Laurie Scheer is a published author, her book Creative Careers In Hollywood and her DVD How To Pitch and Sell Your Screenplay have helped mentor the next generation of media professionals for nearly a decade. Read more
Bridget Birdsall is an author, artist and teacher. Bridget recently joined the UW-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies team, where she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to help other writers get their words out in the world. Read more
Who this course is for
Anyone who’s ever wanted to write about real life events with the power and flair of a fiction writer.
Peter Schaller, of Managua, Nicaragua, a graduate of our online course, "Creative Nonfiction," recently published two essays. "Gray Baby, Purple Shoes," can be read in Alligator Juniper, issue #15, and "Rules of Temporary Marriage" appears in Jelly Bucket, a literary journal published by Eastern Kentucky University, due out in October 2010. Read more online student success stories.
A noncredit, online writing class offered by UW-Madison Continuing Studies
Creative Nonfiction I and II
Write fact with the flair of fiction.
Creative Nonfiction I
Creative nonfiction is not the tedious essays you might have suffered through learning to write in school. Instead creative nonfiction allows you to use all of the tools of the fiction writer to develop factual material, whether that is material based on your own life or on someone or something else.
This course helps you develop or refine your nonfiction writing skills through one-on-one guidance from an experienced writing instructor. This nonfiction writing course is entirely online; you will communicate with your instructor via email. You get to go at your own pace, working when and where you wish.
In 7 lessons we’ll cover:
- Gathering Material
- The Personal Essay
- Writing about Family
- Writing about Place—Home and Away
- Literary Journalism
- Continuing Your Life as a Writer, including tips on publishing
Each lesson includes an excerpt (sometimes more) from the top writers in creative nonfiction today. We’ll guide you through reading these excerpts as a writer, seeing what you can glean for your own work from each. A final optional writing assignment involves a 250-word excerpt from either your own work or someone else’s that illustrates what we’ve been studying.
Creative Nonfiction II- Honing your Creative Nonfiction Writing
If you’ve completed this Creative Nonfiction course and want to continue to hone your creative nonfiction voice. Instructor Laurie Scheer provides one-one-one guidance as you continue to define your writing. The course consists of your writing seven essays of 2,000 words (3 to 5 pages) about topics of your choice. (Instructor will negotiate number of essays should you wish to write longer essays.) If you’re ready to continue to fully dive into this exciting popular genre, this is the course for you.
Completing this Creative Nonfiction course is required in order to take Creative Nonfiction II. Please contact Laurie Scheer directly if you wish to register without having completed our Creative Nonfiction course.
Laurie Scheer is a published author, her book Creative Careers In Hollywood and her DVD How To Pitch and Sell Your Screenplay have helped mentor the next generation of media professionals for nearly a decade. Laurie has been a professor at universities across the United States and professional speaker. She is currently researching and navigating the landscape of writing for the Web, creating a number of new courses for writers who are migrating from print to web based platforms.
Bridget Birdsall is an author, artist and teacher. Bridget recently joined the UW-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies team, where she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to help other writers get their words out in the world. Bridget Birdsall will share her story of the often frustrating and circuitous route of landing a New York literary agent through self-publishing her first book, Ordinary Angels.
“This was the best class I’ve ever taken, and such a rewarding experience. Thank you so much!” —Emily
How it works
You can start this writing course anytime, and there are no required hours to participate. It's all done with one-on-one correspondence with the instructor using email. We have writers from around the world participating in our workshops, and we have success stories. A lot of great writing gets accomplished via email. Because of the one-on-one nature of our workshops, you'll find them an excellent "coaching" or mentoring situation that will keep you going. And if you want to just work on your own-hey, that's fine too. Of course you can do the suggested exercises on your own without the feedback if you'd rather do that. We're also here throughout the year if you have questions.
Review the current technical requirements for students in Learn@UW online courses.
Creative Nonfiction: Registration is just $175, which includes the seven lessons, email access to your instructor, and a thorough critique of 2,000 words of your creative nonfiction. You will earn 2.1 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) when you complete the course.
Creative Nonfiction II: Registration is $195, You will earn 3.0 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) when you complete the course.
For both these courses you work at your own pace and can take up to a year to finish. Register any time.
Mail: Print and mail our registration form.
Telephone: Call 608-262-2451 or toll-free 800-725-9692 to register. Our phone is answered M-F, 7:00 am-4:30 pm Central Time. At other times please leave a message, and we will return your call.
Your contact for more information about Creative Nonfiction is Laurie Scheer. 608-265-3972 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about online learning contact Lori O'Neill at 608-263-6322 or toll-free 877-336-7836 or email LSAonline@dcs.wisc.edu.
Also of interest
Explore other online writing classes.
The same writing staff that bring you these great online classes also provide individualized writing critique services. Learn more by visiting our writing critique services web page.
Subscribe to the Writing News, our free e-mail newsletter and 3-4 times a year you will receive a detailed e-mail with information about our upcoming writing programs, and news about student achievements or opportunities for writers. To subscribe send a blank email@example.com.