Nova Scotia Literary Festivals

Information in this database was initially gathered in 2021. Please consult individual websites for festival dates and schedules.

To submit or update a listing, please contact with all required information and the subject line “Nova Scotia Literary Festivals.” 

Festival NameLocationWebsiteAudienceTypical Dates
AfterWords Literary FestivalHalifaxafterwordsliterary
Generallate September / early October
Cabot Trail Writers FestivalSt. Ann’scabottrail
Generallate September / early October
Funny PagesHalifaxfunnypages.caChildren's bookslate April
Hackmatack Festival of
Children's bookslate May
Hal-ConHalifaxhal-con.comScience fiction & fantasylate October
Lunenburg Lit FestivalLunenburglunenburglit
Generallate September
Port Medway Readers' FestivalPort Medwayportmedwayreaders
Read by the SeaRiver Johnreadbythesea.caGeneralearly July
Read by the Sea – WordPlayRiver
Children's booksearly July
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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