2018 Call for Proposals


CCWWP/Canadian Writers’ Summit 2018

Canada’s Writing Conference

Call for Proposals


Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, Ontario

June 14-17, 2018


(La version française)


Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs (CCWWP) seeks proposals for presentations, provocations, instigations, papers, readings, panel discussions or forums addressing:

  • the pedagogy of teaching writing

  • creating and managing educational programs for writers

  • contemporary literature

  • the craft of writing

  • the business of publishing

In 2018 CCWWP’s conference programming will be part of the Canadian Writers’ Summit (CWS 2018), a biennial, multi-organization super-conference held across four days at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Ontario. This conference offers participants the chance to

  • present creative or critical thoughts and insights and to engage in exchanges with other teachers and writers;

  • discuss, debate and explore topics and findings in creative writing research;

  • discuss the teaching and learning of creative writing in universities, colleges and communities;

  • and contribute knowledge to a field of investigative inquiry that includes research, pedagogy and artistic practice.

Thematic Statement

As we live this moment of intensifying racial and gendered violence, discourses and policies of intolerance, and environmental crises, we are also bearing witness to and participating in a broad surge of resistance, resilience and reclamation as evident in movements like Idle No More and Black Lives Matter. Literature has always had a role in responding, intervening and shaping the historical and cultural present. We believe literature is a way to interrogate anew what it means to be human and living in shared humanity on this land and in this time. Literature creates opportunity for the difficult conversations between us that might address our historical present, how we are haunted and how we can proceed. 

In light of these contexts, what are our roles as instructors, writers and cultural producers in facilitating and fostering the space for these necessary conversations? What are the ethical obligations and methods that may guide us in re-thinking pedagogy and curricula to answer the calls to decolonize and indigenize? What does it mean to de-centre national and colonial mythologies and attend to the labour required to come to voice(s), especially for students who have been historically marginalized? 

Proposal Details

Proposals can be for panel presentations, formal or informal papers, literary readings/performances or discussions. CCWWP is looking to balance academic, community and industry concerns in the conference proceedings. CCWWP invites dynamic and innovative approaches to presentations and welcomes the use of critical and creative strategies and forms. We also encourage multimedia and collaborative presentations. Priority will be given to proposals that speak to the above thematic statement in some way, but all compelling proposals will be given serious consideration.

The selection committee welcomes proposals from Canadian and international participants, as well as proposals from writers, editors, administrators and teachers with a range of global perspectives on creative writing. We are interested in presentations in either English or French. We particularly encourage submissions from all under-represented and marginalized groups, including those who identify as: people of colour, Indigenous, Deaf/deaf, Mad, disabled, seniors, economically and/or geographically marginalized, and LGBTQQIP2SAA. Every effort will be made to make the conference accessible to disabled presenters. For accessibility details at Harbourfront, please see their website (full details from CCWWP to follow).

Individual presentations should be about 15 minutes in length. Panel sessions are 75 minutes long and normally comprise 3 or 4 individual presentations or readings that are about 15 minutes in length, leaving time for discussion or other interactions. CCWWP is flexible on the format of these events and encourages creative proposals for discussions, forums and collaborative work. While every effort will be made to combine individual proposals into cohesive panel sessions, full panel proposals will be given priority over individual submissions.

Submitters do not need to be CCWWP members at the time they submit a proposal, but they must be CCWWP members in good standing and registered for CWS 2018 in order to attend the conference in June (see below).

Please note: In addition to this Call for Proposals, there are many other ways to get involved with CWS 2018. Email info@canadianwriterssummit.com or visit www.canadianwriterssummit.com for more information.

Submission Deadline

Conference proposals must be received online by the extended deadline of December 4, 2017. Submit proposals using CCWWP’s online submission form at:


Organizers of successful proposals will be notified by January 5, 2018.

Panel Organizer

All panel proposals should identify a panel organizer who will serve as the primary contact. This person will receive notification if the proposed panel is accepted for the 2018 conference. The panel organizer is responsible for confirming all event particulars, including participant contact information and bios, scheduling requests and A/V needs. They may also participate as a panellist, and they often serve as the panel moderator.

Limitations on Participation

In order for CCWWP to create a diverse and well-balanced schedule, presenters may participate in no more than two (2) accepted events, only one of which may be a reading.

CCWWP Membership and Conference Registration: A Two-Step Process

If your proposal is successful, all participants must a) become members of CCWWP if they are not already (http://www.ccwwp.ca/membership/), and b) register for CWS 2018. There is a fee associated with both of these steps. Panel organizers and individual presenters will receive more details about registration in their acceptance letters. Please note: As is common practice at academic conferences, CCWWP panellists are not paid for participating in CWS 2018.

Proposal Submissions

Include the following:

  1. Proposal title

  2. Type of proposal (Panel or Individual)

  3. Complete presentation OR panel description (500 words)

  4. Short summary of presentation for inclusion in conference program (100 words)

  5. Category of presentation (see possible categories below)

  6. Audio-Visual requests

  7. Organizer’s information (name, phone, email, 50-word bio)

  8. Additional Participant information (name, phone, email, 50-word bio and presentation description for each, plus name of moderator) if proposing a panel

Possible categories include but are not limited to:


Presentations focused on issues related to effective teaching of writing at all levels: graduate workshops, undergraduate seminars, K though 12, and writers-in-the-schools or community classes. Proposals should state the level(s) of education upon which presenters will focus.


Presentations addressing the craft of writing fiction or discussions of trends and conventions in published fiction. Readings of fictional works are also welcome.


Presentations focused on the craft of writing nonfiction and/or discussions of trends and conventions in nonfiction. Alternatively, readings by authors of memoirs, essays of creative nonfiction or literary biographies.

Playwriting & Screenwriting

Presentations focused on elements of playwright or screenwriting craft as well as appreciations of other writers or discussions of cultural trends in theater, cinema and television. Readings by actors, playwrights or screenwriters are also welcome.


Presentations focused on the craft of writing and/or performing poetry or discussions of poetics, trends, conventions or forms of poetry. Poetry readings or performances are also welcome.

Indigenous Writing & Storytelling

Presentations focused on the presence and possibilities of a variety of Indigenous forms of writing/storytelling or explorations of creative writing pedagogies developed/ developing in Indigenous communities.

Oral Storytelling

Presentations on the history, craft and culture of oral storytelling. Alternatively, storytelling performances.

Equity & Diversity Through Creative Writing

Presentations focused on creative writing practice as it does, can or fails to foster social equity and the creation of a literary and social landscape characterized by diversity.

Literary Translation

These presentations address the craft and criticism of literary translation and/or focus on readings of translated literary works.

Children’s Literature/YA Literature

These presentations address the craft and criticism of writing for younger audiences and/or focus on readings of works for children/YA readers.

Cross-Genre Works

Discussions of issues related to the craft and criticism of cross-genre writing. Alternatively, readings of works that cross genre lines, or readings by writers in two or more genres.

Publishing, Editing, & Technology

Presentations focused on editors, publishers, distributors and the technological facilitators of literary books, anthologies, journals, book reviews, web sites and electronic media.

Agents, Contracts, & Marketing

Presentations and workshops that address the business side of publishing.

Living as a Writer

Presentations focused on writing as a practice sustained within or outside of the academy. Topics could include making a living, strategies for maintaining a writing life, overcoming barriers of systemic ableism that disabled writers face, and the interrelationship of writing and other aspects of life.

Environmental Issues & Creative Writing

Presentations focused on creative writing as it pertains to creating and maintaining sustainable ecological practices or facing the consequences of poor environmental practices.


Submit a Proposal