Three men posing for a picture, the man in the middle is seated. Text: Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture.

Congratulations to the 2023 Manitoba Book Award Winners

Congratulations to Méira Cook [PhD/98] on winning the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction for her book The Full Catastrophe. Méira is not only a UM alum but also, a poet, novelist, editor, teacher, literary critic, and Winnipegger. In 2011, she served as a CCWOC Writer-In-Residence offering workshops and one-on-one consultations to aspiring writers.

CCWOC is a proud sponsor of the Manitowapow Award, presented to Indigenous writers or oral performers who demonstrate excellence in writing, storytelling or spoken word and who also actively support Indigenous verbal arts in Manitoba. Congratulations to the 2023 winners: William Dumas, David A. Robertson and Joshua Whitehead

Writer/Storyteller-in-Residence Program

The Writer/Storyteller-in-Residence program brings together established and emerging writers and storytellers, offering workshops, one-on-one consultations and public events. The program, which has been running for over 15 years, is open to UM students, staff and alumni as well as to the wider community.

  • Peter Jaeger – Fall 2023 Writer-in-Residence

    Peter Jaeger has seen the world throughout his poetry, writing and teaching career.  He is the author of fourteen books of poetry, fiction and criticism, as well as several artist books. He has written on such diverse topics as John Cage, ecology, bpNichol, Zen Buddhism and contemporary pilgrimage. 

    Along with his literary publications, Jaeger is also involved with the interdisciplinary use of language within a visual arts setting, and he has performed and/or exhibited his work at various internationally prominent galleries and art festivals, including the Venice Biennale of Art, the Whitechapel Gallery in London, the Istanbul Biennale of Art and the MACBA Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona. 

    From Europe, specifically England, to Ontario and various places in between, Peter is excited to bring his knowledge to the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture through the role of Writer-in-Residence.   

Welcome event

CCWOC welcomes Peter Jaeger to the University of Manitoba at an in-person event. 

Creative Recycling for Writers 

Thursday, September 21, 2023
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Room 108 St. John's College 
Reception to follow.

In his talk, Peter will outline the rationale behind the recycling of source texts in his work. A volume of his Selected Poems is currently being prepared, and he will speak about and read some of the selections for that book. Saulteaux writer and photographer Bren McKay will also read at this event.

Register for one or more of the writer's workshops

Jaeger is hosting a number of free writing workshops that will help writers foster their skills.

To register for a workshop email Seats are limited so don't delay. Each workshop has a separate registration.

Meditation, Mindfulness and Writing (1 session)
Friday, October 13
4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

This workshop will focus on the relationship between creative writing and the practice of meditative mindfulness. Writing and meditation both employ embodied, mental and linguistic techniques of discipline, imagination and attention, and the workshops will aim to investigate the potential for mindfulness to transform creative practice.

Writing Pictures (2 sessions)
Friday, November 10, 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. 
Sunday, November 12, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

For centuries, the art forms of painting and writing have been in dialogue. This pair of workshops will focus on the art of creatively translating pictures into words. Workshop participants will learn and develop methods to write poetry or prose that responds imaginatively to painting, photography and film. One of the two workshops will be held at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, where participants will be offered an opportunity to work with the gallery’s collection. 

Recycled Writing (2 sessions)
Monday, November 20, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Monday, November 27, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Historical and contemporary writers have frequently ‘recycled’ existing sources in order to creative new pieces of writing. The contemporary recycling of source texts is particularly prevalent in writing that engages with environmental and/or social issues. These two workshops will focus on various practical methods to recycle writing, ranging from literary collage though allusion to creative appropriation. We will also consider the writing of personal identity in co-relation with the use of sources written by others. One of the two workshops will be held at the University of Manitoba Archives and Special Collections, where participants will be offered an opportunity to work with historical sources. 

Writing the Alternative Essay (1 session)
Monday, December 4, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Research can be presented as a creative genre in its own right. In this workshop, we will focus on unshackling research from the formal conventions of the standard essay. We will consider a range of approaches, including the lyric essay, the collage essay, ficto-criticism and the modular fragment. Participants will choose their own research topics. Results can be surprising and inventive!

Book an individual writer consultation

Jaeger is available by appointment to writers of all levels from September 21 to December 8. To consult with Jaeger, students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the public are encouraged to contact him by email to arrange a free meeting.

Past Writers/Storytellers-in-Residence

Apply to our Writer/Storyteller-in-Residence Program (currently seeking Fall 2024 & Winter 2025 applicants)


Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2024 and Winter 2025 residencies until October 16, 2023.

A professional writer and/or storyteller is sought for the position of Writer/Storyteller-in-Residence at UM’s Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture. The three-month residencies, taking place in the fall or winter, require the successful candidate to spend approximately 16 hours per week providing mentorship and practical artistic advice to developing writers and storytellers at UM, give a limited number of readings and/or performances on campus and lead an informal non-credit workshop. The remaining time is devoted to the writer or storyteller’s own artistic projects. The successful candidate will receive a salary of $15,000.00 CAD (subject to all mandatory deductions) plus rent-free accommodation and transportation to and from Winnipeg. 

CCWOC is an interdisciplinary Centre with a mandate to promote the creation and the study of the verbal arts, both oral and written. Located at the University of Manitoba in the city of Winnipeg, the Centre sponsors readings, lectures, master classes and creative community projects that explore the connections between oral and written culture.

Winnipeg is renowned for its vibrant arts community and its multicultural citizenry, including the largest urban population of Indigenous people in North America. The centre builds upon these local cultural strengths as a basis for its creative and critical work.


Applications should include a cover letter summarizing the applicant’s qualifications for the position and describing the artistic and mentoring work they would undertake during the residency. Applications must also include:

  • A CV or resume of career achievements (publications, performances, awards, residencies)
  • A writing sample of no more than 20 pages (double-spaced and typed in a standard 12-point font)
  • Two letters of reference discussing the applicant’s skills as an artist and a mentor
  • Storytellers are encouraged to submit links to their performance videos

Candidates of all nationalities are encouraged to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian applicants. Full proficiency in English is required and publications or performance credits in English would be an asset. The Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture is committed to principles of employment equity.

Please submit your application to Attachments must be in Microsoft Word or PDF format. Hard copies of materials will not be accepted.

Diversity and immigration statement
The University of Manitoba is committed to the principles of equity, diversity & inclusion and to promoting opportunities in hiring, promotion and tenure (where applicable) for systemically marginalized groups who have been excluded from full participation at the University and the larger community including Indigenous Peoples, women, racialized persons, persons with disabilities and those who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ (Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, questioning, intersex, asexual and other diverse sexual identities). All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.
If you require accommodation supports during the recruitment process, please contact or 204-474-7195. Please note this contact information is for accommodation reasons only.

FIPPA Statement
Application materials, including letters of reference, will be handled in accordance with the protection of privacy provision of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (Manitoba). Please note that curriculum vitae may be provided to participating members of the search process.

Who we are


Dr. Jocelyn Thorpe

Dr. Jocelyn Thorpe is an associate professor in the Women's and Gender Studies Program and the Department of History, in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Manitoba. She studies histories and legacies of colonialism and environmental injustice, as well as the creative ways that people work toward a more just world. She has been the Director of the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture since 2021. 

Steering Committee

Dr. Warren Cariou
English, Theatre, Film & Media

Dr. Alison Calder
English, Theatre, Film & Media

Dr. Adele Perry

Dr. Nancy Kang
Women's and Gender Studies


C. D. Howe Memorial Fellowships in Creative Writing and Oral Culture

With contributions from the Manitoba Scholarship and Bursary Initiative, the C.D. Howe Foundation has established a fund at UM in support of the Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture. Two fellowships, valued at approximately $10,000.00 each, will be offered to successful candidates (the amount is based on the average of the last five years and is subject to change).

Deadline for applications is June 1, 2023.


We offer fellowships to graduate students who:

  • Are enrolled full-time in the Faculty of Graduate Studies, in a master's or doctoral degree program
  • Have achieved a minimum degree grade point average of 3.5 (or equivalent) based on the last 60 credit hours of study
  • Are conducting thesis research in creative writing (producing an original work of literature) or on the critical study of oral cultures
  • Students with lived experience of Indigenous and other oral cultures are particularly encouraged to apply.

Application requirements

Candidates are asked to submit an application consisting of:

  • A description of their proposed or ongoing research (maximum 500 words)
  • A current academic transcript
  • Two letters of reference from professors at a post-secondary institution.

Candidates will be assessed as follows: record of academic achievement (30 per cent), plan of research (40 per cent), letters of reference (30 per cent).

The award is not automatically renewable but previous recipients may apply. Recipients may hold the C.D. Howe Memorial Foundation Fellowships in Creative Writing and Oral Culture concurrently with other awards, consistent with the policies of the Faculty of Graduate Studies.

Please send your application or any questions to Mary Elliott, Coordinator at Deadline for applications is June 1, 2023.

Current recipients


Natalie LoVetri, Masters' student in English, Theatre, Film & Media
LoVetri holds a Bachelor of Environmental Design (BEnvD) and a BA in English with a minor in Philosophy from UM. Her interests encompass both creative writing and literary analysis, particularly modernist fiction, narrative poetry, short stories and fragments. Her creative thesis explores the psychological impacts of mental illness, instability and traumatic loss in the context of familial relationships. Her work delves into ideas of identity, personal narrative and social constructions of the self. In addition to her academic pursuits, LoVetri works as a writing tutor with the Academic Learning Centre. She is a mother, marathoner, creative writer and painter.

Sehar Mushtaq, Ph.D. student in Peace and Conflict Studies
Mushtaq's research explores Indigenous processes of peacemaking and peacebuilding amongst the Kalash people of Pakistan. Through her research, she analyzes oral laws and codes that govern and guide behaviours concerning the expression and resolution of conflicts in the Kalash community.

Past recipients

Natalie LoVetri, Masters' student in English, Theatre, Film & Media
Sehar Mushtaq, Ph.D. student in Peace and Conflict Studies

Antony Zang, Masters' student in English, Theatre, Film & Media
Sehar Mushtaq, Ph.D. student in Peace and Conflict Studies

Micheline Hughes, Ph.D. student in Native Studies
Virginia Page Jahne, Masters' students in English, Theatre, Film & Media

Michelle Lietz, Ph.D. student in English literature
Dominique Reynolds, Masters' student in French

Melanie Braith, Ph.D. student in English
Nick Kosmenko, Ph.D. student in Applied Health Sciences

Micheline Hughes, Ph.D. student in Native Studies
Allison Penner, Masters' student in History

Damien Lee, Masters' student in Native Studies
Susie Fisher, Masters' student in History

Kirsty Cameron, Masters' student in English
Micheal Minor, Ph.D. student in English, Film & Theatre

Lydia Schoeppner, Ph.D. student in Peace and Conflict Studies
Daniel Guezen, Masters' student in French, Spanish and Italian

Ryan Duplassie, Ph.D. student in Native Studies
Agnieszka (Agnes) Pawlowska, Ph.D. student in Native Studies

Alon D. Weinberg, Masters' student in Native Studies

Sean Braun, Masters' student in English, Film & Theatre
Daria Patrie, Masters' student in English, Film & Theatre

Gordon Blackburde, Masters' student in Native Studies
Susan Rich, Masters' student in English

Community and outreach

Manitoba Book Awards 

The Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture is proud to support Manitoba writers as the sponsor of the Manitowapow Award through the Manitoba Book Awards

The award is presented every two years to two Indigenous writers or oral performers who demonstrate excellence in writing, storytelling or spoken word and who also actively support Indigenous verbal arts in Manitoba. 


CCWOC gratefully accepts donations from individuals, corporations and other organizations which help support its vision, goals and objectives. Donors will receive a receipt for income tax purposes.

In the "Direct my gift to" field, choose "Enter a fund name". In the "Enter a fund name" field, type "Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture".

Donate to CCWOC

For more information on making a donation to CCWOC, please contact

Contact us

The Centre for Creative Writing and Oral Culture
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, MB Canada