Sample Syllabus

Writing 101/201 Course Outline
January 7 – March 31, 2020

Writing 101/201 Coordinator: Reuben Jentink
Writing 101/201 Mentor: Michael Edward Nardachioni
Hum Academic Director: Dr. Margot Leigh Butler
Programme Coordinator: Paul Woodhouse
Classroom: Buchanan D, Room ­­­­204
Day & Time: Tuesdays, 6:30 to 9:00pm.

Everything Flows: How Writing 101 & Writing 201 are Organized

  • Pre-class writing tutoring: from 5:30 to 6:15 pm in Buchanan E, Room 274 (right next to the Hum office). It’s not necessary to attend this session, but you’re most welcome to come if you’d like extra support in your writing.
  • Class starts right at 6:30 pm in Buchanan D, Room 204. The first thirty minutes is a dedicated time for you to read aloud from the previous class’ writing (for up to three minutes) and to ask for feedback from classmates, staff, and volunteers.
  • The evening’s teacher arrives at 7:00 pm; there’s a short break at 8:00 pm.
  • The teacher ends at 8:50 pm. To respect our many volunteer teachers, we ask that you give them your full attention until that time. The next week’s bus and meal tickets are given out at the end of class. (Plus, there’s a bookdraw!)

Learning New Kinds of Writing

In Writing 101 and Writing 201, we learn about and practise writing in many different forms, styles, and genres—some will be familiar and others may be new to you! Every evening, a different teacher will present a different form, style, or genre of writing and there will be many opportunities throughout the semester for you to pick up your pens and try that kind of writing for yourselves.

All of our teachers volunteer their time and expertise—we thank them!!

Developing a Writing Practice

In this course, you will have the chance to build a writing practice—either a fresh writing practice… or maybe you will nurture an existing one! Classes will be linked—they depend on one another—through weekly writing sessions that are focused on the night’s topic. You’ll be able to take your piece of writing home to work on further, if you like. Then, at the start of the following week’s class (in small groups, during the first thirty minutes of class) you’ll be able to read aloud your piece of writing, and to ask for feedback from classmates, staff, and volunteers.

We’ll be studying a different style of writing each week, which means that you’ll be experiencing what it’s like to write in a variety of styles, including journalism, creative non-fiction, academic writing, and many others. So perhaps, your short story will change into a manifesto; your manifesto into a poem; your poem in an essay; and back again!

Overall, you’ll learn that “how” you write something affects the meaning of “what” you say; and that what you say depends on how you write it!

Everything Depends: Supports & Requirements

In the Writing course, there are a number of ways to receive support during, and feedback on, your writing. Here’s what’s open to you:

  • Writing tutoring is available for you to work further on your class writing in a collaborative and supportive environment. Tutoring sessions are drop-in and you may come either with questions about your class writing, or if you just want a quiet, dedicated space to work on your writing. Tutoring takes place every Tuesday before class in Buchanan E, Room 274 (right next to the Hum office) from 5:30 to 6:15 pm.
  • During the first 30 minutes of class, there’s an opportunity for you to read aloud your writing from the previous class and to receive constructive comments from classmates, staff, and volunteers.
  • Frequently, during the remainder of the class, there’s time for you to share your in-class writing with your classmates and teacher.

In addition, you will receive written feedback on your writing, including constructive comments, from Hum staff. You can submit you writing either handwritten or typed, or email it to if you would like us to print it out for you. Just come by the office before class to pick it up.


Every evening there will be a short, in-class writing session. You’ll be able to take this piece of writing home with you to keep working on (if you wish) over the course of the week. In order to graduate from the course, you need to submit at least three of these written pieces. You’ll receive feedback on the pieces that you turn in. We encourage you to submit pieces throughout the term. You’ll also be able to choose and revise one piece of writing to be included in Hum’s annual publication, which will be ready for the Graduation Ceremony in late April. You also need to attend at least eight out of thirteen classes to graduate from this course.

How to Fall in Love with Artful Sentences: Grammar with Gilles

If you’re interested in learning more about, improving, or just having a refresher in grammar, Hum alumni Gilles Cyrenne leads a grammar mini-series that takes place before class, starting in late January. The series is optional and is focused on the nuts and bolts—and hammers!—of English grammar.

Graduation Ceremony

Save the date! This year, Graduation will take place on the evening of Thursday, April 30, 2020.

The ceremony is for all of this year’s (2019/2020) graduating participants and will take place at the UBC Longhouse in the Sty-Wet-Tan Great Hall, 1985 West Mall, UBC campus. Guests are most welcome!!

Hum will email you in the Spring with a reminder.

Longhouse Lunches

Every Tuesday from 12:30 to 2:00 pm, the Longhouse hosts lunches for UBC Indigenous students and allies. The Longhouse is at 1985 West Mall. We are most welcome to join!

Everything Happens: Course Outline

**Please note that field trips and special events are noted with a double **.


Jan 7 – Welcome: “Noticing the world and its dependencies” on our way to and upon the unceded, ancestral, and traditional territory of the hən’q’əmin’əm’ speaking Musqueam people, with Reuben Jentink, Margot Leigh Butler, and Paul Woodhouse, Hum, UBC.

Jan 14 – Creative Writing, Fiction: “What happens when believable characters and compelling stories entwine?” with Pat Dobie, writer, editor, and teacher.

Jan 21 – Screenwriting: “Unpacking the world of the film’s story” with Steven Hahn, screenwriter and UBC Extended Learning.

Jan 28 – Rhetoric, The Manifesto: “If everything depends on everything else, where do I start to make change?” with Margot Leigh Butler, Hum.


Feb 4 – New Media: “The computer cord’s connected to the outlet; the outlet’s connected to the power grid; the power grid’s connected to the hydro dam…” with Mathew Arthur, web designer, Hum volunteer and Public Programme facilitator.

** Tues. Feb 11 – 5:15 – 8:30 pm Field trip to Vancouver Art Gallery to see “Transits and Returns” (exhibition of multi-media work by 21 Indigenous artists) and “Cindy Sherman” (feminist-inspired self-portrait photography). We’ll meet at 5:15 pm for supper in the Pacific Center Mall food court, nearest to The Bay. After supper, we’ll walk over to the Gallery together. If you’d like to meet us at the Gallery instead, we’ll be standing inside the lobby near the Gallery gift shop at 6:20 pm. The tour will start at 6:30 pm. The Gallery is located at 750 Hornby Street (at Robson Street), Vancouver, V6Z 2H7.

** Fri. Feb 14 –  29th Annual Women’s Memorial March. If you’d like to join with other Hum people for the March, we’ll meet on the steps of Carnegie Centre at noon. Family and community members gather in remembrance inside Carnegie Centre at 10:30 am.

* Feb 18-21 is UBC’s Reading Break. There are no classes this week. *

(Feb 18-29 Talking Stick Festival, an inclusive multi-day festival that’s open to the public and features storytelling, dance, music, theatre and other performing arts and cultural works by a wide range of Indigenous artists.)

Feb 25 –
Theatre-making: “’Theatre is alive. An ever-evolving dialogue with life and with the world.’ What if we dig in to the how and why of making theatre?” with Heidi Taylor, Artistic and Executive Director of PTC (Playwrights Theatre Centre): REIMAGINE THEATRE in East Van.


Mar 3 – Journalism, Op Eds: “What we know matters! Adding our voices to public conversations by learning how to write Op Eds” with Mary Lynn Young, UBC Graduate School of Journalism, co-founder and board member of The Conversation Canada (

Mar 10 – Academic Writing & Publishing: “What if everything that Hum publishes depends on our ways of knowing and working together?” with Margot Leigh Butler and Paul Woodhouse, Hum.

***The following classes were cancelled due to COVID-19***

Mar 17 –
Art Writing: “Amplifying what’s SEEN through what’s SAID” with Alison Rajah, former Hum Writing Coordinator and Director of the Surrey Art Gallery.

** Sat. Mar 21 – 2:00 pm Field trip to the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art. “What if the land and sea are human and worthy of respect, not to be dominated and exploited?” We’ll see “Out of Concealment – Female Supernatural Beings of Haida Gwaii” (by Haida artist Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson) and the permanent collection of Haida artist Bill Reid’s work. The Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art is located at 639 Hornby Street (between Georgia and Dunsmuir Streets), Vancouver, V6C 2G3. Guests Welcome!

Mar 24 – Creative Non-Fiction, Personal Essays: “Writing the I from the eye” with Mandy Catron, Hum and Creative Writing, UBC.

Mar 31 – Speculative Fiction, Reading the Writing: “What if ‘what if?’?… Hum’s theme this year depends on us speculating!” with Reuben Jentink, Mathew Arthur, and Margot Leigh Butler, Hum.


** Thurs. Apr 30 – Graduation Celebration at the UBC Longhouse, in the Sty-Wet-Tan Great Hall.