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 audience

  • 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

Applications are open for our next Non-Fiction Writer in Residence!

Review the full posting for more details and how to apply: SFU Library Non-Fiction Writer in Residence

Submit by March 31, 2021. We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

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.

Anne Giardini

Watch our Q&A with Anne Gardini, author, lawyer, and 11th Chancellor of SFU

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.

Next semester's workshops will be posted soon.

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.

Submissions are open.

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.

Testimonials and publications

As the Non-Fiction Writer in Residence 2020/2021, Mark Winston has consulted on a number of publications for public audiences from SFU researchers, including:


"All writers need good editors: editors who can identify a story's weaknesses and appreciate its strengths, and possess the clarity and insight to help you make those strengths shine. Mark Winston ... guided me in shaping up a piece I'd been struggling with for months, giving me the advice I needed to turn my half-formed ideas into a polished story that I was proud to pitch and, eventually, see published." ~ Alice Fleerackers, PhD student

"I appreciated the care, thoughtfulness and attention he gave to me when I shared drafts of my writings with him. He didn't try and suppress my voice, but helped me articulate it in an accessible and authentic way. He challenged me to go deeper in my reflections so that I could communicate what was core to my message and avoid unnecessary tangents and he helped me understand the basics of crafting a clear sentence. I know that I'm a better writer when Mark reviews my work." ~Shauna Sylvester, Executive Director, SFU Centre for Dialogue

Submit a pitch

If interested, request a consultation by sending a pitch (maximum 300 words) to

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.

Apply by March 31