Information for Writing Instructors

This page shows a range of ways for people who specialize in teaching writing at the University of Toronto to explore and engage in the relatively new field of Writing Studies. It includes notes on finding employment and participating in professional development events. It also describes relevant professional associations that hold conferences, host mailing lists, and sometimes publish journals and books. See also the file Readings for Writing Instructors.

Employment

Job announcements for writing instruction at U of T are posted in various places, depending on the category of employment. To receive notices of job postings, current and potential writing instructors may join the email list WRITING-JOBS-L by sending an e-mail message to listserv@listserv.utoronto.ca. In the BODY of the message type a command of the form: subscribe writing-jobs-l firstname lastname. However, not all postings are sent to this list, so you would be wise also to look on the websites of writing centres and other writing programs, as listed elsewhere on this site.

Faculty Members: Postings for full-time U of T faculty positions (including those in writing centres and writing programs) are listed in the University of Toronto Faculty Positions webpage. All faculty members with appointments of twelve months or more, whether full-time or part-time, are represented by the University of Toronto Faculty Association (UTFA). You are advised to seek advice from UTFA before signing a faculty contract.

Sessional Lecturers and Writing Instructors: Each writing centre or program hires separately through the teaching unit (the college or faculty) to which it belongs. Find and visit unit websites to find notices about their positions. Positions for Sessional Lecturer and sessional Writing Instructor in most U of T writing centres and writing programs are governed by collective agreements with CUPE 3902 (Units 2, 3 and 4). Visit the CUPE 3902 website for information about the current contract agreements and about advancement procedures, and for the forms that must be used for job applications.

Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows: A few instructional units post specific positions for graduate students or postdoctoral fellows, who are also represented by CUPE 3902 under their own contractual arrangements. Check the CUPE 3902 website for information about contract agreements, and search websites of writing centres and writing programs for designated postings.

Professional Development Events

U of T Writing instructors from all three campuses meet several times a year for discussion and workshops, usually led by colleagues and sometimes by outside experts. Watch for notices from your teaching unit. You can also ask your supervisor to subscribe you to the announcement listserv WRITING-PD-L.

Professional Associations

The academic organizations listed here provide stimulus, support, and opportunities for discussion in the field of writing studies. Most hold yearly conferences, and some publish books, journals, or newsletters. Search by their acronyms to find their websites and to sign up for email lists.

Canadian associations are helping create a distinctive perspective on writing studies, not necessarily dominated by first-year composition courses and more open to collaborative teaching with faculty across the disciplines.

  • CASDW (Canadian Association for the Study of Discourse and Writing): This bilingual Canadian organization focusses on research as well as practice. Its annual conference is held as part of the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences each spring. Its listserv posts job information and other useful information.
  • CASLL (Canadian Association for the Study of Language and Learning): Better known as Inkshed, this group holds occasional conferences. Its newsletters (including the archive of those from 1982 to 2009) form a valuable historical resource. CASLL also sponsors a small publishing house.
  • CSSR (Canadian Society for the Study of Rhetoric): This organization focusses on scholarship about classical and traditional rhetoric. It often combines conference sessions with CASDW.
  • CWCA (Canadian Writing Centres Association): This growing and lively organization also meets each spring. Its active listserv is a good source of practical advice and information about writing-centre management.
  • STLHE (Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education): This large Canadian association holds yearly conferences that include attention to writing and faculty support. Its listserv posts jobs in teaching-support offices.

American and European Associations hold stimulating conferences and publish important studies. Their gatherings often provide opportunities for Canadians to caucus at their gatherings.

  • ABC (Association for Business Communication): This group of academics and professionals sponsors several conferences each year and publishes two peer-reviewed journals. The members’ section of the website offers teaching resources and job postings.
  • CCCC (Conference on College Composition and Communication): If you want to attend a huge and stimulating yearly US conference, consider this organization, Calls for proposals are due almost a year before the March conferences, which provide the chance to caucus with Canadian colleagues; the book fair is another attraction.
  • NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English) is the parent body of CCCC. It publishes books and journals (such as College English and College Composition and Communication) and issues well-considered position statements (with bibliographies) on topics such as assessment of writing, ethical research practices, class size, workload, and digital literacy.
  • Three European organizations reflect new developments in writing instruction outside the US model. Their online discussions and conferences can be stimulating and relevant. The first two organizations hold conferences in alternate years.
    • EATAW (European Association for Teachers of Academic Writing)
    • EWCA (European Writing Centres Association)
    • WDHE (Writing Development in Higher Education—UK): search to find this year’s conference website.
  • IWCA (International Writing Centers Association): The website offers information and resources from US and some Canadian university writing centres; it includes notes on conferences and links to hundreds of online handouts. The organization sponsors WLN: A Journal of Writing Center Scholarship (formerly the Writing Lab Newsletter) and the Writing Center Journal.
  • WPA (Council of Writing Program Administrators): A group of program leaders that sponsors stimulating listserv discussions of policy issues and issues thoughtful public statements (e.g., Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing). It publishes a high-quality peer-reviewed journal (WPA Journal, publicly available online), meets as a caucus at CCCC conferences, and holds a yearly summer symposium.