Writing Center News

Spring Graduate Workshops Set for Monday Nights

The UWC is excited to announce the schedule for our spring slate of Graduate Student Workshops. These hour-long events take place on Monday nights from 7 to 8 in Evans Library and offer Aggie grad students a chance to hone the communication skills they need to succeed at Texas A&M and beyond. These interactive and informal workshops focus specifically on communication tasks unique to grad students, such as the thesis/dissertation defense.

Registration for each workshop opens one week before the event. Grad students who attend have the opportunity to earn one Professional Development Unit toward the G.R.A.D. Aggies certificate program, offered by the Office of Graduate and Professional Development. Learn more about the program here.

UWC Graduate Student Workshop Schedule:
  • Feb. 6 -- Abstracts: Knowing What to Cut *
  • Feb. 13 -- Interviews: Answering Tough Questions (featuring Dr. Katharyn Stober)
  • Feb. 20 -- Grant Writing for Graduate Students
  • Feb. 27 -- Preparing for Your Defense (featuring Dr. Valerie Balester)
  • March 6 -- Presentation Design *
  • March 20 -- Managing Deadlines (featuring Dr. Candace Hastings)
Students can register for the first workshop (on Abstracts) here.

* The workshops on abstracts and presentation design, which will likely be of particular interest to any Aggie participating in Student Research Week, are open to both undergrads and grad students.

Weekly NaNoWriMo Write-ins Set for November

As part of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), we'll once again be hosting weekly on-campus write-ins every Tuesday in November.
The UWC is joining forces with the English Department to host this year’s events for the BCS WriMOs, the local NaNoWriMo group.  Each Tuesday, from 6:30 to 7 p.m., writers from across the community are invited to join a general writing discussion in Evans Library, Room 211. Then from 7 to 9 p.m., we’ll switch to writing mode, with some competitive writing sprints to keep everyone energized and up those word counts.
There’s no need to sign up and coffee and snacks will be provided.
For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is an online event that challenges writers to finish a 50,000-word novel during the month of November. Participants share their word counts online and often meet in local venues to write together.
The event encourages novelists to overcome the hurdle of getting words on the page by writing quickly and building momentum. Revision? There’s time for that in December and beyond.
The approach seems to work: a number of well-known authors have published successful novels that started as NaNoWriMo projects, and the international online program grows in popularity each year.  Learn more at http://nanowrimo.org/.
If you’re a novelist—or you aspire to be—join us Tuesday nights in November.

Black Box Writers Residency Applications Now Open

From now until October 30th, the Black Box Writers Residency is accepting applications from undergraduate Aggies who want to improve both their creative writing and performing skills. This unique program, created by the University Writing Center and co-sponsored by the Department of English and the Department of Residence Life, takes place in Spring 2017, when those accepted for admission will get the chance to learn from experienced writers in a supportive workshop setting. After several weeks of honing their skills in both writing and public performance, participants will share their work at a community reading. There will be one workshop group for fiction writers and another for poets.

This is the third year for the one-of-a-kind program, which is under the direction of UWC administrator, Florence Davies ('09).

Learn more about the residency here.

You can also see videos of previous Black Box performances on our UWC YouTube channel.

Graduate Workshops set for Monday nights

Monday, September 19th marks the beginning of this semester's series of Graduate Student Workshops, brought to you by the University Writing Center (UWC). The workshops will run weekly from September 19th through November 7th and will cover a variety of communication-related topics from writing a research statement to managing writing deadlines.

The workshops will meet from 7 to 8 p.m., Mondays in Evans Library, Room 211. These are informal, interactive workshops designed to help you hone some of the key communication skills you need to succeed both as a grad student and in your life beyond Texas A&M.

These workshops are part of the G.R.A.D. Aggies certificate program. Participants can receive one unit of credit after attending and completing a brief quiz on ECampus.

For the full schedule of workshops and to register go to: http://writingcenter.tamu.edu/Students/Graduate-Students/Graduate-Student-Workshops.

Graphic designer wanted

The UWC is seeking a student graphic designer to work with us between 10 and 20 hours a week. The ideal candidate will be experienced with both Illustrator and PhotoShop and be comfortable designing for both online and print. Photography skills are also a plus!

You'll design fliers, web banners, signs, brochures, marketing items, and t-shirts. You'll also help to create instructional materials, as well as providing images for the UWC's multiple social media accounts. You can plan your work hours around your class schedule.

The UWC offers a casual, collaborative, and creative work environment. This position is ideal for a young designer looking to build a comprehensive graphic design portfolio. Starting salary is $10 an hour.

Interested students should email Nancy Vazquez at nvazquez@tamu.edu. Attach your resume and include a link to samples of your previous design work, e.g., a personal website, Behance account, class blog. (If your work isn't online,  attach images with your email.) In your email, please indicate your major, GPR, expected graduation date, and why you think you'd be a good fit for this position.

IWCA Summer Institutes meets in Bryan

This week, administrators from writing centers all around the U.S.--and even a few from outside the U.S.--are meeting here in Aggieland to take part in the International Writing Centers Association's Summer Institute. The program offers writing center directors, other writing center administrators, tutors, and writing center researchers a week of intensive discussion and reflection on the unique work conducted by writing centers. This year's theme is "Designing Your Center," and participants are considering that in a variety of ways, including contemplating the role that writing centers fill in their larger institutions.

During their time here, the Institute's attendees are touring both the UWC and the Blinn Writing Center. They're also doing some hands-on projects to help them reimagine the spaces occupied by writing centers, both literatally and figuratively.

We're looking forward to a great week of exchanging ideas!

Dr. Candace Hastings to serve as UWC director

Dr. Candace Hastings has been promoted to the position of director of the University Writing Center (UWC). Hastings will manage the day-to-day operation of the UWC under Dr. Valerie Balester, assistant provost for Undergraduate Studies who will continue to oversee both the UWC and the Academic Success Center. 

Hastings, who has been the UWC's associate director since 2006, earned her Ph.D. in Higher Ed Administration from Texas A&M in 2010. Before coming to the UWC, she was the assistant director for Instructional Technology Services at A&M. She also previously served as the Dean of Distance Education at Blinn College and has many years of teaching experience in both traditional and online environments. She also serves as a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development at Texas A&M. 

Congratulations, Dr. Hastings! 

Come to Final Paper Countdown!

On Sunday, May 1st and Monday, May 2nd, the University Writing Center will once again host a Final Paper Countdown.

This undergraduate writing retreat is designed to help students complete their final papers and projects for the semester. Students can sign up for a one- to four-hour block of time to come and write in Evans Library, Room 211.

The UWC will provide a quiet place to work, free snacks and drinks, and access to both writing consultants and librarians to answer any questions that arise. Reserve your spot today!

The event will run from 5 p.m. to midnight both nights. Walk-ins will be accepted, space permitting.

UWC Announces Winners of the 2016 Aggie Voices Contest

The UWC is pleased to announce the winners of this year's Aggie Voices Contest.

Hattie Atkins took top prize in the Argumentative/Persuasive Category with her piece, "The Gift That Keeps on Giving," urging more people to sign up as organ donors. Atkins is a freshman with plans to study nursing.

In addition, two top prizes were awarded in the Creative Category. Catherine Caprio won for her flash fiction piece, "Picture of Paradise" and Sarah Fleming won for "Camilla," the opening piece to a novel she's writing.

The three winners each receive a $100 Amazon gift card.

The winners were selected by the members of the W and C Course Committee. Students were invited to submit entries, including both written and multi-media works, in one of three categories: Argumentative/Persuasive, Creative, and Scientific/Technical. The judges felt that the entries in the Scientific/Technical category fell short of their standards, so they elected not to award a winner in that category but rather to award two entries in the more competitive Creative category.

Thanks to all those who submitted their work and congratulations to our winners!


Open House set for Friday, April 8th

The UWC will be one of 7 units represented at the Undergraduate Studies Open House set for this Friday, April 8th from 2 to 4 p.m. Aggies and their parents are encouraged to stop by Rudder Tower for free food and give-aways. We hope everyone will join us for this fun kick-off to Parents' Weekend!
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