These are some tips and suggestions from facilitators who’ve done these courses before. Note that this page may be updated at times.
- Plan for each in-class session to take about 2 hours, but note that going overtime is easy when students are having fun and getting a lot out of the class.
- Each week will cover a different topic related to writing fiction. On the page for that week, you will find the reading and writing assignments that students should be doing at home. Following those are the in-class sections that include class discussions, a writing exercise, and some group assignments.
- Have them share their writing exercises, if they’re willing, so they can get some feedback from the other students.
- You may want to send out an email about a week before class starts just to give them a heads up as to what they’ll need and be required to do, as well as a link to the Slack account, if you’re using one.
- Slack is a great online forum tool that’s free to use for you and your students to communicate outside of the classroom.
- You will need to create an account and set up a “work space”.
- Within your “work space” you can have multiple “channels” for discussing different topics.
- Slack will give you an invite link you can email to your class once they’ve registered for the course. They will then need to create an account to join the site.
- Everyone can private message everyone else and post their work for sharing as well.
- Be flexible for your students’ needs.
- For my first class I hadn’t planned on using Slack or anything like it, but the students really wanted it, and got a lot out of it.
- Students can read as many of the articles each week as they can. The more they read and the more writing exercises they do, the more they’ll get out of it, of course, but they don’t have to do everything if time is short. The same goes for the group exercises at the end of class.
- Once they’ve finished the course, students may want to stay in touch with each other. You can easily start an alumni group on Goodreads (or some other social media site of your choice) where students can keep up the writing discussion with classmates and others who have also taken the course in your area of the world.
- If you’ve not used it before, Goodreads is also great for keeping track of your reading, finding new books, talking to your favorite authors, and making new friends who enjoy the same books you do.
- Trying to get the word out about your class? Try contacting your local Municipal Liaisons for National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org). This is a month-long event that happens every November. MLs are in charge of hosting local events, and they have the power to email all the participants in their region of the world. There are many places around the world that do not have MLs, or where the population of writers is sparse, but give it a try.
- If you find any broken links, please email the content curator: adraves @ bpl.org
1.) Learn To Write Fiction: Creating My Own Online Course – By Anna Jordan Draves – Posted to the Peer2Peer University’s Blog
“This format was perfect for me: lots of independent, thought-provoking assignments to help us flesh out our characters and their universe, and just enough in-person collaboration with the other participants. The ice-breakers at the beginning helped us to bond as a group. I’d recommend this format to adult learners who can give and take constructive feedback.” – Deb (LTWF: Beginner Course, 2017)
“I liked the class discussions we had in-person, and how we were able to continue that online during the days we couldn’t meet. I liked how the articles are easy to read, as well as the assignments. I also liked sharing the assignments with classmates.” – Jessica (LTWF: Beginner Course, 2017)
“This class was a great opportunity to reflect and practice my writing. The readings gave me the opportunity to think about aspects of the craft, and the writing exercises and class discussion allowed me to both practice and gain valuable feedback. This format is very useful for learners who are comfortable giving and receiving constructive feedback. I am working on applying what I learned to my current projects!” – Megan (LTWF: Beginner Course, 2017)