The Storytelling Workshops

ARS MEDICA and MASSEY COLLEGE invite student applications for :

with the 2015 BARBARA MOON EDITING FELLOW, Ann Silversides



The art of telling – and listening to – stories is fundamental to what it means to be human. Stories bring pleasure, but their utility extends far beyond that enjoyment. If you are a student in medicine, nursing or any of the allied health professions, learning how to communicate through writing and reflecting on focused narratives can be a powerful tool in building therapeutic and collegial relationships.

The act of storytelling is a skill that can be developed. It does take practice though. There is no “right” way to tell a story, but each of us can develop our own individual style and develop our unique voice in the writing genre of our choice.

This series of 12 weekly evening workshops will center on developing storytelling, narrative competence and written communication abilities, in a relaxed setting. A small inter-professional group of University of Toronto students from dentistry, medical radiation science, medicine, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physiotherapy, physician assistants, and social work speech pathology will be selected for the opportunity to enhance their skills through writing, editing and focused discussions. Trainees not yet in independent professional practice, including residents, Fellows, Masters and Doctoral students are also welcome to apply.

GOAL: We encourage workshop participants to craft at least one piece of poetry, fiction, memoir or creative non-fiction for submission  to ARS MEDICA ( by the end of the seminar. ARS MEDICA actively recruits creative writing by  students and trainees across healthcare disciplines.

Please write a 500-1000 word personal essay, poem or story, on any subject you choose. Send your submission as a  Word document to : by July 31, 2015. Please indicate which faculty you belong to and your year of study.

We are pleased to announce the appointment of  journalist, editor and educator Ann Silversides  as the 2015/16  Barbara Moon/ Ars Medica Editor In Residence Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto.   Ann is uniquely qualified to meet the tri-fold demands of this Fellowship  which entails providing a writing seminar for students selected from all eleven  clinical  disciplines at  the University of Toronto, coordinating and moderating a panel discussion on  health care and literature  hosted by Massey College for a wider community,  and making a contribution to the author mentoring program for all residents of Massey College.   Silverside’s extensive  career as a journalist specializing in health and medical issues includes  winning  a  Gold Medal  in the National Magazine Awards  2014 for her article on OxyContin-related deaths in Ontario,  two CIHR health journalism awards,   being a contributor to the CBC radio program IDEAS, and holding an Atkinson foundation Fellowship in Public Policy Journalism.


The Storytelling initiative is an ongoing collaboration between Massey College and Ars Medica – A Journal of Medicine, The Arts and Humanities (<>), in conjunction with the University of Toronto Health, Arts and Humanities Program (<>). We thank the Faculty of Medicine and Wynne Thomas and  the estate of Barbara Moon for their ongoing support of this innovative, inter-professional initiative.

Allan Peterkin MD

Professor of Psychiatry,Universsity of Toronto

Senior Fellow, Massey College


The Storytelling Workshops