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Selkirk College Offers Two Creative Writing Classes in Nelson This Fall

Bob Hall
By Bob Hall
August 26th, 2016

Selkirk College is providing emerging and established writers an opportunity to release their creative energy with a pair of exciting offerings in Nelson starting in September.

Building off success from last year, Selkirk College will be offering both Creative Writing 100 (CWRT 100) and Creative Writing 200 (CWRT 200) in the Fall Semester. CWRT 100 is an introduction to fiction, non-fiction and poetry that will run Tuesday evenings for 15 weeks (September 6 to December 6).

CWRT 200 is a more advanced course for writers who are either working on a manuscript or have taken Selkirk’s first year courses and will run on Thursday evenings.

“Last year was an active one in the region’s literature scene,” says Leesa Dean, the instructor for both courses.

“Selkirk College ran Creative Writing classes in Castlegar and Nelson, and each one was nearly at capacity this past winter. We anticipate high enrolment again this year. Selkirk’s Continuing Education Department brought in Canadian icon Lawrence Hill for a master class this spring and will again be offering some three-hour workshops on Saturdays this fall and winter [eco-poetry, memoir, and experimental fiction]. Needless to say, it’s an exciting time to be a writer in the Kootenays.”

Students in CWRT 100 will have the chance to experiment with three different writing forms—fiction, non-fiction and poetry—and will receive valuable feedback on their work from peers and the instructor. The course will also include guest speakers, readings, open mic events and collaborative projects.

“Last year, we wrote a poem as a group and submitted it to Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine’s writing contest,” says Dean. “It was published on their website. Go read it—it’s quality work! I’m sure we’ll get up to something equally exciting this year.”

In CWRT 200, students will work on longer manuscripts such as memoirs, short story or poetry collections, or novels. The course format for CWRT 200 will be hybrid: students will meet face-to-face for two hours in Nelson every Thursday from 6-8 p.m. and there will be an online component.

“It’s a great course for writers with busy schedules who are committed to their craft,” says Dean. “In addition to guest speakers and special events, students will learn the basics of digital storytelling, a medium that has grown in popularity in recent years.”

To register for either CWRT 100 or 200, call Rachel Walker in Selkirk College Admissions at 250.365.1233 (extension 21233). Both courses are university transferrable and open to full-time students, part-time students and community learners.

For any questions about Selkirk’s Creative Writing Program, contact Leesa Dean at ldean@selkirk.caor Almeda Glenn Miller at

PHOTO CUTLINE: Selkirk College alumnus Fletcher Fitzgibbon reads his work at this summer’s Elephant Mountain Literary Festival in Nelson. The story—which he wrote while a student in Selkirk College’s Creative Writing Program—was runner-up in Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine’s fiction contest this past winter. (photo credit Will Johnson)

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