Novelist Taleb Alrefai teaches the art of creative writing through workshops
Before starting to teach creative writing, Alrefai studied the craft at prestigious institutions. He participated in the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, USA, and earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Kingston University in London.
He received his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Kuwait University in 1982. However, he was already writing fiction during his university years and published his first novel, including “Ẓill Al-Shams” (“The shadow of the sun”). in 1998.
In addition, he has published a dozen collections of stories. Some of his works have been translated into other languages, including English, French and German.
Among other honours, Alrefai was chosen to preside over the judges for the 2010 edition International Prize for Arabic Fictionand was chosen as “Cultural personality of the yearat the Sharjah International Book Fair last year.
He also founded the Al-Multaqa Prize for Arabic Short Storya joint effort of the American University in Kuwait and the Cultural Circle, a literary discussion group he leads in Kuwait.
Teaching an art as a practical subject
Alrefai believes that teaching creative writing through workshops helps spread knowledge among university students, especially those with a talent for writing. There’s value in teaching writing as a practical subject, he says, in addition to a connection between creative writing and engaging with the reality of everyday life.