Meanwhile, in CW&P…
The Winter 2021 semester was another full, vibrant, and engaged one for most of us in the Honours Bachelor of Creative Writing & Publishing. We had a relatively full slate of events, master classes, panels, and extracurricular activities headlined by Sheridan Reads with Vivek Shraya, all of which will be capped of with the graduation of our first cohort of hearty students, and the publication of the first issue of The Ampersand Review.
Here are some highlights in case you missed them!
On Feb. 17, Prof. Mahak Jain and 3rd-year student leader Josee Cadaba brought together a panel of writers, editors, and industry experts to discuss mental health, disability, and resilience in the writing and publishing industries. This well-attended event also offered students a much-needed chance to take some belly breaths, share experiences, and build strategies for success in managing issues within and as part of their creative industries.
Our 4th-year capstone courses, Honours Writing Project and Honours Publishing Project, launched in January, and allowed our graduating students to put together a soon-to-be-published anthology of writing and publishing excellence by CW&P students. Working as a publishing team, the students in the Honours Publishing Project solicited, curated, edited, and designed 2021: A Lens of Resilience, showcasing writing from each of the students in Honours Writing Project. The manuscript is currently being printed; if you ordered one it should be on its way to you soon. If you didn’t get around to filling out a request form, you can connect with Owen Percy (firstname.lastname@example.org) to get a hard copy (free!). You will also be able to access a digital copy of the anthology on SOURCE and elsewhere once it is officially released.
Sheridan Reads picked up where it left off last year before we all left campus, with our team of students, staff, faculty, and admin pulling together an exciting though remote lineup of events and contests to promote last/this year’s featured book and author, The Subtweet by Vivek Shraya. Activities included a flash fiction creative writing contest, a social media scavenger hunt, and an Instagram poetry contest. The primary, public-facing Sheridan Reads event took place on March 25 and featured Vivek in conversation with Prof. Mahak Jain; this was followed up two weeks later with a CW&P-exclusive Master Class with Vivek and Gary Barwin where the students were able to pick the brains of two of Canada’s most innovative and exciting writers.
Finally, and speaking of, we said goodbye to our phenomenal Writer-in-Residence for the 2020-2021 school year, Gary Barwin, at the end of April. In addition to his class visits and one-on-one meetings with individual students, Gary’s tremendous efforts to get involved and support CW&P programming and students have resulted in an impressive body of content that will inform and inspire the faculty, staff, and students in CW&P for years to come.
Notably, he started a W-i-R-themed blog (https://sheridangerous.blogspot.com/) and an online journal for student writing called DOT DOT DOT (https://dotdotdotjournal.blogspot.com/), and he curated, designed, and edited the Press Record CW&P Video Anthology of student work on top of organizing and/or hosting events with Anna Chatterton, Kaie Kellough, and Vivek Shraya. We are all better for having had Gary in our professional and creative lives this past schoolyear.
Check out this final reflective poem Gary created for us about his time as CW&P’s writer-in-residence: On Writing: Falling is Just Flying With Bad PR: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWcN6gy_6No