Local High School Teacher Named as Library Foundation’s New Writer-in-Residence

Kurt Dinan is a busy man. The father of four teaches sophomore English and creative writing at William Mason High School and serves as advisor for the school yearbook. Dinan has a passion for writing and telling stories. He is spending the next year sharing that passion as the Library Foundation’s Writer-in-Residence for 2016-2017.

Dinan was named to the post at a donor event Friday, Oct. 21, at the Madeira Branch. As the Writer-in-Residence, Dinan is conducting a writers’ workshop, speak at community events, host a podcast, write a blog and participate in Library promotions during his residency, which runs from October 2016 through September 2017. He receives a $10,000 stipend for his efforts. The Writer-in-Residence program is made possible through the generous support of Naomi Tucker Gerwin.

“I’m just really thrilled,” Dinan told the crowd during his acceptance speech. “It’s quite an honor. I started writing at 30 and I think when you find your passion you want to be able to share it with people. And now I’ll have the opportunity to help other writers in the community and to support the Library.”

Dinan has published many short stories, one of which, Plink, appears in 2015’s The Best Horror of the Year, Volume 7. His first young adult novel, Don’t Get Caught was released in April by Sourcebooks Fire. Don’t Get Caught tells the story of Max, who receives a mysterious invite from the untraceable, epic prank-pulling Chaos Club. With a 2.5 GPA and no social life, Max wonders why he was chosen and becomes suspicious. Max along with four fellow students—who also received invites—are standing on a newly defaced water tower when campus security “catches” them. They believe it’s a setup and plan to get payback by unleashing a prank war.

Dinan makes his first public appearance as the Library Foundation Writer-in-Residence at the Main Library’s Popular Library Lounge at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, when he is reading from Don’t Get Caught and answer questions.

The Library Foundation also recognized the three other finalists for the Writer-in Residence position. They are: Rick Pender, theater critic and contributing editor at CityBeat and a regular contributor to WVXU's Around Cincinnati; Thomas Atkinson, author and playwright; and Judith Turner-Yamamoto, art critic, curator and fiction/features writer.