The goal of the program is to develop your craft as a writer in the fiction, creative non-fiction or poetry genres, and to improve your text through peer feedback. It will teach you how to evaluate your own writing, as well as how to apply revision strategies to plot, characterization, style, setting, narration, dialogue, point of view, structure, clarity, length and originality.
There are no traditional classes in this program. The program consists of editorial exchanges with your mentor over a period of two consecutive academic terms. You will endeavor to meet the learning outcomes of the program through the interactions with your mentor. You will work with the same mentor for the length of the program to meet the program learning outcomes.
Instruction consists of one-on-one correspondence with your mentor, primarily focused on your writing project. The format of the correspondence will be determined by you and your mentor and can take the form of email, phone, Skype, or in person if circumstances permit. There are no online classes, however students have access to online resources specific to the program.
The program is two consecutive semesters, beginning in either September or January. For more information, please see the program page.
Students can interact with each other via Blackboard, Humber’s online learning tool. Students can share work, feedback and access online resources specific to the Creative Writing program.
There is no co-op or internship as part of the program; however, the Humber School for Writers does have partnerships with other organizations which involve practical writing opportunities, sometimes paid.
There is no syllabus or individual classes. The instruction centres around the writing project the student brings to the program.
We encourage students to try to complete the program in two consecutive semesters in order to maintain a consistent working relationship with their mentor. If you choose to take a semester off, we cannot guarantee that you would be paired with the same mentor again when you return to the program. Requests for a reduced course load due to medical reasons are allowed; students must contact Humber’s Accessible Learning Services for information.
We often have alumni who agree to speak to prospective students. To inquire, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The work-in-progress form is available through Slideroom, to which you will have access once Humber has received your application and transcripts through ontariocolleges.ca, the centralized college application service.
This is allowed and happens with some regularity; however, you will not receive a second credential. Students can apply to the program a second time with a new project or to effect a substantial revision of the project they worked on previously. Students do not need to submit transcripts again if enrolling in the program for a second time.
Students indicate their top four choices of mentors on their work-in-progress form. The selection committee takes this into account when matching students and mentors.
We are unable to post updates on individual mentor availability. Students will be informed who their mentor is after the application deadline passes.
There is no guarantee that a student will be paired with the mentor of their choice, but one’s odds are improved by applying earlier rather than later. Students who submit before the deadline are usually paired with their first- or second-choice mentor. However, the final decision rests with the selection committee and it may be that the committee believes that a particular mentor is better suited to a student’s work.
The number of students each mentor supervises varies depending on the mentor’s availability.
Students writing prose (novels, stories, creative nonfiction) must submit a minimum of 150 and a maximum of 300 double-spaced pages of prose in 12-point font over the two-term period. Students writing poetry must submit from 50 to 100 single-spaced pages of prose in 12-point font over the two-term period.
There is no absolute rule, but expect to have anywhere from 10-14 exchanges with your mentor over the course of the 28 weeks. This will provide you time to write and give your mentor the time to read, consider and respond to your submissions. Typically, a successful outcome of this program means you have a complete draft of a manuscript together with a complete set of editorial remarks from your mentor. However, many manuscripts require several drafts. This program is intended to take you through a complete draft of an average novel, memoir, or collection of poems or short stories.
Many of our students take the program while working part or full time. To estimate the amount of time the program will demand, expect to be writing, on average, ten double-spaced pages of prose per week.
Many mentors do not use texts and stick with editorial commentary. Some mentors recommend texts that are appropriate to your work. One text that is required of all prose writers to read is Janet Burroway’s Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft. Poets should consider The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms edited by Eavan Boland and Mark Strand. You should own a good grammar book.