Pondering from the Pencil Case

Hi y’all,

I’m Gary Graphite and I am the mascot of UPEI’s Writing Centre. Lately, I have been bombarded with questions about what the Writing Centre is and where it is located, so I thought I would just put all the mystery to rest. Here’s the scoop on UPEI’s WC.

What Writing Centre?

Well, that’s easy. The UPEI Writing Centre is located at the back of the library Learning Commons: the big room with a bunch of computers and comfy chairs on the first floor of the library.

Why bother? … I can already write.

Okay. But can you, though? Unless you’ve scored 100% on every single paper you’ve written for every prof on campus, then sure. Don’t use the Writing Centre (maybe think about applying for a job, though). But if you are like the LARGE majority of students on campus, and perfect grades have so far eluded you, then you should consider stopping by. It’s free help, and it’s really helpful. You’ll learn about the strengths of your writing, as well as its weaknesses.  And regardless of what you write (essay, blog post, business presentation, lab report, resume), we’ll help you with it!

I hate having people look at my writing, so why would I willingly do this to myself??

Sure. Sharing your stuff does make one feel a tad exposed. I even feel a little unnerved when I let someone else read my work. But here’s the thing:  if you decide to stay in the “No-boat”, then you might find yourself reliving the final minutes of the Titanic. EVERYONE benefits from writing feedback. Just because you are afraid of having someone look at your writing doesn’t mean that you should flunk a course or get a bad grade because of it. Women and children first? Not at the WC. If you’re a writer, you get first dibs on a seat in the writing lifeboat.  Are you really going to sit there and drown while they drive away?

Still not convinced? What if you could make some cold, hard $$$?

Y’all hear of the MacLauchlan Prizes for Effective Writing? If not, you are living under a rock. These little beauties are $500 bursaries for your writing. The Writing Centre can nominate up to 11 student writers each year. All you have to do is become one of our regulars. If we see improvement, we’ll nominate you. If you get rich, don’t forget the little people. Or a talking pencil…

Who should go to the Writing Centre?

You serious? EVERYBODY should go to the Writing Centre. It doesn’t matter if you are artsy fartsy, strictly science, or busy in business; everyone in every faculty and department needs to write something at some point, and we are here to help you with your work. Good, bad, or ugly: as long as it’s got words, we want to see it.

So these are just some of the questions I’ve gotten so far. If you are wondering about anything of a writerly nature, feel free to drop me a line: to Gary Graphite, at writingcentre@upei.ca. All questions are anonymous, and I’m here as your friendly writing guide to help answer them.

Until next time, folks. For now, I’m headed back to the pencil case.