We wouldn’t be able to do what we do at Continuing Education & Contract Training (CECT) without our instructors. Each week, we will be sharing a short interview with one of currently teaching faculty, so you can learn more about them.
Today, we are interviewing Robert Wiersema, an Instructor in our Creative Writing area.
What courses do you currently teach and how long have you taught with CECT?
I currently teach Fiction Writing Intermediate Workshop, with a follow-up course, Advanced Fiction Writing, starting in a couple of weeks. I’ve been teaching in the department since 2011.
What excites you the most about teaching?
I love the sense of connection, not only between myself and the students, but with the students and their own work. For a lot of people, writing is a solitary activity; to be in an environment where ones work is allowed into the light, is recognized and appreciated (and critiqued, naturally enough), is a very special moment. I feel a sense of blessing every time I get to be even a small part of it.
What are some interesting technologies/ trends you see as someone who teaches in this industry?
People have in their head that Canadian writing, in particular, is hidebound, unexciting, sepia-toned. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. We are seeing writing these days that is dynamic and exciting, from voices which have been ignored or marginalized for far too long.
How have you adjusted during this COVID-19 pandemic as an instructor?
With the shift over to teaching online through video software, I think the classes have gained a greater sense of intimacy and closeness. There’s a sense that we’re all in it together, sheltering from the storm.
Do you have any tips to share with learners going through this time of uncertainty?
My tips haven’t changed: Read as much as you can and write as much as you are able. But now there is a certain urgency: if you’re of the right temperament, focusing on reading and writing can serve as a foundation, a rock, in times of tumult and uncertainty. Live, for example, now.
Thank you for taking the time for this interview, Robert!
About Robert's Course:
Advanced Fiction Writing
Designed as a follow-up to Fiction Writing Intermediate with Robert Wiersema, this advanced level workshop will guide developing writers through a larger work, either a short story or part of a novel. The name of the game is writing, and students should come prepared to write, read, critique and discuss during class sessions, and to write between sessions. This hands-on work will be complemented by lectures, discussions and Q&A sessions. Learn more