Writing and Communications
Continuing & Professional Education

Writing & Communications

Part-time, in-class or online study tailored for:

  • copywriters
  • editors
  • journalists
  • authors
  • professional writers
  • amateur writers
  • social media marketers
  • marketers
  • communicators

Explor­ing the clear expres­sion of ideas and improv­ing your writ­ing abil­i­ties can help you get ahead.

Clear com­mu­ni­ca­tion is essen­tial wher­ev­er life takes you. With email and tex­ting becom­ing the new nor­mal for com­mu­ni­ca­tion, we are increas­ing­ly rely­ing on writ­ing to go about our every­day (and pro­fes­sion­al) business.

The Fac­ul­ty of Exten­sion offers aca­d­e­m­ic, pro­fes­sion­al, and per­son­al devel­op­ment cours­es in writ­ing and edit­ing to sup­port you in achiev­ing your goals. Our class­es are guid­ed by pro­fes­sion­al writ­ers, many of whom have won nation­al and inter­na­tion­al awards for their work.

Par­tic­i­pants in our cours­es come from all walks of life, with one thing in com­mon: they want to improve their writ­ing skills, whether it is for work, their nov­el or mag­a­zine arti­cle, or their studies.


No application or prerequisites required – just register in a course.

Communicate your ideas clearly and effectively.

Learn how to generate ideas and adapt them to the requirements of the audience, the genre, and the situation.

Explore strategies for composing, drafting, and revising your writing.

Master the principles and conventions of organizational writing, including grammar, punctuation, and usage.

Daytime, evening, and weekend courses held at Enterprise Square, downtown Edmonton, Alberta.

Credential opportunity: Social Media Marketing and Communications program is available for those interested in earning a credential

A note about COVID-19 measures

If you see a program on our website announced as an in-person or downtown Edmonton offering, please disregard the format—but not the program. Winter, Spring, and Summer 2021 courses have been converted to remote delivery platforms. Register for a course online or apply to a program via email, and keep learning!

  • Tuition is paid on a course-by-course basis as you reg­is­ter for your classes.
  • Some cours­es require a text­book at an addi­tion­al cost.
  • Eli­gi­ble for the Cana­da-Alber­ta Job Grant.
  • Cor­po­rate mul­ti-reg­is­tra­tion pack­ages are avail­able for most Exten­sion cours­es. Con­tact us at excorp@​ualberta.​ca for pre­ferred pricing.
Bursaries and funding opportunities

Register Today


Learn the process to writing - which many writers follow naturally. If you're just getting started as a writer, or if you always find it a struggle to produce written work, whether it is a business report, a business letter, an essay, short story or blog, following the writing process will help. This course will explain what each stage of the writing process involves, and you'll be offered some tips for each stage that will help if you're feeling stuck!
Correct and elegant writing depends upon considerations of genre, audience, rhetoric, and subject matter, in addition to knowledge of the writing process (prewriting, writing, and rewriting). This course will consider the role of grammar at all stages of the writing process and how grammar changes in different contexts. Discuss word choice, sentence craft, and how to avoid the most common grammatical problems. Practice the grammatical rules by applying them to your own writing in exercises that will be critiqued by the instructor. Note: This course stresses the process of learning writing in a hands-on approach. Only selected key principles of grammar will be discussed and applied to your writing.
Mar 25
Online learning, synchronous
Silvia Sgaramella
This course builds on grammar and writing skills by focusing on clarity, correctness, and the development of a compelling writing voice. Correcting for style, content, and format are integrated into formal studies in grammar. By focusing on these essential elements of writing, this course aims to prepare (or refresh) writers for the process from first draft to final product. In-class exercises will be used to take complex, sophisticated sentences and paragraphs and look at the underpinning logic of what the writer is trying to say.
Mar 2
Online learning, synchronous
Jim Morrow
Your job description may not say "writer", but somehow you spend a large part of your day writing memos, letters, and proposals. The biggest problem in workplace writing is not necessarily bad grammar, but too many words per thought. Wordy writing lacks clarity. Learning to avoid certain grammatical constructions will help you process prose that makes your meaning crystal clear. This workshop will focus on George Orwell's six rules of good writing and the necessary grammatical information to put them into practice. Ample time will be devoted to in-class reinforcement exercises.
Apr 22
Online learning, synchronous
Angela Wiens
Overcome stylistic faults in your business, professional or academic writing. Learn to assess your readers, evaluate your intent and write clear and graceful text that engages your audience's interest. Topics will include developing a vocabulary for analyzing style, creating a coherent point of view, removing redundancy and controlling long sentences. The course includes exercises and writing assignments. This is a required course for the Qualified Administrative Assistants Program. For more information on the Association of Administrative Assistants go to: www.aaa.ca/


Are you a writer of prose, either fiction or nonfiction, with a work-in-progress? Explore the power of language and precision in choosing words to shape your text. Develop editing, re-writing techniques and critical skills to know what constitutes publishable work. Includes in-class exercises, study of famous authors' revisions, and your own work.
Develop fundamental editing skills for a range of fields with a focus on the editor's "bread and butter:" substantive and copy editing. Learn the theory and get practical, hands-on training. Ensure correct and consistent punctuation, grammar, word usage, and spelling, and improve the writing so it's clear and concise. We will explore the editing process, the author-editor relationship, the readers' needs, and the business of editing.
Jun 22
Online learning, synchronous
Jim Morrow
Good writing is not only free of typos and grammatical errors, but also clear and engaging for the intended reader. Taught by a team of experienced editors, this introductory course presents an overview of the major tasks of an editor (both for print and the web). The editing sessions focus on proofreading, copyediting, stylistic editing, substantive and structural editing, as well as editing as a career. The web editing evening deals with the design of organization and navigation systems to support finding information on a website.
Learn how to avoid costly and embarrassing errors by sharpening your proofreading skills. A Practical Guide to Proofreading covers proofreading marks, comparing copies, the errors to look for when proofreading, and the differences between proofreading and editing. A variety of exercises will help you learn to avoid common proofreading errors.
Explore the first level of the hands-on editing process: substantive and structural editing. Ensure your writing and the writing of others is organized effectively and that ideas are presented logically and in the best form (e.g., paragraphs, numbered lists). A variety of exercises will help you learn to recognize and correct common problems with content and structure, including errors in sequence, balance, and flow. Explore the editing process, the author-editor relationship, and the readers' needs.


Writing short story is an art, requiring the precision and intensity of poetry combined with novel elements such as structure, setting, and characterization. We'll look at our own work and the work of others in a workshop setting. You will have the opportunity to polish your style and form, edit and shape your writing, discover new ideas for story development, and gain confidence in your own style and process.
Living in a world that poses challenges and even greater uncertainty requires increasing self-awareness and accountability about our responses to unforeseeable events. We know from reading literature that great writers have captured difficult and painful moments in history by writing about it and inspiring resilience in people. Emotional resiliency is defined as an ability to adapt and to respond to difficult life circumstances without losing control. The more resilient you are the better you can cope with stress and change. In this workshop, we will learn how to make writing a daily practice that complements meditation, relaxation, and intention-making.
This is a course for writers who are starting out and want to experience the range and potential of the various forms of writing. We will look at poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction. Facilitated through a discussion of the literature of the past and present the main focus of this course will be on exploring your own creative writing.
Explore the nature of the novel and its essential craft elements-plot, structure, characterization, point of view and sense of place. You will gain perspective on your writing process, which will help you conceptualize your novel and begin writing in manageable size pieces. You will also have the opportunity to share your work with others for feedback and refinement.
Writing creative nonfiction begins with an intensive exploration of people, places and events we already know but often ignore. Join us for an exciting and interactive workshop, exploring our lives through writing and reading, techniques and critiques. Journaling, memoir, food and travel writing will be included.


Learn how to develop a career in independent journalism, as well as how to manage your business. Find out what types of journalism work are available to freelancers and explore topics such as finding, developing, and organizing ideas; selling stories and yourself; and market research techniques. Discuss digital tools that can reduce time, errors, and the chaos of self-employment, as well as life skills that foster a healthy work-life balance. We’ll wade into the business nitty-gritty—who pays, how much, and what’s in a contract—as well as best practices.

Do you write, edit, and, perhaps, approve business correspondence, reports, procedures, and other documents for your organization? This hands-on workshop provides the steps to take to set editorial standards that result in professional, consistent, and correct written documents. Learn how an organization can benefit from using an editorial style guide, who is best to work on the project, what steps to take when creating an in-house style guide, and when to ask a professional editor for help.
This course is for all those who need to use the written word in online correspondence at work to get results. Explore the general principles that apply to writing in every workplace and learn how to write with clarity, precision, and brevity while producing regular email messages, memos, business letters, and summaries of meetings.
Leading teams in a remote environment depends upon new ways of working together. It requires leadership that can overcome physical distance to create environments of deep belonging and engagement. Learn how to intentionally create a sense of connection and keep your team productive, accountable, and performing at its best while working from home. Explore the tools and strategies you need to navigate the transition to leading remotely. Find out how to do so in a meaningful and human way, creating lasting team engagement and productivity.
Acquire the skills and confidence necessary to articulate your ideas, show people your expertise, and market yourself and your businesses in-person or virtually. Enhance your ability to craft and deliver messages and speeches, create an online personal brand, and come across as a skillful communicator in any setting. Explore a comprehensive toolkit of presentation crafting, public speaking, and executive presence, and learn how to use your body language, vocal variety, visuals, and technology to better communicate your message to audiences of one to hundreds.
Have you been asked to write a set of procedures, a manual, or a user's guide? Does this task seem daunting because you don't consider yourself a technical writer? This course is intended for anyone who must write procedures or manuals for others, or for anyone exploring the technical writing profession. Examine the tasks, processes and techniques for writing instructions and guides that are useful and easy to read. Learn how to conduct "audience analysis" and how to use this analysis to guide your writing. Experiment with document design and appreciate how design plays an important role in the writing process. Learn how to estimate the cost and schedule for producing your guides. Create an outline for a guide, write procedures and conduct feedback testing to improve the usability of your guide. This course provides an overview of technical writing processes and practical hands-on exercises; no technical writing experience is required.
Apr 19
Online learning, synchronous
Angela Wiens
Transform scientific research, theories and term papers into clear and concise writing with a more broad-based appeal. This course will focus on structuring and telling a story, understanding what a general audience is looking for, and on specific tools and techniques to communicate engaging content related to science, technology, and the environment, including general reporting best practices. This course is designed for anyone interested in writing about science including: technical writers, scientists, medical professionals, journalists, and students.
May 4
Online learning, synchronous
Christopher Phillips
Learn how to write compelling nonfiction for hungry magazine markets. Topics we'll address include: types of nonfiction; finding and developing ideas; form, organization, and first drafts; revision strategies and style. We'll also discuss market research techniques, submission protocols, and ways to make editors take notice. Blogging and social media will be included as a 'brand-building tool' as will 'best practices of good magazine/newspaper' article-writing. In-class writing exercises and some at-home reading will be required. Throughout the course, you will also be offered feedback towards the development of a publishable magazine story of your own.
In this workshop, students will learn how to assess their qualifications and skills to best present themselves in writing. Students will learn about the two most popular styles of resumes (functional and chronological) and understand which one is best suited for their individual needs, as well as how to construct a successful cover letter.
A grant from a respectable funding agency can open new possibilities for you as a professional in any industry, and can take your career to the next level. In this workshop, we will learn best practices in writing a successful grant application for research-based projects and discuss strategic ways of answering fundamental questions that interest grant-adjudicating committees.
In the 21st century, blood, sweat, tears, and a diploma are no longer enough for job success. Career research shows that in addition to skills and aptitudes, an understanding of what gives us a sense of meaning and direction is essential. We must learn about ourselves and cultivate an ability to articulate our stories in order to find, keep and create our work. Narrative career approaches have been developed to that end. Work toward your own "career construction" as you explore life and career themes through creative, expressive, and reflective writing. Learn about the research that proves that "following your bliss" is not just for poets. This course is suited for career counsellors and coaches, those working in education and Human Resource Development, or those in career transitions or aspiring to learn more about career development.

Social Media

Learn how to measure where your web traffic is coming from, how much web traffic you are receiving, which messages are most effective at driving users to your desired destination, and how to report on these measures. Explore various approaches to use analytics in social media, including web search optimization and ROI analysis.

May 4
Online learning, asynchronous
Jessica Laccetti

Build an effective online presence through a strong marketing strategy that reflects your organizational culture. Learn about best practices for social media and marketing across various platforms, building and strengthening organizational reputation and brand online, strategic planning and development, how to build a social media following, and steps for executing an integrated strategic social media marketing plan.

Jun 15
Online learning, asynchronous
Bryan Leung
Brian Siddle

Learn about how social media has provided new ways to create and experience media-rich narrative, as well as how the creative use of digital tools can offer exciting new possibilities for collaboration and sharing. Explore the essentials of storytelling and its use as an educational and marketing tool in this online environment. Discuss issues related to quality of content, memes, what it means to go viral and the quality of writing specific to the online environment.

Jun 22
Online learning, asynchronous
Linda Brown
Explore key concepts used by professionals to help grow your business or personal brand through online marketing and social media. Increase your knowledge of social media tools, website development and maintenance, web analytics, search engine utilization, basic content creation, and copyright. These transferable skills and strategies offer you the foundation needed to start engaging audiences across popular social media platforms.
Apr 6
Online learning, asynchronous
Linda Brown

Explore the etiquette, ethics, and various legal and policy issues that affect how we use social media. Discuss topics like copyright, privacy, intellectual property, fair dealing, creative commons, and the public domain. Learn how these issues play out differently nationally and internationally, as well as the implications of those differences for social media use.

Apr 6
Online learning, asynchronous
Jessica Laccetti

Learn the skills needed to maximize your online presence and impact across various platforms as a means to help drive sales. Delve deeper into internet marketing opportunities, website design, e-commerce, engaging online communities, and best strategies for creating and directing web traffic.

May 25
Online learning, asynchronous
Scott Cunningham
Simon Trafford

Learn how to identify, prepare for, and manage the risks inherent to a professional presence on social media, as well as to recognize the impacts of emerging problems elsewhere online. Explore best practices for policy, procedures, and guidelines for social media within an organization. Draw on learnings from traditional media and public relations concepts to prepare for and respond to emerging issues.

Apr 27
Online learning, asynchronous
Adam Rozenhart

Understand why and how decisions are made around visual communications and acquire the tools you’ll need to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of social media. Learn basic design principles that will inform your decisions and help you create an effective and visually-pleasing online presence. Explore ways of using these principles to emphasize the message that is being delivered.

Aug 10
Online learning, asynchronous
N Kathleen Van Dusen

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