You want to write better. You want to write more.

Ann Linquist I’m Ann Linquist, freelance writer and online writing instructor.  Whether you’re interested in writing fiction, creative nonfiction, or effective business documents, I invite you to explore this site and find out how to reach your writing goals.

172 responses to “You want to write better. You want to write more.

  1. Since taking your course I have persued writing my own blog, and it has given me a place to talk about my life, things happening in town and all around. Making lots of new friends. Hope to write my own short story.

    • Hi Ann, I am wondering if you are teaching a fiction class soon. I would also take a memoir class but not sure if I should wait for you to offer one.

      • I teach an online course on creative writing called Beginning Writers Workshop that you might consider. Go to and check out their courses on writing. There’s a good description there. I won’t be specifically offering a memoir course at any time. Thanks for asking! –Ann

      • Thank you Ann. My mom always said “Don’t take classes; take teachers,” and I just love your photo and the way you communicate. You seem to be very warm, enthusiastic, and passionate about writing AND the people who write. I will “see” you soon!

  2. Great news, Ms Millie. I’m glad to hear your words are still making it onto the page!

  3. Jill Applegate Foco

    I can’t believe it! It really is you! How great is this? And I’ve spent most of my life teaching writing. So nice to see your face. Jill

  4. Barbara Burris

    I can’t believe I didn’t try finding you sooner. It was so simple! I took a class from you at Ed2go almost a year ago and what fun came of it! I did get a note to you through them the first time I was published, but have not tried since. I’ve had two essays in the AARP Bulletin on-line and two more in a small country magazine. Another is about to be published in Patchwork Path’s anthology called Dad’s Bowtie, this coming June. Thank you so very much for your encouragement and help. After your class ended, I took another from ED2go, but the instructor did not give the specific help you offered. Truth is, we didn’t mesh too well, either, so I moved on. Now that I’ve found this fascinating site, I will visit often.

    Thanks again for getting me started!


  5. Hi Barbara! Glad you showed up. There are many chances to write more here. It’s site filled with many ex-students who still enjoy feeling free to write whatever they want. Dive in!

  6. Ann-

    Pssst. It’s me, Zelda. I’m over here, hiding behind my computer screen.

    I’ve been watching the big kids play with words on your blog for a few days. I want to join the games but hesitate because the other kids play so well.

    I know there’s really no reason to be afraid. The kids seem nice. I’m going to give it a try.

    Ahem. Hi, everyone. I’m Zelda P. I just completed Ann’s Beginning Writer’s Workshop course.

    Mind if I join in?

  7. Hi Zelda! You’ll like everyone here. They’re mostly past students from the class I believe you just finished. Try all the goofing around. Goofing Around-11 is the most active right now. I’m sure you’ll quickly get to know everyone. They’re a feisty and friendly group.

    I’m glad you’ve joined us!

  8. Barbara Burris

    Hi Zelda,

    I’m new here, too! Ann was my first writing teacher. I took the class you just finished about a year ago and I’ve been having a blast sending stuff out all over. Just found this site a few weeks ago and have been watching and learning, too.

  9. Sabrina..Sabrina…come out, come out, wherever you are.

    If you’re looking for a nurturing writing class, I highly recommend Ann’s online BEGINNING WRITER’S WORKSHOP. It’s a safe and easy way to get started and to get lots of writing practice. Did I mention that it’s fun, too? More fun than you’d ever expect in a class.

    GOOFING AROUND, here on Ann’s website is lots of fun and a great motivator as well.

    Please join in, we’re a welcoming bunch. We know what it’s like to be the new kid–we’ve all been there–and we’ll treat you right.

  10. Hi Ann,

    I thought I had taken your class about two years ago, but once I got home and looked it up, it was actually about three and a half years ago! Yikes!Time sure does fly. It was November of 2005… and I have a little confession to make…my twin sister Jackie took it at the same time too. We weren’t sure what to expect and thought it would be fun to do together…and it sure was! I have gone back over the lessons multiple times, I learned so much. I’ve wanted to write anything besides a nurse’s note, but haven’t been able to.

    The past few years have been a blur. I got laid off a couple of weeks after that class ended. (You’d think that would have reminded me of how long its been.) And yes, even nurses get laid off if you work for a cheap enough company. LPN’s aren’t as valuble as an RN either.( I tend to tell people that LPN stands for low-paid-nurse.) Regardless, it isn’t difficult for a nurse to find another job, plus I’ve always had two! I ended up in a custody battle with my ex, remarried and moved two times, once after selling my house and then after selling my husbands. (Mine was very small and his was too far from the interstate.) So, needless to say, I’ve been a little distracted and have had such an itch to be able to sit down and pour all my thoughts onto paper.

    I was ecstatic to find this site Ann! It looks like such a playground. Thank you for sharing your wonderful abilities with fledgling writers like me.

  11. Ann,
    I was delighted to come across your website. I took BWW 2 years ago, and still look back on that time with delight. I learned so much from you. You created an encouraging and comfortable atmosphere in our ‘classroom’.

  12. Welcome aboard! I remember your nickname so it’s great you’ve arrived here. Enjoy clicking around the site. The contributors are nearly all alums of BWW, and I’m sure you’ll come to value their words. They’re a great group, so feel free to post and comment!

  13. Robert Durlock

    Our class on started on July 15th and I am so excited! I expect to learn a lot, not just about writing, but about myself as well. Thanks Ann!

  14. Hey Robert, you won’t be sorry for taking BWW. Ann is a great teacher and you’ll have a blast with the other students. Come join us try and solve Ann’s latest writing prompts.

  15. Ann —
    although it’s been several years since I participated in a couple your ed2go classes, I thought you might like to see where my writing lessons have taken me:

    Today’s entry (8/5/09) starts with a piece I wrote for your class on which you commented, “This is the black side of the hopeful “from one tiny acorn…” story. ” And then I added another not as refined but much too personal second half.

    As always, writing is a work in progress and I see more tweaks I could “fix” but the beauty of blogging is that you need to produce and move
    on. Keeps me writing.

    Thanks for all the encouragement you offered me in your class — it kept me at it.

  16. Ellie,
    Welcome! It’s good to hear from you again and wonderful to know that you’re still writing. Feel free to dive into any of the places on this blog and post away! The folks here are all ex-BWW’ers, and so we all share that common bond. Supportive group! I’m sure they will welcome you. –Ann

  17. I hope you won’t mind my hopping over here even though we are only half way through your Ed2go Beginning Writer’s Workshop which, by the way, I am enjoying. I was extra pleased to get a couple of favorable comment from you on my galumphing. I found that to be fun and it fit right in with my background of doing crossword puzzles, acrostics, cryptograms and any other word games including Scrabble. About a year and a half ago I entered a short story writing contest run by our local newspaper. The gimmick was it needed to be exactly 299 words – not 300 and not 298 but 299. Te rules specified that, in addition, it must include the words “otter” and the word “jump”. I had great fun with that and submitted two entries and won 1st prize (which was a $50 gift certificate at a bookstore) and Honorable Mention. I was very pleased that the judges were able to follow my often warped sense of humor. If you would care to see them I have them at my web site and if you’re interested you can read them to by going for the winner or for the Honorable Mention. That was a fun project.
    On another subject (You can see I get carried away sometimes) in one of your chats here I accidentally spotted something some lady had written to you where she said, “….once after selling my house and then after selling my husbands.” I thought you either have a terribly illegal action here or a wonderful lesson on how an apostrophe, or lack of, can kill you.
    Back to work. I have homework to do.
    Old Pro

  18. Old Prof! Glad to see you here. I can tell already you will fit right in. Loved the apostrophe lesson! I hope you’ll stay with us to goof around and see what decides to come out of your fingertips!.

  19. Hi Ann! I just finished your ed2go class that ended 9/14- someone had posted a Yahoo! group they started for us to continue our work, but unfortunately the discussion board is now deleted. Do you happen to have the yahoo group link? If so could you email it to me at Thanks!

  20. Help!

    I’m trying to respond to your latest post – ‘I hate words’ and keep getting a 404 message when I click on ‘leave a message’. Is it just me or has something gone awry?


  21. Barbara, I deleted it. I posted it last night, and then when I read it this morning, it seemed so very negative.

    Should I put it back?

    • Ann

      I read your poem very very early this morning. Later on, I went back to post a comment and it was not there. I sat here thinking, did I dream this poem or was it really there? I thought if it had been a dream, I needed to get in touch with you and tell you what a stunning poem you had written in my dream. It freaked me out. So, I hope you don’t mind if I add my two cents worth here–please put the poem back. I thought it was extraordinary. I can’t speak for anyone else but it hit me right in the soul.

  22. Hi Ann,

    I am still walking around quoting Maggie from my story,” New Writer, She Can Call Herself That Now; The Instructor Gave Her Permission!!” Glad to find you here…hoping to put my new laptop to good use. Library was a wonderful source for the books you recommended. Thanks for your help..What fun!

  23. Ann, I would like to ask some brief questions about the suitability of your online class for a 12 year old homeschooler. Would you please contact me at the email address I left with this comment or indicate a (virtual) place where you discuss these questions?

    • Let’s work on this question right here. I teach three online writing classes: Effective Business Writing, Beginning Writers Workshop, and Writing Essentials. The latter two would work fine for a 12-year-old homeschooler. In fact, I’ve worked with kids as young as 11, and also many who are being homeschooled. Writing Essentials has all self-correcting assignments, so you could be involved as well. It covers word usage, spelling, punctuation, writing good sentences, paragraphing, and more. Beginning Writers Workshop is a creative writing class, and I recommend it if your child enjoys writing and wants to pursue it, either creative nonfiction or fiction. It’s more interactive, since I respond to the assignments submitted, so the child gets my personal attention. Let me know if you have more questions, Ralph. –Ann

  24. Ann, I took your beginner’s writers workshop on line a few years ago. Due to outside world/life/family events I was unable to further down my writing path. I was wondering if it would be OK if I retook the class this month?



  25. Sure! Many people take the class more than once. You’re certainly welcome.

  26. Hi Ann,
    I just signed up for your ed2go beginner’s writer class (the one that starts on May 18th) and I am so very excited about it. I have longed to write but just don’t know where to start. I hope this gives me the push I need. I wish it was starting today 🙂

    Thank you,

  27. Vicki,
    I think you’ll enjoy the class and, while having fun, learn quite a bit. See you there!

  28. Ann, It has been 4 or 5 years since I first took your class online. I see my comments from a few years ago, and they still ring true. Last summer, I took an online class from a well known, published author. She publishes a monthly online magazine, has written many books and promises to make you a better writer. I was so disappointed! She relied heavily on other subscribers to form peer relationships to evaluate and instruct each other on their work-it was quite misleading. It has taken almost a year for me to find the courage to write again, she was pretty hurtful. I say this all, not to complain, but to say thank you again for the encouragement and lessons you provided in your class-still powerful, even several years later!

  29. I remember you! Thanks for the good comments. I think many authors are looking for extra income by teaching online. I suspect many of them underestimate the amount of time it takes to do a good job of it. I have found it to be irresistably fun and rewarding. I’m still at it! If you want to take the class again, you won’t be the first person to do so! –Ann

  30. Ann, I had a question for you but wasn’t sure where the appropriate place to ask it was. I am currently taking your “Beginning Writers Workshop” and had a question regarding your comments on there. Where should I ask this question?
    Thank you,

  31. Vicki,
    I’d put your question in a new post in the discussion area. Thanks! –Ann

  32. Barbara Burris

    Forgot to mention that the Chicken Soup book, My Dog’s Life, is out! Please give it a look next time you’re in the book store. My story is Mending Hearts. Read bio in back, too.

  33. Ann,
    How can I contact you regarding giving a writing class for teens at the library? Thanks! Nichole King

  34. Hello Nichole,
    Thanks for the note. I no longer do workshops in person, but I do have three very good online writing classes: Beginning Writers Workshop (creative writing), Effective Business Writing, and Writing Essentials (a back to basics review of punctuation, word usage, spelling, writing sentences, paragraphing). You can check these out at They are all available through an educational institution near you! I’ve worked with students ranging in age from 11 to 96 so far. Take a look! –Ann

  35. Ann,
    Thanks for the BWW. I am aware that each critique is a learning opportunity, so I will pay attention to what you offered on my 500-word piece. There is always room for improvement, and yes, I will……keep going! And I’m glad to have found you here.


  36. Ann,
    I just finished your BWW and thank you so much for the safe and encouraging space you provided. Following this link is the next step for me since I want to keep on writing and to stay connected to someone I trust. I looked at the other courses that are being offered at ed2go and realized what I had started in y(our) class would be more satisfying than starting with something new. I think this space will provide me with the added support and encouragement I want.
    I am pretty excited about this. Thanks for being out there.

  37. Yes! I’m here. It’s good of you to stop by. I hope you’ll explore the blog and find some writing challenges you want to try. I tend to post a couple of new ones each month. You’ll have fun here because everyone is an ex-Beginning Writers Workshop student. Your peers! I’m glad you’ve joined us.

  38. Mrs. Linquist, Is it too late for your Effective Business Writing Course that started yesterday?


    Jason Stephens

  39. Virginia Berlando

    Ann, I took your great course a few years ago. I kept all the course material on my computer and then lent the computer to someone who deleted my entire hard drive! I have been trying to purchase the course material again (without taking the course again, I do have proof) but I was told that I could not. Is there any way I can purchase the material alone? I thank you for your help!

  40. Anne i took one of your courses before Christmas and enjoyed it very much. I will be taking more of your courses in the near future.

  41. I’m glad to see you here, Marion! I hope you’ll try some of the challenges here. Welcome! –Ann

  42. Sounds good. It’s always good to get an indepth review of all the basic skills. I’ll keep an eye out for you!

  43. Edgar Benitez

    Hello Ann,

    I took one of your courses, and now I want to see if there is a possibility that you could do a virtual seminar (conference call, ppt presentation) for my employees. Please let me know if we can discuss this request.

  44. Edgar,
    I am not currently taking any jobs teaching other than my three online courses through I encourage you to enroll your employees in my courses. They will get more indepth learning because I’ll be guiding them in a one-on-one relationship. It’s like having a personal writing coach. It’s also quite inexpensive. Check the ed2go website. I teach three online courses: Effective Business Writing, Writing Essentials, and Beginning Writers Workshop. I’d be delighted to help each one you enroll!

    Thanks for asking. I appreciate the compliment! –Ann

  45. I am contemplating taking my first ‘writing’ class since high school over thirty years ago. Having a shoebox filled with ideas handwritten on scraps of paper, envelopes and even napkins, I researched both your Writing Essentials and Beginning Writers Workshop courses. Both seem to be great choices. Which one would you recommend I take?

    • I’d take Beginning Writers Workshop first. Then if you feel you need a review of basic language skills like word usage, punctuation, spelling, sentence writing, paragraphing, and more, then take Writing Essentials. I think Beginning Writers Workshop will get you energized. Try it!

  46. Hi Ann,
    Abby here from your recent/beginners writing class I am taking Writing Essentials with you next. I am anxious to work with you on my writing skills, that is if I have any.

  47. Hey Anne,

    Fred from BWW finished 3-19. Looking forward to Writing Essentials. Oswego Pekin says hello.

  48. Fred! Good to hear from you. I’m glad you’ve joined us. There are many writing challenges here. There is one called “Naming” where our pal Oswego Pekin has shown up all on his own. I hope you’ll go find him!

  49. I’ll do that. Thanks. The website seems to accept my input now. HMM.
    This is a very bright, articulate group. I’m a little intimidated.

  50. Don’t worry. It’s just a bunch of folks who like to write and see what comes out. Sometimes the magic works; sometimes it doesn’t. You’ll be fine.

  51. Hi, I just stopped in to say hello. I’m currently enrolled in the BWW course and I find it to be good clean fun; no drunks, bullies or stalkers like my old school.

  52. I just stopped in to say hello.

  53. Hi Dan!
    No stalkers here either! Feel free to try some of the writing challenges here. I’ll be posting a new one soon. My muse is hiding under the printer.

  54. Dear Ann,

    When I was young I enjoyed writing and I have always been a book worm as far back as I can remember. I made failing grades in English Comp really because it didnt interest me. Whenever I was testing on a subject of interest from a history book or wherever I could ace the test. During that time I wrote a short story that I won 1st place with.

    Now years have passed, I have a good job that pays well and I am struggling with a desire to write inside. Many times through the years my mind have been inspired with many ideas. I keep having ideas and scenes come to my mind about a fiction story that has recently come to my mind. I am just struggling inside with what to do with all this. I have a great job in a hospital with excellent long-term potential but I’m not sure if my heart is really there. I was thinking of taking the U of L Ed2Go Course “Beginning Writer’s Workshop” that you teach.

    I wouldn’t mind writing some weekly article’s for newspapers but I also have a desire to write Children’s Books and other creative writing. I realize I need to “brush up” on my grammar, I never was too good at that. Wilson Rawl’s who wrote “Where the Red Fern Grow’s” also had poor grammar and he was shy about showing anyone the things he had written.

    So Ann, what to you think about my situation?


    L.M. Cox

    • I would sign up for the Beginning Writers Workshop course. A new session begins in mid-May. This class will give you an opportunity to not only explore how writing might fit into your life but also learn more about writing. I will look forward to working with you. –Ann

    • L.M., I just finished the BWW. You will love Ann’s teaching style and the class interaction. You will write better, and you’ll get more out of your reading, a bonus. I’m actually considering taking the course again sometime in the future. (I know what you’re thinking…of course in the future dumbo, it would be difficult to take the course again in the past…) Good luck and have fun.

  55. Ann, I was purging some 300 pieces of spam from one of my e-mail accounts and just as I hit delete, I thought I saw “Ann Linquist Writes.” Did you send me an e-mail?

    • I don’t think so. But while I’m at it, HI! —– Original Message —–

      • I received an email too. It’s still ‘sitting’ there. I didn’t know what to do with it. (Even Computers For Dummies makes no sense to me!)

      • Apparently this site started sending e-mail notices when. Someone posted to your site. It has stopped. And HI back at ya.

  56. About a year ago, I started the BWW with Ann Linquist. That’s also the time I started writing full-time. Our final project assignment was to submit a 500-word piece; for me, it was the first 500 words of my novel. Well! Ann brought some reality to me as she stated (kindly) that my first 500 words didn’t grab her enough to keep her engaged. And she was right. I changed the beginning and last month I e-published my debut novel, “Chocolate for Breakfast” on Amazon. The feedback has been quite positive, and more than a few readers have told me that I hooked them at the beginning. 🙂 THANK YOU ANN!!!!!! Best online class I’ve ever taken.

  57. Ann, I’ve taken Onward Is Best, A Christmas Journey, from the bookcase. The children in my life are excited to start the journey (again). Already feeling the Christmas Spirit!

    • Fascinating! I just reread my copy too. I think that in mid October I’ll mention it here again. Such a good Christmas book.

      I’m so glad to hear that the children near you are excited. I don’t have grandchildren yet, so I haven’t had that experience. It’s good to know that their imaginations were engaged. Thanks!

      • galelikethewind

        Just received our copy of Onward Is Best. It is more beautiful than I had imagined. Thanks for sharing this wonderful book with us.

      • I’m so glad you hear you found the book to be beautiful. I trust that you have some small relations who would like to curl up with you and listen to you read it. On the other hand, I read it annually since it’s such a good story. I like to keep those words within my eyesight: Onward is Best.

        I hope you read the backstory at the end. Not only is this a good story, but it comes from meaningful beginnings. An inspiration to me and many. I’m so glad you bought one! It’s a keeper. –Ann

  58. The Bathing Cap Club

    I took an online course given by you. It was the best! Forgot you were on here…would love to be more creative with my journaling…send me HELP!

    Thanks! I love your writing, your prompts, and the way you teach.

  59. Ann, Thanks again for your recent course online at PCC. It has got me writing again. I have already contributed a few pieces to this blog. What fun!
    Gale Davis, aka Galelikethewind

  60. Ann,
    I took your awesome course 8 months ago much to my wife and childrens’ distress – they lost me to writting during the course…I have several uncompleted short stories and I am looking for a online writting group…can you point me in the write direction. I enjoy primarily short story writting/poetry.

    Thank you
    ps I used the pseudonym ‘Smiles’ in your course

  61. Try this: Writing Groups by State
    This site provides an alphabetical list of organizations and guilds for writers around the United States.

    • Thanks! I found the Independent Writers of Southern California..they meet once a month about a mile from where I live in Pasadena.

  62. I am in your class and I am feeling a little lost.

  63. Ann, I was looking around the ed2go site this evening and when I clicked on “writing and publishing,” a blank screen came up. I searched for Beginning Writer’s Workshop and found it, as well as a few others, but certainly not the complete list. Just thought you’d want to know.

    • I checked and it seemed to work. I think it just took a brief break and hid under your bed with your muse for a bit. It’s crabby because the January BWW group is BIG!

  64. Hi Ann,
    Just stopped by to say hello. I’ve received compliments on my recent writings since taking the BWW course last summer. Most importantly though, I enjoy writing for myself. Thanks again for teaching this valuable course.

    • Hi Cricket! I remember you! I hope you’ll take some of the writing challenges here when you hit a dry spot. It’s fun, and everyone here seems to be an ex-BWW’er. You’ll be in good company. And it’s fun. Keep in touch! –Ann

      • I kept working on my Jake & Ono story, post class. It is going to be published in a newsletter, next month, particular to the dog breed:).

  65. pippiofvillavillekulla

    First, I loved your BWW course! I am also hoping for some direction. Since my writing has always been limited to my journals I need to learn about character developing and writing in other POVs besides narrative. Can you give me advice on some classes that would help or maybe reading material. I already learned from you that the best way to become a writer is to keep writing 🙂 Thank you in advance!

  66. Ann, I am trying to get in touch with you to discuss a corporate training opportunity. Could you please email me your contact information, i could not find it anywhere on your site…
    Thanks, Melissa

    • Melissa,
      You didn’t mention if you were considering an onsite training workshop. I have done these in the past, but no longer do so. In all candor, I believe you’ll find that sending your staff to the online courses I teach (Effective Business Writing, Writing Essentials, and Beginning Writers Workshop [creative writing]) is a far more effective way to get them to upgrade their writing skills than a brief workshop. The six-week online courses involve more individualized feedback than I can manage in a face-to-face workshop setting. In addition, each person gets to proceed at his/her own pace. Given travel costs and fees, I suspect it’s also more economical.

      I do keep my contact information private. However, you can contact me here anytime. I see your postings come in via email, so I can always respond.

      Thanks for asking! –Ann

  67. I need to to thank you for this great read!!
    I absolutely enjoyed every bit of it. I’ve got you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post…

  68. Hi Ann, it’s Bonnie, alias EmmaJean from class (back with Gullible and Shaddy). I still keep in touch with Gullible. Shady and I lost contact, but I’ll reach out to her again. I enjoyed your class and still have my notes. Glad to have found you through Gullible. Bonnie

    • Welcome! It’s so good to hear from old friends! I hope you will try some of the challenges here. We’re still goofing around! –Ann

  69. Hi Ann,
    Congrats on launching a successful First Annual ALWAYCT Festival. I truly enjoyed reading everyone’s posts — some really great writing. I was forced to edit my work but I think I over edited and my writing became confusing. I also have a difficult time critiquing. I just seem to like or dislike a piece but can’t explain why. However, I do learn from other’s comments/edits. I’d like to get more practice writing and thought I’d take another class. Is your Writing Essentials very similar to BWW?

  70. Galelikethewind

    Time for a little summer Gallumping???

  71. Hi Anne! This is Rhonda from your wonderful Beginners Workshop back in March. You may remember the group. Gertie of the Purple Prose; Lee of the Soothing Toupees. Yes! You remember us now. Haha. I wanted to drop by to let you know that the writing group that we formed called Chickenscratch is still up and running. We have a core group of regulars from the class (Vicky, Holly, Robert, Ziggy, MaryLou, Lee, Gertie, and several other active members, plus others that drop by from time to time) and we are still writing and cheering one another along.

    Most have continued to take classes (from writing screenplays to young adult genre to advanced fiction and all points in between). We are actively seeking publication, joining writing sites, practicing diligently, and continuing to put pen to paper (or finger to key). Despite the many differences in styles, personalities, and avenues we chose to pursue, we ALL agree that no one is your equal among our various instructors and mentors. Although we continue to grow and stretch as students and writers, we all collectively lament that we miss you and we miss that wonderful class.

    Thank you for providing an atmosphere conducive to opening up our creativity and fostering friendships. Because of your class we not only are writing and learning, but we’ve made some great friends that help each other along the road to writing professionally. Thanks for your patience, skill, and good humor. We ALL agree that we wish that you would teach an advanced fiction class. We miss you, and your class is the unanimous favorite among our writing group.

    • That’s so good to hear! Many sessions begin writing groups, but I suspect many disappear. I appreciate all your kind words. Plan to stop by here and post! –Ann

  72. Hi Mam,
    This is Arwa! Did u recognize me? I was a student of your Effective Business Writing Course. It’s feels great to get back in touch with you!

  73. Hi Mam,
    Here’s wishing you a very Happy Teachers’ Day! Celebrated out here in India on 5th September!

  74. Hello Ann,
    I am a Spanish Journalist moving to the Jersey Shore next January. I am looking for a course to sharpen my skills in English and I found you at Brookdale Community College. Would you recommend ‘Writing Essentials’ or ‘Beginners Writing Workshop’? I wonder if I should match this up with some grammar refreshment. Thank you so much, your work seems very inspiring!

    • Hello Cristina,
      I would take the Writing Essentials course. It gives a strong review of word usage, spelling, punctuation, word choice, sentence writing, paragraphing, formatting, and more. I wrote it to give students from my other two online courses–Effective Business Writing and Beginning Writers Workshop (creative writing)–a way to review basic language skills. This makes Writing Essentials a good place to begin. There is also a good online course called Grammar Refresher, which focuses on grammar instead of the other areas I target. I don’t teach that one, but I have taken it, and it’s very good.

      These are both review courses. If that feels too elementary, I’d go right to Beginning Writers Workshop. There you will not only learn and practice creative writing techniques but write a short creative piece (500 words) for evaluation. I don’t tackle language skills in that course, so I’ll let you decide where you want to begin. I’d enjoy working with you! –Ann

  75. Ann, I’m still discovering parts of your blog that I didn’t know about. I finished BWW, and hated to see it end. Do you offer mentoring or anything of the sort?
    Jeri aka Meegiemom

  76. My blog is

  77. Actually, I don’t. I’m so busy with three online courses, that I don’t do much else besides work on my own stuff and this blog. This is a good place to get practice, so feel free to try some of the challenges.

  78. Here’s a book to add to one’s collection
    Fiction Writer’s Workshop
    Ten chapters talk about Sources for Stories, Setting, Character, Plot, Point of View, Dialog and Scenes, Beginnings and Endings, Description and Word Choice, Voice, and Revision. Over 100 exercises help one grasp the idea of the chapters.

    In addition there are eight short stories with comments and suggestions for writing experiments.

    I think it is a fun book and quite helpful. Some of the exercise are truly a bear. I thought this one was one of those bears.

    Half page each. Describe somebody’s hands so that we see they are
    (1) nervous, (2) poor, (3) ill, (4) artistic.

    The book will never replace a capable instructor, but it does flood you with new ideas.

  79. Thanks for the tip, Paul!

  80. Yesterday I was tidying my desk, which I do every five years whether it needs it or not. Back in the corner I found a nearly forgotten treasure. He’s no longer forgotten.
    This little elephant was a gift for my fortieth birthday from my late husband Ken, the first gift he ever gave me. He surprised me with a small family party, even though we weren’t a family yet. We were fortunate that his children and mine were so accepting of one another.
    It seems odd to me now, after all the years he’s been with me, that I never gave my little elephant a name. I suppose it’s never too late, so I’m going to name him now. He will be called Calico. Imagine having to wait until you’re thirty nine years old to get a name!
    When Ken gave me this gift, he said “an elephant never forgets,” and if that’s true, this little guy has a head full of memories. He moved from “my house” to “our house” after Ken and I were married.
    We each owned a home, both comfortable, and big enough for visiting family when the need arose, but we found we were neither one completely comfortable in the “other house.” We sold both of them and bought a brand new place of our own, one that had never been lived in by anyone. It was ours in every sense of the word. What fun we had, like playing house.
    This was in the mid 1970s, just the beginning of the home computer phenomenon, and Ken was an early geek, developing his own systems and writing his own programming languages. He needed a place for all of the gear necessary, so that was the first thing decided. He’d take a guest room and make it his workroom.
    The rest of the house pretty much fell into place as we moved our furniture in and found the best places for our treasures. The master bath became a tropical forest of beautiful plants, more gifts from my beloved. Calico had his own tiny jungle, and happily put down roots there.
    Those were incredibly happy years, spent discovering California in our motor home, and spending long vacations at beach campgrounds, where we would arrange to meet friends, coordinating our reservations. Calico was there, in his special place near the front so he could see where we were going.
    About eleven years after we were married we decided it would be easier to just move to the beach, rather than loading up the motor home each summer. We bought a lovely little home about five miles from the beach, again brand new and never lived in. We had the fun of making it our own all over again, and Calico moved to a place of importance, on the corner of the organ in the family room.
    Eight years later Ken was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Our lives were turned upside down, and took on a pattern of doctor visits, radiation, chemotherapy and hospitalizations. When Ken was in the hospital, I was there with him. We never spent a night apart in all nineteen wonderful years we had together. Calico was always there, in my bag.
    My pretty little elephant still accompanies me wherever I go away from home. He’s been my constant and faithful companion for so long that I’m afraid I had begun to take him for granted, sitting here on my desk.
    After writing this, and looking back on all we’ve been through together, I realize I must give this tiny treasure more respect. He’s moving front and center in the family room right now.

  81. Old man’s question.

    I need some help. How does one show a character’s thoughts? I have seen
    italics, bold face, tags with she thought Is there AN answer?

    I ‘m sure mentor covered this, but maybe my medications have washed the instruction away.

    • Sorry to take so long to find this. I recommend that you show thoughts in regular type, no quotation marks, and use the words, he thought. Remember that most of us do not think in complete sentences so that it works better if you describe thoughts instead of trying to reproduce them verbatim.

      Example: He wondered if anyone thought it was odd that his bald head had a big bruise right in the middle.
      That’s better than: Does anyone thinks it’s odd that I have a big bruise in the middle of my bald head, he wondered.

  82. Thank you. This makes things a bit simpler. Now can I use bold face for shouting?

  83. DEAR LINK;

  84. PEEFALL ????

  85. I wondered if you’d remember. You and June Blaker used to change the word “pitfall” into “peefall.” It was accompanied by a certain sing song way of saying the word that begin up high and ended down low. Gee. The stuff you remember!


  87. oliviascarlett

    Hi Ann, it’s Olivia from your latest Beginning Writer’s Workshop….I’m so happy I met you. I think you may have just changed my life!

  88. Welcome, Olivia. You’re going to love this group. I wait, not very patiently, for each new challenge, and keep hoping Ann will decide to do a BWW 2.
    I doubt that is going to happen, but hope springs eternal.
    To stay abreast of recent responses to your posts, always click the link just below this box that says notify me of follow-up comments via email.
    Jeri aka meegiemom

  89. oliviascarlett

    Thank you for the tip, Jeri, about the notification box, I’ll be sure to use it.
    I, too, would love a BWW2 class! I’m feeling the withdrawals of the BWW1 class just ending on Friday. Ugh.

    • One thing you might consider is starting your own blog on It’s free and very simple to navigate, and it gives you a place to post the things you’ve already written. From what I’ve read, I think there are probably quite a few good ones. If you’d like to check mine, it’s Leave a comment if you visit, please. It’s nice to know when someone has read your stuff. Some of the older things are archived, at the left of the page.
      Keep writing, Olivia

  90. oliviascarlett

    Thank you, I just bookmarked it. I have to go to work now but I’ll be back to read everything, thanks!

    • Mary, I tried sending you an email to the address I had and it was kicked back. I hope you’ll contact me when you have a minute and let me know how things are going. I’ve thought of you so often.



  91. Olivia! Hi. While I haven’t written a follow up course, there are frequent writing challenges here. Not the usual blog, since I’m not always here, but the company is stellar. Try things!

  92. Hello Ms. Linquist,
    Would you be available for a brief call to discuss how I could improve my writing skills please?
    Thank you

    • Daniela,
      The best way I can help you improve your writing skills is for you to take one of my online courses. I teach creative writing at a course called Beginning Writers Workshop. I teach business writing at Effective Business Writing. I teach a back to basics course called Writing Essentials. Check

      My work load does not allow for individual phone calls, but you can post questions here. –Ann

  93. Hi, Ms. Linquist,
    I enjoy following your blog. I’m still practicing writing, and I’ve enrolled in your upcoming Writing Essentials course. I’ve even started a blog. Looking forward to your next class, thanks for everything.

    • Hello, BigO!
      I’ll look for you in Writing Essentials. I’m glad to hear you are still writing! Take some of the writing challenges here from time to time. It’s fun and great practice.

  94. Hello Ann,
    I was just in your latest writing class and was unable to see your comment on my final piece. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the class, it really was a great beginning to start writing and I will go back on your exercises when I get stuck. I am so thankful I had the opportunity to be your student!

    • I’m sorry I didn’t get to comment. I found it late at night after I was done working for the day. Here’s what to do. Post it as a reply in the most recent challenge. You will likely get comments from those who visit this blog. They are all people who also took the course. Feel free to try any of the upcoming challenges. I add a new one each week or so. –Ann

  95. Hi Ann,
    I was in your Beginner Writer’s Workshop 9-17 through 11-17-14 and currently I’m in Writing Essentials. I wrote A Small Train Station story which I posted under Post A Story. My word count was only 503. Of course I was spinning off your paragraph. I’ve never posted on a blog before. Please let me know if there is a etiquette I should know about including where to post.
    I’m looking forward to all your comments and challenges.

  96. Hi Tink!
    I’m delighted you’re here. You’ll find that the best way to get comments from fellow bloggees (all ex-BWW’ers) is to try that newest challenge. I appreciate your posting your story. That’s fine. But I know you’d like to be more involved, so try the latest challenge. Read what others have posted and try something of your own. You’ll find everyone here is supportive, just like in the course. Welcome! –Ann

    • Where do I find the newest challenge. There is so much to look at! It’s wonderful to be here.

      • Click on “Home” on the blog page and it will take you to the main page. The current challenge is called “Skewing the Content.” The current challenge is always on top and there are postings (replies) underneath my challenge as people add their work or comments. Try it!

  97. Love that you have a blog and, based on the glowing praise from prior students, I will take the plunge and enroll in your writing course. I also appreciate that you keep your blog up to date. Surely no easy task with your hectic schedule. I’m very much looking forward to your class!

    • You caught me checking my email! (I’m not usually this prompt.) Yes, do enroll. I feel confident that you will find it a good way to get your writing in gear. Plan to take some of the writing challenges here too. Welcome! –Ann

  98. I was in your Beginning Writer’s Workshop from 9-17 through 11-17. My offline copies of Lessons 11 and 12 didn’t save properly, so I can’t access that material since the course closed. Is there anyway you could send me those two lessons? The other 10 did just fine, so I’m clueless as to what happened. Thanks!

  99. Hi Ann,

    It’s Chris Riggers, hope you’re well? I just finished your Beginning Writer’s Workshop. You encouraged me to look into Writing Essentials, however having looked at the lesson structure I’m not sure how much opportunity I’ll have to focus on my story? I’m inclined to take your advice but my main goal is to keep working on the story I started. Is Writing Essentials the course I should take given what I aim to pursue? Hope to hear from you.


    • You might look into Steve Alcorn’s course, Write Fiction Like a Pro. The Writing Essentials course is a back-to-basics review of language skills, and you would not get to work on your story. Go to and look for Alcorn’s course and syllabus. I think it might be a better fit for you. –Ann

  100. Hey, Annie. Couldn’t find a better way to contact you. Am visiting Larry and Bean in Bethesda, MD with my girlfriend Terry,, and Ken Molinelli and his wife Mary came too. fun. Hope you are okay. You are a good woman. Hope you are well. Sorry that Sarah died — she was wonderful, and blameless– a great person. My brother Jimmy died in 1995. He was a big fan of hers. Sorry I was an immature jackass when we were together — but that was the sixties, wasn’t it? –Hope you are well, and Wylie, too. John.

    • Gee. So weird to hear from you. Can I make you a deal? Life is very complicated for me right now. However, now I have your email address. I will save it, and when the time is right, I will get in touch. Hope that works for you, old friend. Thanks for the good thoughts on Sarah. You always had a big heart; it was (and I’m sure is) one of your best qualities. I remember our time with great fondness. Ann

  101. Perplexed…. Which course should you take first, Writing Essentials or Effective Business Writing? I think I need both. I need to improve my business writing however, is the Writing Essentials course required to set a foundation for the EBW.

    • I’d take Writing Essentials first. That will help you create a strong foundation in basic English skills. Then take the Effective Business Writing course. Try it ! –Ann

  102. Hi, Jerri here. Taking your beginning writer’s course and started following your blog.

    • Great! I hope you will consider taking some of the writing challenges I post here.

      Keep writing! –Ann

  103. Hi Ann,
    My boss is paralegal who worked at a law firm in the past and seems to write a specific method. Do you teach different methods (law memo) of writing in Effective Business writing? I thought I read a response that you understood the rhythm or method of how law firm writes versus normal business writing. Do you teach both in your classes? I thought your wrote, first they Thank the person for their time, then summary, then action….something in that order. Appreciate a response.

    • My Effective Business Writing course teaches techniques and strategies that will fit any writing situation you find yourself in. I do understand that attorneys need to write in their own style, one that grows out of a need to be extremely precise. I’ll be happy to help. Take a look at the syllabus at –Ann

  104. Hi Ann,
    It is so nice that we can still stay connected this way. I am taking a short break. I have to go visit my grandkids in Costa Rica. I will be writing there,but when I get back taking “Write Like A Pro”. Hoping it will be as much fun as your course was. Thanks again for all you support and encouragement.

  105. I’m glad you are taking something to write on in Costa Rica. You’re a writer, and writers gotta write! We shall persevere, and so?

  106. Hi Ann,
    I was in your Feb. 2015 Beginning Writer’s Workshop. As I mentioned in that course, your workshop was a most rewarding learning experience. I am currently working on a short story and doing endless rewrites of a haiku. Yes, i know, it’s only 17 syllables, which is what makes it even tougher to find the right words. I’m also wanting to have fun with more limericks. In addition, I have four books to read that you recommended . Not to mention reviewing your course lessons. I’ve got more on my plate than I realized. Thought I might check in and take some of your writing challenges, participate with fellow writers as time allows. Thanks for being here, and thanks for your creative, encouraging teaching style. Best to you, Will.

    • Hey Will! Yes, do stop by and let the writing challenges keep you busy getting more writing done. Everyone here is a BWW alum, so you’ll fit right in. One more way to keep going. Glad you’re here. –Ann



  109. Oooooh. Jeepers, has it been that long? It annoys the heck out of me to use those big numbers. Maybe Hilary would come.


  111. Hi Ann, I am part of a non-profit group in Indianapolis looking for someone to host a workshop for us on Effective Business Writing skills. Would you be able to do something like this for us?

    Thanks for your time and your quick reply.

    • Hi Joe,
      I no longer do workshops, but I encourage you to sign up staff to the Effective Business Writing course through ed2go. They’ll get a lot more individualized feedback, plus I can cover a more material online. I’ve taught this course online for over thirteen years, and I know it’s very helpful to business writers. Something to think about!

      Thanks for the note. –Ann

  112. Hi Ann
    My name is Muhammad and i have recently finished your two courses on holmesglen Beginning writers workshop and writing essentials.
    i was just wondering if you have any other courses i could tap into. (doesnt have to be holmesglen)

    • Hello Muhammad,
      The only other online course I teach is called Effective Business Writing. If you have to write on the job, it’s a great way to gain new tools, strategies, and techniques to help you. You can find it at I’d be delighted to work with you again. Try it! –Ann

  113. annie. whens the book out? i’ve got cash in the pocket and gas in the car!

  114. Gack. I’m dawdling. It’s all ready to go. I just have to get myself in gear and do the deal with Amazon. Thanks for the interest since it helps me feel more motivated!

    Hey Jack. Take my class. It’s called Beginning Writers Workshop, and it’s a lot of fun. All the people here (mostly) have taken it. I suspect you’re full of ideas, and you can be totally anonymous. It’s at and takes only six weeks. Easy peasy! It’s all about goofing around. –Ann

  115. i am good at goofing around. will think(if possible)

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