Pro writing program to launch

Serge Halytsky
International Affairs Reporter

In September 2015, Humber College’s School of Liberal Arts and Sciences will launch a new post-graduate program in professional writing and communications.

“The reason why we’re launching the program is that we have received a lot of feedback from industry partners around the need for qualified individuals who can do the work of professional writers and communications specialists across various sectors, and provide writing services at the professional level,” associate dean of English Vera Beletzan said.

The Professional Writing and Communications program is one of the first in the Ontario college system; only Centennial College has a similar certificate program.

Beletzan said students will acquire skills such as editing, writing for the digital age, storytelling, strategic writing and project management.

“We are really exited about it. We feel that this is much needed program, we think there’s real demand right now for good writers who can provide a professional level of skill. Communication expertise is obviously in high demand now, ” she said.

“This program is unique,” said Suzanne Bowness, a professional writer and editor and writing teacher at Humber, who helped to develop the program.

“It offers students very strong writing taste they can use to go and pursue writing opportunities in many different sectors. They can work as freelance writers, they can work in communications,” she said. “This program would give you very strong core writing skills to be very versatile.”

“This program specializes in the writing part of communications,” said Sarah Phillips, Professional Writing and Communications program assistant who also had a part in developing the program.

“What we are going to be doing is preparing people for being flexible, adaptable and skilled writers for multiple environments,” she said.

Professional writing and the ability to communicate are very adaptable skills useful in any environment, the program’s organizers say.

“If you would be able to articulate yourself on the page, you would be able to do it in an email, in face-to-face communications and these skills are really self-transferable. In any company, any department, being able to communicate is such an important part of business,” Phillips said.