Norene Smiley

There’s no retirement for an artist, it’s your way of living so there’s no end to it.

– Henry Moore 

Norene Smiley is a writer, artist and filmmaker, concerned with the exploration of form and subject matter with a strong narrative content.

After graduating from NSCAD in the early 70’s, Norene worked in the not-for profit sector with the elderly and persons with intellectual disabilities, and in the book publishing industry. She has volunteered in the not-for-profit arts sector in writing and publishing, and visual arts, and served on the boards of many arts organizations and book award juries, provincially and nationally. She received the Halifax Mayor’s Award for Cultural Achievement in Literature in 2002.

She has created three short films, published two books for children and contributed to a number of anthologies. As well, she has participated in many group and juried visual art shows with her watercolour and acrylic paintings in the last 22 years.

Since moving to the village of Pugwash on the North Shore of Nova Scotia in 2007, she has become involved with community development and enrichment through organizations like Pugwash Communities in Bloom and Writing on Fire – Teen Writing Experiences. She received the Governor General’s Sovereign Medal for Volunteerism in 2019. She received the Governor General’s Sovereign Medal for Volunteerism in 2019 and the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pin in 2022.

Curriculum Vitae


‘Winter Yard’ in Whispers of Mermaids & Wonderful Things, Nimbus 2017

Simon & Catapult Man’s Perilous Playground Adventure, Nimbus Publishing & Child Safety Link, 2009

That Stripy Cat, Fitzhenry & Whiteside 2007

‘Winter Yard’ in Grade 6 educational text, Thomson Nelson, 2006

“Winter Yard’ in Till All the Stars Have Fallen. Toronto, Kids Can Press, 1989.

Four short stories in Open Windows. Kingston, Quarry Press, 1988.

Four short stories in The Fiddlehead. Fredericton, Autumn 1988.

Short story in Shivers in your Nightshirt. Halifax, Children's Writer's Workshop, 1986.

Poetry in Seaweed in your Stocking. Halifax, Children's Writer's Workshop, 1985.


2021 – Binge-Worthy TV Course, ScreenwritingU

2021 – One New Day Documentary Program, AFCOOP

2020 – Hear Tell Podcast workshops, Visual Arts NS

Spring – Fall 2017 Short film: Maurice (writing, directing, producing)

Spring 2017 NSCAD Extension Course: Digital Documentary Shorts with Walter Forsyth

Fall 2016 AFCOOP Workshop: Editing

Spring 2015 AFCOOP Workshop: Intro to Animation

Spring 2013 Strutts Gallery Super 8 Program, Pugwash Peek-a-Boo

AFCOOP Workshops:
Documentary Form & Style with Jerry White
Developing Ideas for Documentary with Chuck Lapp
Directing Documentary with John Walker

Story Workshop with Robert McKee
Screenwriting, feature The Magnetic Shield

Screenwriting – feature, shorts
Screenwriting Workshop with Linda Seger
Screenwriting Workshop with Sheldon Currie

Fall 2006 CFAT Media Arts Scholarship Program, Urban Myths

Winter 2006 AFCOOP Workshops:

Set Etiquette
Strategic Design for Writers, Directors, Producers
The ARRI SRII Camera: An Introduction to Super 16mm
Sonic Wizardry
Location Sound Recording

Fall 2005 AFCOOP One-Minute Film Program, Saving the Best for Last


July/Aug 2022   “It Starts with a Line'” small group show, Fraser Gallery, Tatamagouche, NS

August 2021 “Domestically Modified’, Pugwash Collective, Fraser Gallery, Tatamagouche, NS

July 5 – 24, 2019 “Back to the Land” Pugwash Collective, Fraser Gallery, Tatamagouche, NS

October 5 – November 16, 2018 “Poetics” with Diane Wile-Brumm & Shannon Bell, Riverside Gallery, Oxford NS

July 2018 “The Peace Show” Pugwash Collective, The Peace Hall, Pugwash, NS

Oct-Dec 2018 “Route/Root” West Side Bistro, New Glasgow, NS, with Diane Wile Brumm, Shannon Bell

July 2017 “A Murder of Crows” Pugwash Collective, Fraser Gallery, Tatamagouche, NS

September 2016 “the rest of the story…” Pugwash Collective, Riverside Gallery, Oxford, NS

August 2014 “Lore” Pugwash Collective, Fraser Gallery, Tatamagouche, NS

August 2013 “Opposite Attractions”, Pugwash Collective, Brick House, Pugwash, NS

October 2012 Pugwash Collective, Pop-up Gallery, Pugwash, NS

July 2011 “Company Soup” Pugwash Collective, Fraser Gallery, Tatamagouche, NS

July 2011 “This is Me” VANS Regional, Fraser Gallery, Tatamagouche, NS

June 2011 “This is Me” VANS Regional, McCarthy Gallery, Truro, NS

July 2010 “Pugwash Connection”, Fraser Gallery, Tatamagouche, NS

May 2009 “Hot House” with Shannon Bell, Lunenburg Art Gallery, Lunenburg, NS

May 2008 “From Here” with Diane Wile-Brumm & Shannon Bell, Craig Gallery, Dartmouth, NS

April 2005 “Double Talk” with Diane Wile-Brumm, Craig Gallery, Dartmouth, NS

2001-2006 various group shows with Dartmouth Visual Arts Society & Painters Palette

Contemporary Art Society juried shows in 2002, 2004, 2005

2001-2005 Atlantic Seabreeze Artists at MacDonald House, Lawrencetown, NS


2010-2011  Raven’s Gallery, Tatamagouche, NS

2005-2007  Painters’ Palette Gallery, Halifax, NS

2005-2008  Art Sales & Rental, AGNS, Halifax, NS


June 2022 Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pin for community involvement

April 2019 Governor General’s Sovereign Award for Volunteerism

May 2006 Mayor’s Award, Contemporary Art Society Juried Show for “Wallace Bay” (acrylic)

Honourable Mention, Contemporary Art Society Juried Show for “Telling Tales” (watercolour)

Nov 2006 Best Animal Category, CSAWC Associate Juried Show for “Wilbur”, Honourable Mention for “Roly Poly” (watercolour)

May 2004 Honourable Mention, Contemporary Art Society Juried Show for “The Retreat” (watercolour)

May 2002 Mayor’s Award of Cultural Achievement in Literature, Halifax, NS

May 2002 Honourable Mention, Contemporary Art Society Juried Show for “Eating Her Words” (watercolour)


Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative

Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia

Visual Arts Nova Scotia

Friends of the Pugwash Estuary

Northumberland Arts Council


WFNS Mentorship Program, 2018

Communities in Bloom, Pugwash, 2007-present

Writing on Fire, Teen Writing Experience, 2013- 2021

Pugwash Multi-purpose Centre Action Committee, 2011- 2014

Friends of the Pugwash Library, 2007-present

Read by the Sea Festival, 2007- 2014

TD Children’s Book Award jury, CCBC, 2007, 2008

WFNS Mentor Jury, 2002-2008

NS Talent Trust Selection Committee 2003-2005

Dartmouth Visual Arts Society, Board of Directors 2002-2007

Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, Board of Directors, 1990-1992,1993-1997, 1998-2001

Ann Connor Brimer Children’s Literature Award, Steering Committee 1990-present; Selection Committee 1990

Nova Scotia Children’s Literature Roundtable, Steering Committee, 1987-2001

Canadian Society of Children’s Authors Illustrators & Performers, Atlantic Representative 1993-2006

Canadian Children’s Book Centre, National Board of Directors, 1997-2003

Atlantic Liaison Officer 1989-1995, Our Choice Committee 1993

Atlantic Books Today, Board of Directors 1993


Pugwash Open Air Gallery – Art in the Park, Pugwash HarbourFest 2022

Pugwash Farmers’ Market 2017-2020

Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award, 2001-2007

The Word On The Street, Book & Magazine Fair, 1995-2000

CCBC Fundraising Roast, 2000

Co-ordinator, Children’s Book Week in Nova Scotia, 1989-1995

Co-ordinator, Brimer Bowling for Books 1993-1996

Co-ordinator, Atlantic Roundtables Conference 1991

Co-ordinator Children’s Writers’ Retreats, 1989-1999

WFNS Gala and Fundraising Auction, 1993-1997

WFNS Writes of Spring, readings and workshops 1990-1997


2017-2019 Market Manager, Pugwash Farmers’ Market

2017 summer part-time staff, North Cumberland Historical Society

2001-2007 Project Co-ordinator, Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award

1995-2000 Executive Director, The Word On The Street-Halifax

1994 Woozles Children’s Bookstore, retail

1989-1995 Atlantic Liaison Officer, Canadian Children’s Book Centre

1978-present: Self-employed

2007-2015, co-owner Chatterbox Cafe, Pugwash, NS

1991-present creative writing teacher

2001- present visual artist

1985 – present writer

2002-2007 consultant, Nimbus Publishing

school presentations as author/publisher

1988-94 partner, Wildthings Press

1988 NS Book Week Co-ordinator

1978-present freelance editor, writer, journalist, researcher, facilitator, craftsperson

1989 Administrative Assistant, Atlantic Publishers Association

1981-87 Teacher, Halifax Developmental Preschool

1981 Co-ordinator/Puppeteer, “Kids on the Block”, Halifax City Rec.

1976-78 Director, Red Cross Arts & Crafts Department, Camp Hill Hospital

1972-76 Supervisor, Red Cross Arts & Crafts Department


1968-72 Bachelor of Fine Arts & Art Education, NS College of Art & Design

1966-68 English Major, University of Kings College

1965-66 Queen Elizabeth High School, Halifax NS



  • courses in various writing and publishing programs including The Banff Centre for Book Publishing
  • art and illustration courses through NSCAD and with various local and national artists
  • screenwriting: Linda Seger; Sheldon Currie, Robert McKee


  • film, audio and screenwriting workshops: AFCOOP, CFAT, Strutts, NSCAD, VANS, ScreenwritingU