Creative Writing class starts Aug. 22

Published poet Janice Northerns will help students put words to paper

Creative writing students at Seward County Community College will have a fresh opportunity to put words to paper in stories, poems, and more with English instructor Janice Northerns this fall. The Creative Writing evening class, scheduled from 6-9 p.m. every Wednesday, starts August 22. Enrollment at SCCC is open now, with business hours from 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday, and special office hours available from 2 to 4 p.m. this Saturday only.

Creative writing sometimes intimidates would-be writers, Northerns noted, but her class is set up to make various forms accessible and fun.

“Students will learn about poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction and get the chance to try their hands at all three,” she said. “We will do lots of fun activities and exercises to jump start the creative process.” Much of the class will be conducted as workshop sessions, where students read and discuss each other’s work and receive constructive feedback in a friendly environment from their peers and the instructor.

The class is open to students and community members—anyone who wants to learn how to write or to improve their writing is welcome to enroll. Northerns said the diverse mix of students has historically been a bonus.

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Members of the 2017 Creative Writing class attend the Telolith student literary magazine reception in spring 2018. 

“Writing has the ability to bring people together,” she said, “and we’ve seen that at SCCC at our annual poetry coffee house, where everyone reads — high school students from small towns, truck drivers, retired school teachers, single mothers, published poets. It’s a lot of fun.” Northerns has helped organize and host the contest for the past eight years.

In addition to generating work that might be featured in the popular annual event next spring, students also have the opportunity to see their work published in the Telolith, SCCC’s award-winning magazine for student art and writing.

Northerns has taught at SCCC for ten years and holds a master’s degree in English with a specialization in Creative Writing from Texas Tech University, where she also taught creative writing while doing her graduate work, and won the Robert S. Newton Creative Writing award for her poetry.

Recent honors include winning second place in the Marr Poetry Competition hosted by Southwest Review at Southern Methodist University and receiving Tennessee Williams scholarship to the prestigious two-week Sewanee Writers’ Conference in July.

Her poetry has been published or will appear soon in The Laurel Review, descant, Southwest Review, Southwestern American Literature, College English, Coal City Review, and elsewhere.

In addition to her work as a poet, Northerns has a background in journalism and has published award-winning essays and short stories.

Links to several of her recently published poems may be found on her website: www.janicenortherns.com

For more information about the class, email or call Northerns at janice.northerns@sccc.edu or 620-417-1456.

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