Austin Peay alum to offer creative writing classes for students at Community School of the Arts
(Posted March 25, 2021)
Austin Peay State University alumna Joanna Grisham grew up in a small town close to Nashville. Growing up, she spent a lot of her time playing make-believe and interacting with her imaginary friends. It’s no surprise that Grisham decided to write for a living, creating an escape from reality.
Students ages 15 through adult have an opportunity to learn from Grisham and take a class in creative writing at Austin Peay’s Community School of the Arts. The eight-week course starts April 13 and will meet remotely from 5:30-6:30 p.m. every Tuesday until June 1. The class – which is part of CSA’s Spring Session II class offerings – is $5 an hour ($40 total) and is limited to 10 students, so sign up fast.
In the class, students will use writing as an art and a way to express themselves. Students will write nonfiction essays, fictional stories, poems and dramatic scenes. All students can share their work and receive feedback from other writers. Writing prompts will guide students, and they’ll learn how to make their work more engaging on social media. Students also will learn how to prepare their work for publication.
Students don’t have to have any previous creative writing experience, and the class is open to beginning and advanced writers. The class is not a grammar course, so students must understand the English language and usage. If students have a manuscript in progress, they can bring it to the first class.
Grisham has degrees in communication for Volunteer State Community College and Austin Peay. Grisham also has an M.A. in English from APSU and an MFA in Creative Writing from Georgia College & State University. Grisham writes mostly fiction and creative nonfiction, but she also writes poetry and screenwriting. Her work has appeared in Construction Literary Magazine, 30 Poets, 30 Poems: A Clarksville Anthology, Mayday Magazine, Reunion: The Dallas Review and Trop.
Grisham also has editorial and publishing experience and has given presentations, panels and readings. She has taught many classes such as “Stories for Creative Writers,” “Women’s & Gender Studies,” “Fundamentals of English” and “Exposition and Research” at various colleges including Austin Peay.
To this day, Grisham still spends time playing make-believe. Only now, she shares this experience with her 2-year-old.
Guitar II class added to CSA offerings
Other classes offered during the Community School of the Arts’ Spring Session II include Beginning Ukulele, Beginning Guitar and the newly added Guitar II. All classes are $5 per hour because of a recently announced model that uses sponsorships from local community members and organizations to dramatically reduce the cost.
The school also is planning to have summer classes and workshops. To learn more about the Community School of the Arts at Austin Peay, visit www.apsu.edu/csa.
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