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Nov. 29, 2012 Volume 34, No. 14

Award established for MU faculty involved in Campus Writing Program


Professor emeritus pioneered creation of Writing Intensive courses

Officials announced on Nov. 1 the establishment of the Win Horner Award for Innovative Writing Intensive Teaching, which recognizes MU faculty who teach a Writing Intensive (WI) course. 

“Win was such a pioneer for writing on this campus,” Amy Lannin, director of the Campus Writing Program, said at the Conley House, where task force members who created the program at MU were honored. 

“This award is recognition of faculty who demonstrate the same spirit of pioneering in their teaching of Writing Intensive courses,” she said.

Horner, an MU professor emeritus of English who led the Writing Program task force in the early 1980s, does not write much anymore. But her passion for the craft remains. 

“I have always loved to write,” she said, before clarifying. “Actually, I like to have written,” she said. “Writing is work.”

In the early 1980s, Horner headed the task force assigned to develop a writing intensive program at MU. She was inspired to do this after learning about student writing programs at other universities. 

Starting the writing program wasn’t easy. Horner and the task force had to convince faculty that writing was an important part of their teaching and their students’ learning. 

“We had to do some educating and brain changing,” Horner said. 

A WI undergraduate course requires at least 5,000 words of writing by each enrolled student. The writing helps students better understand the course topics and hone their writing skills. More than 170 WI courses are offered each semester at MU. Undergraduates are required to take two WI courses.

Since 1987, every undergraduate degree granted by MU has included the WI requirement. 

“I am just overcome,” Horner said of the eponymous award. “Seeing where the Campus Writing Program is today is an honor in and of itself.”

The first recipient of the Win Horner Award will be announced at the Creative Writing Program Awards Ceremony next April and receive $1,000.

Award nominations will be accepted starting in January. To qualify, nominees must have a 

WI course approved during the 2012–13 academic year, or have a new approach for an existing WI course. 

To nominate a faculty member, email Lannin at, or visit

 — Josh Murray