WITS grades P-6

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

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Briana Corr Scott

Briana Corr Scott is an illustrator and writer based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She tells stories about the beauty of the natural world in her oil paintings, paper doll creations and children’s literature.

As a student at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, Briana dedicated herself to painting and drawing from life, inspired by the work of the American Impressionists she admired at the nearby Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum. Since moving to Dartmouth from New England in 2006, she has continued her passion for working observationally, applying these skills to her botanical drawings, illustrations, animations, surface patterns, paintings and words. Working primarily in oil, her art is inspired by the wind, light and presence of a place, which she finds as she focuses on capturing the strange, overlooked details in nature. Her residency at the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland during the summer of 2019 was a turning point in her career. While hiking and painting en plein air, she allowed her art to merge by playfully connecting her oil paintings, illustrations, and prose.

Briana’s evolution into children’s literature is a natural progression of the poetry she has been writing since the age of 17. It brings together her fantastical series of paper dolls illustrations with stories that she creates while walking in nature. Her first and second picture books, “She Dreams of Sable Island,”, and “The Book of Selkie” were published by Nimbus Publishing Ltd. in 2019. She is currently working on “Wildflower”, to be released in spring 2021. Briana has shown her work in solo and group shows at Argyle Fine Art and Teichart Gallery in Halifax. Her work has appeared internationally in online features, films and magazines. She has read aloud from “She Dreams of Sable Island” and discussed her writing process and art practice at numerous events, including public talks at Argyle Fine Art, “Word on the Street” at the Halifax Public Library and the Museum of Natural History in Halifax.

Marcia Harding

BIO:  Marcia Pierce grew up in Lockeport, N.S.  When she was fifteen, her family moved to Liverpool where she met her future husband, Craig Harding. After completing their university education, they returned to Liverpool where they raised two children and lots of lab puppies.

Education: Acadia University – B.Sc. in Psychology (1970)   B.Ed. (1971) Honours

Mt. St. Vincent University – Masters of Education (1993) Senate Medal of Distinction

During her 33 years as an elementary school teacher, she enjoyed writing, directing and producing plays with her students.

While serving as a board member for The Astor Theatre, Winds of Change (Drama Group) and Liverpool ‘s International Theatre Festival, she co-produced several stage plays, including Mermaid’s Tale (winning entry in LITF 2014).

Helping to organize and promote fundraisers for the Astor Theatre, her proudest achievement was A TRIBUTE TO SABLE ISLAND. Zoe Lucas held the audience spellbound with her amazing SLIDES of wild horses projected on the BIG screen. Performances included sea-themed songs by soloists and the Girls Choir, readings, displays of photographs and paintings and a reception – something for everyone. Full house!   

To honour her cherished friend, Joyce Barkhouse, author of Pit Pony, Marcia produced the Pit Pony Audio Book in cooperation with actor/narrator Richard Donat.

As a certified fitness instructor, Marcia taught a variety of exercises classes in Queens County over the years. Her interests include dancing, hiking, skating, swimming, sailing, and best of all, walking Summerville Beach with her family and their dogs.

Beth Ann Knowles

Originally from Dartmouth, Beth Ann completed a science degree at Dalhousie University. She works as an online ESL Teacher and Teacher Mentor, and coaches youth soccer in the summer. Beth Ann is passionate about the environment and enjoys being active. Early morning runs, bike rides, paddles, and yoga are her favourite things. She lives on the South Shore of Nova Scotia with her husband, two sons, and their dog, Gordie.   

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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