Writing on Fire

Writing on Fire 2013 – 2019, a program which grew out of Read by the Sea Literary Festival, continued the mandate of promoting reading, writing and creative expression by bringing the finest of Canada’s authors and other artists to the small communities of the North Shore of Nova Scotia. It provided opportunities for youth to learn from professional writers and creators, giving them a voice by enabling them to experience the excitement of creating themselves.

The Writing on Fire Program is comprised of a number of components, aimed at grade seven to twelve students.


Youth Writing Retreat  at Thinkers Lodge in Pugwash. Approximately 12 participating students from across the North Shore, from New Glasgow to Pugwash and Oxford, working with two professional artists, one writer and one artist from another medium.

‘SPARK’ – Experiential Writing & Information Outreach in nine North Shore schools from Oxford to New Glasgow, as well as Public Library Branches servicing these areas.

‘FEEDING THE FIRE’ — Writers in Schools. The six mentoring authors visit participating middle and high schools to read from their work, share their lives as writers and creators, give students insight into the writing craft and encourage them to work on suggested writing projects. This is in partnership with the Writers Federation of NS.

‘WRITING ON FIRE’ — One-day Writing Workshops & Literary Cafe. The Nova Scotia authors participating in this program are selected for their experience in leading writing workshops and their areas of expertise, as well as their enthusiasm and interest in helping develop the next generation of writers.

In 2017, Writing on Fire received 150 provincial funding to produce an Anthology of Youth Writing, Unapologetic Hearts, and a Writing on Fire Documentary,


celebrating youth writers and their work. Both were launched early in 2018 and were distributed throughout the north shore to schools, libraries and to contributors. In 2019, during  “The Isolation Diaries” mentorship with both youth and adults, a Podcast was created of participants reading form their work.