About this Course
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Flexible deadlines

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Approx. 12 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Approx. 12 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 weeks of study, 1-3 hours/week...

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
3 hours to complete

Persuasive Settings: Why Description Matters

Writing a great short story is like conveying a dream. As we will see from studying one famous master, a "persuasive" setting is necessary in order to build mood, character, and even plot....
7 videos (Total 39 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
7 videos
The Power of Persuasion3m
Moving Through Time and Space4m
Nothing Can Happen Nowhere8m
Shop Talk with Brando Skyhorse10m
Feedback Expectations for the Specialization2m
Assignment Overview: Slow-Motion Moment1m
4 readings
"The Power of Persuasion" by Mario Vargas Llosa10m
"The Odour of Chrysanthemums" by D.H. Lawrence10m
A Note on Assignments10m
Promo Codes10m
Week
2
3 hours to complete

If You Build It, They Will Come

Pack your fiction with "vitamin-rich" detail. Looking at the work of both masters and students, we will discuss how funny, meaningful, and powerful details can be....
4 videos (Total 25 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
4 videos
"Things That Suck"3m
Shop Talk with Salvatore Scibona14m
Assignment Overview: Habitual Ritual1m
3 readings
Text of "How to Write About Africa" by Binyavanga Wainaina10m
"How to Become a Writer" by Lorrie Moore10m
"Forever Overhead" by David Foster Wallace10m
Week
3
3 hours to complete

Credibility and Research

Create settings both familiar and unfamiliar to you, while avoiding common missteps. You will be guided through several meditation exercises as you practice "imaginative research"....
4 videos (Total 37 min), 1 quiz
4 videos
Meditation Exercise7m
Shop Talk with Amy Bloom14m
Assignment Overview: Strange Lands3m
Week
4
3 hours to complete

Realities

Setting and description works in realist and non-realist fiction, as well as across literary genres. Consider how to write about your own "primal landscape"....
4 videos (Total 35 min), 1 quiz
4 videos
What Is Genre? (including Shop Talk with Amy Bloom on Noir Fiction)10m
Visiting Writer: Historical Fiction with Valerie Martin13m
Assignment Overview: Primal Landscapes3m
4.7
219 ReviewsChevron Right

25%

started a new career after completing these courses

43%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By DPJul 18th 2018

This course gave a real depth to the importance of describing your character's environment, as a way of deepening and exciting them. excellent work on imagining your characters in the environment

By JWJan 27th 2018

The course was very well organized and quite challenging. Each week gave me the opportunity to develop a piece which I have further developed into longer pieces which I am looking at publishing.

Instructor

Avatar

Amity Gaige

Visiting Scholar in Creative Writing

About Wesleyan University

At Wesleyan, distinguished scholar-teachers work closely with students, taking advantage of fluidity among disciplines to explore the world with a variety of tools. The university seeks to build a diverse, energetic community of students, faculty, and staff who think critically and creatively and who value independence of mind and generosity of spirit. ...

About the Creative Writing Specialization

This Specialization covers elements of three major creative writing genres: short story, narrative essay, and memoir. You will master the techniques that good writers use to compose a bracing story, populated with memorable characters in an interesting setting, written in a fresh descriptive style. You will analyze and constructively evaluate peer writing. In the Capstone, you will draft, rewrite, and complete a substantial original story in the genre of your choosing. Our courses are designed for anyone from the aspiring short story writer to established novelist. Whether you have a finished novel sitting on your desk calling for a fresh look or have had the germ of an idea for a decade, this Specialization gives you tools to achieve your goal. Through 4 courses focused on a key aspect of writing, and taken in any order you choose, you will develop a stronger ability to not only refine your writing, but critique writing in general and find inspiration in the works you are already reading. Thanks to our sponsors, upon completion of their first assignment, learners in each course will receive up to an 80% discount from Write-Bros and a 30% discount off their first purchase from Scrivener to use on their writing software. Additionally, learners who complete an assignment will receive 30% off membership at the online writing community Scribophile. For more information about our partners, see the FAQ below....
Creative Writing

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. Your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.