Teaching creative writing is a second passion of mine. I’ve been doing it for over a decade – at the University of Toronto, George Brown College, through the Writers In Electronic Residence (WIER) program, which partners middle and high school English students from across the country with established writing mentors, and finally, with the Humber School for Writers Correspondence Program. Although no one can teach you how to capture your soul and translate it onto a page, a good writing instructor can certainly help you improve your technical skills, and your narrative voice, and coach you to express your unique imagination with conviction.
I’ve recently completed my tenure as the Writer-In-Residence for the Toronto Public Library – the largest circulation system in North America. Prior to that position, I worked as the Writer-in-Residence for the Oshawa and Kitchener Public Libraries. Every aspiring writer, regardless of means, should have access to the feedback and guidance of a more experienced writer, and that can happen at the library.
Some of the classes I’ve recently taught include: Introduction to Creative Writing, Intermediate Creative Writing, Introduction to the Short Story, Short Story Workshop, Fiction Workshop, Novel Writing, Work shopping the Novel, Bent on Writing: the contemporary queer scribe, Character and Conflict in Fiction, and How to Strengthen Your Narrative Voice. If you’d like to hire me to run a writing workshop or to offer a class in creative writing please contact me directly at eruth100 at hotmail dot com.
What my students have said:
“On May 21,st (2011) I had the pleasure of attending a mentoring session with Elizabeth Ruth. I am writing to you today to tell you what an absolute pleasure and rewarding experience my meeting with Elizabeth turned out to be. Not only was Elizabeth insightful, supportive, and generous in the writing guidance that she provided, she also helped me greatly by exploring with me some of the personal and practical challenges a writer has to deal with – things like positive thinking, financial management, life and work balance. In our one hour session I feel we achieved more than what is possible in that time frame, and the outlook I came away with was bright and super-charged.
I am very grateful that the Toronto Public Library provided me with this excellent opportunity. The lessons I learned in this experience I consider to be life lessons that will guide me well in my days and in my work too. Elizabeth Ruth was a great mentor to me – genuinely helpful and gracious.
Congratulations – I value this experience and see it as an excellent example of the wonderful things that make the TPL culture so rich through the great programming you consistently offer our city.”
Chef, Writer, Recipe Developer
“I appreciated the way Elizabeth interacted with each student individually, trying to get to know them as a person, and familiarizing herself with their writing skills. She had a genuine way of making students feel important about themselves by listening to them attentively, and giving her positive feedback…. She had no inhibitions about any subject… I surprised myself at how I was able to use witty dialogue and self-deprecating humour. Elizabeth’s praises and criticisms are to this day considered when I write.” Vicki Rashid
A student in Creating Short Stories 1., George Brown College, 2003. This is an excerpt taken from a longer personal essay entitled, My Most-liked Teacher.