The Humber School for Writers Correspondence Program in Creative Writing

The Humber School for Writers
Correspondence Program in Creative Writing

September 2010
January 2011

Humber School of Creative & Performing Arts
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

The Correspondence Program in Creative Writing, offered by The Humber School for Writers, gives aspiring writers the rare opportunity to work on a novel, book of short stories, volume of poetry, or book of creative non-fiction with one of the School’s distinguished faculty. Students receive extensive feedback via either regular or electronic correspondence and learn to refine their craft. Students may also share their experience in a closed web lounge. Each 30-week program is specifically designed for those who prefer working at their own pace and in their own environment.

Well over 260 of our students have gone on to publish books of fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. Several have been nominated for literary awards, and a few have gone on to win. Robert Rotenberg, for instance, had bidding wars in New York, London, and Toronto for his first novel, Old City Hall, and Cathy Marie Buchanan’s The Day the Falls Stood Still sold in Italy, the USA, the UK, and made The New York Times Best Sellers list. Alumna Kim Echlin was shortlisted for the Giller Prize for The Disappeared.

Applicants can choose from two start dates:
September 2010 or January 2011

Faculty List

Joan Barfoot
Richard Bausch
David Bergen
David Bezmozgis
Sandra Birdsell
Karen Connelly
Elisabeth Harvor
Nalo Hopkinson
Isabel Huggan
Joseph Kertes
John Metcalf
Kim Moritsugu
Donna Morrissey
Michael Redhill
David Adams Richards
Olive Senior
Sarah Sheard
Susan Swan
M. G. Vassanji
Tim Wynne-Jones

Please check the website for faculty bios

Deadline for September applications:  May 28, 2010
Deadline for January 2011 applications: October 8, 2010
Please note that instructors may be added or substituted. Please be aware also that some faculty may be available for one session only.

Please note: If numbers permit, a third intake in May 2011 will take place.
Enquire in January 2011.

Back Panel

Authors who have taught for the Humber School for Writers:
Elizabeth Abbott, Edward Albee, Martin Amis, Margaret Atwood, Joan Barfoot, Richard Bausch, Ann Beattie, Jonathan Bennett, Constance Beresford-Howe, David Bergen, Michelle Berry, David Bezmozgis, Sandra Birdsell, Neil Bissoondath, H.S. Bhabra, Francesca Lia Block, Joseph Boyden, Dionne Brand, Bonnie Burnard, Catherine Bush, Barry Callaghan, Stevie Cameron, Peter Carey, Hayden Carruth, Wayson Choy, Eliza Clark, Karen Connelly, Douglas Cooper, Sally Cooper, Carole Corbeil, Michael Coren, Alan Cumyn, Robyn Davidson, Lauren B. Davis, Anthony De Sa, Erika de Vasconcelos, David Donnell, Roddy Doyle, Howard Engel, Timothy Findley, Richard Ford, Cecil Foster, Bruce Jay Friedman, Mary Gaitskill, Mavis Gallant, Graeme Gibson, Elisabeth Harvor, Michael Helm, Lawrence Hill, Nalo Hopkinson, Isabel Huggan, Ha Jin, Diane Keating, Joseph Kertes, Janice Kulyk Keefer, Rachel Kushner, Shaena Lambert, Andrea Levy, Mark Leyner, Annabel Lyon, Jake MacDonald, Alistair MacLeod, Rabindranath Maharaj,

John Bentley Mays, John Metcalf, Anne Michaels, David Mitchell, Christopher Moore, Lisa Moore, Kim Moritsugu, Donna Morrissey, Sylvia Mulholland, Howard Norman, Tim O’Brien, Caryl Phillips, Bruce Powe, Francine Prose, Paul Quarrington, Michael Redhill, David Adams Richards, Daniel Richler, Mordecai Richler, Nino Ricci, Elizabeth Ruth, Robert Sawyer, Richard Scrimger, Olive Senior, Sarah Sheard, Carol Shields, Antanas Sileika, Joseph Skibell, Marsha Skrypuch, Linda Spalding, Josef Skvorecky, Susan Swan, D. M. Thomas, Miriam Toews, Barry Unsworth, Jane Urquhart, Guy Vanderhaeghe, M. G. Vassanji, Marianne Wiggins, Eric Wright, Richard B. Wright, Tim Wynne-Jones


To help foster the emerging literary talent in this country, the Humber School for Writers offers a small number of scholarships to promising and deserving students who can demonstrate need of financial assistance. Repeating students who have received scholarships may not apply for funding a second time.

The Timothy Findley Memorial Scholarship (January only)
(generously funded by HarperCollins Canada)

Bluma and Bram Appel Scholarship (January only)

The James Appel Scholarships (September only)

Writers’ Trust of Canada Scholarships (January only)

The President’s Scholarship (January only)

In addition, January scholarships have been established to recognize the dedication and support given to the workshop by Ben Labovitch and Mary Jo Morris.

All scholarships are open to students of exceptional promise who can document financial need.

Scholarships are available to Canadian residents only, and Appel scholarships to Ontario residents only. If you wish to apply for a scholarship, you must include a financial statement and supporting documentation to demonstrate financial need with your Work-In-Progress Form by May 28 for the September 2010 intake and October 8 for January 2011.

Please note that no late applicants will be considered for scholarships.

For further information, visit our FAQ site:

Students may also be eligible for tuition bursaries.

We’re here to help

Joe Kertes is Dean of Humber’s School of Creative & Performing Arts. His first novel, Winter Tulips, won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. His comic novel for adults, Boardwalk, and his books for children, The Gift and The Red Corduroy Shirt, were all published to great critical acclaim. Joe is the founder of the Humber School for Writers and the Humber School of Comedy, and is also winner of several teaching awards. His novel Gratitude was published in 2008 by Penguin Canada. It was released in the United States in 2009 by St. Martin’s (New York) and went on to win The National Jewish Book Award in 2010.

Antanas Sileika is the Artistic Director of the Humber School for Writers. Each of his novels Dinner at the End of the World and Buying on Time (which was short-listed for the Stephen Leacock Medal and the Toronto Book Award) was received enthusiastically by critics and readers alike, as was his most recent novel, Woman in Bronze, which was named a Globe and Mail Best Book. His next novel is forthcoming from Thomas Allen in 2011.

Margaret Hart is the principal agent with the HSW Literary Agency. Responsible for selling manuscripts by our alumni in Canada, the U.S., and abroad, she has placed a number of works of fiction and non-fiction. Representation by the agency is open to students registered in the program whose work is recommended by an author.


The Humber School for Writers Correspondence Program in Creative Writing is offered at the post-graduate level. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree, or a postsecondary diploma. Those applicants who have not completed a postsecondary credential, but who have a combination of postsecondary education and work experience, may be considered for admission on exceptional bases.

How to Register

First, applications for this program must be submitted to the Ontario College Application Service (OCAS). Applicants will be required to pay a non-refundable fee of approximately $95. No manuscript will be read until this fee is paid.

Please refer to Application Program Code 12231

Write to
Ontario College Application Services (OCAS)
60 Corporate Court
Guelph, ON
N1G 5J3

519-763-4725 or 1-888-892-2228


Please send your completed application form directly to OCAS, which will acknowledge receipt and instruct you to send us your writing sample.

Do not send your writing sample to OCAS. Doing so will delay the processing of your application.

Second, to assess your ability, we require that you submit two identical copies (no more than 15 pages each) of your writing by May 28 for September 2010 or October 8 for January 2011. The manuscript must be prepared according to professional standards: double-spaced, typed on one side only, and with name, title, and page number on each page. Please include a cover letter describing your project and your writing experience, as well as any relevant life experience.

Also, please indicate for which session you are applying.

Note that samples of writing will not be returned and no submission will be read until OCAS fees have been paid. If you are accepted into the program, your manuscript will be forwarded to your assigned writing mentor; however, no manuscript will be forwarded until tuition is paid. Accepted students will be invoiced shortly after notification of acceptance.

Please mail your writing sample to
Hilary Higgins
Humber School for Writers
3199 Lake Shore Blvd. West
Toronto, ON
M8V 1K8

Assessment and Placement
We will take into serious consideration your preference of instructor, but the Humber School for Writers will make the placement decision, and this decision is final.

Canadians:$2900 CDN
Other Nationals:TBA

For the refund policy, please refer to Humber’s Full-Time Program Calendar.

Financial Assistance
The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) may help you meet the cost of your education. OSAP provides subsidized loan assistance to students who are registered in an approved post-secondary, certificate, or diploma program.

Call:416-675-6622 ext. 4245

Still have questions?
Call:   Antanas Sileika at 416-675-6622 ext. 3448
Write:   Antanas Sileika
Humber School for Writers
3199 Lake Shore Blvd. West
Toronto, ON
M8V 1K8

Humber School of Creative & Performing Arts
Correspondence Program in Creative Writing

Work-in-Progress Form
All applicants – please circle session for which you are applying.

September 2010January 2011

Note: Your work will not be assessed until OCAS application is complete.

Postal/Zip Code:

Indicate your first four choices of author/instructors:
Please note that not all instructors are available for all sessions. Be sure, therefore, to fill all four slots with names, or enter Your Choice’ to have the placement committee find the best match.

Indicate choice of program:
Creative Non-Fiction

Please tell us how you found out about the program:
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