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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description by Wesleyan University

1,346 ratings

About the Course

In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to the techniques that masters of fiction use to ground a story in a concrete world. From the most realist settings to the most fantastical, writers will learn how to describe the physical world in sharp, sensory detail. We will also learn how to build credibility through research, and to use creative meditation exercises to deepen our own understanding of our story worlds, so that our readers can see all that we imagine....

Top reviews


Jul 1, 2020

Great course, it taught me things that I would have never learned otherwise, in this course you must take your time, don't rush, because if you do you will miss the most important points of the curse.


Sep 13, 2023

This was course was incredibly fun and engaging to do; the skills I've gained are wide ranged, and the assignments and activities were surprisingly helpful in streamlining many of my existing skills.

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1 - 25 of 435 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description

By John L

Mar 25, 2019

I recently completed the 5-course specialization in creative writing. For the most part the course material presented was good, especially the courses on plot, on setting, and on style. The course on characterization was a little vague. From the syllabus, it looked like it would be a good course, but the instructor did not follow the syllabus and was often very unfocussed in her presentation.

The weakness with this specialization is that all the feedback to the writer is provided by peers in the course. This I found very disappointing. Many of the other students were honestly very poor writers, and as a result, the feedback I received on my assignments was very superficial. In addition, rather than being able to learn from reading the writing of others, I found for the most part that the pieces submitted by others were very lacking.

If you take this course, know that it will provide you some good information about writing fiction, but the feedback you receive on your assignments will not help you learn. You will need to find another peer group of writers to help you with that.

By Anuranjan R

Aug 29, 2019

The content of this course gives enough basis for aspiring writers to improve the settings and descriptions in their writing. The only improvement I would suggest is to have some input on the student's work from the faculty themselves. I understand that it would be a massive challenge to review all of the work submitted but only peer review feels a bit like a cop-out.

By Kristin L

Mar 5, 2017

The same as I have written for the other courses in the specialty. The course information was great and the assignments were very helpful. What lost points for the course was not the content provided by Wesleyan, which was good, but the poor effort on the part of many of the fellow students to really work on constructive critiques. For each assignment I had at least one of the three peer reviews that was useless to me to improve my writing, sometimes more. There should be a way to rate critiques so that students can't move on if they don't do the work of critiquing well.

By salima h

Mar 23, 2016

Clear lectures with practical advice, and very good assignments. The assignments in the plot class and the character class were too confusing and structured, but the assignments in the craft of setting class were perfectly designed to help the student practice whatever was taught in the modules. I know it sounds unimportant, but we're here to write, and when we're given awkward assignments, the peer reviews go haywire and the writing quality declines for everyone.

I read some of the best work, peer work, in this class and in the style class.

By Aiden T N

Jan 18, 2017

Just as the Amy Bloom's course, this course has no descriptive arch and one is left to try and grasp the teaching points in a flood of reference material. Teach theory in a clear structure first please then provide reference. See Brando Skyhorse course, very structured.

By Keith G

Oct 21, 2019

It's a good course. I learned a lot. For me the peer reviews are a weakness for a number of reasons: students don't always have the same understanding of the assignments; it would be nice to have feedback from an 'expert' e.g. the course convener; some of the students have a limited knowledge of English which reduces the value of their feedback;

By robin b

Jul 6, 2020

I complained originally I did not see the reviews of my work. I did not see them on my telephone APP. but when I checked my Laptop I did.

As with all the other courses, I learned a lot from the writers and the modules. It gave me limitations, which forced me to work harder and be more creative.

I am quite a reader, so I tried to write as if it would be something I would like to read.

The peer reviews are hard to take, even when there is positive feedback, because the teachers here have instructed us all to be kind. Being kind doesn't kill your ego, but you can't be sure whether the critiques are the peers' genuine opinions.

The additional challenge in these assignments is to fulfill the requirements in a limited amount of words. This forces us way past our comfort zones, and I, for one, felt myself stumble a bit. So I recommend this course if you are serious about learning and willing to take risks in order to grow.

By Marilyn G

Apr 6, 2020

This was the first course taken in the specialization and I enjoyed the format -- videos, readings, assignments. One aspect I found a little cumbersome was the peer review process. The feedback I received was just enough to meet the criteria of conducting a review. I could have benefited from more useful feedback and I also would have liked to get some 'instructor' feedback, if not on each assignment then perhaps an overall assessment. The lack of valuable feedback is why I rated this course a 4/5 and not 5/5, otherwise I really enjoyed the course. Thank you!

By Robert J B E

Jan 18, 2019

In regards to the specialization, I found the Brando Skyhorse course more "technical" but this course seems to evoke talent from students. The peer grading was a pleasure to do. -leattol

By Jeff

Jan 24, 2019

Content was great, the app and peer feedback could be improved on

By Michelle K

Mar 17, 2016

I really liked Amity's style- a great presenter, great voice and very encouraging. She also really got into the meat of the subject. And her assignments were a challenge but really enjoyable. I have found out things about my writing in this course!

By CherryWabbit T

May 10, 2020

Amity Gaige is amazing. Sh goes a step further to make sure you understand the topic and she also gives thoughts and questions that make you think, about what you are doing.

I feel honored to give her a five-star rating.

By Gaby S

May 17, 2020

I loved Amity Gaiged format. She made the sessions dynamic with interesting readings and videos, despite being an online course. It was fund and very instructive. I learned much more than what I expected. Thank you.

By Donald S P

Jul 18, 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 Juanita J

Jan 26, 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.

By Courtney Z

Mar 27, 2018

Excellent course- highly recommended. I liked how it tied into other courses in the series as well. I took many notes, and plan on revisiting the course during my writings to refresh some ideas.

By Joe M

Feb 11, 2019

Each step I take along this specialization gives me more and more to think about. This course continued to expand my knowledge on the writing process and helped me hone my skills a little more.

By Orjuwan M A J A

May 23, 2020

I would very much like to thank Amity Gage for her wonderful course , it was such an amazing experience and inspiring indeed.

By Abdelkader A K

May 28, 2020

Simply Amazing. The instructor was very motivational; she asked the right questions and came up with insightful answers.

By John O

May 9, 2020

This course was well organised and easy to follow, the assignments were very relevant and enjoyable to do.

By Leita H

May 3, 2020

A brilliant course ... great communication, enthusiasm, readings and exercises

By Deleted A

Apr 19, 2020

I really enjoyed this course. I wish you offered more on creative writing.

By Aggie H

May 14, 2020

I love this course! Thank you for making me a more confident writer.

By Lavaniya D

Mar 26, 2020

This course made me look at setting differently.

By Gonçalo F G G

May 11, 2020

Amazing course with an amazing teacher.