Writing samples

Nonfiction storytelling by Allyson Rowley — some of my award-winning articles, as well as examples of my feature stories, articles on scientific research, profiles of interesting folks, and stories about awesome students:


Whose life is it, anyway? The story of Hanne Schafer, one of the first Canadians to receive a medically assisted death.

The oldest rabble-rouser on campus: For more than 100 years, the McGill Daily has trained some of the country’s best reporters, while poking and prodding the powers-that-be.

Seeing through snake oil: Forget Dr. Oz. The McMaster Optimal Aging Portal is the real deal.


Remembering, reckoning, and reconciling: How McGill University is coming to terms with its complicated past.

Reinventing architecture for a new era: One of today’s most influential architects, Amale Andraos wants to disassemble and reassemble a better world.

A semester like no other: How McGill University shapeshifted in fall 2020 to adapt to learning in lockdown.

The advocate for a better Anthropocene: Elena Bennett wants you to imagine a radical, inspiring, and realistic future for our planet.

Celebrating a cautious centennial: One hundred years after May 24, 1918, how much closer are we to gender parity?

O Cannabis! The highs and lows of legalization.

The butterfly effect: Bobbi Lancaster reflects on her journey as a transgender pioneer.


Seeing the light: A research breakthrough by a McMaster PhD student creates a simple, cost-effective laser on silicon.

A computer screen you can fold: U of T researchers have discovered a better way to make flat-panel displays.

Physics that’s practically fun: Students give high marks to a new kind of science lab.

Debugging: A local parasite could help protect Ontario’s ash trees from a deadly invader.

Breath of life: Developing the technology to give hospitals in low-income countries a more reliable supply of medical oxygen.


Changing the weather: Walter Schroeder explains why Newfoundland music strikes a chord.

Taking the leap: Sabrina Habib launched a career as a global health practitioner and co-founded a day care network in East Africa before she turned 30.

Alone across the Arctic: Who would walk alone across Canada’s Arctic? Meet Adam Shoalts.

McMaster’s ‘bug man’I’ve only known Marvin Gunderman for about 20 minutes and already he’s asked if I want to hold a cockroach.

Canada’s new Noah: Growing rare plants, befriending giant tortoises, and getting bit by a scorpion. All in a day’s work for biologist Laura King.


Accelerating the next generation of biomedical scientists: Fast-tracking undergraduates to a career in biomedical research.

Climate change getting you down? Mac has a course for that: Some awesomely talented students come up with equally awesome ideas to fight climate change.

Math, physics, French … and Buddhism? Cissy Suen missed her convocation in June, but she had a pretty good reason.

Learning how to teach made them better students: Two psychology students psychoanalyze how their experience as teaching assistants changed their lives.

Student leader heading to Oxford: When Audrey Tan was a child, she loved reading so much that her parents had to hide her books so she would go to sleep.