I loved school. As a matter of fact, I loved school so much, I have been considering going back to get my master’s degree. But getting into a program like that tends to take time and money; not to mention a portfolio of your talents by which they decide whether you merit a spot in their program. So, I am sure you can imagine the frustration I felt that something as petty* as real life was getting in the way of my greater goals! I could have been learning! Instead I was stuck at a 9 to 5 job like some kind of crazy responsible adult.
And then someone told me about the GALE courses. Before I tell you about how amazing this is, let me begin by saying it’s free! Support for the GALE courses if offered by your local public library so let’s give a shout out to the RPL! All you need to enroll is an active library card. The GALE courses offers 12 lessons over a 6 week term on a variety of subjects. There are courses about accounting and business, technology and education, and even personal development and healthcare. You ready for the best part? They offer A TON of courses on writing.
Ok. so maybe it’s not a ton. But their creative writing section boasts more than twenty courses. They include screenwriting, editing, travel writing, publishing, freelancing, to name a few! They even offer courses that specialize in genre writing like fantasy, romance, children’s literature, mystery, young adult, and even memoirs.
Each lesson is accompanied by a short quiz and an assignment. The instructors also regulate forums for students to share their work and progress or ask questions they may have about the subject. At the end of the six weeks, there is a final test and once that is complete, you receive a certificate!
I think that taking the time to develop skills is important. It comes with a sense of accomplishment that makes us feel good about ourselves and allows us to celebrate our progress and even gain confidence in our work. Personally, learning outside of the standard classroom setting makes me feel like I am taking my talents into my own hands. I still feel that determination to learn. Learning opportunities like these help meet that need. “Writing Fiction Like A Pro,” “Advanced Fiction Writing,” and “The Art Of Magazine Writing” have all been courses that I have very much enjoyed. As a matter of fact, just visiting the website to gather information for this blog inspired me to enroll in “The Keys to Effective Editing.”
So check it out! Pick a course that feels right for your writing goals. And write on.
– Elkid M.
*I am, or course, being sarcastic. Real life is far from petty and I am learning to absolutely love each step of the journey; each page of the book.
Prompt: Write part of a story in the form of journal entries. Everything that happens in the story will happen between the entries. Make sure your readers can see the events on stage, but also present your journalist’s blind spots. They will not present the whole story, just parts of it. Your journal writer may not even understand the significance of the events until a few entries later – if ever. Keep all the entries close together in time (within a week or two). Make sure that the writer is still telling a story – showing as often as telling, revealing things about themselves. You have to work just as hard in this exercise to choose the words of this narrator. Avoid completely self-absorbed narrators here – and everywhere. 700 words.
This week’s prompt brought to you by The 3 AM Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction.