2021 Toronto Humanities-at-Large Writing Workshop

The Toronto Humanities-at-Large Workshop:
Public-Facing Writing for Academics

17-21 May 2021, ONLINE

This week-long intensive workshop is designed for academic writers in the humanities and humanistic social sciences who wish to reach broader publics through a book project. Participants will be given strategies for writing for different audiences and for disseminating their work in non-academic channels. They will learn tools drawn from creative non-fiction, journalism, and public writing, such as narrative structure, character development, voice, and point of view. The workshop will take place entirely online, with daily meetings and short writing assignments. Participants should plan on devoting the entire five days to writing!


  • Eva-Lynn Jagoe is an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Spanish. She is the author of the nonfiction memoir Take Her, She’s Yours (2020), and is in the process of writing a book about Catalonia and electricity. She co-founded this workshop after learning from firsthand experience how hard it is to write non-academic prose.
  • Gretchen Bakke is an anthropologist and professional writer with extensive experience writing for both academic and non-academic readership.  Author of The Grid: The Fraying Wires between Americans and our Energy Future (a 2016 Bill Gates pick), and the ebullient genre-bending ethnography The Likeness (2020), Bakke is a visiting Professor at Humboldt University in Berlin.  

Application Process:

The workshop is limited to 14 spaces, with preference given to mid-level (Associate) professors and/or academic researchers who have published a previous book. All applicants must have completed doctoral work by 15 May 2021. The ideal candidate is a scholar who has a clear sense of their project, has done significant research, and is in the early stages of manuscript writing. This workshop is not primarily intended for those hoping to adapt an existing academic manuscript.

To apply, you will need to submit the following documents in pdf format:

  1. 500-word proposal of what writing you want to do (or are already doing) in this area and why
  2. 1-page CV
  3. Sample of Writing (published or unpublished public writing, or if this is not possible, academic writing)

Applications should be submitted through the JHI website. Scroll to the bottom of this page and click on Apply Now!

All uploaded materials must be submitted in .pdf format.  You will need to upload all components of this application in one session; you will not be able to edit a previously submitted application. Though the workshop will be held online, you will need to be available for the full five days, from 9-5 EST each day.

Before you can apply, you will need to set up a user account in the JHI website if you do not already have one. Please review the Call before applying and leave yourself enough time to complete the process before the deadline on Monday 22 March 2021, at 11:59 pm (EST).


For further information about the nature and structure of this workshop please feel free to write to Eva-Lynn Jagoe (e.jagoe@utoronto.ca) or Gretchen Bakke (gretchen.bakke@hu-berlin.de). For technical assistance with the JHI website, please contact Associate Director Kim Yates (jhi.associate@utoronto.ca).

This free workshop is generously supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for the Humanities and the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto, through the JHI’s Mellon-funded Humanities at Large initiative.