Views / Halifax / Backstage Pass Halifax

‘Tenacious as hell’: Word on the Street’s Steven Laffoley

Every journalist is said to have half a novel under their desk. Reporters, feature writers, columnists, copy editors  — you name it.

Confined to word limits, the infinite space and freedom of writing a book is a romantic concept. According to local author Steven Laffoley, starting your literary opus is one thing — finishing it is the true battle.

With five novels under his belt, Laffoley prides himself on his ability to utilize the resources provided to him by the history of Halifax.

“(Halifax) is layered in stories so it doesn’t take a lot to come across something good,” he said. “I enjoy giving voice to the voiceless — one of the themes that has been consistent in my work.”

Having been my junior high English teacher, I’m surprised that material hasn’t made Laffoley the Stephen King of Halifax.

Under his tutelage, I am attempting to put pen to paper and publish. With little more than a short story saved on my computer, I remain in awe of any writer with their own title on their bookshelf.

“The best advice you can give someone who is looking to get published is to finish writing the book,” he said. “(Writers) start out with the best of intentions and will find a thousand reasons to quit.

“I doubt that I’m the best writer or the best story teller but I’m willing to be tenacious as hell.”

Laffoley describes writing as “a lot of grunt work.”

“It’s like running a marathon — unless you’ve done it you don’t know the endurance required to see it through and feel that glorious sense of completion.”

Laffoley will be joined at the finish line by over 50 authors featured during this Sunday’s Word on the Street on the Halifax waterfront.

“We have fantastic writers from this province and we are out-publishing the larger metropolises with the best writers in the country,” he said. “Something like Word on the Street gives us a real chance to get the attention we deserve.”


Word on the Street goes Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Halifax waterfront. For more information visit

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