Corey Wheldon's OpEd written for ENGL 418 accepted by the Times Colonist

When English major Corey Whelen learned the OpEd he’s written for his ENGL418 course had been accepted by the Times Colonist he was thrilled.  “I felt very proud,” he says, “I felt like my opinion and abilities had been validated by the public.”

 The OpEd ran in the Times Colonist on December 3 and argued for a more tolerant, harm reduction approach to the controversial use of e-cigarettes.

 “The most important thing I learned was marketing myself as a writer,” says Whelen.  “Every story has an audience. You just need to find your time and place to strike.”

 Whelen’s decision to declare a major in English combined with a minor in Professional Writing reflects both his love of books and his determination to prepare for a career in communications when he graduates.  “Professional writing opens up a whole new range of fascinating business careers for English Majors,” says Whelen. 

 “People don't realize how versatile an English degree can be, and if you really enjoy doing something, then you need to figure out how to make a living doing it. Nowadays, properly written text is becoming a more valuable commodity than ever.”

 Whelen’s advice for fellow students who want to publish an Op Ed? “If you want to be heard, don't be shy. Opinion editors are friendly, they welcome submissions and will even tell you what they're looking for in terms of potential stories. The first step is always the hardest, but people will respond with courtesy if you can write a polite and proper e-mail.”

Corey Wheldon