Coffee Chats

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 (communications@writers.ns.ca), 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 (communications@writers.ns.ca) 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 or Jay) Johnston

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.

A.J.B. (John or Jay) Johnston

Adam Foulds

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.

Adam Foulds

Alice Burdick

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.

Her poem ”Terms and Conditions” was shortlisted for the first Lemon Hound Poetry Prize in 2014.

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 Burdick

Alice Walsh

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.

Alice Walsh

Alison DeLory

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 DeLory

Alison Smith

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.

Alison Smith

Allison LaSorda

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 ReviewHazlitt, and other venues. Allison lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Allison LaSorda

Andre Fenton

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.

Andre Fenton

Anne C. Kelly

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 C. Kelly

Anne Simpson

 

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.

Anne Simpson

Bethany Lake

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.

Bethany Lake

Briana Corr Scott

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.

Briana Corr Scott

Bruce W. Bishop

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!

Bruce W. Bishop

Carol Bruneau

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.

Carol Bruneau

Carole Glasser Langille

Carole Glasser Langille is the author of 5 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.

Carole Glasser Langille

Carolyn Jean Nicholson

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.

Carolyn Jean Nicholson

Chad Lucas

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.

Chad Lucas

Charlene Carr

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 first traditionally published novel, Hold My Girl, pitched for fans of Celeste Ng and Liane Moriarty, is her first agented book and was published by HarperCollins Canada, Sourcebooks Landmark (US) and Welbeck Publishing (UK) in two-book deals, and is forthcoming from 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, We Rip The World Apart, which will publish in 2024.

Charlene Carr

Chris Benjamin

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’ novel, Drive-by Saviours, won the H.R. Percy Prize, was longlisted for a ReLit Prize and made the CBC Canada Reads Top Essential Books List.

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.

Chris Benjamin

Christina McRae

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.

Christina McRae

Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail

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.

Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail

Darryl Whetter

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 FireThe 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.”

His most recent books are the climate-crisis novel Our Sands, from Penguin RH (2020) and  the anthology Teaching Creative Writing in Asia, from Routledge (2021)

www.darrylwhetter.ca

Darryl Whetter

Denise Flint

Denise Flint is a freelance journalist by day and romance writer by night (under the pen name Barbara Burke). Since her early days working for a rural weekly newspaper she has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines across the country. A true dilettante she refuses to be tied down to one subject and has learned a little bit about a whole lot of things while admitting general ignorance about pretty much everything.

She’s lived in the heart of a big city, the middle of nowhere and, for a brief spell, the suburbs. She gave up her last home, a cedar shack overlooking the North Atlantic, for a 160 year old farm house on the north shore of Nova Scotia. She has lived in three countries and five provinces and will never miss an opportunity to jump on a plane or train. She also loves road trips and cats (although not together).

Denise Flint

donalee Moulton

donalee Moulton has been writing professionally for over 25 years. Her byline has appeared in more than 100 magazines and newspapers throughout North America – and beyond. Among the publications donalee has written for are The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, Maclean’s, Canadian Business and The National Post.

Her first mystery book Hung out to Die was published in 2023.Her second mystery novel, Conflagration, will be published in 2024.

donalee’s short story “Swan Song” was one of 21 selected for publication in Cold Canadian Crime and has been reprinted in Black Cat Weekly. A second short story, also featuring the Iqaluit-based chief of police Doug Brumal, was published  in Black Cat Weekly. Her literary short story “Moist” was published recently in After Dinner Conversation and The Antigonish Review.

As well, donalee is the author of the non-fiction book The Thong Principle: Saying What You Mean and Meaning What You Say, and co-authored the book, Celebrity Court Cases: Trials of the Rich and Famous.

donalee has had poetry published in Arc Poetry Journal, Queen’s Quarterly, Prairie Fire, The Dalhousie Review, Atlantis,  South Shore Review, Carousel, and Whetstone, among others. She is a former editor of The Pottersfield Portfolio and Atlantic Books Today.

donalee is a teacher. She has taught writing, editing, grammar and communications for the past 20 years in a variety of programs. She currently teaches numerous writing and editing courses as part of the Executive and Professional Development program at Saint Mary’s University, and has taught courses at Dalhousie University and Mount Saint Vincent University.

donalee Moulton

Emma FitzGerald

Emma FitzGerald was born in Southern Africa to Irish parents and grew up in Vancouver. She has studied both art and architecture, and is the author of Hand Drawn Halifax. She has also illustrated numerous children’s books; EveryBody is Different on EveryBody Street by Sheree Fitch, A Pocket of Time by Rita Wilson, City Streets are for People by Andrea Curtis, and Two Crows by Susan Vande Griek. She lives and draws in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.

Emma FitzGerald

Francene Gillis

Welcome to my profile. I am who I am, or am I… a paradoxical enquiry worth pondering. “What is most personal is most universal,” –Alistair MacLeod, yet another truth. And the mosaic—picking up pieces and putting them back together again into people who are stronger and better than before—those are the fulcrums, the wheels, and philosophies that drive my writing. I hope you will find information of interest that leads to a partnership or invitation. In brief…I am looking for publishers, freelance writing projects, possible editing depending on genre, and educational and human-interest writing for a fee of course as I still teach. I love writing and have been doing so since the tender age of 14. My first poem written at 16 was dedicated to my nine-year-old brother who drowned below our house. I am a professional writer living in Cape Breton, and I am working on several writing projects with the hope of being published in a much bigger circle. Following are highlights of my career thus far: Columnist: 25 plus years with a weekly newspaper: The Inverness Oran; Author: A Rose In November, collection of human interest stories, (1994); English teacher and Educator: 30 plus years, high school for the last 17 and as a substitute prior, while working in adult education and literacy; Masters in Education: Multicultural Diversity, Administration & Leadership, St. Francis Xavier University, 2013; Tribes Trained & Now Piloting…(2013–2015) Program created by Dr. Jeanne Gibbs, 2006 to help educational institutions and businesses become more successful; Winner of several national, regional writing and educational awards; Reviewer Pearson Canada of educational materials designed for grade nine students; Freelance Editor of several weekly and monthly rural magazines; Worked on several Nova Scotia Department of Education committees…Literacy Success 11 & 12, Advanced English 12 Pilot, Provincial Advisory Board, Grade 12 Provincial Exam; Presenter: Numerous conferences through Literacy, Adult Education, and Public School System such as ATENS Conference 2013, Strait Regional Inservices, Provincial Literacy Conferences; Consultant: (1994–1997) through my own business prior to coming back into the public education system, specializing in education, literacy, editing, and writing; Worked with CCLOW (Canadian Congress Learning Opportunities for Women) writing a chapter in a collective resource for female adult learners across Canada on issues such as self-esteem, confidence, motivation, and upgrading; Mentored by author Alistair MacLeod; I am presently working on collections of short stories, educational materials for high school students and teachers, a collection of poems, and several book length manuscripts. I would very much like to work with other professional writers or editors, and to fine a reputable agent for my writing. I would like to branch out as a columnist for human-interest or educational magazines.

Francene Gillis

Frances Nobles

https://fbnobles.ca

F.B. Nobles, author of She-Wolfe in the Shadows, lives with her partner, Ron and two chihuahuas, Lucy and Joey, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. She enjoys all the Maritime provinces have to offer—breathtaking scenery, delicious food, and friendly people. She finds inspiration in everything and everyone around her.

She loves to read; it started at an early age when she read the local papers, The Chronicle-Herald and The Mail-Star with her father at about age four. This trend continued when her mother introduced her to Nancy Drew Mysteries. Reading came naturally because everyone in her home was an avid reader. There were many books of different genres to whet her appetite and begin a life-long love of the written word.

She has always worked in structured disciplines that required superior attention to detail; writing became one of her creative outlets. Frances’ colourful imagination provides the backdrop of her story which she skillfully weaves with a mysterious tale of her crafting.

Her favourite authors are Sydney Sheldon, Harper Lee and Truman Capote to name a few. She has devoured their words. Her favourite director, producer and screenwriter is Alfred Hitchcock for allowing her imagination to create the ending.

Frances’ interests include travel, reading, writing, cooking, cooking shows, documentaries, reality shows, crafting, sewing, creating, research for her book, new learning experiences. All these things have helped shaped her writing. Frances favourite novels take her to a time or place unlike her own. She enjoys well-written novels of almost any genre.

She has traveled extensively in Europe from where the inspiration for the opulence in her book came. Frances enjoyed seeing many of the places she had only read about. Her favourite city is Amsterdam and her favourite country is the Netherlands. Their relaxed way of life is something she admires. Frances has also seen much of her own country. Canada has so much to offer. Upon her return to Canada, Frances lived in Montréal, Québec for seven years and took a job working for her first millionaire boss. She was fascinated by the millionaire lifestyle and brought parts of that lifestyle to her book.

The inspiration for this book came from many places and many persons. Sometimes a sight, sound or smell triggers a memory and a story for Frances. She also took inspiration from anyone who ever said to her, “You should write a book” although it may not be the book they envisioned. Prior to writing She-Wolfe in the Shadows, her writing style was satire with a humourous edge.

Frances describes her work as a mystery sprinkled with moments of romance. Her mystery  has love, hate deception, extreme wealth, superior intelligence, revenge and a most unlikely gold digger. Frances’ readers can expect an entertaining and mysterious escape.

Frances’ engaging characters are fictional and are in no way based on any individual(s), living, or dead.

Frances Nobles

Dr. G.V. Loewen

G.V. Loewen is the author of forty-seven books and is one of Canada’s leading contemporary thinkers. His non-fiction works include books in education, ethics, health, aesthetics and social theory. He recently wrote an eleven volume adventure saga for young persons and other shorter fiction works. He is a student of phenomenology and hermeneutics. Born in Victoria, January 31, 1966, Loewen was educated at the University of Victoria with a BA and MA in anthropology and at the University of British Columbia, receiving the PhD in anthropology in 1997. He held two tenure stream positions in the United States before taking up his academic position in Saskatoon, Canada, in 2005, where he was chair of the sociology department for five years and from which he retired in 2018. Over the course of his career, Loewen won two major teaching awards at two universities and was nominated for four others.

Dr. G.V. Loewen

Jacqueline Halsey

Originally from the UK, Jacqueline has lived in Nova Scotia, for over thirty years. She has written six highly acclaimed books, mostly inspired by her love of history, the ocean, and all things maritime.

Her latest book, The Terrible Horrible Smelly Beach, co-authored by Carrie Muller, is a sequel to the Terrible Horrible Smelly Pirate and has an environmental twist. Her middle-grade novel Piper was short listed for the 2019 prestigious TD Geoffrey Bilson award for Children’s Historical fiction. Peggy’s Letters is available on Tumble Books.

Jacqueline has an art college background, a degree in English and before becoming a full-time writer, worked for many years in the Youth Services department of the Alderney Gate Library in Dartmouth. As part of an imaginative team of programmers, she created and presented literary based programs for children of all ages.

Her love of hiking, splashy boat rides, history, beaches, and taking care of the environment led her to join the “Friends of McNabs Island Society.” She now sits on the Board, takes part in the massive annual beach clean-up and leads groups of visitors on interpretive hikes around the beautiful, historic island in Halifax harbour.

Jacqueline has taken part in the Writer’s in the School programs for over a decade. She is inspired by the students she meets and enjoys sharing her perspective of seeing history through the eyes of a child.

 

Jacqueline Halsey

Jaime Forsythe

Jaime Forsythe is a writer living in Halifax. Her writing has appeared in a number of magazines and journals, including This Magazine, Geist, The New Quarterly, The Antigonish Review, Lemon Hound, Matrix, The Rusty Toque, and more. Her first full-length poetry collection, Sympathy Loophole, was published in Spring 2012 by Mansfield Press. Her second, I Heard Something, was released by Anvil Press’ A Feed Dog Book imprint in Spring 2018.

Jaime has twice been a mentor in the WFNS Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program, and has taught writing workshops in a variety of venues, including elementary schools, at Dalhousie University and Mount Allison University, and to youth and adults in the community. 

 

 

Jaime Forsythe

Jan L. Coates

Jan Coates lives in Wolfville, NS with her husband and their Golden Irish, Charlie. She has two married children and two granddaughters and loves visiting schools through the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program. Jan’s interest in writing for children grew out of her own love of words and stories and a passion for helping kids become lifelong readers and writers.

In her free time, Jan can be found on the badminton court, travelling, at the gym, the cottage, or thrift shopping. Her first picture book, Rainbows in the Dark (Second Story Press, 2005) has been translated into Spanish, Catalan, and Braille, with Korean and Brazilian rights also sold. She has also written eighteen ESL illustrated chapter books for Caramel Tree, a Korean-based English Language School publisher.

Her debut novel, A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk (Red Deer Press, 2010), was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award (Children’s Text) in 2011, as well as an Ann Connor Brimer Award finalist. She has also written five middle grade novels; The Hermit (Nimbus, 2020); Say What You Mean (Nevermore, 2019); Talking to the Moon (Red Deer, 2018),The Power of Harmony (Red Deer, 2013), also a Brimer finalist, and Rocket Man, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers  (Red Deer, 2014). Jan’s picture books include: Jessie and Me: Hat People (author/illustrator, Camp Triumph, PEI), The Pocket Pig (author/illustrator) Pandamonium Publishing 2022), Anna Maria & Maestro Vivaldi (Red Deer, 2022), Dancing with Daisy (Running the Goat, 2019); Karissa & Felix (self-published, as both author and illustrator, 2019);  A Halifax Time-Travelling Tune (Nimbus, 2018), Sky Pig (Pajama Press, 2016), The King of Keji (Nimbus, 2015), and Rainbows in the Dark (Second Story Press, 2005). Her current passion (other than learning to illustrate and creating soul smiles, her greeting cards) is writing a work of creative non-fiction for young readers about Canadian landscape painter (and all-around interesting person) Doris McCarthy (1910 – 2010).

Jan L. Coates

Janet Barkhouse

 

Janet Barkhouse retired from professional theatre in 1982, and from teaching high school English in 2005. She’s written and directed plays for children from ages 8 to 18, written innovative English curriculum for the Province of Nova Scotia, and given workshops and readings for young people, teachers and writers across the Province.

In 2006 she fell in love with writing poems. Since then she has studied with many extraordinary poets, at universities in Halifax, and at the Banff Centre. Her debut book of poems, Salt Fires (Pottersfield, 2018) follows on two chapbooks, Silence and Sable Island Fieldnotes. In 2013-14, through their Humanities-HEALS program, she was Artist in Residence (Writing) at Dalhousie University’s Medical School.

Janet lives near Mahone Bay on Nova Scotia’s South Shore.

 

Janet Barkhouse

Janice Landry

Janice Landry is an award-winning writer and journalist whose non-fiction work primarily focuses on mental health and wellness.

Landry started writing books to honour her late father, Capt. Basil (Baz) Landry M.B., of the former Halifax Fire Department, now Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency (HRFE). HRFE is the oldest fire service in Canada. Capt. Landry was awarded the Medal of Bravery by the Canadian government, in 1980, for his part in rescuing an eight-week-old baby from a horrific 1978 Halifax house fire.

Most of Landry’s books include multiple interviews with Canadian first responders, emergency personnel, and their loved ones – as she advocates nationally for better support, education, and pre-emptive training for people across agencies, backgrounds, and careers, who work around trauma.

She has recently completed her fifth book (2019) which focuses on two key cornerstones in mental health and wellness: gratitude and resiliency. That book, “Silver Linings,” is lovingly dedicated to her late mother, Theresa Landry, and friend, Audrey J. Parker, who both died while Landry was working on the project.

“Silver Linings” includes an interview with the person considered to be the world’s preeminent expert and researcher in the field of gratitude, Dr. Robert Emmons, of the University of California – Davis.

Landry freelances under Groundhog Productions. She is a proud graduate (BJ Hons. Distinction) of the University of King’s College, Halifax. Landry spent five months landing the interview with Dr. Emmons in order to honour her late journalism professor, Ian Wiseman, who taught at King’s.

Janice Landry

Coffee Chat scheduling requests are accepted only through the form at the bottom of this page. Please note that completing the request form is the final step in our recommended scheduling request checklist:

Ensure your eligibility. To request a Coffee Chat, you must be a current General Member of WFNS. General Membership is open to anyone who writes.

Select three potential advisors.

Pay the $40 scheduling fee. This fee covers administration of the scheduling request and the Coffee Chat itself. If we are unable to schedule a Coffee Chat for you, the fee will be refunded in full.

To pay fee by phone, call us between 9am and 4pm on weekdays at 902 423 8116 with your credit card details.

To pay fee by mail, send a cheque (payable to “Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia”) post-dated for no later than the request submission.

Complete and submit the form at the bottom of this page. After clicking the “Submit scheduling request” button, please wait until the green confirmation message appears (confirming that your form has been successfully submitted) before exiting this page.

REQUESTS ACCEPTED YEAR-ROUND

Scheduling request form

This form includes all information required for expedient requests of potential Coffee Chats advisors. As such, we do not consider any Coffee Chats advisory requests not submitted through this form. If the form itself is a barrier, please call us (902 423 8116) so that we may complete it on your behalf.

You must be a General Member to participate in this program. General Membership is open to anyone who writes.
E.g., specific publishing strategies, writing practices, or methods for overcoming creative blocks and challenges.
E.g., "Monday evenings, Tuesday evenings, or Wednesday afternoons" or "Saturday or Sunday before 5pm"
Indicate the method by which you paid the Coffee Chats scheduling fee detailed in the above section "3. Scheduling Checklist & Fee." Fee payment must be sent before you submit this form.
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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 communications@writers.ns.ca