Self Guided

Jump-Start Your Writing Practice Boot Camp

January 17-February 11, 2022

Level All Levels

Create a daily writing practice.

Enrollment open until February 4.

Additional Information

Do you have a personal story you want to write, but you’re not sure where to start? Do you want to start a writing practice but don’t know how to build the structure into your day?

This course will help anyone who wants to begin a project or initiate a regular writing practice in a way that is low-stress, adaptable, and effective. Here, we focus on process: how one idea, day, or freewrite can lead to something more. We also review basic elements of story, and you’ll generate plenty of new work in response to prompts. In the final week, you’ll start to consider putting ideas together into a structure—and you’ll have the tools to go back and do it all again, generating more writing and building your project or practice.

Each week provides:

  • DAILY WRITING PROMPTS to help you generate new writing
  • INSPIRATION in the form of written lectures and selected readings

After the course closes, you will receive a zip file containing all of the course content and the work you developed during the month. You’ll also continue to be a member of our Creative Nonfiction Writing Classes’ Community Page where you can share writings and calls for submissions, recommend books, and stay connected with other writers.

 

Course Schedule

This course will help anyone who wants to begin a project or initiate a regular writing practice in a way that is low-stress, adaptable, and effective. Here, we focus on process: how one idea, day, or freewrite can lead to something more. We also review basic elements of story, and you’ll generate plenty of new work in response to prompts. In the final week, you’ll start to consider putting ideas together into a structure—and you’ll have the tools to go back and do it all again, generating more writing and building your project or practice.

Week 1: The Basics

This week you will consider the building blocks of story. You will have a chance to think about the elements of craft and about how a story is put together on a micro and macro level. You will also break down the process of writing, both cognitively and practically.

Week 2: Digging Deeper Into Character, Setting, Point of View & Voice

As you dig deeper into the building blocks of story, you will begin to develop characters and setting, consider the kinds of details you want to include, play around with point of view, and find your voice emerging. These exercises help you understand various approaches for your work and give you options for developing these key aspects of story, while also moving your story or project forward.

Week 3: Structure and What It Can Teach Us

This week you’ll look at different approaches to structure, both micro and macro. You will consider what a scene is and how to create one, how scenes can come together to make a larger essay or chapter or story, and how these larger pieces of text come together in a full narrative arc. You will have a chance to try chronological and other structures, and to consider how the structure you choose might  also can help better understand your story - where you think it begins and ends, and what you need to include in it.

Week 4: Revision And Publishing (If You Want To) Or Keeping It Going

In the final week, you will think about where you’re headed next. Do you want to potentially publish the work you’ve started work as an essay or book? Maybe you want something to share with family or friends. Or perhaps you want to work on revising your project for yourself. We will look at revision exercises you can do by yourself and with others, on both the sentence level and project level. We will also have a brief overview of publishing options and how to work toward publishing, if that is what you want. Also we’ll have tips and approaches for keeping your new writing practice going, no matter your goals.

View Complete Syllabus

Course Registration

$29.99

Out of stock

Become a Supporting Subscriber today and get up to 10% off your purchase.

Please Note

It is not uncommon for classes to fill up before the end of early registration, particularly in the last few days before the deadline. If you know for certain that you wish to take a particular class, we recommend registering early. If you'd like to be added to a waitlist for a sold-out class, please email our director of education, Sharla Yates, at [email protected].

Hear from our Students

Creative Nonfiction’s online writing classes have helped more than 3,000 writers tell their stories better.

Read Success Stories

Testimonials

I enjoyed reading other peoples work and getting feedback about my own work– the handouts/video links and class lessons were also very informative and relevantly paced to the give structural guidelines.

Catherine O’Neill

Self Guided FAQs

  • How do I prepare for the webinar?

    We usually open the webinar 3-5 minutes prior to start time (see webinar invite) so you can check your audio settings and make sure everything is working properly on your end. The host will welcome everyone and ask you to introduce yourself and share where you’re joining from in the text-based chat. Participation in the chat is optional.

    The actual webinar program usually gets rolling five minutes after the start time. This is also when the recording starts if you watch the video afterward.

    No one can hear you or see you during the webinar. The only people who are visible and can be heard during the webinar are the instructor and host.

    Audio Settings:
    If you’re unable to hear any sound during the webinar, please look at the bottom left of your Zoom window for Audio Settings, and click the small arrow to check your settings.

    Getting familiar with the Zoom software

    There are several ways to interact with the presenter and other students during the webinar:

    *Live chat

    *Formal Q & A window

    Live Chat:
    The live chat is where you can exchange messages in real time with other students attending the webinar, as well as the instructor and host. Usually your chat visibility defaults to just the presenter/panelists. If you want everyone attending to see your chat message (and most people do), then you need to select “everyone” or “all panelists and attendees” in the chat window.

    How to banish the chat:
    We encourage you to make use of the live chat throughout the webinar because it’s one of the great benefits of joining the live event. However, some find the chat distracting and would like to turn it off. As of today, Zoom doesn’t allow students to disable the chat, but there is a way to effectively “banish” it if you do not want to see it:

    1. Click the Chat icon at the bottom of the Zoom window
    2. When the Chat appears on the side of your window, click the small arrow icon and select Pop Out, which separates the Chat into its own free-floating window
    3. Then, using your cursor, drag the Chat off the side or bottom of your screen

    Formal Q & A:

    All webinars include time for Q & A with the presenter. This will be included in the recording.

  • How can I download the webinar recording?

    In most cases, unless you see the download arrow under the recording window, you will not be able to download the recording. You will have ongoing access to the recording link to view at your leisure. You can download any supplemental materials provided by following the links in the webinar recording description. The recording will be sent to you three days after the live event.

  • I did not receive the recording for a webinar. Can you re-send it?

    Yes, we’re sorry this happened. These messages are sent from “[email protected]” and sometimes go missing. Please email us and we’ll respond with a link to the recording.

  • When will the recording be available?

    We ask for 3 days to send you the recording. If you do not receive it within that time frame, please contact us and we’ll assist you.

  • Can I still register for [x] webinar?

    If the webinar is not marked “sold out,” you can still join.