Guide for WITS Authors

All Writers’ Council members are eligible to participate in WITS as visiting authors, but you must to opt in to WITS for each year you would like to participate.

All questions about WITS should be directed to Linda Hudson, Program Manager (Arts Education), at wits@writers.ns.ca.

Opting in to become a WITS author

Most WITS bookings for the school year’s fall term are made in early September, so to participate for the full school year (Sept to June), please opt in by the final Monday in August. Opt-ins are accepted between August and the end of February, but the chances of being booked for a visit decrease as the school year progresses.

Steps for opting in:

  1. Contact Linda Hudson, Program Manager (Arts Education), at wits@writers.ns.ca to declare your intention to join WITS for the upcoming (or current) school year. Linda is the WITS program administrator and can answer any questions you have about the program, both before and after opting in.
  2. Complete an Online Profile through the “Writers’ Council / WITS profiles” tab of your Account page. By being specific in your Online Profile about what you do in school/library environments, you streamline the booking process.
  3. Check that your Online Profile is displayed as intended on the WITS Booking page, where teachers, librarians, and other can request a visit from you. If your completed Online Profile is not visible, please contact Andy Verboom, Program Manager (Membership Services), at communications@writers.ns.ca for technical assistance.
  4. Optional: complete a Brochure Profile (a condensed version of your Online Profile) through the WITS Brochure Profile form. Printed WITS brochures are mailed to all Nova Scotian schools twice per year, and inclusion in these brochures measurably increases your chances of being booked for a school visit. Complete all opt-in steps by late June for inclusion in the September brochure or by early December for inclusion in the January brochure. Specific deadlines are indicated on the WITS Brochure Profile form.

Number of visits to expect as a WITS author

Booking requests for individual writers ebb and flow from year to year. You may be booked to the max one year and receive no bookings the following year. The past 25 years of WITS programming has shown that there is a markedly greater author demand for grades P to 9 than for grades 10 to 12.

You can increase your chances of being booked for a school visit by opting in early for inclusion in a printed brochure and by describing specific workshop approaches in your Online Profile and your Brochure Profile.

You can also increase your number of visits by promoting yourself as a WITS author on social media and by getting in touch with local schools and teachers.

Online Profile

Online Profiles are displayed as part of the interface through which teacher, librarians, and others can request a visit from you. By being specific in your Online Profile about what you do in school/library environments, you streamline the booking process: WFNS can simply accept a booking request, confirm your availability, and provide a school with your contact information. You can revise or update your Online Profile at any time through the “Writers’ Council / WITS profiles” tab of your Account page.

Communicating with host teachers

WFNS requires host teachers to contact you directly to confirm specific visit details (date, time, number of students, special considerations, and directions to the school). If you have not heard from your host a month before your visit, please let us know.

When arranging any full-day visit, you may ask that your host school provide you with lunch. In these cases, please communicate your dietary restrictions and/or preferences to your host in advance of the visit.

We recommend contacting your host again one week before your scheduled visit to confirm the date, time, class size, your lunch requirements, etc., and to ask that an employee greet you on arrival and show you around the school.

Invoicing for author honoraria and mileage

To invoice for a visit or a group of visits, fill out the invoicing PDF immediately below, email a digital copy to wits@writers.ns.ca, or mail a printed copy to WFNS, 1113 Marginal Rd, Halifax, NS, B3H 4P7.

Invoices are processed once per month. You may not accept payment from a school directly.

Please reach out to us if you have questions, if there are changes to bookings, if you need advice, or if you encounter difficulties with a school that are not graciously solvable. We are your backup team!

wits@writers.ns.ca / (902) 423-8116

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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 that each participant gets value from the workshop⁠ and is presented with information, strategies, and skills that suit their current writing priorities.

To this end, the “Recommended experience level” section of each workshop description refers to the following definitions developed by WFNS:

  • New writers: those with no professional publications (yet!) or a few short professional publications (i.e., poems, stories, or essays in literary magazines, journals, anthologies, or chapbooks).
  • Emerging writers: those with numerous professional publications and/or one book-length publication.
  • Established writers/authors: those with two book-length publications or the equivalent in book-length and short publications.
  • Professional authors: those with more than two book-length publications.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” creative writing workshops, which provide more opportunities for participant-to-participant feedback, the recommended experience level should be followed.

For all other workshops, the recommended experience level is just that—a recommendation—and we encourage potential participants to follow their own judgment when registering.

If you’re uncertain of your experience level with regard to any particular workshop, please feel free to contact us at communications@writers.ns.ca