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

Acclaimed journalist Richard Warnica hosts PanU’s first in-person event, a weekend feature-writing bootcamp at the University of Toronto’s Massey College — plus an opportunity for a one-on-one manuscript review with the Toronto Star's feature writer
Oct. 1 and 2, 2022
(10am–5:30pm ET)
Massey College on the University of Toronto’s St. George Campus

Pandemic University is proud to partner with acclaimed journalist Richard Warnica on our first in-person event, at Toronto’s Massey College, at the University of Toronto’s St. George campus.

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 guest speakers, including award-winning freelance journalists Katherine Laidlaw and Shannon Gormely, on topics including freelancing, pitching, international reporting and more.

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

  • Writers in the Toronto area on Oct. 1 and 2
  • 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 online course have had their class work published on the front cover of The Walrus, A1 of the National Post, in Macleans, Massoineuve and more.


Oct. 1 & 2 (10am–5:30pm EST) at Massey College on the University of Toronto’s St. George Campus
  • 10:15am – 11:30am: Finding Your Story (coffee and pastries will be served)
  • 11:30am – 12:30pm: Katherine Laidlaw on pitching and freelancing
  • 12:30pm – 2pm: Lunch  (Students are free to bring their lunch or explore the options in the area. Suggestions will be provided.)
  • 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) Saturday PanU Pub Night: Following the lectures, current students and Toronto alumni of PanU’s feature writing courses are invited to the first ever PanU pub night at High Park Brewery (All are welcome; please RSVP.)
  • 10:15am – 11:30am: Ledes and Nutgraphs
  • 11:30am – 12:30pm: Craig Silverman on Investigative Reporting
  • 12:30pm – 2:00pm: Lunch (Students are free to bring their lunch or explore the options in the area. Suggestions will be provided.)
  • 2:00pm – 3:30pm: Advanced Feature Writing
  • 3:30pm: Break
  • 4pm – 5:30pm: Self Editing and Working with an Editor

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

Massey College is located on the University of Toronto’s St. George Campus, a short walk from the St. George subway and two intersections from Yonge and Bloor. Street parking is available on campus. (Detailed information included 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. A minimum of 12 students are required for the course to proceed. In the event that we don’t reach this threshold, all customers will receive a full refund.

Anyone wishing to cancel their registration has until Sept. 29, 2022 to receive a guaranteed refund. If you cancel between Sep. 29 and 30, 2022 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 Oct. 1, 2022. 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