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Course Catalog

Creative Writing

Creative Writing classes

Blogging: Effective Writing for Your Personal or Professional Blog

If you have a message to share, a cause to promote, a business to grow — or if you just love to write and express yourself — a blog is an essential tool. Blogging is a great way to connect with your audience (or customers), to perfect your message, and to grow as a communicator. Blogging can help writers to hone their craft, find their voice, and build a loyal readership. And yes, blogging can be profitable — and fun! This course is suitable both for beginners and for those who already have a blog but want to maximize its potential.

After this class, you will be able to:
  • Identify objectives for their blog, and the tools necessary for reaching their goals.
  • Write and promote an effective blog post.
  • Use tools such as social media and email to grow your readership.
Section: BLOGGING (04OCT16) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Oct 04, 2016 End Date: Nov 08, 2016 Tuition: $425.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Carl McColman Register

English Refresher

Your confidence level will soar as we learn the principles of effective writing, basic mechanics, and correct usage in this class. Through formal instruction, writing and grammar exercises, and group editing, you will improve grammar and punctuation skills by learning how they work in the context of your own writing and that of professionals. Learning how to edit, revise, and proofread will give you such an incredible sense of self assurance about writing that you will wish you had taken this class years ago. Textbooks not included in tuition.


After this class, you will be able to:
  • Use your increased knowledge of English grammar
  • Know the eight parts of grammar
  • Use improved writing skills
  • Use improved vocabulary
  • Use increased reading skills

Section: ENGREFRESH (05OCT16) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Oct 05, 2016 End Date: Nov 09, 2016 Tuition: $350.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Lisa Ethridge Register
Section: ENGREFRESH (27MAR17) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Mar 27, 2017 End Date: May 01, 2017 Tuition: $350.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Lisa Ethridge Register

Essentials of Creative Writing

Get your pen (or laptop keys) moving in this fast-paced introduction to creative writing. Through weekly lectures, readings, and opportunities to share your work in a supportive environment, you will begin to hone your craft, learning tips for how to create compelling characters, snappy dialogue, and satisfying story structures. Whether your dream is to write the Great American Novel or to capture true stories from your own life, this course will help you write the kinds of narratives that will keep your reader fascinated from the first word to the last.

After this class, you will be able to:
  • Describe characters (real or imagined) in compelling ways
  • Choose a narrator and point of view
  • Employ a variety of techniques to both “show and tell”
  • Craft effective dialogue
  • Design a narrative structure/plot
  • Experiment with different styles

Section: CWESSEN (14SEP16) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Sep 14, 2016 End Date: Oct 19, 2016 Tuition: $425.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Gabriela Garcia Medina Register

Humor and Comedy Writing

Wondering why TV’s big comedy lineup doesn’t quite…line up? Think you can do better? We agree -- that’s why we created this class. Our six-week workshop covers a wide variety of comedy genres including sketch, comedy/variety and scripted series, all culminating in a class that teaches you how to pitch your show to the people who can make it happen. Taught by writers, directors, and producers who’ve been there and done that, this class will give you all the tools you need to create television’s next comedy juggernaut. (Except the jokes. You’ll need to supply those.)

After this class students will be able to:

  • Understand the fundamentals of writing sketch
  • Generate unique comedic characters through exaggerated flaws and through action
  • Understand and practice methods of character transformation in sketch
  • Identify premise and structure a sketch around it
  • Practice how to heighten a sketch through identifying character goals and stakes
  • Become familiar with and identify the various outlets for comedy variety writing and how to access these outlets
  • Identify the differences between a monologue, desk piece, pre-tape, and presenter patter
Section: HUMOR (26JUL16) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Jul 26, 2016 End Date: Aug 30, 2016 Tuition: $395.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Dave Drabik; Michael Sokol Register

Inspirational Nonfiction Writing

Books with spiritual themes — from traditional religious writing to more fluid “new age” literature — remain one of the most vibrant and popular of nonfiction genres. But writing about faith, belief and spiritual experience poses unique challenges for both aspiring and seasoned authors. How do you proclaim your message, without sounding preachy or dogmatic? What elements are necessary to make a book interesting, compelling, and spiritually nurturing? How do you navigate the challenges when writing about controversial or innovative ideas? What are the keys to making your work attractive to editors? As the author of more than a dozen inspirational books, Carl McColman will help you to define your mission, hone your voice, and prepare your work for submission to editors or agents. This class is taught from a non-sectarian perspective: any kind of inspirational writing is welcome here. And while it is oriented toward writers seeking publication, the principles of inspirational writing can be beneficial for bloggers and journal-keepers as well.


After this class, you will be able to:
  • understand the unique challenges in writing inspirational nonfiction;
  • develop a “mission statement” to clarify the message of your work;
  • recognize how your intended audience will shape the character of your writing;
  • learn to recognize problem areas in inspirational writing and how to address them;
  • evaluate your message and identify the best way to reach your audience.
Section: INSPRWRT (08FEB17) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Feb 08, 2017 End Date: Mar 15, 2017 Tuition: $425.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Carl McColman Register

Introduction to Screenwriting

What are the tools that every screenwriter has in their toolbox? This class will examine those vital elements that make a screenwriter’s work compelling: characterization, dialogue, conflict, scene structure, and plot. Each session will introduce one of these elements through lecture, viewing examples from films and screenplays, and in-class exercises. Throughout the course, students will have take-home assignments that allow them to practice writing short scenes that focus on developing their screenwriting story skills, and gain the confidence they’ll need to tackle writing a feature length screenplay. During the last two weeks they will submit a 2-4 page story treatment for classroom analysis and critique.
Section: SCRNINTRO (13JUL16) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Jul 13, 2016 End Date: Aug 31, 2016 Tuition: $425.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Vicki Armour-Hileman Register

Introduction to Storytelling for Film and Television

Do you have a brilliant idea for a TV show or a movie but haven’t been able to work it into a finished project yet? This is likely because it is still in its “idea” or infancy phase. Quite a few beginning writers (and even some intermediate ones) don’t realize there is a clear distinction between stories and ideas. While many of us grow eager to put our brilliance down on paper, our greatest downfall begins with writing before the story has fully been fleshed out. Introduction to Storytelling will help writers tackle their ideas and expand them into robust stories. Throughout the course, students will be ushered through the intricacies of story development, using the paradigm of 3-act mythic structure (and 6-acts for TV). Writers will work on selecting well-defined themes, uncovering the true journey of their protagonist as well as the specific steps of the intended character arc. Consider the advantages of knowing your story’s every twist and turn before you even begin writing.

After this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify a credible theme for their story idea.
  • Create an organic character arc for their protagonist. 
  • Begin mapping out the structural landmarks of traditional mythic 3-act structure.
  • Understand the purpose of set-ups/payoffs, foreshadowing and the twist.
  • Create a correctly formatted industry-standard screenplay.
Section: STORYINTRO (17SEP16) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Sep 17, 2016 End Date: Oct 22, 2016 Tuition: $425.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Kevin Collins Register

Narrative Writing Workshop

This writing-intensive course introduces the fundamental building blocks used to construct compelling novels, short stories, and works of creative nonfiction. We will explore the craft of narrative writing and consider how the basic elements of characterization, plot, structure, and style function across a variety of popular genres. Each workshop will feature a mix of lectures, exercises, and critiques of shared student work, offering practical advice in a supportive environment. We will address the common quandaries faced by writers of all skill levels, such as building scenes, managing dialogue, showing vs. telling, and honing point of view. Whether you are passionate about paranormal mysteries or personal essays, contemporary memoirs or literary histories, you will use essential techniques to bring your narratives to life and keep your readers turning pages. Textbooks are not included in tuition.


Section: NARRATIVE (13OCT16) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Oct 13, 2016 End Date: Nov 17, 2016 Tuition: $425.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Tray Butler Register

The Business of Writing

Writing is a tough business with daunting odds. Yet in this digital age, when leveraged well, a writer has never had more power and opportunity. The Business of Writing shows you how to identify your brand and build your platform, as well as to evaluate the commercial potential of your work and understand the paths toward monetizing your writing. Investing the time and work to make it as good as it can be, committing to the process, and persevering during the inevitable rejection you will encounter along the path are all crucial for success. So, too, is learning not to be defensive when criticized for the work into which you've poured your heart and soul.

This workshop will also cover traditional publishing vs. self-publishing and all the stops in between, including agents and query letters, rights and legal issues including copyright, tenacity vs. talent, formatting, content creation, social networking, writers conferences, author websites, blogging, the best ways to connect with other writers to create a support group, and embracing the writing life.

After this class, participants will be able to:

  • Identify their author platform and take the first steps toward building it.
  • Explain the differences between the various routes to publication.
  • Recognize pitfalls and scams associated with publication.
  • Access and use writing tools and resources, including blog and website-building, formatting and content creation tools.
  • Create a list of potential literary agents.
  • Write a polished query letter ready to be customized for each literary agent.
  • Build a support and/or critique group and learn how best to connect with the larger writing community.
Section: BUSOFWRITE (30JUL16) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Jul 30, 2016 End Date: Aug 06, 2016 Tuition: $425.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Claire Cook Register
Section: BUSOFWRITE (18FEB17) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Feb 18, 2017 End Date: Feb 25, 2017 Tuition: $425.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Claire Cook Register

Writing Freelance

Magazine and newspaper articles, ads, speeches, even greeting cards--variety is the essence and joy of freelancing. Learn writing tips that catch an editor's eye, survival techniques, and the mysteries of marketing. Classes include shake-loose exercises/assignments. Your instructor writes and edits for magazines and other clients on topics such as decorative arts, health, travel, business, and human interest.
Section: WRTGFRLNCE (03OCT16) -- Learn More...
Start Date: Oct 03, 2016 End Date: Nov 07, 2016 Tuition: $375.00
Campus: Executive Park Instructor: Linda E Clopton Register

Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense Workshop

Keep your readers guessing (and eagerly turning the pages with anticipation…) as we explore and discover the critical ingredients to successfully building tension and excitement – including how to transition conflict into thrilling conclusions. Peer and instructor feedback will supplement creative exercises as you refine and polish your writing style, working towards publication.


Poetry: Solving the Mystery THU 10:00AM-11:00AM

Instructor: Trudy Kretchman, BA English

We will read aloud and discuss poetry for enjoyment and understanding. Continue to investigate the Poets Laureate of the US, including Natasha Trethewey, current Laureate, entering her second term, and Professor of English and Creative writing at Emory University. We will use two small volumes of Poetry Magazine.

Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Workshop

Your dream is to astonish your audience with a frightening horror story – or transport them on a magical journey. Your groundbreaking story idea lingers in your mind, just waiting to be put into words -- but where (and how) do you begin? Our supportive environment provides ample opportunity to share original works for critical peer review as you learn to properly analyze and critique manuscripts. Instructor comments, lecture, and responsive writing exercises will be included in order to help nurture your growth as a writer.


Writing the Touchstone Moment: The Art of the Personal Essay

These are the moments that make life worthwhile—and they also make good material for writing. Want to capture a moment for your own enjoyment, pass on a memory to loved ones, or launch a professional writing career? Our class will introduce you to the principles of structure and the elements of craft that underlie all good writing – as well as resources for finding potential venues for publication. Our workshop format will include short essay readings, weekly writing assignments, and constructive feedback.



After this course, students will be able to:

  • Choose incidents from their lives that have the best chance of becoming successful personal essays
  • Structure their work effectively
  • Evaluate, revise, and polish their own work based principles of concise, vivid, dynamic writing
  • Choose a publishing venue to submit to