News from WFNB

InkSpot 2024 | January Community News

13 Feb 2024 1:44 PM | Anonymous

Hello, Members and Friends.

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to hole up with your writing projects and let your imagination warm up the wintry weather. There’s plenty of writing-related activities to keep us busy until Spring:

The 2024 New Brunswick Writing Competition is now open. Remember that the competition is open to New Brunswick residents only--unless you are a WFNB member. WFNB members can participate from anywhere.

  • Review the submission category guidelines 
  • Prepare your submission - word counts are strict!
  • Wait for the competition to open on January 1
  • Go to,
  • Select your category on the writing competition page
  • Click the "Add to Cart" button (they won’t work until January 1)
  • Complete the checkout process
  • Send your blind submission and your cover letter with details to

Our fine lineup of judges looks forward to reading your submissions! Deadline is March 31.

Our next monthly workshop happens tomorrow on Saturday, January 13, with the very funny and talented Marshall Button. He will be leading an in-person two-hour session on writing comedy, but it will also be available online. Check out the event page for more information if you’d like to register (at the very last-minute!) And on Thursday, February 8, Vanessa Hawkins will present an online two-hour workshop called Ink and Intimacy –you know we all wanna know how to write effective sex scenes. You can register for that now, as well.

On March 16, Beth Powning will present a three-hour workshop, touching on both memoir and historical fiction from her home in Markhamville. (Space at this hybrid event will be limited.) Look for that event page before the end of January.

The event page for the winter retreat at Villa Madonna is open and ready for registrations. That’s February 23-25. We need a minimum of 15 people to hold this event, but registrations have begun to flow in. Our winter writing mentor will be Terry Armstrong.

We’re still working on venues and other details for WordSpring in Moncton this year, but we can tell you that the dates are May 31 - June 2. The New Brunswick Writing Competition Literary Soiree will take place May 31 at the Empress Theatre (above The Capitol), and the 2023 NB Book Awards will be held June 1, at the Moncton Press Club. Mark your calendars! The event page for this big weekend should be ready by late March or early April.

That’s it for now. Stay warm, writers.

Rhonda and Kris

Welcome, New Members

John Ball writes from Fredericton and is interested in the genres of fiction, poetry, and short stories. Welcome, John!

Madi Banks is a student in Fredericton, and writes in the genres of childrens, young adult, flash/micro fiction, freelance writing, graphic novel, spoken word, middle grade, short stories. Welcome, Madi!

Andrew Butters ( is an essayist, novelist and memoirist from Dieppe, NB who writes in a wide variety of genres: Creative nonfiction, Essays,Fiction, Memoir, Nonfiction, Science Fiction, Suspense, Young Adult, Thrillers, andShort stories. Welcome, Andrew!

Steve Chrysostom writes in the genres of Biography, Corporate writing, Editing, Memoir, Playwriting, and Short stories from his home in Alma. Welcome, Steve!

Jennifer Houle is a New Brunswick Book Award winning poet (Virga, 2019, Signature Editions) who lives near Fredericton and writes in the following genres: Children, Editing, Essays, Nonfiction, Photography, Poetry, Website copy. Welcome, Jennifer!

John Neeleman (pen name Eric Delong) is a debut writer of Sci-Fi short stories and Novels and also writes an eclectic mix of Children's stories, Bio, Horror, Satire, mystery, humor (and even a cookbook.) Welcome, John!

Shane Neilson ( Born and raised in New Brunswick, Shane is a poet and a physician now living in Ontario, and focuses on the genres of poetry, memoir and short stories. Welcome aboard, Shane!

Kate O’Rourke focuses on Fiction, Speculative Fiction, Mystery, and Thrillers. Welcome, Kate!

Aaron Pope is a writer from Saint John who enjoys a wide variety of writing disciplines: Creative non-fiction, Editing, Essays, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Journalism, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Flash/Micro fiction, Freelance writing, and Short stories. Welcome, Aaron!

Cynthia Ramsay joins us from Geary and writes Fantasy, Fiction, Historical Fiction, Horror, Suspense, Young Adult, Flash/Micro fiction, Middle Grade, Mystery, Thrillers, and Short stories. Welcome aboard, Cynthia!

Stephen Roney (pen name Stephen Kent Roney is an award-winning poet,college professor and past president of the Editors’ Association of Canada, whose poetry has appeared in many anthologies, websites and periodicals. His writing interests vary widely: Blogging, Comedy, Corporate writing, Editing, Essays, Fiction, Journalism, Non-Fiction, Playwriting, Poetry, Spiritual, Technical, Young Adult, Copywriting, Website copy, Freelance writing, Spoken Word, Middle Grade. Welcome, Stephen!

Katie Swift also comes to us from Ontario and writes in the genres of Creative nonfiction, Fiction, Poetry. Welcome, Katie!

Member News

Jaroslaw (“Jerry”) Iwanus is proud to announce his new website, The Prairie Maritimer.

Created as a public portfolio, it is a repository of opinion, observations, and poetry from an edge of Canada, namely Pointe-Sapin, NB. Originally from Winnipeg, MB and after 40 years in Alberta, Jerry is a freelancer who has done technical and expository writing for years and has recently added to his repertoire with poetry, essays, and reviews.

Hannah State would like to announce the release of her book, Journey to the Dark Galaxy, a sci-fi thriller, which is the sequel to the award-winning book, Journey to the Hopewell Star. Find more details here.

Have you published or self-published a book? Won an award? Are you hosting a book signing or launch event? Share it here!

Newsy Bits

When ArtsLink NB's CATAPULT Arts Accelerator program opens for submission in 2024, consider applying to the program as a mentee. Catapult gives New Brunswick artists the tools to be prolific & build sustainable careers, but writers rarely take part in this business development program. You’ll get business skills training, career development, workshops, and mentorship – packed into one eight week program, designed to help you to be purposeful and organized about the business side of your artistic practice. Participants are matched with a mentor in their field for a one-year mentorship, complete with funding for mentorship pairs to visit each other, attend workshops together, or travel together.

New Brunswick-based artists or groups/collectives working in any discipline are welcome to apply. Program participants must be members of ArtsLink NB (if not already a member, enrol online at Tuition for Catapult participants is generously subsidized by the Province of New Brunswick and the Government of Canada.

Email for more information about next year's program.


The Royal Society of Literature is inviting public recommendations of writers from you, their writer peers and readers. They are seeking recommendations of writers of diverse literary forms, including writers of drama, fiction, graphic fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and screenplays. These will be writers not resident in, or citizens of, the UK, who have published or had produced two works of outstanding literary merit (where works are translated into English, or originally written in English). Guided by your recommendations, our panel will make a recommendation of writers to be appointed RSL International Writers.

Please consult the eligibility criteria and terms and conditions prior to completing your recommendation. Recommendations will only be accepted via the form below and must be submitted by 3 May 2024. 

Your recommendations will be read by a panel of Fellows including Kit Fan (Chair), Moniza Alvi, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Chloe Aridjis, Homi K. Bhabha, Margaret Busby, Maureen Freely, Deirdre Osborne and Nathalie Teitler.

Submit your recommendation here!

SEEKING BACK ISSUES of Historical publications

Dear WFNB Members:

Ian LeTourneau is currently looking for New Brunswick books, chapbooks, magazines, broadsides, and ephemera for research and collecting purposes. He is happy to take anything you have off your hands or negotiate a fair price for the rarer stuff. Specifically, Ian is looking for:


Cadence. Female Voices anthology. Edited by Kayla Geitzler and Elizabeth Blanchard. Frog Hollow, 2020.

Scroll. Wombat Literary Series #1.

Fiddlehead Poetry Books: especially Fred Cogswell, Stunted Strong (1954), Al Purdy, Emu, Remember! (1956), FIVE NEW BRUNSWICK POETS, but he also has many holes to fill from their 300+ publications.

Any New Brunswick chapbooks, but especially 9-14, 16-20, 22-23.

Any books or chapbooks by RM Vaughan or Owl's Head Press.

Any chapbooks by Joe Blades or Broken Jaw Press or Wild East Publishing Co-operative (they produced the Salamanca Chapbookseries).

"A little something..." series of broadsides by Broken Jaw, Ian needs: 1, 9, 22-25, 28, 31, 36, 37.

Very early issues of The Fiddlehead: Ian needs 1-17, 23-26, 30, 31, 33, 34, 37, 49, 53, 55, 67, 68 and a broadside “I’m a silence so grim” by Milton Acorn which was folded inside spring 1963 issue, no. 56.

The Cormorant: I need Issues 1.1- 9.1, 10.2, 11.2-12.2, 15.1-onward but happy to have any in duplicate.

Any back Issues of magazines such as Urchin, Floorboards, Germination, Qwerty, New Muse of Contempt, Dooryard Post, ArtsAtlantic, Intervales, First Encounter, Galleon, Vox, Studies in Canadian Literature, Ellipse, Pottersfield Portfolio (esp. the NB-printed ones), etc.

Any chapbooks, broadsides, etc. by NB authors. Ian would be particularly grateful for NB literary ephemera like printed editions of NB Ink, the WFNB newsletter, old Goose Lane or Broken Jaw catalogues, event/reading posters, programs, brochures, Writing on the Wall exhibition brochures (only missing Nela Rio), newspaper sections like NB Reader, Salon. And in general, anything NB produced or by an NB author.

Please contact Ian LeTourneau at if you have any of the above. Thank you!

A note about our InkSpot Survey

We sent out a call for information earlier in the summer to help develop our strategic plan and fundraising efforts. We sent a link to a long and boring survey about demographics and program satisfaction and were hoping to get enough responses to be able to measure a decent population size.

We do know that filling out online surveys about demographics and program satisfaction is not a super exciting summer activity, so we were cautiously optimistic.

We were very gratified to have received more than eighty completed responses, and lots of actionable suggestions and valuable info. Thank you!

We drew an email from all of those provided by responders and have sent information to that winner about how to claim their free year of WFNB membership. Congrats!

Many responders value WordSpring and WordsFall very highly (and the chance they provide to spend time together in community while learning craft and business skills), as well as the opportunities for employment and public outreach that programs like WiSP can provide to writers.

You'd also like to see more monthly or online workshops, further development of public readings or showcases, the broadening of access to programs, and a solution to the problem of finding and sustaining smaller writing groups.

Thanks again for the thoughtful and helpful responses you all took the time and effort to share with us. We'll be sharing more information about how we are planning on folding your ideas and priorities into our continued development of WFNB programs and initiatives over the coming months. We're really excited about things to come, so keep an eye out for more updates.

A word about Writing Groups

When filling out their member profiles, a great many people tick off the box beside the sentence, "I would like to join a writing group," and others also very often tick off, "I would like to create a writing group."

We have just updated our list in Inkspot thanks to a recent informative post on our Facebook page, but there are undoubtedly more writing groups. We'd like to know more about groups in Moncton, and ones that take place outside of our three major cities.

Do you have a writers' group that meets elsewhere? From Sackville/Dorchester, up the Acadian coast to Shediac, Bouctouche, Richibucto, all the way to the Miramichi, Bathurst, Campbellton or Edmunston? How about along the Fundy coast, or the Western part of New Brunswick? If you do, and you are open to new writers, please let us know.

Writing groups are tricky things. There's a certain amount of magic involved in getting a productive group together, and the members themselves must be motivated to create it and keep it running.  But there is no doubt that being involved with a regular, committed writing group helps build the skills of writers and pushes them toward publication.

In the Inkwell blog in the members-only section, there's a story entitled, "A sprinkle of fairy dust: The magic of Seaside Scribes." This story covers Martha Vowles' 2022 WordSpring workshop on How to Create and Sustain a Healthy, Happy Writing Group - She provided pdfs of her notes on that subject, and they are included at the bottom of the article. This is very practical and helpful.

Once again, if you run a current writing group within our membership, if you would like to promote your willingness to create a writing group, or know of other writing groups who are accepting new members, please let us know at, so that we can make that information available to those who might be looking for a group with whom to share their work.

In the meantime, if you do not have a writing group, building relationships with lots of other writers--people who you like and connect to--makes the formation of a writing group (or an invitation to join one) more likely.  I was invited into a small writing group a couple of years ago - only five people, and most live in Sussex/Elgin, so we always meet in Sussex. They are all published writers, at varying levels, and I'm lucky to be included. I drive to meet them once a month from Moncton. It's a 40-minute drive, but I gladly do it because the relationship is valuable. Another person drives from Fredericton in order to attend.

We have breakfast and read what we're working on, and everyone comments on everyone's work, which is in itself a learning process. I don't find that I make the same insightful comments as the others, who are award-winning writers and editors. These things come with time and experience.

If you can't find a current group right away, start at least by looking for other writers you might connect with in your community. It's worth the effort. 

We will be thinking of ways to facilitate community-building for our membership in the future, not just for matching folk together for writing groups, but for all aspects of artistic sharing.



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