Monday, April 06, 2015

E is for Education

Something thing a writer needs a lot of, on his or her way to successful publication, is education. Luckily for writers and potential writers, education is available in lots of different places and formats.

One of the most popular ways to get educated about the type of writing you want to do is to take an online class. Many classes are out there, ranging from free to moderate to expensive, and from amateur-run courses to professionally produced and conducted.

As a potential writer, you no doubt know about Writer’s Digest Magazine, a valuable resource full of writing-related articles by professionals: And perhaps you’ve also seen Writer’s Market, which provides up-to-the-minute marketing advice: :

But do you know about Writer’s Digest University, the teaching arm of Writer’s Digest Publications? I’ve been teaching for WDU for many years, and I find their course offerings to be exceptional and nicely varied. For more information on my latest course…Writing the Romance Novel, beginning April 16…go here:

What about getting a degree in writing, not just taking a course? A Google search for creative writing degree programs in my state (New Hampshire) yielded this: Never underestimate the power of a Google search!

Suppose you don’t want to take courses online. A good resource for in-person writing classes is your local community college. A quick Google search for community colleges with writing classes in my state (New Hampshire) came up with this: 

Then, there are workshops of all types, both online and in person. One of the most well-known workshops is the Clarion Science Fiction Writers Workshop: Clarion is an intensive six-week program in San Diego, where you eat, sleep, talk and work on writing science fiction, fantasy and horror. Founded in 1968, it has produced many well-known writers.’'

Books about various aspects of writing are also available. For example, Writer’s Digest offers books on just about any writing-related topic you can think of:

It’s also helpful to do a search on a book-seller site like Amazon, so you can read the reviews to find out if a particular book is for you. For instance, a search on Amazon for “creative writing” turned up titles as varied as “The Making of a Story: A Norton Guide to Creative Writing” and “Write Good or Die.” What did their purchasers think about these books?

And finally, you can educate yourself in another way, in the privacy of your own home. How do you do this? You read, read, read. Read widely in the genre in which you’d like to write, taking note of how those authors do everything, from writing a compelling opening sentence to punctuating dialogue. If you focus on the mechanics when reading instead of allowing yourself to float away on the story, you’ll begin to see patterns of how things work, which options work best. Read in other genres as well, for you never know when you’ll come across something that gets the wheels turning and teaches you a new trick.

So, choose your education method and begin!


Shonna Slayton said...

Hi, Liz! Your upcoming class looks great, but my April is pretty booked already :(. Last year I had a book come out with Entangled Teen, a romance publisher, but I've never considered myself a romance writer. My editor is helping me with my romance "education." LOL. Happy A to Z!

Elizabeth Delisi said...

Shonna, the romance writing class is offered several times a year, so if you're interested, check back occasionally.

Thanks for visiting and commenting!

Kim Cox said...

When I first started writing, I graduated from a Writer's Digest Writing course called "Writing to Sell Fiction" and I learned a great deal from it. The next course I took also came through Writer's Digest. You had a choice at learning fiction writing or article writing, and as you can tell by the name of the course, I chose fiction.

Elizabeth Delisi said...

I do think their courses are great, and I'm not just saying so because I teach for them. ;-) You get a lot for your money.