Our Stories

Writing & Editing

Faces of Extension

For Shayne, teaching is all about human connection and personal growth 

Shayne Woodsmith is a collector of faces. Every day he captures a new one with his camera — a face from a random stranger he met on the streets — and posts it along with a  story on his Faces of Edmonton, an online project now nearing 20,000 followers on social media platforms. Shayne is also a published novelist, a playwright, a filmmaker, and, most importantly, an instructor with the Writing & Editing program at the Faculty of Extension.

“Students sometimes worry that they’ll never be better writers,” says Shayne, “but writing is definitely a skill that can be learned.” From their first drafts in class to the final pieces produced at the end of a course, Shayne always sees noticeable changes in a student’s proficiency. “People are more confident writers as they leave,” he says. “A lot of students surprise themselves.”

With email and texting becoming the new normal for communication, we are increasingly relying on writing to go about our everyday (and professional) business. “We tend to take writing for granted, but you really must be able to express your ideas and get your point across in a succinct, understandable way,” Shayne says. 

A learner as well as a teacher, Shayne is a big fan of continuing education. “I’m always longing to take classes, go to conferences, and attend workshops. I think we can grow exponentially with the help of someone else in an organized environment.” 


“It feels good to be a part of the student evolution and see their development as a writer.”