A Year Long Health Humanities Workshop at Massey College – Call For Applications

The Health, Arts and Humanities Program, ARS MEDICA- A Journal of Medicine, The Arts and Humanities  and MASSEY COLLEGE invite applications for :

A Rooster for Asclepius: A year-long health humanities workshop

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: September 3rd, 2018-see below for guidelines

WORKSHOPS begin in OCTOBER 2018 and will take place monthly over the academic year.


“Crito, we owe a rooster to Asclepius. Pay it, and do not forget.” – Plato, Phaedo, 118

Narrative medicine, both in medical practice and education, is practiced with a focus on the skills of communication and collaboration which are essential to positive health outcomes. If you are working in or studying medicine, nursing or any of the allied health professions, learning how to write and reflect on narratives can help you build therapeutic and collegial relationships, improve patient care, and live and work in a more reflective, empathetic and engaged manner.

This year-long health humanities workshop aims to improve the participants skills in close reading, and reflective and creative writing.  Through attention to detail and humility in the face of ambiguous or shifting stories of many kinds, we’ll seek to get better at hearing, understanding and responding to the difficult and provocative narratives we encounter in professional life.

This workshop will offer regular opportunities to share and critique work in a variety of genres and media. As it brings together health professionals from different specialties, at different career stages, it will also be home to a discussion of the special ways that writing and health intersect.

Learning goals:

– greater narrative competence

– increased reflective capacity

– improved critical thinking

– enhanced written and oral communication skills

– personal and professional renewal

 Who can apply:

This series of 8 monthly evening workshops will center on developing storytelling, narrative competence and written and oral communication abilities, in a relaxed, supportive setting.

Health practitioners and University of Toronto students from every clinical field interested in collaborating to deepen their involvement in health humanities are encouraged to apply, as are scholars, practitioners and theorists from arts and  humanities disciplines interested in the culture of medicine and healthcare.


We encourage workshop participants to craft at least one piece of poetry, fiction, memoir or creative non-fiction for submission  to ARS MEDICA:  A Journal of Medicine, Health and the Humanities  (www.ars-medica.ca) by the end of the seminar. ARS MEDICA actively recruits creative writing by  students and trainees across healthcare disciplines.

Application process:
Please write a 500-1000 word personal essay, poem or story, on any subject you choose. Send your submission as a PDF or Word document to damian.tarnopolsky@utoronto.ca  by September 3rd,  2018

FEE: *** There is no fee for this workshop. ***

The workshop was created with a  generous donation from the  estate of  Barbara Moon. Ongoing funding from the Faculty of Medicine and Massey College have kept this wonderful inter-professional opportunity alive.

Time and Location: Workshops will take place at Massey College one Wednesday evening each month from October to May (dates to be confirmed)


Damian Tarnopolsky is the author of two books: the novel Goya’s Dog, a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Amazon First Novel Award, and the short fiction collection Lanzmann and Other Stories, which was nominated for the ReLit Award. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Toronto and has taught writing and literature at the School of Continuing Studies, Humber College and the Junction Writes workshop. He is the proprietor of Slingsby and Dixon, an editorial services company in Toronto, worked previously at Random House of Canada, and volunteers as Managing Editor of the Toronto Review of Books. He was the Barbara Moon/Ars Medica Fellow at Massey College in 2014, and 2016-17.