Writing teacher, Todd Efsits, has a new graphic novels course coming this fall


Michael Schoon

The cast of “All Shook Up” prepares for their show on Wednesday, Feb. 6. Todd Efsits, their director, also has a new graphic novels class that will be offered in the fall.

Michael Schoon, Staff Writer

Todd Efsits is mostly known around Elkhart Memorial as the theatre director, but as the creative writing and journalism teacher, he also works every day helping his students accomplish their goals to become better writers. But, like many good writers, he has struggled too, working hard to become a better writer.

“When I was college, one of my essays was held up as a bad example of writing, so I took a class called ‘Writer’s Studio’ which we called ‘Writing For Dummies’ because it was for a lot of people who didn’t know how to write and the professor–who was really a PHD candidate student–she had us write an excuse if we turned our paper in late, a two page excuse,” Efsits said. “So I wrote this bazaar thing that made no sense whatsoever, but it was like a creative romp through culture and that’s why it was late. Darth Vader had a problem with Alice In Wonderland and Timmy Buffett and the Union Gap was playing in the background, and the professor said if you write like this all the time you can hand everything in late.”

This showed he had a hard time at first, but he eventually rose to the top of the board in his writing career. He didn’t give up. The best thing about Efsits is that when his students are learning, he is learning with them, so he is always improving as a writer.

Here’s some words for writers to live by from Efsits:

“Write, write a lot, read a lot, observe your world, and see how other writers have observed their world. Writing can be in any form. Writing could be an essay, a movie script, a book. See how they capture their world. Writers are observers of our world. Whether it be nonfiction, fiction, journalist, poets, we writers observe our world and respond to it, write about it, explore it through the writing and that’s how we do it. When we write, it shows the world from our own perspective.”

I wanted to feature Efsits because as a teacher of writing and an avid coffee drinker, he is just outstanding at what he does. If you like what he has to say about writing, you should check out his new elective coming this fall: Graphic Novels.

During this course, he not only plans to read graphic novels with his students, but he also plans to teach them to write–or draw one. He says that you don’t have to be artistic to take the course. See your counselor to add it to your fall schedule.