Q & A - Professional Writing
1. How do I apply for the program and when?
How to apply:
You submit all of the following items to:
Diploma in Professional Writing
Department of English
(i) letter explaining why you would like to do the Diploma in Professional
(ii) transcript of your undergraduate degree (completed or in progress) if you
are a current student or a graduate of a degree program;
(iii) portfolio of work completed in a writing-intensive course above the
first-year level (e.g., English 2010, 2020, 3817) or for a community
organization or a newspaper; see Admission Requirements
(iv) signed attestation from a competent authority (e.g., a professor, manager,
or editor) that the portfolio submitted is your work.
(v) official form (see below) filled out.
When to apply:
For Spring Semester: Normally by the end of March.
For Fall Semester: Normally by the end of July.
For Winter Semester: Normally by the end of November.
Note: Students are advised that since the Field Placement is offered in the Intersession only, students who hope to complete the DPW within one academic year should apply before the Fall Semester in order to complete three (3) courses in Fall, three (3) in Winter, and the Field Placement in Intersession.
Students may take the DPW at their own pace, recognizing that the Field Placement is offered in the Intersession only.
2. Once I have submitted this package, and been accepted, am I guaranteed access to all the courses required for the program?
You will have access to courses which are not designated Creative Writing. If you choose to register for a creative writing course, you will need to submit a portfolio of work in the relevant genre for that course (creative nonfiction, drama, fiction, or poetry, ...).
Note: A creative writing course is not a requirement for the Diploma in Professional Writing; it is an option.
3. How soon will I be able to begin the Diploma in Professional Writing?
Each Fall Semester and each Winter Semester, three courses that can be used to meet the requirements for the DPW will be offered. Students who complete all six courses will then be ready to complete the Field Placement, which will be offered in the Intersession.
In addition, a course that meets a requirement for the DPW may be offered in the Spring Semester. Students should check the lists of courses for each semester when planning their progress through the DPW.
4. How long will it take to complete the Diploma?
If you can take the courses when they are offered, you can finish the course work in three semesters. See below. In addition you will take the Instructional Field Placement, English 5200: 72 hours in a work environment where you will be writing under supervision.
Courses are offered as follows over Fall and Winter 2009-10:
Fall: English 2010 (Comprehension, Writing and Prose Style I), 3913 (Write to Speak), 3901 (Creative Writing: Introduction to Poetry)
Winter: English 3817 (Writing and Gender II), 3920 (Reviewing), 4914 (Advanced Editing).
Note: Courses are normally offered in evening (150-minute) time slots.
5. How is the instructional field placement set up?
Admission is by application to the Diploma in Professional Writing Committee, c/o Dr. Jennifer Lokash, Department of English, Memorial University. This application will normally be made at least three months before the start of the Field Placement and is normally limited to students who at the time of admission have completed six required courses with an average of at least 65%.
N.B. Since English 5200 is equivalent to two courses (six credit hours), students taking the Instructional Field Placement pay tuition fees for two courses.
Currently employers are offering opportunities in publishing, editing, drafting, report writing, web design, radio and TV, PR and publicity. Employers include the University, government, publishers, arts organizations, CBC, and PR firms. During the Winter Semester, employers who are willing to take students provide job descriptions so that students can apply for those that interest them. Employers will contact students.
The Field Placement requires 72 hours in the work place, completed during the Intersession. In addition students attend seminars, take part in online discussion, and reflect in writing on their experiences. The work of the Field Placement is assessed by the Placement instructor. Guidelines for the Field Placement are provided to students in advance.