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Allegheny

CCAC students become published writers after taking classes

Emily Balser
| Friday, Aug. 10, 2018, 4:09 p.m.
The Community College of Allegheny County's Allegheny Campus.
The Community College of Allegheny County's Allegheny Campus.

Four students from Community College of Allegheny County have become published authors after taking noncredit writing classes.

The students are all part of the community education writing classes offered by Ann Howley, a writing instructor at the college.

The four-week class is a noncredit writing course that Howley started in 2015 after she wrote her own book so others could learn from her experience.

“I said to myself so many times, ‘I wish someone had told me that!’ That was my goal — to share what I had learned,” Howley said in a news release.

Noretta Willig, Michael Burroway, Nancy Alauzen and Karen Coughlan have all become published authors since taking the class.

Willig signed up for the memoir workshop when she was stalled in a book she was writing about her uncle — a 19-year-old soldier whose remains were found 90 years after he died in France during the final days of World War I — as well as the impact of the Great War on three generations of her family called “Carl’s Story.” The book has been endorsed as an official project of the World War I Centennial Commission.

Burroway’s story about growing up gay and then making peace with his abusive father on his deathbed was published in the 2017 edition of OASIS Journal.

Alauzen, who suffers from a rare genetic bone disease, had an essay published last year in “Weak Bones, Strong Wills, the Stories of XLH.”

Coughlan is a contributing author in the recently published “Clunk on the Head: How the Holy Spirit Got Our Attention.”

Howley is a former accounting professional who has been a regular writer for Pittsburgh Parent magazine for six years. She is also working on a novel.

She will teach the following classes at various CCAC campuses and locations this fall: How to Write for Magazines, Writers Support Group, Memoir Writing Workshop, How to Find a Writer’s Agent, How to Build an Author Platform, How to Teach a Class for Community Education and Writing Short Stories.

This story has been updated to reflect that the students took noncredit writing classes.

Emily Balser is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Emily at 724-226-4680, emilybalser@tribweb.com or via Twitter @emilybalser.

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