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Book sale to support writer-in-residence program

A used book sale Thursday, September 27, in the CAW Student Centre will raise funds to bring a writer-in-residence to the Department of English Language, Literature and Creative Writing.

The department has identified Chatham native Ray Robertson to take up the position, which involves one-on-one consultations with students; participation in literary festivals, workshops and readings; and an opportunity to develop works in progress. Faculty and students are working to raise $10,000 to make the residency possible; the university has pledged matching funds.

Thursday’s book sale is part of that effort, says Jason Rankin, co-president of the English Undergraduate Student Association, which is organizing the event. He says the writer-in-residence helps students by editing and critiquing their works.

“This service is very useful for creative writing students and for students just interested in writing,” says Rankin. “It offers them the chance to have a professional writer help polish their skills.”

Robertson, now based in Toronto, has written six novels and two non-fiction books, including Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live, a collection of essays on the subject of human happiness that the Globe and Mail named one of the best books of 2011.

The English department has posted an appeal for donations to fund the writer-in-residence program this year; view it on the departmental Web site.

photo of Alistair MacLeod by Marty Gervais

The first 100 donors of $100 or more to the writer-in-residence program will receive a limited edition 9”x12” broadside featuring a photo of professor emeritus Alistair MacLeod, with a text by him and bearing his signature.

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