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

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.

  • Ariel Gordon – Winter 2022 Writer-in-Residence

    Ariel Gordon (she/her) is a Winnipeg/Treaty 1 territory-based writer, editor, and enthusiast. Her most recent books are Treed: Walking in Canada’s Urban Forests (Wolsak & Wynn, 2019), a collection of essays that combines science writing and the personal essay, and TreeTalk (At Bay Press, 2020), a public poetry project where Ariel hangs poems in trees and asks passersby to add their thoughts, ideas, and secrets. She is also the ringleader of Writes of Spring, a National Poetry Month project with the Winnipeg International Writers Festival that appears in the Winnipeg Free Press.

    Gordon’s ability to connect nature, science and writing likely stems from her studies (she holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Winnipeg and a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of King’s College) and a general curiosity to explore our world and share her findings.

Welcome event

CCWOC will welcome Ariel Gordon to the University of Manitoba at a virtual event where she will offer a reading from her book Treed: Walking in Canada’s Urban Forests about climate change and trees. Award-winning poet and UM professor Alison Calder and Master’s student Lucie von Schilling will deliver guest readings. All are welcome. If you would like to attend this free event, email to rsvp. The Zoom link will be emailed out the day before the event.

Welcome Event
Friday, February 11, 2022
10 – 11:15 a.m. CT
Email to receive the Zoom link.

Register for the writer's workshop

This workshop is full

Wild turkeys roaming the back alleys of Wolseley. Coyotes running down Portage Avenue. Kingfishers divebombing Bunn’s Creek. What does it mean to slow down and pay attention to the urban ecosystem? What lives there?

In this workshop, we will be focusing on close observation of urban nature. Participants will work on a two-week cycle, where the first week sees them go for a walk/ride the bus/look out their windows/sit on a bench and write about what they see/hear/smell/taste. They will create a 1-2 page piece of writing, which they will send to Ariel for feedback. In the second week, participants will do a second draft of their piece, which will be workshopped with the group. This workshop is applicable for writers of all levels and genres.

Dates and Time:
February 17
March 3, 17 and 31
April 14 and 28
2 - 4 p.m. CT
Registration for the online workshop is limited to 12 spots. Email to register.

Book an individual writer consultation

Gordon is available virtually by appointment to writers of all levels from February 11 to April 30. To consult with Gordon, students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the public are encouraged to contact her by email to arrange a free meeting.

Past Writers/Storytellers-in-Residence

Apply to our Writer/Storyteller-in-Residence Program


Applications are currently being accepted for the Fall 2022 and Winter 2023 residencies until April 27, 2022.

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 residency, 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. Depending on COVID-19 protocols at the time, the residency may be primarily online.

CCWOC is a place for creativity, scholarly research into oral and literate cultures and making connections between the university and broader communities. Since 2008, the centre has provided support for students, faculty, alumni and community members who are working to create their own stories or who are studying the stories of others. The centre celebrates interdisciplinarity and encourages scholars and students from diverse backgrounds to explore the transformative possibilities of the spoken and written word.

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 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. Books and other materials sent in support of applications will not be returned.

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 fight for 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. Niigaan Sinclair
Indigenous 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, 2022.


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)
  • All current academic transcript(s)
  • Two academic 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, 2022.

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

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


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Contact us

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