Live In Calgary: Mastering the Art and Craft of Feature Writing

Acclaimed journalist Richard Warnica hosts an in-person feature-writing bootcamp in Calgary — plus an opportunity for a one-on-one manuscript review with the Toronto Star's feature writer. Co-presented by the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association.
Registration for this course is closed.
Email us to add yourself to the waiting list for our next offering.
Jan. 12 and 13, 2023 (10am–5:30pm MST)
cSPACE King Edward – Treehouse (Calgary, Alta.)

Pandemic University is proud to partner with the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association to present this in-person, two-day workshop with acclaimed journalist Richard Warnica at cSPACE King Edward in Calgary, Alberta.

This bootcamp is designed for early, mid-career and experienced journalists interested in mastering narrative feature writing. Over two days of intensive sessions, students will learn how to conceive, pitch, report, structure and write distinctive features in a variety of formats. The emphasis here is on voice. Students will examine how to blend the tools of investigative reporting, essay writing, and narrative non-fiction to produce that sound distinctive, make an impact and last. They’ll also hear from such guest speakers as National Magazine Awards winner Omar Mouallem, lecturing on pitching, international reporting and other topics.

Each writer will also have the opportunity to do a one-on-one manuscript review with the instructor.

  • Writers in the Calgary area on Jan. 12 and 13
  • Young and emerging reporters pivoting toward feature writing
  • Experienced journalists looking to hone their skills
  • Feature writers aiming to create more ambitious and creative works

Not sure it’s for you? Feel free to reach out and ask us directly:


A condensed version of Warnica’s popular seven-week virtual course, the weekend workshop consists of six lectures on reporting, voice, structure, nutgraphs, editing and advanced feature skills. The instructor will also offer a manuscript review (max. 4,000 words) and one-on-one session with each student.

Students should come away from this course with the knowledge they need to conceive, report, write and edit ambitious, publishable features, whether that be their first major feature or one that pushes them beyond their current capabilities. Graduates of Richard’s courses at PanU have had their class work published on the front cover of The Walrus, A1 of the National Post, in Macleans, Massoineuve and more.

“It was jam-packed with great stuff, from the readings to the sessions to the guests. I learned a ton and Richard is an accessible, down to earth teacher. My brain hurt, but in a good way.”

–Ferrukh Faruqui, physician and freelance medical reporter

“Richard Warnica is an adept instructor who gets to the heart of what writers want and need to know in a down-to-earth and approachable way.”

—Jordan S., freelancer

“The seven weeks I spent learning about voice and feature writing with Richard and an amazing group of classmates reignited my passion for the craft of journalism after an isolating year chasing the news cycle from my apartment desk. I have a clearer vision of the kinds of stories I want to write and the skills I need to get there, plus the tools to level-up my everyday journalism at work.”

—Moira Wyton, The Tyee health reporter and graduate of Finding Your Voice as a Feature Writer


Date: Jan. 12 and 13, 2023 (10am-5:30pm MST)
Location: cSPACE King Edward, Treehouse (4th Fl., 1721 29 Ave SW, Calgary, Alta.)

  • 10:15am – 11:30am: Finding Your Story (coffee and pastries will be served)
  • 11:30am – 12:30pm: Guest speaker Omar Mouallem on pitching and freelancing
  • 12:30pm – 2pm: Lunch break
  • 2:00pm – 3:30pm: Advanced Feature Reporting
  • 3:30pm – 4pm: Break
  • 4pm – 5:30pm: Structure: How to put the pieces of your feature together
  • (Optional) Thursday PanU Pub Night (7pm): Following the lectures, current students are invited to our PanU pub night.
  • 10:15am – 11:30am: Ledes and Nutgraphs
  • 11:30am – 12:30pm: Guest speaker Marcello Di Cinto on Reporting Internationally
  • 12:30pm – 2:00pm: Lunch break
  • 2:00pm – 3:30pm: Advanced Feature Writing
  • 3:30pm: Break
  • 4pm – 5:30pm: Self Editing and Working with an Editor

This workshop will take place in the Treehouse (fourth floor) at cSPACE King Edward (1721 29 Ave SW, Calgary AB). Directions, parking and public transit details are provided in the syllabus after registration.


After checkout, you’ll receive a receipt with a downloadable PDF syllabus that includes a complete schedule of the weekend workshop, links to required readings, and additional information on your manuscript review with Richard Warnica. The PDF will also provide you with detailed directions to the venue and PanU pub night location. You will also receive an emailed reminder a few days before your first class.


Space is limited to 20 students. Anyone wishing to cancel their registration has until Jan. 5, 2023 to guarantee a refund. If you cancel between Jan. 10 and 11, 2023 we will only offer a refund if and after the vacated spot is filled. No refunds whatsoever will be offered after the workshop begins on Jan. 12, 2023. Violations of the Code of Conduct may also result in your removal from the course without compensation.


Although PanU is technically a fake university, we’re committed to high standards of artistic integrity, quality education, and maintaining a safe learning environment for writers. Abusive behaviour toward classmates or instructors will not be tolerated at any point and will result in expulsion without refund. Bigoted remarks and plagiarism may also result in your removal or cancellation of the instructor’s services without refund. The final say on whether or not you continue in class belongs to the instructor alone. If you have any questions, email


The Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA) sustains a healthy and thriving magazine industry by serving the people who publish, create, print and distribute a uniquely Albertan view of the world. We’re a classroom, a forum, a newsletter, an advocate and a united voice for magazine publishers in the province. Since 1997, we’ve supported Alberta magazines through promotion, advancement, and practical programs that foster professional development and industry growth.