Creative Writing for the Winter Break

Posted by Janet Nguyen on December 10, 2020

Academic Success | Student Life

Everyone writes, especially in this day and age. Whether it’s your critical final essay, a lengthy Instagram caption or a poem scribbled out in the margins of your notebook – you’re a writer! Everyone shies away from calling themselves one, but we know that you all have the creative capacity to write and write well.

Since we may have a little more time to ourselves this winter break, why not pick up a pen or open Word (not to do schoolwork, phew!) and write out that story, poem or screenplay you’ve been dreaming about? Whether you are writing in French or English, there are opportunities for you!

The President’s Creative Writing Prizes

The Creative Writing Department, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies, and The Office of the President are looking for original pieces in the following genres: poetry, short fiction, screenplay and stage play. Open to all undergraduate students. Best entry for each genre gets $400! Make sure you check out the page for the rules.

The submission deadline is Monday, January 18, 2021. Don’t forget to fill out the submission form!

That’s right, any undergraduate student from any faculty can enter at no cost and there’s a cash prize! This is a great opportunity to set a deadline for yourself to get creative over the break.

The Lorna Marsden Prize

If you’re bilingual and speak/write in French, then you can submit your work for the Lorna Marsden Prize. The Marsden Prize is administered by the Office of the Dean of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies. This $1,000 prize is open to all undergraduate students and is given to the student who writes what is deemed the most accomplished and persuasive creative work written in French poetry, short fiction, short drama, or in mixed genre.

The criteria are these: the creative work must be inspired, persuasive, original and entirely in French. The award is campus-wide and open to submission by all undergraduate members of the University.

PWSA’s Third Annual Undergraduate Symposium

The Professional Writing Students’ Association (PWSA) is hosting their Third Annual Undergraduate Symposium in April 2021, and they’re calling for papers!

The best part is that students from all undergraduate programs are welcome to participate and at this point, you only need to submit an abstract!

This year’s theme is “Liminalities,” derived from the Latin word “limen,” meaning “threshold.” Liminality refers to space of change in-between.

With “Liminalities,” PWSA invites you to write and present 10-minute papers about the events, emotions, realizations, growth, consequences and change that surround the in-between. 

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Life-changing events, moments or decisions 
  • Rites of passage 
  • Identity changes
  • Physical and mental transformations 
  • Borders and limits 
  • Reality, dreams and perception 
  • Possibilities and uncertainties 
  • Milestones and stages of life
  • Liminal spaces in the arts (music, dance, visual art, etc.).

If this sounds interesting to you, you can send your 250-word abstracts to by Wednesday, December 16.

Are you excited to get creative and do some writing over the winter break? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @YorkUStudents.

To stay up to date on campus life and events, connect with York on social media. You can follow us on Facebook @YorkUStudents, Twitter @YorkUStudents, Instagram @studentlifeyu and with our weekly This Week @ York emails.

Janet Nguyen
Janet Nguyen

Janet Nguyen is a third-year Creative Writing and Screenwriting double major at York University. She loves to spend time playing with her kitten, Bean; cook vegetarian food; read all kinds of books, play Animal Crossing, and of course, write. She hopes her blog posts can help students navigate their way through this school year!

See other posts by Janet Nguyen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *