Welcome, Writers!

Unlock your stories.

I’m an award-winning poet, essayist and teacher who helps writers discover new ways to tell their stories.

Students of my online creative writing courses are poets, fiction writers and CNF lovers who appreciate a playful approach to writing and want to:

  • sidestep fear, dig deep, and uncover their authentic voice
  • explore innovative approaches to personal narratives in poetry and prose and
  • use storytelling to process their stories of grief and loss.

    Why work with me?

    My students tell me they love working with me because I offer the “compassionate mentorship” they need to tell their most difficult stories. I emphasize playful risk-taking and honing craft to help writers generate boundary-pushing work and reinvigorate their writing process.

    After taking my experimental CNF e-course, Rowan Smith-McCandless went on to win the 2017 Room CNF award for her lyric essay, “A Map of The World” and Emily Kellogg received an honourable mention for “A Year for Ectoplasm”. Both pieces were drafted as assignments for the very first session of my CNF Outliers e-course.

    I teach CNF Outliers a few times a year and I’ll be launching a new e-course for writers who want to explore their most difficult, vulnerable stories this fall. For ecourse updates (and writerly inspiration!), sign up for my newsletter.

    Warmest writerly regards,




“Nicole was an amazing teacher! Under her tutelage, I learned so much about CNF. From the first draft through to revision, Nicole provided compassionate mentorship, and it was her encouragement that led me to submit my very first piece of CNF, ‘A Map of the World’ to Room’s 2017 CNF contest.”
~ Rowan Smith-McCandless, Winner of Room magazine’s 2017 CNF award

“To say ‘A Year for Ectoplasm’ was difficult to write would be a grievous understatement. I am so grateful to Nicole and her e-course for helping me to find the framework to tell this difficult story. Nicole’s passion for CNF and for her students is palpable; her feedback gentle, encouraging, and insightful. CNF Outliers challenged me to be brave, to experiment with storytelling and structure, and to allow myself to get my most honest words on the page. Thank you, Nicole, for lending me support, courage, and inspiration.”
~ Emily Kellogg, Finalist for Room magazine’s 2017 CNF award

“The welcoming attitude and positive feedback stand out for me about this course. Learning the names of sub-genres which I may have noticed but not previously have identified–flash fiction, prose poem, lyric essay (especially the braid), and hermit crab. Trying out each form was such fun. Especially the hermit crab. Now I see possibilities everywhere… The world is full of empty shells just waiting to hide my stories. Nicole has helped me see.”
~ J.M. Bridgeman, Author of Here In Hope: A Natural History and Embers