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Announcing the Non-Fiction Writer in Residence: Mark Winston

Light blue banner with illustrations of notebooks, paper, pens,a nd other writing implements. Text: "2020/2021 Non-Fiction Writer in Residence"

SFU Library's Writer in Residence program

The SFU Library Non-Fiction Writer in Residence emphasizes the power of non-fiction writing to share knowledge beyond academia, enhancing the SFU community's capacity to tell compelling research and scholarship stories. This complements the Library's growing activities in the area of knowledge mobilization.

The Writer in Residence will:

  • Deliver workshops on non-fiction writing for public audiences

  • Showcase non-fiction writing that brings scholarship to a public audience through public events
  • Offer opportunities for SFU graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and staff to receive feedback and support on their own public writing projects

About Mark Winston, the 2020/2021 Writer in Residence

Mark Winston smiles at the camera.

Mark L. Winston is the inaugural SFU Library Writer in Residence.

He is the recipient of the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-fiction for his book Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive, and an Independent Publishers 2019 Gold Medal for Listening to the Bees, co-authored with poet Renée Saklikar. Dr. Winston is one of the world’s leading experts on bees and pollination, and an internationally recognized researcher, teacher and writer. He directed Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue for 12 years, where he founded the Centre’s Semester in Dialogue, a program that creates leadership development opportunities that equip and empower students to address community issues. Winston’s work has appeared in numerous books, commentary columns for the Vancouver Sun, The New York Times, the Globe and Mail, The Sciences, Orion magazine, and frequently on CBC radio and television and National Public Radio. As an award-winning writer and editor, he works with students, scientists, other professionals and writers to develop compelling non-fiction, from proposals and newspaper opinion pieces to magazine articles and books. 

He currently is a Professor and Senior Fellow in Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue, and a Professor of Biological Sciences.

 

Learn more about Mark Winston and the Non-Fiction Writer in Residence program in a recent interview in SFU News!

Q&A video series: Writing for public audiences

We asked SFU writers, researchers, and teachers to share short videos about their experiences writing for the public.

Dr. Yabome Gilpin-Jackson

Watch our Q&A with Dr. Yabome Gilpin-Jackson, author, consultant, and Professor in the Beedie School of Business

Dr. Mark Jaccard

Watch our Q&A with Dr. Mark Jaccard, Professor and Director, School of Resource and Environmental Management

Dr. Hannah McGregor

Watch our Q&A with Dr. Hannah McGregor, Assistant Professor, Publishing @ SFU

Dr. Lynne Quarmby

Watch our Q&A with Dr. Lynne Quarmby, Professor, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Dr. Eldon Yellowhorn

Watch our Q&A with Dr. Eldon Yellowhorn, Associate Professor, Indigenous Studies

Workshops on writing for the public

SFU Library is pleased to offer a series of workshops facilitated by Mark Winston.

Writing for the Public (for Faculty)

Join SFU Library's Writer in Residence, Mark Winston, for a full-day, hands-on workshop on writing for public audiences.

Have you thought about raising your profile by publishing opinion pieces in major newspapers and magazines, blog posts, or even a trade book, focused on a broad, non-academic audience? Interested in expanding your influence by effectively communicating your research and other activities to wider audiences?

Workshop participants will have the opportunity to communicate their own work through effective, compelling and engaging writing. We’ll work on developing brevity, clarity and impact, gaining confidence and skill in using your unique voice and style to tell your story with greater proficiency.

This all-day workshop will be limited to eight participants, who will work on their own distinctive, potentially publishable projects. Format will be hands-on and participatory, focused on clear thinking, succinctness, simplicity, storytelling and bringing key messages front and center, using intensive group feedback, editing and revisions. We’ll also discuss audiences, outlets and the nuts and bolts of publishing a non-academic piece. Participants will leave the workshop with a draft of at least part of a piece suitable for submission.

This workshop will alternate between online sessions focused on nonfiction writing strategies, offline writing exercises, online feedback and editing, and offline breaks.

Learn more about Mark Winston and the SFU Library Non-Fiction Writer in Residence Program.

Register for upcoming workshops

DatesLocation
Friday, October 16, 2020 - 9:30am to 4:00pmvia Zoom (link will be sent to participants 24 hours before the workshop/event begins)
Thursday, November 26, 2020 - 9:30am to 4:00pmvia Zoom (link will be sent to participants 24 hours before the workshop/event begins)

Writing for the Public (for Graduate Students)

Join SFU Library's Writer in Residence, Mark Winston, for a full-day, hands-on workshop on writing for public audiences.

Have you thought about raising your profile by publishing opinion pieces in major newspapers and magazines, blog posts, or even a trade book, focused on a broad, non-academic audience? Interested in expanding your influence by effectively communicating your research and other activities to wider audiences?

Workshop participants will have the opportunity to communicate their own work through effective, compelling and engaging writing. We’ll work on developing brevity, clarity and impact, gaining confidence and skill in using your unique voice and style to tell your story with greater proficiency.

This all-day workshop will be limited to eight participants, who will work on their own distinctive, potentially publishable projects. Format will be hands-on and participatory, focused on clear thinking, succinctness, simplicity, storytelling and bringing key messages front and center, using intensive group feedback, editing and revisions. We’ll also discuss audiences, outlets and the nuts and bolts of publishing a non-academic piece. Participants will leave the workshop with a draft of at least part of a piece suitable for submission.

This workshop will alternate between online sessions focused on nonfiction writing strategies, offline writing exercises, online feedback and editing, and offline breaks.

Learn more about Mark Winston and the SFU Library Non-Fiction Writer in Residence Program.

Register for upcoming workshops

DatesLocation
Friday, September 25, 2020 - 9:30am to 4:00pmvia Zoom (link will be sent to participants 24 hours before the workshop/event begins)
Thursday, November 12, 2020 - 9:30am to 4:00pmvia Zoom (link will be sent to participants 24 hours before the workshop/event begins)

Writing for the Public (for Postdoctoral Fellows)

Join SFU Library's Writer in Residence, Mark Winston, for a full-day, hands-on workshop on writing for public audiences.

Have you thought about raising your profile by publishing opinion pieces in major newspapers and magazines, blog posts, or even a trade book, focused on a broad, non-academic audience? Interested in expanding your influence by effectively communicating your research and other activities to wider audiences?

Workshop participants will have the opportunity to communicate their own work through effective, compelling and engaging writing. We’ll work on developing brevity, clarity and impact, gaining confidence and skill in using your unique voice and style to tell your story with greater proficiency.

This all-day workshop will be limited to eight participants, who will work on their own distinctive, potentially publishable projects. Format will be hands-on and participatory, focused on clear thinking, succinctness, simplicity, storytelling and bringing key messages front and center, using intensive group feedback, editing and revisions. We’ll also discuss audiences, outlets and the nuts and bolts of publishing a non-academic piece. Participants will leave the workshop with a draft of at least part of a piece suitable for submission.

This workshop will alternate between online sessions focused on nonfiction writing strategies, offline writing exercises, online feedback and editing, and offline breaks.

Learn more about Mark Winston and the SFU Library Non-Fiction Writer in Residence Program.

Register for upcoming workshops

DatesLocation
Friday, October 2, 2020 - 9:30am to 4:00pmvia Zoom (link will be sent to participants 24 hours before the workshop/event begins)

Writing for the Public (for Staff)

Join SFU Library's Writer in Residence, Mark Winston, for a full-day, hands-on workshop on writing for public audiences.

Have you thought about raising your profile by publishing opinion pieces in major newspapers and magazines, blog posts, or even a trade book, focused on a broad, non-academic audience? Interested in expanding your influence by effectively communicating your research and other activities to wider audiences?

Workshop participants will have the opportunity to communicate their own work through effective, compelling and engaging writing. We’ll work on developing brevity, clarity and impact, gaining confidence and skill in using your unique voice and style to tell your story with greater proficiency.

This all-day workshop will be limited to eight participants, who will work on their own distinctive, potentially publishable projects. Format will be hands-on and participatory, focused on clear thinking, succinctness, simplicity, storytelling and bringing key messages front and center, using intensive group feedback, editing and revisions. We’ll also discuss audiences, outlets and the nuts and bolts of publishing a non-academic piece. Participants will leave the workshop with a draft of at least part of a piece suitable for submission.

This workshop will alternate between online sessions focused on nonfiction writing strategies, offline writing exercises, online feedback and editing, and offline breaks.

Learn more about Mark Winston and the SFU Library Non-Fiction Writer in Residence Program.

Register for upcoming workshops

DatesLocation
Friday, October 30, 2020 - 9:30am to 4:00pmvia Zoom (link will be sent to participants 24 hours before the workshop/event begins)

Manuscript consultations with the Writer in Residence

Mark Winston will be offering a limited number of writing consultations, ranging from projects in the idea phase through manuscripts. He is available to discuss potential newspaper opinion pieces, longer magazine articles, blogs or trade book projects.

Note that Dr. Winston will not be able to meet all requests, but will ensure access is distributed among graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty and staff.

Submit a pitch

If interested, request a consultation by sending a pitch (maximum 300 words) to winston@sfu.ca.

Your pitch should include:

  • the nature of your project;
  • the audience;
  • potential publication outlets;
  • a paragraph relating your background and why you are uniquely suited to write this piece.

If available, please include a 500-1000 word sample demonstrating public writing, as an attachment or link to a website, published or in-progress, preferably but not necessarily related to the project you have in mind.

Deadline for pitches: Wednesday, September 30, 2020.