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This program is part of: HUMBER | SCHOOL FOR WRITERS

Immerse yourself in a creative writing workshop this summer!

Summer Workshop in Creative Writing - SAVE THE DATE!

Dates: July 7 - 12, 2019

Location: Humber Lakeshore Campus


About the workshop:

Since 1992, the Humber School for Writers (HSW) has offered an immersive, focused workshop to jump start your creative writing. During our Summer Workshop in Creative Writing, mornings are spent in classes with one of Humber’s esteemed writing advisors, and afternoons are devoted to craft and industry talks by Canada’s top authors, poets, publishers, editors and agents. Whether you’re a beginner or a more experienced writer, there’s something for you in our July writing workshop!

David Bezmozgis, Program Director - Humber School for Writers

David Bezmozgis

David Bezmozgis, a writer and filmmaker, is the author of Natasha and Other StoriesThe Free World and The Betrayers. His writing has appeared in many publications, including The New YorkerHarper’sZoetrope All-Story, and Best American Short Stories. He has been twice nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award and has received the First Novel Award among other prizes. In 2010, he was one of the New Yorker’s 20 Under 40. David has written and directed two feature films, Victoria Day and Natasha, each nominated in the writing category at the Canadian Screen Awards. Most recently, David was on the writing staff of the television series Orphan Black. Click here to learn more about David Bezmozgis.

Director's Message

The Summer Workshop in Creative Writing is the companion to our Creative Writing by Correspondence program and the highlight of the year at the Humber School for Writers. The weather is warm; the campus is beautiful. And for one week we’re amongst our peers—students and authors both—unabashedly immersed in books and writing. Writing is both craft and art, tangible and intangible, and the workshop is designed to dispel some of the mysteries behind the writing and publishing process. It brings together some of my favourite contemporary authors and some of the most insightful people working in the publishing industry. Anyone who is serious—or seriously curious—about becoming a writer will learn a great deal over the course of the week. The quality of our faculty and the demonstrable success of our graduates marks Humber as one of the best writing retreats in North America. Each year, I come away no less inspired and invigorated than our students. And look forward to the next one.

David Bezmozgis
Program Director - Humber School for Writers
Summer Workshop in Creative Writing
Humber School of Creative and Performing Arts

Summer 2018 Faculty

Summer 2019 mentors to be announced in January 2019

Adam Foulds

Adam Foulds

Adam Foulds is a poet and novelist from London. He has been the recipient of a number of literary awards, including the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, the Costa Poetry Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the South Bank Show Prize for Literature, the E. M. Forster Award, the Encore Award, and the European Union Prize For Literature. His 2009 novel, The Quickening Maze, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He was named as one of Granta Magazine’s Best of Young British Novelists in 2013 and of the Poetry Book Society’s Next Generation Poets in 2014. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Adam’s latest novel, In The Wolf’s Mouth, was published by Jonathan Cape in February 2014. His next, Dream Sequence, will be published early in 2019.

Tracey Lindberg

Tracey Lindberg

Tracey Lindberg is a citizen of As'in'i'wa'chi Ni'yaw Nation, Rocky Mountain Cree, and hails from the Kelly Lake Cree Nation community. She is an award-winning writer for her academic work and teaches Indigenous law at the University of Ottawa. Her novel, Birdie, was a finalist for the Kobo Emerging Writer Award, the 2016 edition of CBC's Canada Reads, and was also longlisted for the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award. She was a juror for the 2017 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Lindberg currently lives on Algonquin territory. Click here to learn more about Tracey Lindberg.

Kyo Maclear

Kyo Maclear

Kyo Maclear is an essayist, novelist and children’s author. Her books have been translated into fifteen languages, published in over twenty countries, and garnered nominations from the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the Governor General’s Literary Awards, the TD Canadian Children's Literature Awards, the First Novel Award, and the National Magazine Awards. Her writing on contemporary culture has appeared in LitHub, The Millions, The Guardian, Brick, Prefix Photo, The Volta, The Globe and Mail, among other publications. She has been a national arts reviewer for Canadian Art and a monthly arts columnist for Toronto Life. Her most recent book is the hybrid memoir Birds Art Life (2017). Click here to learn more about Kyo Maclear.

Colin McAdam

Colin McAdam

Colin McAdam has a PhD in English from Cambridge University. He has mentored writers at the Banff Centre and the University of Guelph-Humber. His first novel, Some Great Thing, won the Amazon/Books in Canada Best First Novel Award, and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in the U.K. His second novel, Fall, was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and won the Paragraphe Hugh Maclennan Award. A Beautiful Truth, his third novel, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award.

Jenny Offill

Jenny Offill 

Jenny Offill is the Timothy Findley Visiting Chair in Creative Writing for 2018. She is the author of two novels, Dept. of Speculation and Last Things. Dept. was chosen as one of the ten best books of the year by The New York Times and was shortlisted for the Pen/Faulkner, the Folio Award, and the International Dublin Literary Award. Jenny is also the author of several books for children, including Sparky! and 17 Things I'm Not Allowed To Do AnymoreClick here to learn more about Jenny Offill.

Alissa York

Alissa York

Alissa York’s internationally acclaimed novels include Effigy (shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize), Fauna and, most recently, The Naturalist (winner of the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction). Stories from York's short fiction collection, Any Given Power, won the Journey Prize and the Bronwen Wallace Award. Her essays and articles have appeared in The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, Brick magazine and elsewhere. In 1998, Alissa co-founded Cyclops Press, an independent publishing company specializing in literary multimedia titles. She has been teaching and mentoring writers for a decade. Having lived all over Canada, she now makes her home in Toronto. Click here to learn more about Alissa York.

Content and Format

You should attend if

  • you want to learn to write short stories, novels, poetry, memoir, creative non-fiction, Y/A (young adult) or children’s literature
  • you’re already working on a book but would like to improve your writing with feedback from established writers and your peers
  • you’d like to know how to find someone to publish your work
  • you’d like to build your professional network through meeting top authors, agents, editors, publishers, and publishing professionals

The workshop runs from July 8 to 13, 2018 and consists of Sunday panels and a reception, five weekday classes from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, a lunch break, and afternoon lectures. For those who apply by June 1, the 2018 fee is $950, plus HST. The cost of the workshop for those applying between June 2 and July 3 is $1050, plus HST. Some scholarships are available to applicants with limited income. Meals and accommodations are not included.

In 2018, afternoon panels included the following:

Keynote Talk: Charting Your Own Path
Jenny Offill, Timothy Findley Visiting Chair in Creative Writing, in conversation with David Bezmozgis

Humber Success Stories
Becky Blake, Proof I Was Here (Buckrider Books 2019)
Tehmina Khan, Things She Could Never Have (Mawenzi House 2017)
David Albertyn, Undercard (Anansi 2019)

Doing It for the First Time: What New Authors Need to Know
Alison Maclean, Director, Humber Creative Book Publishing Program

Historical Fiction
Adam Foulds, Workshop Faculty

The State of Canadian Publishing
Emily M. Keeler, Editor, Coach House Books
Sarah Maclachlan, President and Publisher, House of Anansi Press
Nita Pronovost, Editorial Director, Simon & Schuster Canada

(Mis) Characterization: Indigenous Storytelling, Accuracy and Authenticity – a Story in Four Parts
Tracey Lindberg, Workshop Faculty

Flash Assessments
Nicholas Garrison, Associate Publisher, Penguin Random House 
Jenny Bradshaw, Editor, McClelland & Stewart

The Story of a Story
Alissa York, Workshop Faculty

New Horizons: Writing Interactive and Virtual Reality Stories
David Oppenheim, Producer, National Film Board of Canada

Being There: The Art of Literary Research
Colin McAdam, Workshop Faculty

Nobody Knows How To Write A Book
Michelle Winters, Author of 2017 Scotiabank-Giller Prize-shortlisted I Am A Truck, in conversation with David Bezmozgis

What Agents Want
Barbara Berson, Hellen Heller Agency
Martha Webb, CookeMcDermid Agency

"Picture" Books: Visual Storytelling
Kyo Maclear, Workshop Faculty

Check back for 2019 programming updates.

panel photo 1

panel photo 2

panel photo 3


Over 330 of our alumni have published over 1000 books!

Notable alumni authors include

  • Eva Stachniak (The Winter Palace)
  • Roberta Rich (The Midwife of Venice)
  • Cathy Marie Buchanan (The Painted Girls)
  • Robert Rotenberg (The Guilty Plea)
  • Shari Lapeña (The Couple Next Door)


“Humber School for Writers was one of my first experiences with writing workshops. I was amazed by how my work jumped to a new level in such a short period of time due to the generosity, experience, and intelligence of my peers and mentors. I said I'd do it again, and I did! Two summers in a row.”

- Madhur Anand, A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes

"I knew the faculty were exceptional writers. I learned they are also talented teachers. Powerful lessons, creative classmates and practical advice from some of the biggest names in Canada's publishing industry; it was all there."

- Deb Stark, 2017 Summer Workshop Participant

"The Summer Workshop enabled me to hear directly from an impressive number of publishing industry insiders, including editors, agents, and both large and small publishing houses. It also gave me the chance to get feedback on my writing from a notable author, and to develop my craft further through her expert facilitation of a daily critique workshop with a small group of other writers. It was a completely worthwhile way to spend a week in July!"

- Ann Cavlovic, 2017 Summer Workshop Participant




About Lakeshore Campus

Humber College’s scenic Lakeshore Campus is located at 3199 Lakeshore Boulevard West in Toronto, Ontario. It has

  • Residence for 400 students
  • Hiking, walking and biking trails
  • Easy access to downtown Toronto from multiple transit routes
  • Proximity to Toronto cultural attractions, including the Air Canada Centre and Rogers Centre, clubs, theatres, the Royal Ontario Museum, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the CN Tower, Ontario Place and Harbourfront Centre
  • LEED-Silver certified Lakeshore Commons building, featuring airy, open common areas and workspaces, computer labs, multi-media production suites, an art gallery and a cafeteria

For more information about the history of the Lakeshore Campus, visit the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre.


A limited block of rooms has been reserved in our Lakeshore Campus residence for Summer Workshop students who would like to stay on campus. Units are dorm-style, consisting of two separate bedrooms with shared kitchenette and shared bath. The cost is $40 plus HST per day. Students who are interested in a room should email Ariadna Jimenez ( by May 9, 2018. Rooms will be issued on a first-come first-served basis. In case of high demand, we regret that we cannot guarantee on-campus accommodation. 

Commons Field

Pond in Colonel Samuel Smith Park

Toronto skyline from Colonel Samuel Smith Park

Opportunities for Further Study

The Correspondence program

Humber’s Creative Writing - Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Poetry program is a 30-week distance studio program offering aspiring writers the exceptional opportunity to complete book-length projects with guidance from a distinguished mentor. You’ll work from the comfort of home and receive extensive feedback via either regular or electronic mail. The program is customized to address the particular needs of your novel, collection of short stories, volume of poetry, or piece of creative non-fiction. It may include assessments of your handling of plot, story, character, dialogue, pace and style with the goal of improving your manuscript and refining your craft. Writers looking for an affordable alternative to a low-residency MFA program will find this program especially helpful following the Summer Workshop in Creative Writing.

The Humber Summer Workshop in Creative Writing is a complement to the Creative Writing by Correspondence Program, the two together comprising a flexible and affordable alternative to a standard low-residency MFA. Students who complete the Summer Workshop are eligible for a $300 rebate for the Correspondence Program, and vice versa. The rebate is valid for three calendar years; thus students who complete the 2018 Summer Workshop will be able to apply their rebate for Creative Writing by Correspondence through September 2021.