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Athabasca University

Athabasca Writer in Residence Guidelines & Expectations

Submissions for critique are limited to one per person. A brief introduction describing your previous writing experience, your future writing goals, and the type of feedback you're seeking would be helpful.

The writer-in-residence will be reading your work carefully. Please ensure that your submissions reflect the same care in terms of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and attention to sentence structure.

Some questions to ask yourself as you write and before you submit: What am I trying to say, and to whom? What feeling, information, or insight am I hoping to leave in the minds of my readers? Is this the best way, or the only way, to accomplish what I’ve set out to do? Would a different perspective, style, form, or even verb tense work better?

Above all, at some point in the process of writing and rewriting, read what you've written aloud. Often, problems with logic, clarity, vividness, and style will become apparent as you read aloud—and especially if you're reading the work to somebody else.

Then read it one more time, to yourself, while imagining an editor reading over your shoulder. Many writers find that reading their work this way makes them want to tweak a few more things before they press send. The key thing is to take the writing as far as possible on your own before handing it over, so that the editor doesn't end up re-routing a road that still hasn't found its true direction.

Prose submissions should be no more than 2,500 words, double-spaced, paginated, in 12-point font, and sent as a Word document. Poets should send up to six poems. Please e-mail submissions as one attachment, along with your introductory note, to Writer-in-Residence Joshua Whitehead at

Please note that all communications between the writer-in-residence and the author are private and may not be used in any other contexts, such as query letters or social media.

Updated October 01 2020 by Student & Academic Services

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