Courses

NEW COURSES EACH QUARTER

SUMMER 2024

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CORE

CORE

National Book Award winner Sabaa Tahir introduces students to the narrative elements that make up a writer’s voice and teaches students how to use those elements to write as only they can. 

Using case studies, self-interviews and writing assignments, Finding Your Voice: Writing as Only You Can guides students through her process of identifying and honing an authorial voice. The goal of this course is to demystify the authorial voice by defining it as the sum of its parts. Students will explore how the Big Seven–style, tone, narrative perspective, point of view, language, characterization, and dialogue–all work together to shape not only how a book sounds but how it feels.

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ROMANCE

ROMANCE

Romance author Tarah DeWitt introduces her approach to balanced romantic storylines through a detailed look at her 2022 contemporary romance Funny Feelings

DeWitt believes that romance, specifically, is a safe space to explore some tougher themes, with the guarantee of a happy outcome at the end. In Balancing the Heavy with Humor in Romance: A Funny Feelings Case Study, DeWitt details how to create multi-faceted characters, build perfect meet cute moments, get unstuck in the sticky middle, and utilize the power of 3s to craft compelling relationships and juicy tension. At the end of this course students will feel confident crafting a gorgeous love story with some truly funny moments.

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FANTASY

FANTASY

Prolific author Zoraida Córdova guides students through the different entry points of science fiction and fantasy worlds in Fantasy Gateways: Approaches to Magical Worldbuilding.

Drawing from her extensive experience, Zoraida Córdova walks students through her worldbuilding process, including character, setting, and magic system development. Presenting her own works as case studies, Córdova shows students how to bridge the fantastic to reality through research and cultural analogs. Students will join Córdova as they map a hero’s quest using her preferred story beats, research checklist, and worldbuilding questions. This course applies to all writing genres, expanding beyond novels into screenplays, comics, video games, and more.

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SPRING 2024

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CORE

CORE

New York Times bestselling author Ayana Gray guides students through approaching their writing craft with respect, responsibility, and accountability at every stage of the process.  

Intentional Craft: Writing Outside Your Lived Experience will inspire you to create interesting, diverse stories by teaching students the importance and skill of crafting characters outside your own lived experiences. Storytellers have the unique power to open doors and build bridges when they write stories that are inclusive and encompass more than one community. In this foundational course, Ayana addresses how to respectfully and responsibly write characters of different races, ethnicities, gender identities and expressions, sexual orientations, disabilities, and neurodiversities. From her own experiences and research, Ayana includes best practices, dos and don’ts, as well as practical ways to avoid stereotypes when venturing out into new territory.

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ROMANCE

ROMANCE

Kristin Dwyer, critically acclaimed author of romance novels, takes on the mechanics of the “third act breakup” to analyze the key elements of storytelling that create the foundation for an emotional impact in the darkest moment of your character's journey.

The Third Act Breakup is an examination and defense of one of the romance genre's most controversial story beats. In this course, Kristin destigmatizes the trope and emboldens romance writers to capture human emotion at its most sincere. Students will explore the rules of writing romancestrategies for cultivating and maintaining tension, and frameworks for earning a happily ever after. Using myriad case studies from her extensive study of the genre, Kristin will teach students how midpoints, tension, emotion, and tone all set the stage for a devastating story beat that truly earns a happily ever after.

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FANTASY

FANTASY

#1 New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Ross unveils her personal method for developing the symbiotic relationship between fantasy worlds and the characters who navigate them.

In Magical Echoes: Worldbuilding That Supports Character Arc, Rebecca shares her process for building unique worlds that enrichinform, and fulfill the protagonist’s journey. Students will investigate inner mapsstudy worldbuilding elements that pique the reader’s interest and inform the quest. They will also take a deep dive into magic and magic systems, and create folklore that echoes the character’s arc. Using her novels as case studies, Rebecca shares the frameworks and tools she uses to craft bestselling fantasies.

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Check out a sneak peek of our Spring 2024 courses below.

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