Coffee Chats advisor

Adam Foulds

I am a poet and novelist originally from the UK, now a Canadian resident. I’ve published four novels and a poetry collection and bunch of other things. I’ve won a number of literary awards, including being shortlisted for the Booker Prize. I’ve taught creative writing at workshops and universities in Britain, Canada, and elsewhere.

Lynette Richards

Lynette Richards has been cartooning as long as she can remember, and recently published her first graphic novel Call Me Bill (Conundrum Press 2022). She is a Craft Nova Scotia Master Artisan, who lives and works in Terence Bay NS, where she operates her business Rose Window Stained Glass. She chose Stained Glass as her professional medium because it was both a trade and an art that has used sequential narration for over 1000 years!

Sonja Boon

Sonja Boon is an award-winning researcher, writer, teacher, and flutist.

She is the author of the memoir What the Oceans Remember: Searching for Belonging and Home (WLU Press, 2019), and has published creative non-fiction and fiction in ROOM magazine, The Ethnic Aisle, Riddle Fence, and Geist, among others, as well as in anthologies.

Sonja has been longlisted and shortlisted for a number of literary prizes, including the CBC Nonfiction Prize, BMO Winterset Award, Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards, and ROOM Magazine’s Creative Non-Fiction Contest. In 2021, she won an NL Arts & Letters Award in Poetry.

As a researcher, Sonja is interested in bodies, stories, identities, and theories, and has published scholarly work on a variety of topics, including considerations of gender, class, embodiment, identity and citizenship in eighteenth-century medical letters, to breastfeeding selfies and virtual activism, autobiographies of infanticide, auto/ethnography and the embodiment of maternal grief, and craftivism in the feminist classroom.

She is the author or co-author of four scholarly books, most recently, The Routledge Introduction to Auto/Biography in Canada (with Laurie McNeill, Julie Rak, and Candida Rifkind, 2022) and Autoethnography and Feminist Theory at the Water’s Edge: Unsettled Islands (with Lesley Butler and Daze Jefferies, 2018).

Professor of Gender Studies at Memorial University from 2008-2023, she is the recipient of the Royal Society of Canada’s Ursula Franklin Award in Gender Studies (2020) and is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists.

For six years, Sonja was principal flutist with the Portland Baroque Orchestra. She has also appeared with the Toronto Symphony, the Hallé Orchestra (Manchester, UK), Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (San Francisco), and the Holland Festival of Early Music, among others. She has taught flute and performance practice at Bangor University, UBC, and Chetham’s School of Music.

Sonja is currently Vice President of WritersNL and a board member with Riddle Fence.

Michael Goodfellow

Michael Goodfellow is the author of the poetry collections Naturalism, An Annotated Bibliography (2022) and Folklore of Lunenburg County (2024), both published by Gaspereau Press. His poems have appeared in the Literary Review of CanadaThe Dalhousie ReviewCV2Prairie Fire and elsewhere, and his writing is supported by grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. He lives in Nova Scotia.

Lori Weber

Lori Weber is the author of nine young adult novels, including The Ribbon Leaf (Red Deer Press), a historical novel set in WWII, which won the 2023 Canadian Jewish Literary Award and was nominated for the Red Maple Award and the Geoffrey Bilson Award; Yellow Mini (Fitzhenry & Whiteside), a novel in verse; and Deep Girls (Dancing Cat Books), a short-story collection. She has also published two middle grade novels, Lightning Lou (Dancing Cat Books) and Picture me (James Lorimer), as well as one picture book, My Granny Loves Hockey (Simply Read Books). She has also published short fiction, poetry, and non-fiction in several Canadian literary journals. She holds a BA in Creative Writing and English from Concordia University, an MA in English from Acadia University, and a Diploma in Education from McGill. A native Montrealer, she lived for several years in Atlantic Canada where she taught English in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Upon returning to Montreal in 1994, she taught English at Vanier College before moving to John Abbott College in 1996, a position she retired from in 2020. She has delivered workshops in writing for teens through the Quebec Writers’ Federation, and has been their young adult fiction mentor for many years. She has represented Quebec twice for TD Canadian Book Week and has been offering classroom workshops around Quebec as a member of the Culture-in-the-Schools and Artists Inspire Programs since 2005. After retiring, Lori returned to Nova Scotia, where she currently lives in Dartmouth.

Allison LaSorda

Allison LaSorda’s writing has been nominated for National Magazine Awards and the CBC Poetry Prize, and selected as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2021. A recipient of scholarships from the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and the Vermont Studio Center residencies, she is a contributing editor at Brick, A Literary Journal. Her work has appeared in Literary Hub, The New Quarterly, The Malahat Review, Scientific American, The Walrus, CNQ, The Globe and Mail, Southern Humanities ReviewHazlitt, and other venues. Allison lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Bruce W. Bishop

Bruce Bishop, originally from Yarmouth, N.S., has been writing professionally since the mid-1990s, primarily for travel, tourism and leisure freelance markets. He has written and contributed to several guidebook companies over the years, especially Fodor’s, Michelin, and DK Eyewitness Guides. From 2000 to 2002, he was the elected president of the Travel Media Association of Canada.

In 2020 at the outset of the pandemic, he decided to begin writing fiction for the first time, and his debut novel Unconventional Daughters (Icarus Press) was published the same year. Based on its popular appeal, he chose to embark upon writing a trilogy, and the second novel, Uncommon Sons, was released in 2021. The final novel in the trilogy, Undeniable Relations was published in December 2022.

He was one of five authors selected to read from his last novel at the Read by the Sea annual literary festival in July 2023.

Besides memberships in the Writers Union of Canada and Screen Nova Scotia, Bishop is proud to be associated with the WFNS and hopes to meet many likeminded writers (emerging, intermediate and established) in the future!

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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