WITS grades 10-12

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.

Brenda MacLennan-Dunphy

Writer, director and  producer, Brenda MacLennan-Dunphy has had two novels published by Pottersfield Press as well- Never Speak of This Again (2018) and The Silence of the Vessel (2020), which was nominated for an Atlantic Book Award. Four of Brenda’s plays have been on the stage at Strathspey Place, a 500 soft seat theatre in Mabou, Cape Breton- John Allan Cameron’s Last Show (November 2021), John Archie and Nellie (2016, 2012) , The Weddin’ Dance (2013), and Displacement (2014). Her play The Reiteach was put at two small stages in 2020. She was a featured writer at the 2021 Cabot Trail Writers Festival and also won the HR Bill Percy Novel Prize in 2017 for Never Speak of This Again. Born and raised in Inverness County, the mother of four is a teacher by trade, but a gypsy by nature. She loves to find characters along the way in life. Brenda lives in Skye Glen, Inverness County, with her wonderful and patient husband, Ed.

Frances Nobles

https://fbnobles.ca

F.B. Nobles, author of She-Wolfe in the Shadows, lives with her partner, Ron and two chihuahuas, Lucy and Joey, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. She enjoys all the Maritime provinces have to offer—breathtaking scenery, delicious food, and friendly people. She finds inspiration in everything and everyone around her.

She loves to read; it started at an early age when she read the local papers, The Chronicle-Herald and The Mail-Star with her father at about age four. This trend continued when her mother introduced her to Nancy Drew Mysteries. Reading came naturally because everyone in her home was an avid reader. There were many books of different genres to whet her appetite and begin a life-long love of the written word.

She has always worked in structured disciplines that required superior attention to detail; writing became one of her creative outlets. Frances’ colourful imagination provides the backdrop of her story which she skillfully weaves with a mysterious tale of her crafting.

Her favourite authors are Sydney Sheldon, Harper Lee and Truman Capote to name a few. She has devoured their words. Her favourite director, producer and screenwriter is Alfred Hitchcock for allowing her imagination to create the ending.

Frances’ interests include travel, reading, writing, cooking, cooking shows, documentaries, reality shows, crafting, sewing, creating, research for her book, new learning experiences. All these things have helped shaped her writing. Frances favourite novels take her to a time or place unlike her own. She enjoys well-written novels of almost any genre.

She has traveled extensively in Europe from where the inspiration for the opulence in her book came. Frances enjoyed seeing many of the places she had only read about. Her favourite city is Amsterdam and her favourite country is the Netherlands. Their relaxed way of life is something she admires. Frances has also seen much of her own country. Canada has so much to offer. Upon her return to Canada, Frances lived in Montréal, Québec for seven years and took a job working for her first millionaire boss. She was fascinated by the millionaire lifestyle and brought parts of that lifestyle to her book.

The inspiration for this book came from many places and many persons. Sometimes a sight, sound or smell triggers a memory and a story for Frances. She also took inspiration from anyone who ever said to her, “You should write a book” although it may not be the book they envisioned. Prior to writing She-Wolfe in the Shadows, her writing style was satire with a humourous edge.

Frances describes her work as a mystery sprinkled with moments of romance. Her mystery  has love, hate deception, extreme wealth, superior intelligence, revenge and a most unlikely gold digger. Frances’ readers can expect an entertaining and mysterious escape.

Frances’ engaging characters are fictional and are in no way based on any individual(s), living, or dead.

Rebecca Rose

Rebecca Rose is the author of Before the Parade: A History of Halifax’s Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Communities (1972-1984), published by Nimbus Publishing. Before the Parade is a narrative non-fiction account of 2SLGB community and activism of 1970s and 80s Halifax/K’jipuktuk and features over 30 interviews with local 2SLGB elders. Rebecca was shortlisted for The Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award for Before the Parade in 2021.

Rebecca is a sought after speaker and has hosted workshops or given keynote speeches for groups including: The MacPhee Centre For Creative Learning, the Nova Scotia Secondary School Students’ Association (NSSSA), the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, the Toronto Metropolitan University School of Journalism, the Canadian Association of Labour Media (CALM), the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project, the Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group (NSPIRG), and the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

A graduate of the Toronto Metropolitan University School of Journalism, Rebecca has written for publications such as: The Coast, Xtra, OurTimes magazine, Rabble.ca, and OUT: Queer Looking, Queer Acting Revisited. In 2018, The Coast named the 2016 article “Before the Parade” one of the 30 most important things they’ve ever published. 

Born in Cape Breton and raised in Dartmouth, Rebecca now lives in the hills of Dartmouth with her partner and cat.

Kelly S Thompson

Kelly S. Thompson is a writer and retired officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. Kelly has a Honours Bachelor degree in Professional Writing from York University, a certificate in Publishing from Ryerson University, a master’s in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, and is completing a PhD in Literary and Critical Studies, Creative Writing, at the University of Gloucestershire in the UK, where she examines representations of grief and trauma in memoir.

Kelly’s work has won awards in a variety of genres. She won the House of Anansi Press Golden Anniversary Award for Fiction, the 2014 and 2017 Barbara Novak Award for Personal Essay, and was shortlisted for Room magazine’s 2013 and 2014 Creative Nonfiction awards, placing 2nd in the 2019 contest. Her essays have appeared in anthologies across Canada, including Boobs, by Caitlin Press, Embedded on the Home Front, with Heritage House and Everyday Heroes with Simon & Schuster.

Her work has appeared in literary magazines across the country and her professional writing has been printed in Chatelaine, Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, and more. Her article on military sexual harassment titled “Battle Fatigue,” was runner up for Feature Article of the Year with the Professional Writers Association of Canada. She was also nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2022.

Her memoir Girls Need Not Apply: Field Notes from the Forces with Penguin Random House Canada, was an instant Globe and Mail bestseller and declared one of the top 100 books of 2019 by the Globe and Mail.

Kelly also teaches writing to all levels, having run after-school writing programs for teenage  girls, creative writing classes for children, and taught Creative Writing and Communications at Trent University. She now teaches at the University of King’s Creative Non Fiction. She also developed and runs classes for Royal Roads University and Loyalist College.

Kelly’s next memoir, Still, I Cannot Save You, will release with McClelland & Stewart in January, 2023.

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.

Ronan O’Driscoll

Originally from the West of Ireland, Ronan O’Driscoll moved to Chicago as a teenager in the 1980s. He returned to Ireland to study at University College Dublin where he graduated with a Masters in English literature. Ronan has travelled a good deal in Europe, America, Japan and Canada. He has found Irish music an important way to keep connected with his roots, and plays fiddle as a hobby. It was through learning tunes that he came to know of Francis O’Neill’s compelling life story and decided it should be popularized as a novel: Chief O’Neill.

Ronan currently lives in Halifax with his wife and family. He has written another novel, Poor Farm, about the experience of an autistic boy on a 19th-century Nova Scotia poor farm. Both his works of historical fiction are carefully researched stories from the past, focused on topics relevant and compelling for today’s readers.

Ronan is currently a senior software engineer at Wattpad, as well as having been an educator in Computer Programming at the Nova Scotia Community College.

Dave Beynon

Originally from Britain, Dave Beynon moved to Canada as an infant, growing up on a farm north and west of Toronto.  He has been a cow milker, a short order cook, a waiter, a residence manager at the Hamilton Downtown YMCA (there’s a novel waiting to be written about those four years), a factory worker and a purveyor of fine corrugated packaging and displays.

Dave writes fiction of varying genres and lengths.  His short fiction has appeared in anthologies, periodicals, on-line and in podcasts.  In 2011, his novel, The Platinum Ticket was shortlisted for the inaugural Terry Pratchett Prize.

Dave co-hosted a local cable TV show called Turning Pages, an in-depth interview show that highlights authors, writing and publishing.

He lives on the South Shore and should have been living there his whole life.

His work is represented by Ed Wilson of Johnson & Alcock.

Lauren Soloy

Lauren is the author and illustrator of When Emily was Small and Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem. She has lived on both coasts of Canada, always within reach of the sea.  She currently lives in a 140-year-old house in the wilds of Nova Scotia with her librarian husband, two curious children, an ever-expanding collection of books, two hives of bees, and one cat.  She has a Visual Arts BFA with Honours from the University of Victoria, and a certificate of Fine Furniture from Camosun College.  Along the way, she has learned to make a Queen Anne Highboy, a pottery mug, a hand knit pair of socks, a headstand, and a mess.  She is represented by Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists. 

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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