I got so, so much out of this! It's not only helped me with my own writing, but it's helped me with being able to be a better editor, also. Enjoyed being able to read other writers' works, as well.
It was challenging and inspiring, one of the best courses I have taken. I took my writing to new places and learned quite a lot : ) Thank you so much for the opportunity and platform for learning.
By P. E K•
Seems like the patients are running the asylum in these Wesleyan/Coursera courses. The feedback is only useful when the students provide careful, thoughtful readings, which happens occasionally. If you're one of the students who commit to reading your fellow students' work carefully and thoughtfully, and work hard to communicate your impressions, you'll feel cheated when you get in return: "Interesting story. Use all your senses. More dialogue." Do any of the teachers of the courses actually read what the people taking this course are writing? I feel like it all runs on autopilot and no one really cares. Frustrating.
By Alicia C•
It would be better if the instructor actually participated.
By Carrie-Anne R•
I was under the impression we would receive feedback from a qualified lecture in the Capstone, which we unfortunately did not. I also only received 2 reviews on the first draft and on the second draft (rather than the 3 we were supposed to receive). I feel that a big failing of the course in general is that you can't correspond with the people who review your work, unless they leave a comment. The lecturers drive home that it's critical to have a group of trusted writing friends to review your work and support you. I felt that some of the reviewers could have become great writing buddies in future (their feedback was so insightful), but I'll never be able to interact with them. I felt that the courses leading up to the Capstone were more informative, although suffering the same administrative problems.
The most important part of this course is peer review IMHO. So, I put a lot of effort and consideration into the reviews I gave, trying to make them helpful, constructive and encouraging. But it was not very reciprocal. I DID get a few great reviews, very thoughtful, very constructive. But sometimes I only got two reviews instead of three, and usually the reviews gave no criticism. One review was a single word, "nice." I got a LOT more out of the other courses in this certificate. I was disappointed with this one.
By John L•
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 julia s•
I learned a lot from the exercises in the other parts of the specialization. To make the capstone a better experience for everyone I propose that here the reviews should be graded. Perhaps, only have each person do two reviews instead of three but have them submitted as part of the next week's assignment and rated. Everyone could rate two or three reviews. This way reviewers would put in as much effort into the reviews as into their submissions, and they would also learn how to write reviews by reading other reviews and sanding examples.
By Helen J•
The course has been amazing. I was disappointed with the lack of effort made by students to critique my final draft. The critique is supposed to be a 1-2 page effort. I made sure that I obliged for all other students and did a 'proper' job. This is my only complaint. I noticed on my sanding critique there was only one person who bothered to do it correctly.
By Camille B•
This course pushes you to get your story out and gives you the experience of having your work reviewed and receiving feedback. It could be invaluable to new writers. Only four stars because there is no surety your peers will do a proper review.
By Juanita J•
I really enjoyed the capstone. I received some great feedback regarding my story but I was disappointed because most time I only received two instead of three reviews. I feel the reviews are the most informative because they are the reader responses to the lessons covered each week so I think it should be a goal that is met each week even if a mentor must step in to provide that final review.
The reviews are also an opportunity for me as a writer to improve my editing skills. It is also an opportunity that forces me to make sure there is a positive in the critical reviews of the pieces. I make sure i review my words to be sure they are not negative but offer guidance and words that will make the writers want to continue writing and improve. As students we all came to this specialization for skills and a chance to publicly share those lessons within our pieces not negativity.
I am glad Coursera provided me with this opportunity to take advantage of this specialization because I am a better writer because of these five courses and their instructors. Thank you.
By Jack H•
Overall, I found this course to be VERY ENJOYABLE. My ONLY concern was that the PDF requirement was not stressed at the very beginning of the course. Because I have only an old refurbished computer that does not have top of the line features, making PDF files did not always work as planned. OpenOffice and Adobe Acrobat sometimes easily converted to PDF for submissions, but sometimes did NOT. That made it difficult for some reviewers to open. Had I known earlier, I would have bought a new computer and avoided some frustrating submission difficulties. I really appreciate the effort some people had to go through to open my odd submissions. They gave me some valuable tips in their critiques that I might have missed out on had they not persisted. SO: Suggest at the outset that writers using paleolithic equipment like mine, check to see if their computers can generate PDF files. It will eliminate a lot of cussing later on.
Other than THAT, I had a great time, learned a lot, and HIGHLY recommend the program. Wonderful teachers!
By David S•
I finished this program, was invited to Mentor for one of the specializations, so let my capstone story set for a while ... then spent the last month polishing pages ... and submitted this afternoon to Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, one of the few 'pulps' left for short story writers of crime and mystery. Win, Lose, or Draw (Accept, Reject, or ReWrite) I NEVER would have gotten this far without the class and some excellent feedback from classmates. If you're ever planning on "finishing that story" and having others read it, this class is for you!
By Sarmad A•
You will get what you bring to the table - if you're an avid reader and have the smarts - you'll learn a LOT. Take note of the various books being recommended and read those too. Some of your classmates may not be producing the best work - don't worry - you do YOU and learn at your best level. It really helped me breakdown the basics of Writing and I now read books with a new eye. A new understanding of the art being disseminated. A wonderful course. Well designed.
By Jaime A•
Mr Scibone is a great professor with unique bulletpoints and suggestions and I thank him for giving me the skills needed to further help me develop as a writer. As for my peers, I appreciate every response they gave me and although at times it was hard to listen to the depth of errors I made in my writing, I felt I needed it to further help me progress. Either way both the readers and professor helped out a lot and I thank them from the bottom of my heart.
By Yelyzaveta P•
I loved the course very much, so much feedback and good reasonable comments for my works. Although the next time it would be really nice to have kinda more reviewing weeks, I mean, clother to the end of the course I felt an inspitation and I needed some feedback from peers, but I couldn't get it bc it wasn't a feedback-week. But still this course gave me SOOOOO much knowledge! Thank a lot! :)
By Cornelia B•
Had a feeling the Capstone Project will be good but it is truly excellent. I highly recommend completing the Capstone after doing the other four courses - it is like having dessert after a four course meal.
By Michael H•
I enjoyed the time spent on the specialization and felt that the lesson exercises provided some use towards helping students develop their understanding of the craft. My only real criticism about the specialization is that I feel the curriculum could be a little more intensive. Keeping most assignments limited to a 500 word maximum is very constricting. I wish there were more meatier assignments to tackle building up to the capstone.
By Alexander F•
In general the specialization has been great!
I feel like the capstone project could be a bit more challenging, maybe having more active instances each week where students could improve and receive feedback faster.
By Imelda C F•
All my teachers and some of my classmates were exceptional. I really learned from them.
I believe there should be a mechanism where we can report the names of people who give crappy reviews - just writing good and not explaining why it's good or more often than not would not review your work but write you to review their work. Several did not even write anything at all. These students should be a) be reprimanded and given a warning b)given a second chance and 3) be booted out.
I had several reviewers who did NOT read my story carefully and gave me a negative review when in fact, all that they needed were right below their noses. They're just reading perfunctorily. It's something that dismayed, annoyed me.
I had somebody who copied my work. I reported that. There was also somebody who plagiarized the same work I just reviewed.
And some gave me glowing remarks, praised my efforts, and congratulated me for works done well.
There were also those who I learned a lot from when they told me NOT to use jargon but instead to focus on my emotions which simply means that I need to connect, connect, connect to my readers. And some got to see my funny bone. They made me happy.
Altogether I am one grateful student.
Forever thankful to Coursera, DOST Caraga, and the Giver of It All - Our Almighty God.
By Lori B C•
The entire 5 module experience was wonderful, enjoyable, stressful (in a good way), inspirational and encouraging. The Professors, the readings, the assignments coupled with the peer reviews made this online experience as close to a real classroom experience as I had hoped it would be. The course gave me the tools needed to keep going myself, as well as tools for reading generally, in a more critical way and, editing tips which are always, invaluable. I looked forward to each new week for the structure and, for seeing what would be required of me for that particular week's assignment and, most weeks, I surprised myself with what I did write. I am sorry that the course is over but I have taken away so much! Thank you.
By Milagros V•
This last course in the Specialization walks you through the process of writing, editing and submitting a short story. Salvatore's prompts, interviews and the advice form other writers are very helpful. This is truly a capstone of the other four courses in the Specialization. I never believed I could learn so much and improve my skills just by doing the exercises, understanding the principles and finding my way of putting them not practice. Many of the pieces form other participants that I had the opportunity to review were really great. An amazing specialization in all regards. Thank you to all the professors that shared their insights and experience and metored us!!
By Carlos B•
This specialization was outstanding. It unveiled so many of the mysteries of creative writing that I've puzzled over for a long time. My skills are unquestionably improved. In addition, the courses guide you on the practice of writing. How important it is to make it a social aspect of your life and not write in isolation since that often leads to losing momentum. Joining a writer's group and/or attending writer's conferences and workshops are key elements in keeping up the writing and getting better. The professors and guest speakers for this specialization were fantastic. Can't say enough positive things about it - this specialization exceeded my expectations.
By Jacqueline M K•
The steps from draft to "final" learned in this course and applied in the Capstone helped to find my true voice. The comparison between my first draft and my "final" showed me that if I force the story, it sounds that way. By using the skills taught in the rest of the course, I feel like my story is much more natural and brings the reader along with characters more effectively. Thank you to everyone involved in presenting this course. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in embarking on a writing project or anyone interested in honing their skills. Well done.
By lisa r•
I have enjoyed every second of the five-part creative writing specialization. These courses have made me reassess my writing practices, they have allowed me to hone my skills as both a writer and working on the editing process. The course materials were brilliantly developed to support the aspiring writer and the knowledge and writing tips are of a very high caliber.
Each guest writer and tutor have given great insight into the writing process and how every writer is different, everybody has their own methods of working. Superb and challenging.
By Sara H J•
This capstone was a great experience. It didn't only motivate me to go throughout my short story, but also gave me some insights to review my peers' work in a better way, especially because I'm part of the Scribophile community where many fellow writers help each other in the editing process of their writings. The instructor, Mr. Scibona, is a great facilitator. He helped me a lot in clarifying some concepts about writing styles from the course The Craft of Style. Thank you so much for this opportunity to learn more about my passion: writing.
By Ibrahim N•
I really enjoyed this specialization course from the University of Wesleyan. All mentors and guests were providing very valuable and helpful information for the beginner writers and course participants. I mastered some skill which will be very useful for me during my creative writing career and that is why I want to declare my deep thankfulness to all member of this team who made such a great specialization and Capstone project.