By Arielle Follett
Creative writing PhDs are few and far between, but Algonquin has a very successful one on staff.
Business professor Scott Randall has three short story collections published. A story from his most recent collection won second place in The Dalhousie Review.
“It’s exciting because I’ve been nominated a few times but I’ve never won,” said Randall. “One of my first published stories was in the Review and I just kept submitting. It’s been a nice relationship.
“I saw the contest and decided to submit. The judge was someone that I liked as well. I admire their writing so it’s nice to have them admire mine.”
His story was about a staff professor walking home from work and getting a call that his ex-wife has died.
“With his customary control and skillful balancing of irony and compassion, Randall – who has had a number of stories published in The Dalhousie Review – gets inside the head of Kelly, an unsatisfied academic held hostage at an interminable end-of-term faculty meeting,” writes Dalhousie editor Carrie Dawson in a brief review of the piece.
The assignments I get back are really playful and it reminds me why I enjoy writing in the first place.
The whole collection, named “And to Say Hello…”, also won established writer grants from Ottawa and Ontario.
Randall’s interest in writing began in high school when he took some creative writing courses. He went on to study for an undergraduate degree in English, with plans to teach high school. A lack of job prospects led him back to school, where he studied for his graduate degree in writing and then his PhD in English and creative writing.
Randall then began his career as a professor at Concordia University in Montreal. He taught creative writing to creative writing majors as well as some communications courses. Randall stayed at Concordia for three years before his contract expired and his wife found a job in Ottawa. Randall followed his wife to Ottawa and began teaching at Algonquin as a communications professor in the School of Business.
Most recently, Randall has begun teaching a creative writing course for four-year undergraduate programs at the college.
“It’s a treat,” he said. “The assignments I get back are really playful and it reminds me why I enjoy writing in the first place.”