Coffee Chats advisor

Michelle Robinson

Michelle Robinson is the bestselling author of over 40 children’s books including ‘The World Made a Rainbow’, ‘She Rex’, ‘There’s a Lion in my Cornflakes’, ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Bearspotting’, ‘Red Lorry, Yellow Lorry’, the ‘Goodnight Spaceman’ series and many, many more. Her books are published all over the world and feature in Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and the BookTrust Book Start scheme.

Michelle moved to Tatamagouche, Nova Scotia from England in 2021. She is a hugely popular author in the UK, where she spent over a decade regularly performing in schools, libraries and at literary festivals. She loves visiting schools and is passionate about nurturing a love of literacy through encouraging reading and writing for pleasure.

“The kids got so much out of it – and the staff were buzzing, too!”
– Heronswood Primary School

“Thank you SO much for an amazing, interactive, ​exciting and inspiring morning. We LOVED it!”
– St Pius-X Catholic Primary School

“All the children and staff thought you were just beyond AMAZING.
They couldn’t believe what a fantastic experience it was. You are the best author we have ever had! THANK YOU so much!”
– Woodbank Primary School

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.

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 upcoming novel, Hold My Girl, pitched for fans of Celeste Ng and Liane Moriarty, is her first agented book and has been picked up by HarperCollins Canada and Welbeck Publishing (UK) in two-book deals, and Alma Littera (Lithuania). It’s set to publish in January and February 2023, and 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, tentatively titled Violet’s Daughters.

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.

Elizabeth Glenn-Copeland

I am an author, theatre artist and arts educator with more than four decades of professional experience. As a theatre artist, I have toured with Second City doing improv comedy, played the Witch in Hansel and Gretl with the Honolulu Symphony and told my original stories at the Toronto International Storytelling Festival. My arts education credits include work with Learning Through the Arts, World Vision, and the Storytellers School of Toronto.

I served as  Artistic Director of KPH Theater Productions in Miramichi, N.B. from 2012 to 2016, and along with my husband, Beverly Glenn Copeland, completed half a dozen artist residencies* in N.B. schools. I was honoured to serve as Writer-in-Residence* for James M. Hill High School in 2015. (*Funding support through NB Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture.)

In February 2016 I was part of the faculty at the San Miguel Writers Conference (San Miguel de Allende, Mexico), and led the creative writing workshop at the Knowlton Literary Festival in Knowlton, Quebec in October.

In 2017, I returned to Mount Allison University to indulge myself in two years of full time study of eco-poetry, feminist philosophy, sustainability in education and medieval studies. Thanks to MTA, in the summer of 2017 I completed a residency to research and create a one-act spoken-word play entitled, “Bearing Witness”.

During my tenure as 2018 Writer-in-Residence at Joggins Fossil Institute, I researched and wrote — “Daring to Hope at the Cliff’s Edge: Pangea’s Dream Remembered”: an art/science collaboration and conversation between myself and the three-hundred million year old rock. The theme: how to find what Buddhist eco-philosopher, Joanna Macy calls Active Hope as we stand at this cliff’s edge in our evolution as a species. The book was launched in Sackville, N.B. on Sept. 29, 2019 by Chapel Street Editions.

Due to covid, my cross country tour to promote this book was cancelled, but late 2020 saw a resurgence of interest in the work and its message of hope. I participated in the Writing for Change series launched by The Rose Theater in Brampton, ON. An exciting variation on this theme will be happening virtually on March 21 at The Rose with spoken-word artist extraordinaire, Ian Keteku.

Since moving to Spencers Island in Jan. 2021, I am making new writing and peforming friends and will be part of the Shipwright Sessions (Ships Company Theater) in Aug. 2021.

 

 

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.

Maureen St.Clair

Maureen is an artist, peace educator, community facilitator, conflict resolution trainer, activist, writer and life-long learner.Maureen is deeply passionate about connections, entanglements, intersections, unravelling and weaving of relationships and the power of deep receptive compassionate listening in transforming interpersonal and community based conflict. As a collaborator, Maureen co-creates courageous inclusive spaces enabling people collectively to do the work of self and community building and healing with a social justice and trauma informed lens. Maureen’s novel, Big Island, Small was published by Fernwood Publishing in 2018 and won the Nova Scotia Atlantic Writers Award and the Beacon Award for Social Justice Literature.

Nina Munteanu

Nina is a Canadian ecologist and novelist. She worked for 25 years as an environmental consultant in the field of aquatic ecology and limnology, publishing papers and technical reports on water quality and impacts to aquatic ecosystems. Nina has written over a dozen eco-fiction, science fiction and fantasy novels. An award-winning short story writer, and essayist, Nina currently lives in Toronto where she teaches writing at the University of Toronto and George Brown College.  Her book “Water Is…” (Pixl Press)—a scientific study and personal journey as limnologist, mother, teacher and environmentalist—was picked by Margaret Atwood in the New York Timesas 2016 ‘The Year in Reading’. Nina’s most recent novel is “A Diary in the Age of Water”—about four generations of women and their relationship to water in a rapidly changing world—released in June 2020 by Inanna Publications.

Leo J. Deveau

Leo J Deveau is a former public librarian, now author, freelance researcher, newspaper columnist, commentator and speaker. He is a director of the Halifax Military Heritage Preservation Society, a member of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia, a member of the Creative NonFiction Collective (CFNC), the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society and the Royal United Services Institute (Nova Scotia branch).

John A. Read

JOHN A. READ is a telescope operator at the Burke-Gaffney Observatory a member of the Halifax Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) and recently graduated with a degree in astrophysics from Saint Mary’s University. In 2020 he was presented with an RASC award for Excellence in Science Communication. John also cohosts RASC’s series “Explore the Universe Online.” He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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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 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 who have been writing creatively for less than two years and/or have not yet been published in any form.
  • Emerging writers: those who have been writing creatively for less than five years and/or have some short publications (poems, stories, or essays) in literary magazines, journals, or anthologies.
  • Established writers/authors: those with numerous publications in magazines, journals, or anthologies and/or a full-length book publication.
  • Professional authors: those with two or more full-length book publications.

For “intensive” and “masterclass” workshops, which provide more opportunities for peer-to-peer (that is, 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