Celebration of Emerging Writers

The Celebration of Emerging Writers is an annual reading series that showcases graduates of the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program (who are announced the previous December) and winners of the Nova Writes Competition for Unpublished Manuscripts (who are announced just prior to reading at the event).

The Mentorship Program and Nova Writes support the development of Nova Scotia’s emerging writers by providing them with feedback from established writers. While both programs introduce new writers to professional authors, the Celebration of Emerging Writers introduces these new writers to the public. It provides them with a chance to be heard and gives the public an opportunity to engage with new writers, recognize their achievements, and celebrate the programs that grow our writing community.

Past Events

2021

Featured Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program graduates: Robert de la Chevotiere (fiction), Justyne Leslie (poetry), Lori McKay (YA fiction), Martha Mutale (poetry), Danica Roache (fiction), and Nicolas Paquette (YA fiction).

Featured Nova Writes winners: Kate Burnham (nonfiction), Lindsey Harrington (poetry), Bob Mann (fiction), and Heidi Tattrie Rushton (children’s writing).

2020

In 2020, with pandemic conditions prohibiting the annual Celebration of Emerging Writers, we celebrated the graduates of the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program by sharing their work with you in video form, illustrated and animated by Nova Scotia visual artists.

Featured Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program graduates: Angela Bowden (poetry), Katie Cameron (poetry), Brad Donaldson (fiction), Joanne Gallant (memoir), Sandra Murdock (memoir), Sue Murtagh (fiction), and Bev Shaw (fiction).

Featured visual artists: Catherine Bussiere, Belle DeMont, Paton Francis, Doretta Groenedyk, Patrick McWade, Anna Quon, and Marijke Simons.

2019

Featured Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program graduates: Sean Bedell (fiction), K.R. Byggdin (fiction), Judy Kaiser (fiction), and Vanessa Lent (fiction).

Featured Nova Writes winners: Susan Drain (fiction), Karen Kelloway (children’s literature), Rosalie Osmond (poetry), and Ariel Watson (non-fiction).

2018

Featured Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program graduates: Bretten Hannam (fiction), Bethany Lake (fiction), Laura Redman (fiction), and Allison Richard (fiction).

Featured Nova Writes winners: J Lorraine Campbell (poetry), Mary Verna Feehan (fiction), Margaret MacQuarrie (non-fiction), Susan Walsh (fiction), and Muriel Zimmer (non-fiction).

2017

Featured Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program graduates: Louise Cameron (fiction), Caira Clark (poetry), and Amanda Peters (fiction).

Featured Nova Writes winners: Melissa Friedman (non-fiction), Brenda MacLennan-Dunphy (fiction), Amanda Peters (fiction), Jana Traff (poetry), and Laureen Van Lierop (children’s literature).

2016

Featured Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program graduates: Nicola Davison (fiction), Erin Beth Langille (fiction), Chad Lucas (young adult fiction), Linda McLean (fiction), and Lindsay Wilson (fiction).

Featured Atlantic Writing Competition winners: Abena Amoako-Tuffour (poetry), Anne Bishop (fiction), Jenni Blackmore (young adult fiction), Linda McLean (non-fiction), Sue Murtagh (fiction), and Mary Pike (children’s literature).

The Celebration of Emerging Writers began in 2016. This year featured winners of the Nova Writes predecessor program, the Atlantic Writing Competition. Prior to 2016, Mentorship Program graduates read at the WFNS Annual General Meeting, while Atlantic Writing Competition winners read at the Word on the Street literary festival. Prior to 2011, Atlantic Writing Competition winners read at the WFNS Gala Celebration of Writers and Writing.

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