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PWSA Annual Symposium

Every year, the Professional Writing Students' Association (PWSA) invites you to participate in a themed symposium. At these events, students can present their ideas, reflect on their personal experiences and network with peers. Read below for more details on upcoming events and recaps on previous years.


April 2023

When change is constant, writing can be a powerful expression. Sententia evokes not only ways of living, but ways of knowing, ways of being and thinking and writing, which, in times of flux, open the possibility for transformation and writerly acts of resistance.

In this, the 5th annual PWSA Symposium, our ten panelists explored the power we have to make our own stories and spaces and selves - to activate sententia as a call to writerly action and resistance, to dismantle and decolonize dominant “instructions in living,” to explore diverse ways of acting, speaking, living, knowing, being, thinking, writing—and languaging—in sonic acts of sententia.

Past Events

In her essay “Metanoic Movement: The Transformative Power of Regret,” Kelly Meyers tells us that “…metanoia illuminates the spaces that exist around and beyond opportune moments…[and] offers a way to expand ‘opportunity’ in writing processes.” In other words, it encourages us to “learn to see and seize the potential for transformation that exists within experiences of regret.” 

Myers’ essay launched the 2022 Symposium panelists into reflective and innovative examinations of the ways metanoia not only “offers ways to reframe the affective elements of…learning, writing and revising,” but also how it works, in recursive and re-orienting ways “to expand ‘opportunity’ in writing processes” –and in life.

Derived from the Latin word “limen,” meaning “threshold,” liminality refers to the space in-between.

In April 2021, Liminalities explored this transition, filled with uncertainty, ambiguity, and hybridity, carrying the potential for disruption, subversion, and most of all, change. In this space, new meanings, new relations, and new identities are produced and old familiarities are transformed. 

Nine panelists shared their experiences, anxieties, and perspectives on the journeys they have taken into and through these threshold spaces, from which they have emerged with a deeper understanding of themselves, their worlds, and the constant state of change that carries us forward.

Held in April 2020, the PWSA's Mindscapes symposium covered an assortment of topics focused on mental health and addictions, race, diaspora literature and experiences, sexuality, moments of kairos, alternative points of view on popular opinions, gender, expressions of individuality and identity, persuasive essays, life-changing moments and opening minds.

During the event, eleven Professional Writing students delivered creative projects across four intriguing panels: Spirals, Unthought Known, Body Knowing and Living the Questions.

On April 25, 2019, fifteen panelists who spent the past year (or two) putting into words their insightful and revolutionary ideas shared them with students, faculty, and the York community. It was a day of celebration, and of honouring the intelligence and impact of undergraduate writing and research. We are excited to share their pieces here for you to read. You will find words of change, of passion and of empowerment that will make you think, reflect and question your current perspectives.