hour conversation with a participating member of the WFNS Writers’ Council. It allows an established author to share their experiences and opinions with a new or emerging 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.

How does the program work?

Once a chat request & fee have been received, the WFNS confirms the advisor’s availability; connects the writer and advisor via email to arrange a mutually convenient date and time; schedules a meeting via Zoom; confers payment to the advisor; and sends a Zoom meeting invitation to the writer and advisor.

The program cost for writers is $30 for a 30-minute conversation. Conversations are conducted using the Zoom video conferencing platform, which is free to use and which does not require any software installation. Zoom is also a useful platform for writers without access to strong internet connections, as it allows user to participate in audio-only meetings via phone. 

Coffee Chats emphasize flexibility and the natural flow of conversation, so advisors are not expected to prepare for the meeting in advance or to answer questions via email. We encourage advice-seeking writers to make the most of the conversation by planning three to five topics for discussion. We also strongly encourage writers to respect the time of their advisors by beginning to wrap up discussion a few minutes before the 30-minute conversation ends.

Writers may not repeatedly or unwantedly contact advisors at any point before or after their Coffee Chat; such contact will result in termination of the scheduled conversation with no refund and/or in loss of access to the program. Any disputes between the writer and advisor are mediated by the WFNS, which will handle any necessary refund.

Please apply through our Manuscript Review Program if you are seeking a detailed response to written material.

Please consult the Editors Canada’s extensive list of accredited members (who are available for hire) if you are seeking editing services such as project coordination, rewriting, or writing of original material; substantive editing (reorganizing or restructuring of a manuscript); stylistic editing (line-by-line or sentence-by-sentence criticism); copy editing (correction of grammar, spelling, punctuation); fact checking; reference/citation checking; or proofreading.

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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 communications@writers.ns.ca