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Creative Writing Workshop

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Course Description


Do you dream of writing poetry, short stories, or novels? Have you ever watched a movie or a play and felt the desire to write a script of your own? Or have you already done some writing but want to find ways to bring more creativity, more originality, to your writing? Have you ever read a so-so novel or seen a lousy movie and told yourself, "I bet I could do better?" Do you find yourself excited and intrigued by words, and by their sounds and meanings?

If you said yes to any of these questions, then this course is for you. A creative writer makes art just as a painter or sculptor does, but with different tools. Instead of brushes, canvas, and pigments, the writer uses words. While the painter produces a painting we can see in front of us, the writer makes magic of a different sort. With a simple palette of letters and punctuation – just lines and symbols scratched on paper or scattered on a computer screen – the writer can create pictures and even entire worlds within a reader's mind.

There are many forms of creative writing, from fiction, to poetry, to stage play and screenplay. Within each form there are countless genres and flavors. As a writer, you can (and should) try your hand at as many forms as you like, or you can specialize in one. There are techniques and practices that are common to all forms of creative writing, and we will discuss those here. We will also touch on the challenges and techniques that make writing in the different forms unique. Throughout this course, you will find numerous exercises designed to get your brain – and your hand – moving.

Course Requirements

At least a high school reading and writing educational level is required.

Course Goals


  • Lesson 1: Small Steps
  • Lesson 2: Getting Out of Your Own Way
  • Lesson 3: Diving In
  • Lesson 4: Gear
  • Lesson 5: Words on a Page
  • Lesson 6 : On the Shoulders of Giants: Learning by Imitation
  • Lesson 7: Finding your Voice
  • Lesson 8: Poetic Devices
  • Lesson 9: Poetic Forms
  • Lesson 10: Short Story
  • Lesson 11: The Long Haul: Writing a Novel
  • Lesson 12: Upstage, Downstage: Writing Drama
  • Lesson 13 : Conclusion

Course Materials

All course materials will be online and no outside purchases will be required.

Grading Policy

The course consists of thirteen lessons. Each lesson will contain a number of writing exercises. At the end of each lesson will be a written assignment and a lesson review quiz based on the lesson material. A percentage grade will be given based on point accumulation.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Know the steps to take before attempting to write.
  • Demonstrate writing from inspiration.
  • Demonstrate writing without inspiration.
  • Demonstrate writing through imitation.
  • Demonstrate writing in your own voice.
  • Know the processes involved in generating poetic forms.
  • Demonstrate writing a short story, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
Assignment 1: Starting Small20
Lesson 1: Small Steps10
Assignment 2: Combatting Fear20
Lesson 2: Getting Out of Your Own Way10
Assignment 3: Freewriting25
Lesson 3: Diving In9
Assignment 4: Evaluating Tools20
Lesson 4: Gear10
Assignment 5: Show Don't Tell25
Lesson 5: Words on a Page10
Assignment 6: Choosing Mentors25
Lesson 6 : On the Shoulders of Giants: Learning by Imitation9
Assignment 7: Your Passions25
Lesson 7: Finding your Voice10
Assignment 8: Using Metaphors20
Lesson 8: Poetic Devices10
Assignment 9: Sonnets and Haikus25
Lesson 9: Poetic Forms10
Assignment 10: Narrative Practice25
Lesson 10: Short Story9
Assignment 11: Creating Characters25
Lesson 11: The Long Haul: Writing a Novel9
Assignment 12: Dialog Creation25
Lesson 12: Upstage, Downstage: Writing Drama8
Assignment 13: Revising25
The Final Creative Writing Assignment100
Lesson 13 : Conclusion10
The Final Exam61
Total Points:590

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