Writers In The Schools

The Writers In The Schools (WITS) programs offers both in-person and virtual author visits to elementary and secondary schools in Nova Scotia, as well as extracurricular Creative Writing Day Camps and the WITS Originals series of on-demand creative writing videos.

Booking applications for the 2024/2025 school year will open in September, 2024.


Writers In The Schools (WITS) is the most public educational outreach program of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS), bringing award-winning Nova Scotian authors into elementary and secondary schools to provide presentations, workshops, and readings for students of every grade. The program encourages students’ enjoyment of reading and writing and engages them in the development of literacy skills.

Sandra Bartlett <br>Armbrae Academy (Halifax, NS)
Sandra Bartlett
Armbrae Academy (Halifax, NS)
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"Our school has been involved with WITS for many years. For students from grades primary to 12, it's been a wonderful opportunity for students to meet and engage with amazing local authors, enjoying and learning from the experiences. It was great to be able to pivot to online visits over the past year!"
Terri-Lynn Fancy <br>Ridgecliff Middle School (Beechville, NS)
Terri-Lynn Fancy
Ridgecliff Middle School (Beechville, NS)
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"WITS allows our middle school students to see the amazing future opportunities in writing and illustrating while also appreciating the dedication and hard work involved in the creative process. After Andre Fenton's visit, one grade 8 student said he "inspired me to pick up my notebook and start writing again."
Cheryl Steeves <br>Lockeport Elementary (Lockeport, NS)
Cheryl Steeves
Lockeport Elementary (Lockeport, NS)
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"Through WITS, author Marsha Pierce-Harding shared her Secrets of Sable Island, taking the class on a journey that danced between ghost story and historical fiction. Her photographs and actual artifacts brought the novel to life. The students were engaged and thrilled to be meeting a local author. We would strongly recommend WITS to other schools, and we are excited to participate again."
Michelle Dey <br>George P. Vanier Junior High (Fall River, NS) <br>& Waverley Memorial Elementary (Waverley, NS)
Michelle Dey
George P. Vanier Junior High (Fall River, NS)
& Waverley Memorial Elementary (Waverley, NS)
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"The buzz in the building when an author visits is like a wave of energy, gradually spreading throughout the day from the morning 'welcome' announcement to class changes and breaks, as staff and students alike discuss their experience. The inspiration, ideas, connection, networking, and our lunch together are a highlight. I personally benefit greatly from our author visits, which are motivational professional development!"

All WITS authors are members of WFNS’s Writers’ Council and are able to cover a variety of topics, such as creative writing, research, journalism, illustration, and comic books.

In-person and virtual visits are co-paid: WFNS covers half of the authors’ fees while the hosting school covers the remainder. For a half-day visit (up to two 45-55 minute sessions), a school co-pays $87.50. For a full-day visit (up to four 45-55 minute sessions), a school co-pays $175.

In-person visits: Many WITS authors are open to suggestions and amenable to working with teachers, librarians, and principals to ensure their visits complement school curricula.
     In-person visits may incur additional costs: WFNS covers all author mileage, but an author may require a lunch (if booked for a full-day), overnight accommodations (if travelling 2+ hours for a visit), and/or travel by bus or car-share (if without access to a vehicle), to be provided at the expense of the hosting school.

Virtual visits: Many of our authors have adapted their presentations for synchronous delivery to the classroom through video conferencing software.
     Virtual visits are an excellent option for schools with access to a stable internet connection.

Investors and Partners

The Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia recognizes the Province of Nova Scotia’s support for our Writers In The Schools (WITS) program. We are pleased to offer this program with investments from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and from Arts Nova Scotia. We are also grateful to Cabot Trail Writers Festival, Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award, and Read by the Sea’s Writing on Fire program for their recurring partnership in providing opportunities for WITS authors.

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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