Date: Mon, Dec 5th, 2022

Prize-winning author Leigh Ann Ruggiero teaching creative writing class

Leigh Ann Ruggiero, 2021 Juniper Prize-winning author for her novel "Unfollowers," is teaching a creative writing course in the spring.

GREAT FALLS – Great Falls College plans to offer a creative writing class spring semester.

 Leigh Ann Ruggiero, winner of the Juniper Prize in Fiction for her novel, “Unfollowers,” will be teaching the three-credit class Tuesday through Thursday from 3-4:40 p.m. from March 13-May 5.

 Ruggiero has been teaching creative writing classes for 16 years.

 "Creative Writing was so enjoyable, it didn't even feel like coursework,” said former student Janie Jordan. “I had a lot of freedom to write what I wanted to write even as I was challenged to explore different styles, genres and subject matter."

 Dr. Leanne Frost, executive director of instruction and director of general studies at the college, is enthusiastic about bringing back the class.

 “It is an incredible opportunity for Great Falls College students to learn from an excellent writer, and Leigh Ann is a master teacher as well,” she said. “This class also is a great opportunity for anyone in the public who may be interested in sharpening their writing skills.”

 For a Montana resident not pursuing a degree who just wants to take Ruggiero’s creative writing class, it will be about $500.

 The Juniper Literary Prize Series takes its name from Fort Juniper, the house that the poet Robert Francis (1901–1987) built by hand in the woods in western Massachusetts, the contest's website said.

 Gabriel Bump, author of “Everywhere You Don’t Belong” and judge for the Juniper Prize, wrote of Ruggiero’s work,

 “This beautiful novel sprawls across space and time, bounces between continents and decades. With a comforting hand, Ruggiero keeps us orientated and engaged. Energetic, stylistically brave, emotionally complex and gripping –

 ‘Unfollowers’ is a singular achievement.”

 The class isn’t restricted to novel writing as it will explore many forms of creative writing, including poetry and short fiction. Students are given free rein for their final project.

 “This class runs the gamut,” Ruggiero said. “It is for writers of all experience levels, and we will touch on many genres of writing. It is a workshop class, where students will be given the opportunity to present their work to their peers and receive feedback from them and from me.”   

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Record Number: 800