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Durham Greater Toronto Area

Students outside Durham building

Durham Greater Toronto Area

Award-winning Author, Alexander Macleod, Inspires Students

Students in Professor Rita Bode’s Truth, Lies and Storytelling course were given the exciting opportunity to meet the author of one of their studied texts. On November 15, internationally renowned author, Alexander MacLeod visited the class to discuss his award-winning short story collection, Light Lifting.

MacLeod began his visit with a reading of an excerpt from his thrilling short story, Adult Beginner 1. He shared his inspiration and writing process behind the story, and afterwards, students interviewed him about his work and life as an author. MacLeod spoke passionately about the fifteen-year-long process of creating Light Lifting, including descriptions of how he chose the title, determined the order of the stories in the book, and of course, how he wrote the stories. Students were engaged and their questions were welcomed by MacLeod.

“He is very down to earth and easy to talk to,” said first-year English student, Tristan Murphy. “I learned so much from him today.”

As an English Professor at Saint Mary’s University, MacLeod was able to share some valuable lessons which he teaches his own English students, such as the importance of being well-read, as authors must read plenty of stories before they can write their own.

Some of the aspiring authors in the class took the opportunity to ask MacLeod for his advice on creative writing. MacLeod embraced the future authors with excitement and was happy to share his best writing tips and beliefs about effective story writing. He spoke passionately about his writing process and explained how to find and define your writing style, as well as the importance of vivid images in story writing.

"I had really bad writer’s block, but after hearing Alexander MacLeod’s advice, I can’t wait to go and write!” exclaimed first-year English student and aspiring author, Jessica Watters. “Learning experiences like these are extremely beneficial to students and I am thankful for this opportunity.”

MacLeod’s classroom visit concluded with a book signing and students left feeling inspired and motivated. MacLeod also presented to enthusiastic audiences at the Trent University Durham GTA campus on November 13 and at the Peterborough campus on November 14, as part of the Writers Reading series organized by Trent University’s Department of English.


This article was contributed by Jessica Watters, first-year English student at Trent University Durham GTA.

Posted on November 17, 2017