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Why the University of Windsor has the Best English Program

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UWindsor chapter.

I was one of those lucky kids who knew just the career I wanted to go into. I knew in grade school that I would follow the English stream. Little did I know how prosperous this stream was. My whole life, I have been told that the English field does not guarantee jobs, let alone ones with a high salary. But I was never one to let money dictate my dream. Flash forward a decade or so, and here I am, a second year student in the English Literature and Creative Writing program at the University of Windsor. If you are thinking about taking English, here are three reasons why you should:

1. Windsor’s Writing Network

I was unaware that Windsor had such a diverse and welcoming community of artists, poets, authors, and scholars until I began university. When I tell you I was overwhelmed with offers to join writing groups, I mean it. I am currently a part of two writing groups within the community, each of which have provided me with opportunities I had only dreamt of. The first one I was adopted into was created by the very first professor I had in my first year. The goal of this writing group is to “get people published,” and we have just sent out peer-polished short stories to the CBC. The second group is run by students at the university, and I don’t just mean anyone. The current Writer-in-Residence, Youth Poet Laureate, and established writers belong to this group. It was overwhelming to be invited to join them as a fledgling author, but I have found a home among their mentoring and chill qualities. This group is planning on releasing a poetry book that will show everyone just how incredible the writing community of Windsor, especially the youth, is. Each of these groups have introduced me to the network of writers that live all around me.

2. Internships Within Windsor’s Writing Community

The university also has a program called The Outstanding Scholars. Though an academic organization, it is through this scholarship that I was able to intern for Marty Gervais at Black Moss Press in Windsor. This opportunity gave me insight into the inner works of the publishing process (and for someone who is planning on publishing books of my own, this was eye-opening for me), as well as gave me a taste of the responsibility that comes with a literary career. Though working only from my computer, I have since read new poetry releases from the publishing company and wrote up detailed and accurate reviews on Goodreads. Additionally, I have researched the authors attending the virtual Poetry at the Manor event and wrote up a brief introductory biography for the script used. Though my name wasn’t mentioned on either of these things, knowing I had a hand in such successful events and helpful reviews has boosted my ego, to be honest, but in a way that motivates me to follow my dream.

3. Hand-On Experience at the University of Windsor

I am also a student enrolled in a fourth-year course with the university known as the Editing Practicum. Also run by Marty Gervais and Black Moss Press, I have had the honour and privilege of being one of the copy editors on Terry Ann Carter’s new poetry collection, First I Fold the Mountain. I actually came up with the subtitle, A Love Letter to Books, which I am very proud of. My role was critical in the polishing of the manuscript, as I was tasked with removing poems that didn’t fit, rearranging the structure, fixing grammar mishaps, and fact-checking quotes. We are at the point of the semester where the manuscript is now complete and ready for the second half of the course, the Publishing Practicum, in which we will focus on cover design, interior design, and marketing. Though I am only a second-year, my connections in the literary world have provided me with the opportunity to leave a mark on a real book. My name is going to be listed inside along with the rest of my fabulous editing team! This only spurred my desire to see my name on my own books, a YA fantasy trilogy called The Indigo Chronicles that I am working on publishing. Working so closely with an author was equally challenging and rewarding. It made me realize how important a literary creation is to the author and how difficult it can be to make changes to it. Though I was thrilled each time Terry Ann accepted one of my ideas, I knew that as the editor, I had to remain respectful of her expertise in the writing field as well. Not only did this course encourage my own desire to become an author, but it also taught me valuable tips on how to be an effective editor. The book launch for First I Fold the Mountain will be on April 6 if you would like to come and celebrate our success with me.

I remember when I was a little girl in grade 7, and I found out that I had won a poetry contest. I was in class, grabbing something from my bag in the lockers when my teacher mentioned that I won. I was speechless; all I said was, “Oh.” One of the boys in my class had looked at me and said, “That’s all you have to say? You won!” I had never let myself celebrate my success. I just went on to the next project. This is my attempt to realize how many amazing things I have accomplished in the literary field. For that little girl, being an author was only a dream, but now, it is something tangible, something I know for a fact can become my reality. It already is. 

My name is Serafina Piasentin and I'm enrolled in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Windsor. Writing has long since been a passion of mine, and I specialize in fiction and poetry. I have won and been published in numerous short story and poetry contests and have completed a fantasy trilogy. I aspire to be an author and this opportunity with Her Campus allows me to take a step closer to that dream! A bit about me outside of my writing career: I am a lifeguard and I play the piano. I consider myself an ambivert and I love adventures and meeting new people! Feel free to contact me on instagram: @serafinaarose or email me @serafinapiasentin@gmail.com <3 I also have a blog where I post my poems, stories, essays, literary reviews and more! You can find me here: https://serafinaarose.wixsite.com/wordalchemy