Inverness County writer Oisin Curran and the cover of his recent novel, Blood Fable.
-by John Gillis
Award-winning Inverness County writer Oisin Curran will be offering an online Creative Writing course through Cape Breton University (CBU) this fall.
The course begins during the fall term on September 4th and it is recommended that anyone interested in the course register early. The course is open to anyone interested and no samples of previous writing is necessary to register.
Participant students can enroll as a non-degree student or apply the course credits to their degree program.
Curran says a minimum of seven students is necessary to have the course go forward.
“The course will take place online over an eight-week period and it will be structured around the Norton Guide text by Alice LaPlante. The course should be of interest to anyone wanting to build on their storytelling and narrative skills,” Curran told The Oran this week.
Curran says his experience offering a writing workshop at the Cabot Trail Writers Festival reminded him of how much he enjoys teaching.
“There was a lot of engagement and it pushed me to consider offering this online course through CBU. It has been great to see such an interest in creative writing on Cape Breton Island and I wanted to see an opportunity to build on that,” he noted.
CBU President Dave Dingwall has noted that he would like to see more opportunities available from CBU for residents of western Cape Breton and this is a great example that could be built on.
“I attended a meeting in Mabou about a year ago, along with CBU officials and I pitched the idea at the time and he (Dingwall) seemed interested. Optional residency is a bit of a growing trend everywhere online with the option of in-person meetings and has been successful at University of British Columbia and elsewhere in the USA. Many of the people involved with the Cabot Trail Writers Festival have been writing for a long time so there is a strong and committed group of writers here on the Island. The other advantage that online offers is the hours, not just the flexibility, but the flexibility for people to fit it into their own schedules,” said Curran.
Curran estimates students will spend 10 or so hours a week on the CBU online course material each week.
The course will offer readings and discussion of the Laplante text, readings of short stories by such authors as Tim O’Brien, Joyce Carol Oates and John Cheever and others. There will be discussions and critiques of work by fellow participants.
About Oisin Curran
Curran is a graduate of Brown University with degrees in the Classics and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and is the author of two novels, Mopus and Blood Fable.
He taught writing to undergraduate students while at Brown University and has also given screen-writing workshops in Maine as well as his more recent experience teaching here in Cape Breton through the Cabot Trail Writers Festival and The Inverness County Centre for the Arts.
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