Charlene Gibb is a writer living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. After taking the Creative Writing Specialization by Wesleyan University she was able to accomplish her dream of becoming a published author. Read her story:
I have lived in Toronto, Canada for almost thirty years after being raised in Windsor. Born in England, my family moved to Canada when I was three. I worked for the City of Toronto, Social Services Department where I assisted clients who needed financial help. I developed a keen sense of social justice and witnessed people falling through the cracks every day. It was very frustrating. But then, there were the times when I fought for a client and their lives improved. That made it all worthwhile. The stress of poverty inflicts depression and physical limitations on otherwise healthy people. I’d like to bring attention to that problem through my writing.
My first course on Coursera was the Creative Writing Specialization, and I was hooked. I’ve taken a wide range of courses and specializations including leadership and psychology courses. I’ve brushed up on my grammar, and I’m currently enrolled in the Journalism Specialization. After taking How to Create a Website in a Weekend, I designed an author website where I share writing tips and techniques, gift ideas for writers and readers as well as classic short stories.
If it weren’t for Coursera and their Creative Writing Specialization I never would have dreamed of publishing a book – let alone actually do it. I’ve made lifelong friendships along the way, especially the other three authors of the Voices Anthology. Their support has been invaluable and I’d be remiss if I didn’t say they were a huge part of my development as a writer. We are excited to share our Capstones and other short stories in Voices. There is a real sense of community on Coursera that I don’t think you get from other MOOCs.
I can give them credit for everything except the talent and perseverance it requires to break through barriers to achieve a dream. Being a published author gives me a reason to believe there may be other things out there I’m yet to achieve. When you reach a certain age, you realize that you’ve probably accomplished everything you are going to. Coursera gives me hope that the future may hold some more surprises.
I have been a mentor at Coursera for over a year now, and I plan on continuing that. I’m also the group leader of the Coursera Community on Scribophile, a website for writers and a Coursera Partner. I have a novel in the works but have put it on the back burner until we have published Voices. After publication, I’ll also have more time to develop my website further and create some interesting content.
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