2023 Online Conference Program

2023 Writing True: Riding the Waves


Registration Open Now!

Friday, May 26th

Panel 1:30-3:00pm (Atlantic) Live-streamed

Essay Writing for Literary Journals – Virginia Boudreau, AnnMarie MacKinnon & Katherine Barrett

Publishing in a literary journal is an essential part of any creative nonfiction writer’s career. Besides adding those publication credits to your writing CV, you’ll gain experience, exposure and will build your reputation as a literary writer. But there are more writers than journals and competition can be fierce. Fear not! Our panelists share their tips on how to make your submission stand out.

Panel 3:30-5:00pm (Atlantic) Live-streamed

Eco Writing and Memoir – Harry Thurston and Brian Bartlett

“I, on my side, require of every writer, first and last, a simple and true account of his own life,” wrote Henry David Thoreau in -Walden-. Poets and nature writers Brian Bartlett and Harry Thurston will talk about differences and similarities between memoir-writing and journal-keeping in their books grounded in the natural world. They will discuss time and memory, the diurnal and the seasonal, mosaics and -plein-air- experiments, lengthy reflection and improvisation. Conversation will be interwoven with readings of samples from the authors’ works.

Keynote 7:00-8:00pm (Atlantic) Live-streamed

Donna Morrissey

Donna Morrissey was 40 when she started writing. With her beloved and ailing mother by her side, she sat for 7 months and wrote a novel that sold up to 200,000 copies. Since then, she’s written five more bestselling books and most recently a memoir titled, Pluck: a deeply personal account of love’s restorative ability as it leads her through mental illness, death, and despair to becoming the writer she is today. Donna shares her path to becoming that writer and how she used her own history and themes in her books.

Saturday, May 27th

Master Class  1:30-3pm (Atlantic) Zoom-only

Fee: $30 for CNFC members, $50 for non-members

Using the Tools of Poetry in Memoir – Yvonne Blomer

The act of writing about one’s life is a creative act, and so the result, poem or memoir, is a single take on the life event. In each of these genres, we can represent our experiences and ourselves differently. In poetry we can explore who the “I” might be and its varied facets, but in memoir the “I” is pretty much always the writer/speaker of the narrative. In this class we will use some of the tools of poetry to tackle tricky subjects in memoir and come up with unique, alternative, or metaphoric ways to write personal story that gives us some emotional space. 



In Conversation 3:30-4:30pm (Atlantic) Live-streamed

The Legacy and Impact of Environmental Racism – Dr. Ingrid Waldron & Deborah Carr

Conservation and nature writer Deborah Carr, author of Sanctuary: The Story of Naturalist Mary Majka, speaks with Ingrid R. G. Waldron, author of There’s Something In The Water, which was subsequently made into a documentary film of the same name. Dr. Waldron examines the legacy of environmental racism and its health impacts in Indigenous and Black communities in Canada; specifically, the disproportionate impact of environmental damage on Black and Indigenous communities in Nova Scotia and the grassroots resistance against the pollution and poisoning of their communities.

Sunday, May 28th

Member Readings 12:00-1:30pm (Atlantic) Zoom-only

Annual General Meeting 1:30-3:00pm (Atlantic) via Zoom

CNFC Board and all members welcome

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