Writing StudiesWestern Arts and Humanities
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Updates and Announcements

Writing 4999E - Creative Writing Thesis 2015-16

With the surge in enrolments in creative writing modules here at Western, students looking to take the fourth year thesis and directed study course, where you have an opportunity to author an original piece of your choosing under the full year guidance of one of our faculty members, should acquaint themselves with the course requirements as soon possible. All pertinent information for students wishing to enroll for the 2015-16 offering should click here for further instructions. Please contact the department with any additional questions or concerns.  

Calling All Poets!  

Submissions are now being accepted for the prestigious 2015 Alfred Poynt Award in Poetry. A cash prize of $250 will be awarded to the first place winner, and there are up to four other $100 prizes for the runners up. Please review the submission guidelines here and remember that the deadline is April 8, 2015. Good luck!

Award Poster 

New Issue of Occasus Now Available

The fall 2014 edition of Occasus, the online student literary journal is now available. Check out the latest collection of outstanding original pieces of poetry and prose authored by our Writing Studies students. Have your own original piece of creative non-fiction, fiction, poetry, screen writing, journalism, or cover art you want to submit for consideration for future issues? Have a look at the journal's submission guidelines and get in touch with us!   

Creative Writers Series 2014-15

The Department of English & Writing Studies is pleased to announce the exciting new lineup for this year's Creative Writers Series at Western. Please take a look at the promotional poster below to find out what authors will be here to conduct readings of their original work, and when. Contact the Department with any questions or for further information on sessions.

Series Poster

Web Registration

If you have a question or concern about registration (Writing course selection, Writing program requirements, and related matters), please read the document "Course Selection Guide". If your questions are not answered by the information in that document, please feel free to contact the Undergraduate Program Director, Prof. Brock Eayrs, directly by email at beayrs@uwo.ca. You will receive a response within 36 hours.

Special permission procedures for 2014-2015: please refer to FAQ


Language Day 2015 a Resounding Success

On April 24th, Writing Studies held its second annual Language Day workshop for students in the Ignite5 program with the Thames Valley District School Board. The event was, once again, a great success, and a dynamic video showcasing the day's activities and participants has been created by one of the teachers in attendance and is now available for viewing. Special thanks to Professor Michael Fox for being (once again) the event organizer, as well as to Professors Michael Arntfield, Tom Hull, Miranda Green-Barteet, David Heap, Stephanie Kelly, and Miriam Love for moderating the sessions. 

Congratulations to Writing Studies student Katarina Galat

Fourth year student Katarina Galat, due to graduate from Western this year, has been accepted into the exclusive two-year Masters program in Creative Writing at the University of Toronto. This is one of the most selective and competitive graduate programs in writing in Canada, and it should be noted that Katarina is a graduate of the Honors Specialization in Creative Writing and English Literature program here at Western. Congratulations Katarina, and we wish you great success. 

New study confirms humanities grads among the most employable 

Preliminary results of an incisive University of Ottawa study just released, in which the personal income tax records of undergraduates who completed their degrees between 1998 and 2011 were tracked over that same period, confirm some fascinating long-term trends with respect to the programs offered by Canada's research intensive universities like Western and their impact on earning power. For starters, graduates in the humanities were found to have found stable, full-time employment relatively quickly, including during intervals of severe economic downturn. Further, humanities grads saw early career increases in their average annual salaries at rates that exceeded those graduating in disciplines such as the health sciences that have traditionally been equated with immediate financial prosperity. The study uses verifiable data to turn some long-standing myths upside down, and reinforces the marketability and diversity of a liberal arts education in the current knowledge based economy. The study also corroborates feedback from our own recent graduates about their successes, not to mention the continuing surge in writing and communications jobs available across all industries. Read a detailed summary of the study here.    

Professor Arntfield featured on CBC's the fifth estate

English and Writing Studies Professor Michael Arntfield was recently featured as the case consultant, moderator, and leader of a group of experts touted as "the leading investigative minds in the country" on the CBC's flagship documentary series, the fifth estate. In the episode, he leads a cadre of other scholars and field investigators in their efforts to analyze the final known movements and probable whereabouts of a BC woman who vanished in 2012. The methods used in the episode, including applying forensic conceptual metaphor analysis and other psycholinguistic methods to her final diary entries, approximate the same multidisciplinary investigative techniques used by Dr. Arntfield's case case study group here at Western. To view the entire episode that is now online click here, and follow the social media links if you think you can help find Emma.  

Writing Studies & Weird Al: Two forces against 'word crimes'

The always innovative Weird Al Yankovic has returned and brought with him a timely new track that speaks to the state of written English in a digital world. The accompanying video for his song 'Word Crimes' features an array of lighthearted but thought-provoking insights and observations on the erosion of writing fundamentals and etiquette in a culture where cryptic shorthands and emoji glyphs have replaced traditional (and intelligible) forms of writing. What is the trickle down effect of this trend on more formal types of composition? How is that, for the first time in history, more daily interactions and occupations than ever require word processing and advanced written communication skills, yet at the same time the state of these skills seems to be in decline? These are the same types of questions explored in many of our Department's core courses, including Writing 2111 (Writing in the World), Writing 2121 (Text, Lies & Digital Media), Writing 2207 (Writing for the Web), Writing 2210 (GrammarPhobia Demystified), as well as special offerings like Writing 2297 (Forensic Writing), and many others. Check out the video here and ask yourself: Am I a word criminal? If so, consider our courses a form of crime prevention - or perhaps rehabilitation!

Video and link provided wih permission and special thanks to Weird Al and his management.         

Mission Statement

Writing Studies aims to provide students with the ability to affect the world, both inside and outside the university, by facilitating their becoming self-directed, creative, and intellectual agents able to engage effectively with and contribute to the resolution of problems through the use of language both written and spoken. Writing studies comprise the core activities of our contemporary social, political, and cultural world, and the study and mastery of the constitutive and social dynamics of writing, rhetorical theory, and texts will provide pragmatic and intellectual tools for our graduates throughout their professional, intellectual, and social lives.