Writing Center News

Faculty Workshop set for December 10th

On Thursday, December 10th, UWC Executive Director Valerie Balester will lead a workshop on teaching W and C Courses. The workshop, which runs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Evans Library, will discuss issues of pedagogy including modes of instruction, giving formative feedback, and managing peer review.

Over lunch, a panel of faculty members will discuss their experiences with teaching W and C Courses.

The workshop is open to faculty, as well as graduate students who are teaching or helping to teach writing and speaking skills. Lunch will be provided. Registration is required by December 7th.


Aggie Voices Contest recognizes undergrad work

The University Writing Center is excited to announce the 2016 Aggie Voices Contest.

The UWC's annual contest for undergrads recognizes excellence in verbal communication. Winners are selected by the members of the W and C Course Committee.

This year students can submit work (including either written works or multimedia projects) in one of 3 categories:
  • Academic/Persuasive
  • Scientific/Technical
  • Creative
The winner in each category will receive a $100 Amazon gift card. The contest is open to undergrads on the College Station campus, as well as students in Galveston and Qatar.

Students can send in work they completed for a class or something done specifically for the contest. Group projects are also eligible.

Entries aren't due until February 2nd, which means students have plenty of time to revise their work before submitting. Students are allowed (and encouraged!) to get help on their work from the writing center.

Students thinking of submitting work should be sure to read the contest guidelines.

Grad Workshop to Focus on Lit Review

On Monday, November 16th, the UWC's Graduate Student Workshop series will feature an hour-long presentation on writing a literature review. The workshop will be lead by Dr. Candace Hastings, associate director of the University Writing Center, who will explain how grad students can show the connections between their research and the existing knowledge in the field.

Hastings, well-known for her engaging talks on graduate student writing, will offer advice on how to scale that mountain of accumulated references and organize them into a compelling literature review.

Join us and learn how writing your lit review can help you join the academic conversation of your discipline.

The workshop will begin at 7 p.m. in Evans Library, Room 211.

Register here.


Black Box Writers Residency Taking Applications

The Black Box Writers Residency, a six-week program sponsored by the University Writing Center, is taking applications from TAMU undergraduates interested in improving their writing and performance skills.

The residency, now in its second year, is unique among undergraduate programs for providing instruction in both writing and performing. Undergraduates may apply to work on either fiction or poetry.

During the six-week program, students will have a chance to work with coaches to hone a piece of writing. They'll then refine their performance of the piece, before presenting it at a reading in the Bryan-College Station community.

Applications are due before midnight on Sunday, November 15th.

Video of last spring's performances is posted on the UWC's website.

CV and Cover Letter Workshop set for 10/29

Aggie grad students: are you getting ready to enter the job market? Then it's time to improve your CV and cover letters.

On Thursday, October 29th, Dr. Katharyn Stober of the TAMU Career Center and Dr. Candace Hastings, associate director of the University Writing Center, will present a workshop on writing cover letters and CVs. This will by an interactive event at which students will have an opportunity to work in small groups, putting into practice some of the presenters' advice on how to make yourself stand out on paper. The workshop will run from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.

This is a G.R.A.D. Aggies event, cosponsored by the Career Center and the University Writing Center. Participants can earn one Professional Development Unit credit toward earning their Professional Development Certificate. 

Space is limited and registration is required.


UWC hosts creative writing workshop

In conjunction with the TAMU Secrets and Stories installation at the Reynolds Gallery, the University Writing Center, together with staff from The Eckleburg Project, offers a creative writing workshop on turning personal experiences into poems and prose. Is This Real Life? will be held on Thursday, October 22nd in MSC 2248 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

We live in a culture of sharing (and oversharing), but creative writers must go beyond simply posting stories. Writers decide which real life experiences should be shared with an audience and what is better left on the cutting room floor. Writers also mold and shape their experiences to create unique and intimate relationships between themselves and their audiences.

The majority of this workshop will give participants the opportunity to create new work. Participants will also have the chance to perform developed material at the gallery opening event for TAMU Secrets and Stories on October 29th at 7 p.m.

Students can choose between two different workshop types: one geared towards prose and another towards poetry. The workshop is limited to 30 students overall, with 15 students per genre, and is only open to Texas A&M University students.

The poetry section will be lead by Dr. Candace Hastings, the UWC's associate director. Hastings is co-author of The Creative Writing Guide. The prose section will be lead by UWC administrator Florence Davies. Davies has an MFA from SUNY-Stony Brook and a B.A. from Texas A&M. She is currently at work on a young adult novel.

Register for the prose workshop.

Register for the poetry workshop.  


Florence Davies to give reading

UWC administrator Florence Davies will read from her fiction on Thursday, September 24th as part of The Big L.A.A.H. Reading Series. The event will be held in Room 453 of the Liberal Arts Building from 4 to 5 p.m. Also on the program is undergraduate author Shailen Scott.

Davies holds an M.F.A. from SUNY-Stony Brook and a B.A. from Texas A&M University. While she was an Aggie undergrad, Davies worked as a peer consultant at the writing center. Since returning to the UWC as a full-time administrator, she has also become the faculty advisor for The Eckleburg Project, Texas A&M's undergraduate literary magazine. Davies also founded The Black Box Writers Residency at Texas A&M, which combines instruction in both writing and performance for aspiring undergraduate authors. Poet Shailen Scott was among the inaugural group of students participating in the residency.


UWC introduces Monday night Grad Student Workshops

The University Writing Center announces the inauguration of a new workshop series for graduate students. These Monday night workshops will help grad students improve their communication skills and enhance their  professional development. Workshop topics will include giving presentations, writing a literature review, and prepping for the composition portion of the ELPE.

"Excellent communication skills are crucial for graduate students, whether they're preparing their literature review or giving a job talk for an academic post," says UWC Executive Director Valerie Balester. "These workshops will help them build their skills in a relaxed, informal setting."

Students participating in the UWC programs will have the chance to earn one Professional Development Unit (PDU) toward the new G.R.A.D. Aggies Professional Development Certificate.

While most of the workshops will be presented by UWC consultants, the series will feature two guest speakers: Dr. Katharyn Stober of the Career Center will talk about interviewing and the UWC's own Dr. Candace Hastings Schaefer will look at the writing process for one session and preparing a lit review for another.

Registration for each workshop will open one week before the event. See the full list of workshop topics here.

Registration for the first workshop, which focuses on how to improve your Proofreading skills, is now open!


Evans Library Open House 1-3 on August 26th

Evans Library will be hosting a Gig 'Em Week Open House on Wednesday, August 26th from 1 to 3 p.m. Come by the library for games, free food, and a "Happy" T shirt, as you learn about library services. We'll be hosting a Graffiti Wall, where you can post your message to share with your fellow Aggies. Come by and write with us!

Faculty Workshop looks at visual communication

Visual communication will be the focus for this summer's UWC faculty workshop, set for Friday, July 10th.

The new TAMU core curriculum and the TAMU Undergraduate Learning Outcomes both call for greater attention to oral, written, and visual communication. The Eyes Have It: Teaching Visual Communication, a faculty workshop sponsored by the University Writing Center, will focus on teaching students to use visuals effectively in their own work.

We will meet in Evans Library, Room 211, from 8:30 am to noon on Friday, July 10. From the Department of English and the University Writing Center, Dr. Valerie Balester will cover the rhetoric of visuals and using visuals to support an argument; Dr. Sue Geller of Mathematics will cover helping students understand how to create accurate and ethical visuals and different ways to present the same data visually; and Dr. Shari Yvon-Lewis of Oceanography will cover how visual communication changes with different manners of presentation (such as papers, posters, and presentations) and for different genres or styles. The workshop is open to all faculty or graduate instructors; space is limited, however, so register now to reserve a space.  A light breakfast will be served.

Registration is now open.
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