Former Student Writers-in-Residence

Current Student Writer-in-Residence >

2022-23 | Matthew Dawkins
Matthew Dawkins is a Jamaican award-winning author and poet whose works on Wattpad have amassed nearly half a million reads. His work focuses on subjects from his personal experience such as adolescence, love, loss, culture, and mental health. Matthew was a student in the Department of English and Writing Studies and The School for Advanced Studies in Arts and Humanities. When he's not writing, Matthew can often be found re-watching the Harry Potter series on Netflix for the millionth time and procrastinating on his assignments. Until We Break is his debut novel. Matthew’s work has been published in Symposium and Semi-colon.

2021-22 | Ashley Li
Ashley Li is in her fourth year of an Honours Specialization in Neuroscience with a Minor in Psychology. She is the Co-Founder of Spoken Word Society, and has seen her writing published in Living Hyphen, Fresh Ink and Symposium. Her work is primarily in prose poetry and short fiction, and she is drawn to narratives that capture a glimpse into everyday lives. Beyond her creative writing pursuits, Ashley is heavily involved with peer mentorship and student leadership on campus, as well as her volunteer work with the Canadian Mental Health Association. She is passionate about exploring the powerful benefits that creative writing can have for healing and mental wellness. Utilizing her background in science, Ashley hopes to champion an inclusive and interdisciplinary approach to creative writing as this year’s Student Writer-in-Residence.

2020-21 | Courtney Ward-Zbeetnoff
Fifth year Honours Specialization in Creative Writing and English Language and Literature and SASAH student, Courtney Ward-Zbeetnoff plans to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing after graduating. As the Editor-in-Chief of the Arts and Humanities Students’ Council publications Semicolon, Symposium and Premier, Courtney is an enthusiastic and accomplished writer whose advocacy extends beyond the arts. As part of Active Minds Western’s outreach team for two years, she developed and facilitated mental health education workshops at a local high school. Courtney’s love of writing intersects with her passion for mental health advocacy. She is drawn to creative nonfiction as means of self-expression and interpersonal connection. She has found a home within Western’s literary community and is continually inspired by the stories that others have the courage to share.

2019-20 | Gabrielle Drolet
Poetry, journalism mix for Student Writer-in-Residence
As fourth-year English and Writing Studies student Gabrielle Drolet starts the school year as this year's Student Writer-in-Residence, Drolet is keen to discover how her diverse experiences can contribute to a culture of creativity across campus. While nature poetry is Drolet’s passion, she has also written opinion and feature articles for national newspapers and online outlets. Last school year, she was opinions editor at the Western Gazette student newspaper and returns this year as its culture editor. Drolet was the recipient of the 2019 Marguerite R. Dow Canadian Heritage Award for Little Malta, a short piece of creative non-fiction, and received an honorable mention in the Lillian Kroll Prize in Creative Writing for her poetry.

2018-19 | Camille Intson
Intson brings passion for arts to student writer role
Camille is a multidisciplinary artist working in theatre, performance art, poetry, short fiction, multimedia, and folk music across Southern Ontario. Her award-winning work as a playwright has been workshopped and produced at amateur and professional theatres and festivals across Canada, and her poetry and short fiction have been published on and off university campus. Camille was a Resident Artist at the TAP Centre for Creativity, where she created and curated a digital performance art exhibition and is a Co-Founding Director of ArtLaunch Theatre Company. Besides all this, Camille has a growing academic and practical interest in post-humanism and performance and aspires to marry her research and artistic interests in further study at the graduate level.

2017-18 | Sydney Brooman
Written word bridges gap in understanding
An Honours English Language & Literature and Creative Writing student, Sydney has published poetry in the Fall and Spring editions of Symposium, the Fall edition of Semicolon, the Glitch edition of The Iconoclast Collective, and a piece in the 2016 edition of Occasus for which she was awarded first place submission. Sydney is the incoming Co-President of Western’s Undergraduate English Society, as well as an Editorial Assistant for The Canadian Poetry Project. She looks forward to promoting an open dialogue between current writers—on campus and in the London area— and those who wish to develop their creative writing repertoire or skills.

2016-17 | Victoria Wiebe
Psychology student looking to connect over creativity
Victoria Wiebe, a third–year Honours Psychology student with a Minor in Creative Writing, has authored three novels and numerous poems which have been published in Occasus, Teen Ink, and Creative Communications. An active student at Western, she served as President of the Creative Writing Club and Editor-in-Chief of Nom de Plume literary journal for the 2014-15 year. Victoria wants to make the Western community more aware of the creative resources available and aims to organize workshops that are tailored to students from all faculties, fostering creative ideas and develop skills in student writing. She “feels it is important to showcase the creative work of Western students in order to appreciate the creativity that is constantly being nurtured on–campus.”

2015-16 | Helen Ngo
Mathematics student hopes to unite students from a wide variety of academic disciplines
Helen Ngo, a fourth-year Mathematics student pursuing a certificate in Writing, was chosen as the student writer-in-residence for 2015-16. Blending math and the written word means expressing humanity through both quantitative data and storytelling, she explained. Math and writing are both forms of art – both search for truth and beauty, taking different roads to the same destination. Ngo’s work is inspired by the everyday, she said, and comes out of conversations, people, snippets she overhears in coffee shops. It features themes from her latest struggle with abstract algebra, urban adventuring, and too many evenings spent driving around past midnight. Ngo received the Judge’s Choice category award for the Alfred Poynt Poetry Competition, and her prose and poetry has been published in Premier, Nom de Plume, Symposium and The Semi-Colon. She is excited to work with the talented arts community at Western, and hopes to unite students from a wide variety of academic disciplines to express themselves and showcase their talent through creative writing opportunities around campus and the greater London community.

2014-15 | Steven Slowka
Student writer coaxing new students out of comfort zones
Fourth-year Anthropology student, Steven Slowka writes about culture. A number of his poems feature animals, including Archaeopteryx, published in PRISM International. It’s an extinct evolutionary bird, but the poem has nothing to do with the bird. It’s about the after moments of sex, something that expires in its own way. Now, having taken on the Student Writer in Residence post, Slowka hopes to grow Western’s and London’s creative writing communities.

2013-14 | Scott Beckett
In partnership with the University Students’ Council, the Department of English and Writing Studies welcomes fourth year History and Creative Writing student, Scott Beckett.

2012-13 | Alex Carillo-Hayley
Western's first Student Writer-in-Residence
Here to unite writers in the Western community, she is the university’s first Student Writer-in-Residence – believed to be the first in North America. As much as a passing chat with her about this new role would show you, she couldn’t be more excited. The fourth-year English student, already heavily involved in the campus and creative communities, is most looking forward to bridging the gap separating the university’s writers, individuals she feels often lack an outlet for their creative endeavours. It’s this lack she hopes to fill during her term.