“So You Want To Be Published”

February 2017

I have copied what is below from the web site of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. To register for any of the workshops, you must contact the WFNS. Registration information is on the WFNS web site.

So You Want to Be Published – Professional Development Tour

We’re excited to bringing a tour of the session, “So You Want to Be Published” to Halifax, Wolfville, Antigonish, Yarmouth and Sydney!

Halifax: Tuesday, April 18th, 6:30 – 8:30 PM. WFNS Office, 1113 Marginal Road.

Antigonish: Saturday, April 22nd, 1-3 PM. Peoples’ Place, Antigonish LIbrary, 283 Main Street.

Wolfville: Saturday, April 29th, 1-3 PM. St John’s Anglican Church, 161 Highway 1.

Yarmouth: Tuesday, May 9, 6:30-8:30 PM. Yarmouth County Museum, 22 Collins Street.

Sydney: Tuesday, May 16, 6:30-8:30 PM. Cooperative Study Club at the New Dawn Centre, 37 Nepean St.

Working on an essay, novel, magazine article or history book, but not sure how to get it published when you’re done? Hesitating to share your ideas because you think the process is more complicated than you’re ready for? Then this professional development session is for you. Learn from A J B Johnston and Sarah Sawler as they share everything they know about the publishing process – from non-fiction and magazine articles to short stories and novels.

Sarah and John (or Sarah and Norma Jean) will talk transparently about the entire process, sharing practical, usable advice on a wide range of topics including (but not limited to):

writing an eye-catching query letter
finding the right market for your work
working effectively with editors
building your brand as a writer
meeting tough deadlines

As a participant, you’re encouraged to submit any questions you have in advance, so Sarah and John can answer as many specific questions as they can and tailor the presentation to the interests of the various regions. The first 45 minutes will feature presentations by John and Sarah about the writing and publishing process; the rest of the session will be a Q&A.

A J B (John) Johnston works in three disciplines: history, fiction and museum exhibits. He enjoyed a long career as a historian with Parks Canada and now works independently. He is the author or co-author of fourteen books of history and three novels — with more to come. For his body of work on the French Colonial era in Atlantic Canada, France made him a chevalier of its Ordre des Palmes Académiques. In 2016, he was a mentor in the WFNS Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program.

Sarah Sawler is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in such publications as Halifax Magazine, Quill & Quire, Atlantic Business Magazine, and ParentsCanada. Her first non-fiction book, 100 Things You Don’t Know About Nova Scotia, was published by Nimbus Publishing in April 2016, and she’s currently working on her second, 100 Things You Don’t Know About Atlantic Canada–for Kids!
In early 2016, Sarah completed Humber College’s Creative Writing Correspondence Course under the mentorship of young adult and middle grade author Richard Scrimger. Her first published short story appeared on Spelk.com in October 2016.

Norma Jean MacPhee

Talks in Fairhope, AL

February 2017

I am looking forward to presentations on history and fiction I will be making in Fairhope, AL in a couple of weeks.

On March 4, at 1 pm, I will give a talk at the Fairhope Public Library, which is pretty close to being the cultural heart of the community.

On March 22, at 6 pm, I’ll be at Page and Palette, the city’s wonderful independent bookstore.

The talks will differ, but each will touch on my time at the Fortress of Louisbourg, the history contained in Endgame 1758 and the fiction of the three Thomas Pichon Novels. The fourth novel in that series is what I am working on while Writer-in-Residence at Wolff Cottage.

I will also be giving a presentation to the Fairhope Rotary, on March 23. In that talk I will offer an illustrated presentation on how rising sea level (and a subsiding shoreline) are having an effect at the Fortress of Louisbourg NHS in Canada.

Spur Festival, Halifax, 2016

October 2016

The Spur Festival comes to life in Halifax, NS, in three weeks. There are lots of fascinating events, and most are free. Check out the line-up by following the link below.

I’m taking part in a panel entitled “Our Shared History.” Follow this link and you’ll see how it is being cast and who else is involved. It will be Sat, Oct. 29, at 2 pm, at the Central Branch of the Halifax Library system.


Spur Festival, Halifax

September 2016



Details on the festival events and participants are to be found at that web link. I am to be part of a panel taking place at 2 pm on October 29 at the Central Branch of Halifax Public Libraries. The topic of the panel is Edward Cornwallis.

Halifax Central Library, May 10

May 2016

Despite the title, my talk is not just about Evelyn Eaton and Restless are the Sails. It’s also about History and Fiction, remembering and forgetting, Louisbourg and other historic sites, and my own journey into fiction.




CBC Information Morning Interview, May 4

May 2016
Anyone up early tomorrow, I’ll be on CBC Information Morning about 6:20 or so, talking to Don Connolly about my upcoming talks at two Halifax Library branches about a forgotten (and once best-selling) Maritime novelist — Evelyn Eaton. One of her novels was set at Louisbourg. For more about those talks, copy and paste the link below.