Q. Can I be an accomplished creative writer if I don’t have that elusive quality called talent?

A.   People often have the romantic view of writers as chaotic people who dash off great finished works in a frenzy of creativity when the inspiration hits them.  The opposite is far more realistic.  Writers are hard workers who have developed discipline.  But yes, they love to write.  Your creativity is always there–sometimes revved up and other times lurking and shy.  Practice and tolerance of all your writing efforts are good ways to encourage your creative side.


Q.  I worry I’m not a creative person.  What if I’m not?

 A.   In my opinion, everyone is creative.  My experience has been that creativity has a lot to do with eliminating self-doubt and encouraging self-trust.  I believe everyone is filled with a surprising number of ideas banging around in their heads daily.  Most of the time, we ignore them or decide they’re silly.  Imagine the opposite.  Imagine copying them all down for months on end.  Imagine saying “yes” to them instead of “that’s no good” or “people will think I’m dumb.”  The word to remember is “yes.”  Creativity is in there.  Yes, it is.


Q.  How did you learn to write?

A.  Ha!  Good question.  I studied literature in college.  I was even a humanities tutor.  But I knew nothing about good writing until I started to write.  At one point in my life I found myself out of work and began writing a novel, just to see if I could do it.  I decided I wouldn’t worry if it was any good.  By the time I had finished, I realized that I had no idea if it was any good.  What was good writing?   I didn’t know.  Did I know good writing when I saw it?  I wasn’t really sure.  How was I to tell if my own stuff was any good?  Hmmm. 



My next step was to read every book I could on writing from Natalie Goldberg to Anne LaMott to Brenda Ueland to John Gardner to Annie Dillard and many, many more.  While all of them inspired me, it was John Gardner who taught me the guts of writing.  I used to read his three books on writing every year for a while since they taught me more with each reading.  I went back and rewrote my novel about ten times.  Each time it was better.  Each time the rewriting taught me so much that by the time I was done, I knew it still wasn’t good enough.  I was starting to learn what good writing was.


 What kept me going?  Naivete.  The fun of wrestling with a plot.  The onion-like revelation of my characters’ personalities as they revealed themselves to me.  The fact that my book was in my mind all the time, giving me lots to think about and figure out.  I finally learned what all those fancy literary terms meant by discovering that I was indeed using them and that—wonder of wonders—they actually helped me communicate.


Q.  How can a six week long online class teach me to write well?  That sounds impossible.

A.  Excellent question.  Here’s my guarantee.  I can give you tools, strategies, and concepts that you can use to improve the effectiveness of your writing each time you tackle a new document, whether it’s something for work or for yourself.  Once you take my classes, you’ll know what to do.  Your practice will make the difference.  Sign up at http://www.ed2go.com or your local college.

159 responses to “FAQs

  1. Trust me. If you WANT to learn how to write, Ann will take you by the hand and lead you to wonderful places you’ve never even imagined.

    • Hello, I am trying to contact Ms. Linquist, but I cannot find her contact information. I have a question about Writing Essentials (online course).
      before enroll in this course. Thanks.

      • annlinquist

        You can ask me your question here. I do not publish my contact information, but I’ll be glad to help you any way I can. –Ann

      • Thanks Ann for answering me. That reason that I am hesitating to take Effective Business Writing online is because as you are realizing, I do not know how to write in English appropriate.
        I want to be able to write a cover letter, fill out the tough questions in the job applications, and answer emails. To pursue a decent job.
        Do you think that your course can help a non-English speaker in these matters?

  2. Since taking Ann’s class I have my own website that I post on almost everyday. I think my writing has improved ten fold since Ann’s class.

  3. Sign up today! Ann will give you the confidence you need and the nuts and bolts of writing. The interaction with your fellow students is priceless. You will be surprised at the doors she opens for you.

  4. Ann’s class was the first I’d taken. I was terrified at first but was soon looking forward to each class. She is one of the best and most thorough instructors available. What ‘Gullible’ says is true. You WILL be surprised at the doors she opens for you.

  5. Sara R. Ellison

    I took your Beginning Writer’s Workshop from ed2go March, 2008. I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and learned so much. I took a second course, but was not as pleased with my growth. I have not seen you listed for another class since that time. My problem was, and still is, that I do not consistently write. I know that I need to get moving again. Are you or when will you offer a different course? Thanks.

    • Sara, have you tried joining a writer’s blog? Jeff Switt has a very good one and lots of Ann’s former students participate. Ann has one too…both at WordPress.com. Go to annlindquistwrites.wordpress.com or jeffswitt.wordpress.com.

  6. Sara,
    I likely will not be writing a new creative writing class since I can’t handle it while already spending so many hours a day responding to students. I do have a couple of suggestions for you however.

    First, try the Goofing Around exercises here. There are now 12 of them, and you’ll see that the responders are all past students. They’d be glad to have you joing them.

    Second, consider taking BWW again. Many people have done this. There won’t be the same surprise as you felt the first time as the lessons unfold, but you will definitely get more writing practice–perhaps this time with more skill to bring to each exercise and assignment. The feedback is also helpful. It may be a good way to confront the issues that slow down your writing output.

    Either way, it’s good to hear from you again. Keep writing!

  7. Sara R. Ellison

    Today is June 5, 2009. I was searching your website to see if you were offering any new courses since I took your Beginning Writing in 2009 from ed2go and discover my inquiry of April, 09 and your response. I will consider taking the Beginning course again. I really did enjoy your teaching. I am getting antsy about writing again. Perhaps I can now get started since I organized a few writing folders and read some of my old writing.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

    • Hi Sara!

      We have been thinking the same thoughts. As soon as I have completed the two courses I am taking, I will be taking Ann’s beginning class again.

      I completely understand how great it feels to be organized. It is quite inspiring. I found that producing hard copies of my prewriting exercises made the experience more “real” for me. Also, if I should become too familiar with a story to properly edit it, I simply put it aside and edit later with a fresh set of eyes.

      Best of luck! Write-on!

  8. Robert Durlock

    I am currently enrolled in an IT class via web2go at my local college and decided to see what else is available. When i found the listing for your course, “Writer’s Workshop, Beginning” I became all excited. I plan on signing up on Monday!

  9. See you there, Robert!

  10. I am excited and afraid at the same time. I just signed up for your Beginning Writers Workshop through my local college. I look forward to the class, but am afraid to find out that i am not as good of a writer as I think I am.

    I look forward to your guidance.

  11. And I look forward to working with you. Plan to enjoy yourself!

  12. Thank you, Ann. I appreciate your feedback, and vote of confidence!
    Also, by reading your reply, I could not help but re-read my posting and feel embarrassed by all the “little” mistakes. I think this class is going to be very good for me. It begins on July 15th, and I really can’t wait!

  13. Ann,
    I wanted to say that I took your class this spring and it was really one of the best beginning writing classes I’ve taken. I needed inspiration to write, and you helped me with that. Most of the other classes have been more technical, and it’s hard to find a good teacher that can push your forward to write more creatively. Thanks!!


  14. Hi Kathan! Good to hear from you. Thanks for the compliments!

    Being online as much as I am, I decided to have a blog. Lots of ex-students here. It’s a great group, so plan to hang out and get to know everyone! Welcome!

  15. Ann,
    I receintly posted an entry about leaving my writing class on ed2go.com due to a health issue, and then received an extension from the college I am taking it through. I was wondering if you receive my email address when I post here. If you do, I would appreciate it if you would contact me.

  16. Ann,

    Are you teaching any classes now? I took a class with you a year ago and have yet to recaputre that magic.


    • Good to hear from you Donald. Hope your writing is going well. I’m currently teaching the class you took–Beginning Writers Workshop–as well as Effective Business Writing (a good class if you have to write on the job). In July I will have a new class, but it’s a back-to-basics class. It’s called Writing Essentials, and it will cover word usage, spelling, punctuation, sentences, paragraphs, etc. It’s a good class if you want to dig into the basics, but it won’t be discussion-rich like BWW. I’ve had students take BWW more than once, so think about that too, if you want to get more practice. I’ll keep an eye out for you.

  17. I took Ms. Linquist’s online Beginning Writers Workshop. It was excellent. Ms. Linquist taught with compassion and humor, but also with the sort of rigor that made her students stretch themselves as writers and human beings. I urge everyone who’s thinking of becoming a writer but who questions whether he has the talent to take Ms. Linquist’s course. Those who successfully complete it will never think of writing, or themselves, the same. But they will come away with a far better understanding of the potential within them, and the knowledge that there may be no limits on the extent to which they can develop that potential. Ms. Linquist, in other words, is a phenomenally gifted teacher.

  18. Thanks for the wonderful words, Evolving! I hope you’ll stick around and try some of the challenges on the home page. I think Ouija Poetry might be right up your alley!

  19. I am still writing almost every day and thinking about taking the class again. Only problem is the increase in tuition, but if they offer the old price I might just sign up…….It is worth the money and you will love Ann!

  20. Hi Ann, great blog. I’m in need to find a few creative writers for an ongoing web project. Any suggestions on how to find creative writers? Would love you help!

  21. There are many creative writers here who post regularly. Go to my home page and see who is posting responses to the recent challenges. I’d ask some of them. Myself, I’m so busy, I can’t take on more work, but I’d love to hear about your project, so why not share some details under the “What’s for Supper?” challenge.

  22. Ann, I took your Beginners Writing Workshop in September. You are by far the best writing instructor I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, I didn’t save the lessons and I’m sorry for that. Do you have copies you could send me?

  23. Not easily. You might ask one of the blog regulars–mostly previous students–if they have a set that they could email you.

  24. Hello, Ann. My son is a freshman in high school. He’s a smart kid, but needs help learning how to write better essays and reports. Your class, Writing Essentials, is offered through our local college. Have high school kids ever taken your classes before? Do you think the class would be a good match for him? Thanks!

  25. I think it would help him. It’s not geared toward report writing, but it does give the student lots of practice at the basic skills of word usage, spelling, punctuation, sentence writing, paragraphing, organizing thoughts, and revision. I believe it’s a great review.

    I have taught many school aged kids and believe he’d benefit from the class.

  26. Hi Ann,

    I’m trying to decide between taking your Writing Essentials course and the BWW course. I’ve taken Write Fiction Like Pro through ed2g0 and was pleased with the course. However, I’m looking for inspiration and from reading all the comments on your blog it sounds like BWW has had the most impact on people. Could you briefly describe the differences between the two courses?

    • Writing Essentials is a back to basics skills course. It’s a great class if you want to dig down into the logistics of how the language works including: spelling, punctuation, word usage, good sentences, paragraphing. etc. Beginning Writers Workshop focuses on creative writing, is highly interactive, and requires a lot of writing. It sound like you’re ready for that course. If you then feel a need to get a basic skills review, take Writing Essentials. Thanks for asking!

  27. Ann,
    I was the Shawn in the class that ended yesterday. I did not realize that I would not have access again to get your feedback on my submission “Saving Brownie”. I would really like to know what you thought. Do you mind emailing me a brief critique. I know you are very busy, but I would so much appreciate it.

    Thank you,


  28. Shawn,

    This is a funny anecdote about your goofy donkey. It doesn’t sound like she’s sick, so I felt free to laugh at the pictures you described. It would help if you described where this takes place. I’d work the description of Cowboy in earlier so we can picture him as he helps with the donkey situation. You do a good job with his accent. Just enough so that we can hear him. You might work on that description of the giant four-handled lever. That’s a bit vague. Do avoid saying a day is “pretty.” We can’t picture that. Also, the part about the “hollows” and “hollers” seemed like a tangent to me.

    Lots of humor here. I wish I knew if Brownie remained on her feet after the final hoisting. It was certainly a funny picture. Do keep writing!


  29. Thank you, Ann. I will work on it. For those reading your blog, I would recommend the BWW class to anyone wondering if they might be a writer. The class was so much more than I thought it would be in every way.

  30. Ann, thought I’d drop you a line…you might remember me as one of your students who took your class twice…just for the kick in the pants. I wanted to let you know that the kick in the buttski has done the trick: Tuesday’s Child is now published. Better still, it pulled Runner Up in the 2011 Beach Book Festival.

    I thank you for your guidance, and for the kick start to chase my dreams.
    Carolyn Gibbs

  31. What wonderful news. How proud you must feel! I trust this is only the beginning. Keep going!

    I’m so happy for you. –Ann

  32. Hi Ann,
    I finished your course in May! I had only dabbled in writing before. Since then I’ve been writing up a storm. I’ve got 100 pages of my mystery-thriller! I’m so excited! Who would have thought?!

  33. I believe you are teaching the following online course:


    Can you tell me what is the average time needed to complete each lesson and any additional course work. Thank you for your time.

  34. Hi Kevin,
    The lessons take 1-2 hours each. That would include any exercises, the quiz, and the assignment. I think you’ll find it’s a flexible way to learn and easy to fit into a busy life. There are two lessons released each week, and they stay open for two weeks. There are 12 lessons in all.

    Thanks for asking! –Ann

  35. Ms. Linquist, Copying the Kevin idea of put the link of the class that I am looking for and asking about it. I would like to ask if you think that this course can be, not easy but not too hard for me a Non Native English Speakers?

    I also, added the respond of the Ed2go coordinator regarding your course.
    “The course is not tailored for Non native english speakers. At this point I am not even sure of how to help you. Let me get with Ed2go and see what the alternatives are. I will need sometime to gather this information for you.”

    This course starts August 17.
    Thank you.

  36. Thanks Mr. Linquist, I will prepare myself for the following course.

  37. I took Ms. Linquist’s online Beginning Writers Workshop. It was excellent. Ms. Linquist taught with compassion and humor, but also with the sort of rigor that made her students stretch themselves as writers and human beings. I urge everyone who’s thinking of becoming a writer but who questions whether he has the talent to take Ms. Linquist’s course. Those who successfully complete it will never think of writing, or themselves, the same. But they will come away with a far better understanding of the potential within them, and the knowledge that there may be no limits on the extent to which they can develop that potential. Ms. Linquist, in other words, is a phenomenally gifted teacher.

  38. Thanks for the wonderful words, Monicca. I hope you’ll do some writing while you’re here too!

  39. got a question.

    after i’ve written something, especially if i’m finished with the almost-endless re-writes, i will read it again. i get NOTHING. no feelings, nothing. i may as well be reading the phone book. does this happen to everyone….?

  40. It sounds like you’re just too close to it. You need to put it away for a 3-4 days. When you come back to it, you will have fresh eyes. Try that!

  41. Hi Ann – I found your current course offering, “Effective Business Writing” on Brookhaven’s continuing education site. Can you point me to any one- to two-session courses? I am a seasoned marketing professional with 9 years’ experience who is seeking a class oriented toward enhancing my existing writing skills. Thank you.

    • Susie,
      I don’t know of a one or two session class that I can recommend. My Effective Business Writing online course, however, might fit your needs. It’s a six-week course, but it involves only two lessons per week which you can do on your own schedule. It takes around an hour or two to read the lesson and do the assignment. When you post your assignment, I read it and comment on your writing. It’s like having a writing coach for six weeks. You also get to work on a writing project of your choice so that you can work on something relevant to your work situation. I’ve taught this course for over ten years, and you’ll find that it gives you the tools you need to continue to grow as a writer. Perhaps I’ll see you there! –Ann

  42. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  43. Hello Ann,
    I enrolled in your class for Creative Writing about four and a half years ago through the on-line course at Jackson State Community College. This is just a note to tell you how successful your Creative Writing class was for me.
    During the course I wrote a poem, which I later entered into a poetry contest with Eber & Wein publishers. My poem made it to the semi-finals, and was then chosen as one among many other poetry entries, to be published in one of their publications. At present, a second poem is being published in “The Best Poets of 2011” publication!
    You taught me well, Thank you!
    Lola Smith

    • What good news and how satisfying. If your nickname was Lola, I do remember you! I’m still teaching online, but this blog is a good way to hang out with past students and toss out more writing challenges, many of which I try myself. It’s good to keep writing.

      Good luck with more poems in your future! –Ann

      • Hello Ann,
        Greetings! I trust that life is being good to you today.
        Recently, I realized that I have never shared my poem with you that I wrote to you about, that was published in the Eber & Wein’s book of poems. Since you were mainly responsible for my inspiration to write. Smile 🙂 would like to share it with you now.
        My heart was saddened because someone who had become very dear to me was diagnosed with cancer and other physical problems. He was not sure of how much longer he had to live. I was thinking that I might never see him again. I sat down and started writing what came to my mind and out of my heart. This is what came out of that moment.:
        My Love
        One day my love we shall meet again,
        When this road of life’s journey shall end.
        When lifted through heaven’s portal above,
        We will make our abode in celestial love.
        No shadow of turning from the long road ahead,
        Only the brave dare go where Holy feet tread.
        A light in the distance leading the way,
        Guiding us homeward to a land far away.
        The long road behind will fade from view,
        Soon, My love I will be at home with you
        Written by: Lola Smith

  44. Thank you, Ann, for your reply.
    I tried to send you a message through your Facebook profile several weeks ago, but I’m sure you didn’t get it. So glad I was able to contact you here, because I so wanted you to know how much your class on Creative Writing helped me! I thought you would be happy to hear about my poetry accomplishment also. Yes, my nickname was Lola. 🙂
    Have a wonderful Easter!

  45. Ann, I can’t tell what your course has meant to me. It was wonderful. I have lost 12 pounds and I am down two sizes. My angina is gone and I have so much more energy. Oh wait…I had you mixed up with my aerobics instructor…sorry.

    • I haven’t found writing to be good for weight loss. So much time in the chair. I did get a drum pad to bang out some of my feelings when necessary, but I may have to dial up your aerobics person or see if it’s possible to burn up calories by sighing a lot or rolling my eyes.

      On a more serious note, I’ve taught this course online for seven years now. Sometimes a group coalesces because there is a strong personality who people gravitate to. It only happens about once a year, if that often. As you might guess, Gullible was once such, as was Peanut Beranski. When this happens, the quality of the experience improves noticeably, as does the quality of the writing. You were that person for the March folks. I don’t know what it means about you, but I do know that your participation made the session a very special time. Your group was more fun than work for me.

      Thanks, Waldo.

      • Thank you Ann, you’re very tolerant of my absurd antics. That is a very nice compliment. Our writing group has grown to 23 members. People are writing and people are commenting and helping each other; close friendships are being forged. We discuss favorite books, genres, writing issues, political issues, and all kinds of stuff. And it’s really all due to the fertile ground you provided.
        On the health issue, I have good life here in the Adirondacks. I’m retired. So I divide my time between writing, hiking, cutting firewood, reading, and writing. Oh, and reading about writing, that Gardner is a killer.

  46. Dear Ann
    I am not an English native speaker, thought I consider to have a very good level of writing, I cannot help but think that this course might be too hard? I love English literature, I work with English native speakers and write most of the time in English, but my brain is programmed to think in Spanish (LOL). Do you think this is the course for me?
    Thank you!

    • I think you’ll find that this course can give you great practice in writing. You’ll be taking the course with other beginners, some of whom are using English as their second language. Feel free to give it a try! –Ann

  47. As someone that is just completing Ann’s BWW class, I highly recommend it! I’d put my writing aside for years, but am finding myself writing again (and loving it!). I can’t even make a trip to the grocery store without coming home and writing up characters or events or something. They are all stored away on my computer and I hope to bring them out again and use them in some manner. Even little descriptions of sunsets, frolicking kittens, butterflies, all can be used at some point! I’m also loving the cathartic writing when frustrated or upset over something. It’s like talking to a dear friend and getting things off my chest – I just need to remember to delete some of that stuff! Thanks, Ann, for helping me to find my “writing self” again! I’ll be looking for another course to take when the next session starts so I’ll keep going….practice, practice, practice! 🙂

  48. Barbara (B.J.) Hill

    I have two questions: What is the name of the book you wrote; and do you teach another class through Ed2go?

  49. BJ, My book is titled “Infinite Possibilities” but it is not out yet. My agent is shopping it around New York at present. There is also a sequel that is not out yet either. It’s called “Rite of Glory.” Both are fantasy novels.

    I teach two other online classes through ed2go. One is Effective Business Writing and the other is Writing Essentials, a back-to-basics course that review skills like word usage, spelling, punctuation, sentence writing, word choice, paragraphing, and more. I hope to work with you again!

  50. Hello, I am considering taking the Beginning Writer’s Workshop online thru a local community college. Please advise if the course load is doable if I also have a full-time job with odd (late) hours and some time-consuming family obligations. I think that taking a course at my own pace (without being constrained into several weeks) might be better for me, but I haven’t been able to find anything affordable with such good reviews. Thank you!!!

    • This kind of online continuing education course is very flexible in terms of scheduling. It’s a six weeks course with two extra weeks at the end. All assignments are optional, plus you’re free to post old assignments in any open discussion area. I find all postings and share feedback which is one reason why students really enjoy this course and find it a great way to learn. Many people take this class who want to practice creative writing while still working, caring for family, etc. I think you’d find it a good fit for your busy lifestyle!

      I believe you can take the whole first lesson as a trial, so perhaps that would be a good way to start. Hope to see you soon! –Ann

  51. Ann, Which book by John Gardner should be read first?

    • Rather, which book on writing by John Gardner do you recommend?

      • annlinquist

        I’d read “The Art of Fiction” then move on to the one about being a novelist. If you don’t want to write novels, I’d read “On Moral Writing” second. All good books.

  52. Thank you! I believe “when the student is ready, the teacher will come” is true. I was fortunate to stumble upon your class months ago. During that class, two assignments were published, and I’ve since had other short pieces published. And, you continue to make yourself available to answer questions and make recommendations and offer writing practice. You’re wonderful…Thanks again for everything you do.

  53. Let me know how you like Gardner. If he were alive, I would be camping out on his porch. Great, great teacher. You’ll recognize some of his concepts and techniques from BWW.

  54. Ann, I’ve just downloaded the Art of Fiction on my Nook. I’m excited to dig into it.

    Do you offer critiques, and if you do, what do you charge?
    I’ve been working on another short story for the last few months and am close to finishing it. It’s about 2,200 words in one version and approx 2,500 words in a second version. I’ve been bouncing back and forth because I don’t know which way to go to reach the end. The first version has a realistic ending, but the second version has a twist and is somewhat experimental.

    You straightened out the story I worked on in your workshop in about 2 sentences. And, I know you’re advice regarding my latest story would make it publishable.

    • I’m delighted to hear you’re going to read Gardner. He is such a fine writing instructor! He’ll definitely help you grow as a writer.

      I don’t offer critiques myself, since I have a full plate with three courses and my own writing. However, I can give you the name of the woman I go to for feedback. She is a fine writer and has helped me many times–both giving me the good news and the helpful “get back on track” kind of news. I have found her judgment to be spot-on, and I always make good progress after I read her comments. Oddly enough, she is my older sister, Suzanne Linquist, who is both a writer and a jeweler. You can reach her via email at redcirclemetals@gmail.com. Her rates are quite reasonable. She is both a short story writer and finishing up a novel, so she has a broad view. Personally, I think she’s a better writer than I am. I spoke to her about you, and she will welcome your email! I think you will be pleased. –Ann

  55. Ann, Thank you for contacting Suzanne on my behalf. I appreciate it very much and will contact her!

    I spent the afternoon yesterday reading The Art of Fiction. This is a great, great book. I am already looking back at my stories and beginning to understand (in part) why some have failed and am questioning the plot structures. There’s so much information in this book! I will read it several times. — Thank you again, and again!

  56. Six weeks is a lot of time. Profound, even magical things can happen in six weeks–I can certainly attest to this. Before I took your class, writing was a frustrating endeavor: I couldn’t type a word without the constant stream of commentary from my inner-critic. And boy was she chatty one. “You typed this word wrong. When will you learn to spell like a normal human being?” she would admonish.

    I can’t say I’m an amazing writer now, but I can say that my inner critic and I have reached an understanding. She can have her say in the editing process, provided that she lets me type misspelled words, chaotic ideas, and crazy thoughts in relative peace.

    That’s a huge step forward, and one that would eventually lead me to become an amazing writer. After all, how can you become a writer if you can’t write?

  57. Good point! It’s one I make in Beginning Writers Workshop about five times a week. Gotta write to learn to write!

  58. Hello Ann,
    Greetings! I trust that life is being good to you today.
    Recently, I realized that I have never shared my poem with you that I wrote to you about, that was published in the Eber & Wein’s book of poems. Since you were mainly responsible for my inspiration to write. Smile would like to share it with you now.
    My heart was saddened because someone who had become very dear to me was diagnosed with cancer and other physical problems. He was not sure of how much longer he had to live. I was thinking that I might never see him again. I sat down and started writing what came to my mind and out of my heart. This is what came out of that moment.:
    My Love
    One day my love we shall meet again,
    When this road of life’s journey shall end.
    When lifted through heaven’s portal above,
    We will make our abode in celestial love.
    No shadow of turning from the long road ahead,
    Only the brave dare go where Holy feet tread.
    A light in the distance leading the way,
    Guiding us homeward to a land far away.
    The long road behind will fade from view,
    Soon, My love I will be at home with you
    Written by: Lola Smith

  59. Hi Ann,

    I am talking your business writing course-It’s great fun and I am using what I have learned already in my business life. I have a question. I am in the accounts receivable business. Basically past due accounts. Some in our company call it “Accounts Receivables”. I say that’s improper. What say you?


    • Hi Packattack.
      I wouldn’t pluralize it, but I, too, have worked in organizations with an Account Receivable area.

      It’s nice to hear from another Packer fan!


  60. Hi Ann
    How are you? I took your Beginning Writer’s Workshop last fall(really enjoyed it) and would like to continue with another online course that is similar but maybe with different exercises. Naturally I can back to you and was wondering if you offer anything that’s equal or can be taken as a follow up?

  61. Here is the posting I give everyone who finishes Beginning Writers Workshop. I hope you can find something that appeals to you!

    If you feel a need for more writing practice, you might check out the two other online writing classes I teach.

    1) Writing Essentials (http://www.ed2go.com/courses/wre)
    This “back to basics” course is geared toward review and practice of all those skills we wished we’d mastered back in school. You’ll work on word usage, spelling, punctuation, writing good sentences, paragraphing, formatting, and more.

    2) Effective Business Writing (http://www.ed2go.com/courses/ebw)
    If you have to write on the job and want to upgrade your skills, this class has a tried-and-true formula for helping you write more effectively. You’ll learn tips, strategies, and concepts that will ensure that your business writing will improve now and each time you write.

    There are many other terrific online writing classes available through your school. You can view them on your school’s online course catalog or by checking out http://www.ed2go.com to examine the complete content descriptions.

    Consider if you want to explore a genre or continue practicing writing skills in general. If your school does not offer one of these classes, you can enroll through Ed2go. Each has a lesson by lesson course description and a syllabus you can review online, so take a look!

    General Creative Writing Skills
    Writeriffic: Creativity Training for Writers
    Write Fiction Like a Pro
    Advanced Fiction Writing (this is Part 2 of “Write Fiction Like a Pro”)
    Research Methods for Writers
    Grammar Refresher
    Writing Essentials
    Keys to Effective Editing
    A Writer’s Guide to Descriptive Settings

    Focusing on a Genre
    The Craft of Magazine Writing
    Writing for Children
    Travel Writing
    Mystery Writing
    Pleasures of Poetry
    Introduction to Screen Writing
    Romance Writing Secrets
    Breaking into Sitcom Writing
    Writing for ESL
    Write and Publish your Nonfiction Book
    Writing and Selling your Self-Help Book
    Writing Young Adult Fiction

    Writing for Yourself
    Introduction to Journaling
    Write Your Life Story
    Introduction to Creating WordPress Sites

    Getting Published
    Beginner’s Guide to Getting Published
    How to Make Money from your Writing
    Introduction to Internet Writing Markets
    Publish it Yourself: How to Start and Operate your own Publishing Business
    Web 2.0: Blogs, Wikis, and Podcasts
    Publish and Sell your E-Books

    Business Writing
    Effective Business Writing
    Business and Marketing Writing
    Fundamentals of Technical Writing
    Resume Writing Workshop

    This is a great way for you to keep on learning. Consider checking them out today.

  62. Thanks Ann. You’re helpful as always!

  63. Ann I am considering taking your wrting class on edu2g0 at Gaston College. It has been over 20yrs since I have taken a writing class. Would this course be ok to take if you feel like you are starting from scratch?

    • Hi Tammy,
      Yes, it would be a good spot to renew your interest in writing. You’ll be in good company! –Ann

  64. Hi Ann, I did your course last year and I loved it. You gave valuable feedback to all of us. I was not expecting that level of individualized feedback.
    I have a questions for you Ann. Do you do book reviews? I did not see this service offered in your blog, that’s why I am asking. I wrote a children’s picture book and would love you to give me your professional feedback.
    Amelia Mello (my course completion date was Nov 9, 2012)

    • Actually I don’t do book reviews. But you’re certainly invited to try out any of the challenges on this blog. Thanks for asking!

  65. Thanks for your reply Ann, would you recommend anyone?

  66. You could contact my sister, Suzanne Linquist. She is a writer who has worked on children’s literature. She’s not cheap, but she’s good. I’d write her directly at redcirclemetals@gmail.com (she’s also a jeweler). You could negotiate a price with her.

  67. Thanks a lot Ann, I will contact her 🙂

  68. Diane Christopherson

    Just enrolled in your “Beginning Writer’s Workshop” starting July 17th. I’ve been reading wannabe books since I can remember but couldn’t find the courage to do anything about it until I read Brenda Ueland’s book. Now I’m enrolled and looking forward to the challenge. I’m also very happy to have found you on the web with all that good info for people like me. Thanks for sharing!

  69. Hi, Ann! I have a bit of an odd request, but I’m hoping you’ll indulge me. There is a person who I work with who would love nothing more than to spend her days writing. But she works a corporate job, has a family, etc. I wanted to find a way to encourage her to explore that part of her. While I think taking one of your classes would be great, I was hoping that you might be willing to meet her for lunch or coffee sometime. You pick the place, my treat, and I am happy to pay any fee in addition to the tab.

    I think a casual one-on-one conversation would be the most effective way to get her to at least think about writing.

    Please let me know if this is something you would be interested in.


    • That is quite a nice request, tariq. However, you have to remember that I teach people from all over the globe, so I am likely not within a few miles of your friend.

      Instead, why not have her log in here at the blog? I’ll be glad to respond to any questions she has! Tell her I am eager to explore her interest in writing. You might also mention that I have worked in corporate America but am now spending all my time writing and teaching writing. I know how she feels!

      I hope to hear from her anytime. Thanks for the tip! –Ann

  70. Thanks for your reply, Ann! I thought you were teaching a class at NWACC, so perhaps we’re in the same area. If so, my offer stands and I hope you’ll consider taking me up on it!

  71. Dear Ann,
    Would you have an email adress where I could contact you?
    Best regards,

  72. Ok sure I understand,
    Could you contact me directly on mine then? I think that you should have access to it as I had to fill it in in order to write this post

  73. Dear Ann,
    Greetings! Rita, here, (bethelight) from you current online course at the moment.
    Am not really sure this is the place to ask or not, but I wasn’t sure the ‘discussion’ board was the place either?
    This is my last resort I suppose to get in touch with you!
    Ok, I so much would like to take your next course beginning on March 19, (I believe it is Writing Essentials – do these classes go in any type of order?)
    However, I am scheduled for hip replacement surgery ( I know I am only 56 years old) however . . .on March 17.
    That being said, I had the idea to sign up for the class the weekend before and I believe and hope I will be out of the hospital by March 20 and home.
    Am I a dreamer about being able to take the class or do you think it is possible?
    I am not sure the reason I am asking you this but am, hoping with your expertise wondering what your thoughts are about it, if any?
    I enrolled in this current class because I was 5 months into back surgery recovery and it has been a great way to keep my mind engaged.
    Ok, definitely overwrite here. I will stop now.
    THANK YOU SO MUCH for any response!
    Betheligt, (Rita)

    • It’s fine to sign up, but I want you to know that Writing Essentials is a back to basics course that covers word usage, punctuation, spelling, word choices, sentence writing, paragraphing, etc. It’s great if you want a review of those skills. I think you could do it during recovery, and it doesn’t hurt to get that kind of indepth review. –Ann

      • Thank you so much, Ann for responding so quickly! I didn’t know that is what the course was about. I suppose I will look at other classes offered as well. I apologize if this was not the right forum to post my question. You are so accommodating and supportive. Just want to send a hug to you! Thanks again!

  74. Hi Ann,
    This is Gee from you Effective Business Writing Class. I have a question I need to present a summary of an work place investigation I conducted. I could give great details verbally. However, when I start writing a summary I get confused what information should go into it and how long it should be. It’s really frightening to me when I have to write something for someone else. I feel as though I won’t write what they want and how they want it. Please help I need to present this on Monday, March 24, 2014. Are there some step by step instructions on how to write a great summary?

  75. sorry I missed this, Gee. Just found it today (4/4/14). Hope things worked out for you.

  76. Hi Ann,
    Im taking the class to get better at writing. However, for my job I need to write quickly. However, when I do I receive such criticism that I feel anxiety when I write from beginning to end. What get’s me is I’m trying my best and just keep receiving criticism.


  77. After you finish the Effective Business Writing course, why don’t you take my online course, Writing Essentials. It’s a review of basic writing skills, and it will give you even more practice at thinking about what you are writing and getting the words right. Try it! –Ann

  78. Hi Ann,
    I’m taking your online Effective Business Writing class which I’ve enjoyed a lot as I feel I’ve learned to improve my writing skills. I’d like to ask for a suggestion from you. I’d like to have a career as a business writer, writing documents and I’m considering going to Graduate school but I’m not sure whether I should Major in Communications or English for this. Do you have any suggestions?

    • Hi Ada!
      I guess I’d explore the communications programs since I believe English may be slated toward literature. You’ll have to do some research, since I’m just guessing. It’s been a long time since I was in graduate school, and my writing skills are mostly self-taught. There is a good online course from ed2go focusing on editing that you might try since the instructor will likely know more about where to gain more skills. There is also a course on technical writing. I took it, and it focuses a lot on writing manuals and procedures for computer programs. It’s a good course, but that’s her slant. Keep looking and learning! Good luck to you. –Ann

  79. Ann, I want to thank you for suggesting in your blog that we enter The Hal Prize contest. I didn’t win, but I was a finalist in the nonfiction group, and for my first submission I’m thrilled.

  80. Excellent news! That’s a major step forward!

  81. Hello Ann,
    I am an educator as well. I am currently in the process of designing a professional communications course for my students. Our school is currently based in South Africa and my students are soon-to-be college freshmen. I am desperately in need of resources and am searching for experts in this very particular field of writing. Would you by any chance be willing to speak to me either via e-mail or phone? I am currently in the States for a couple more weeks and would greatly appreciate if we could get in contact. Thanks in advance –Alyssa

    • Hello Alyssa,
      Let’s correspond via email. Let me know what you need and how you think I might help. I teach three online courses: Effective Business Writing, Beginning Writers Workshop (creative writing), and Writing Essentials. This last course is a back-to-basics review of punctuation, spelling, word usage, word choice, sentence writing, paragraphing, and more. There is an excellent online course that focuses entirely on grammar called Grammar Refresher. I don’t teach that one, but the instructor (Ellen Feld) is very good. All these courses are offered online through Education to Go, Inc.

      I look forward to hearing from you at linquist_ehrfurth@msn.com.

    • Hello Ann and others, I am thrilled to say that since taking The Beginning Writer’s Workshop I have written 3 books. That course really got me going and I still go back and reread some sections of the class. I’ve written 2 mystery novels and just finished a Woman’s Literary Fiction book. Thank you for your inspiration. Deborah Rine



  82. It’s great to hear from you, Deborah! Good luck with your novels! –Ann

  83. Hi Ann,
    I just wanted to confirm that you received my email. Last week I sent a response with more details about my request. Thank you for your response.

  84. Hello Ann,
    Do you live in or near Colorado Springs? I got your name from the ed2go Business Writing class that the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs offers. My organization is interested in hosting an in-house seminar/workshop for our staff and I wanted to reach out to see if this is something that you do. If possible, please contact me at 719-785-2015 or at bdouglass@usada.org.

    Betsy Douglass

  85. Hi Ann,
    I am very passionate about writing.
    I really like your topics and story prompts., such as the Holiday topic. Could I post it here and if so, how could I get about it.
    Thanks for having such a wonderful space, to encourage writers,

  86. Hi Amrita!
    You are welcome to post your story for the prompt. The place to put it is under the last person who responded to the prompt–as a reply. We all love having new posters! Dive in! –Ann

  87. ANN: forgive the way i’ve posted this, but i read and re-read, and didn’t come up with a better way. I belong to a little forum, and i posted a few lines there. i got back a reply i don’t understand. can you tell me what the writer’s trying to say? thanks.
    shuffling down the street, hoping for some coffee shop to be open and the walls warm, i look down and see a torn page from some book sticking to my shoe. i bend down, intending to stuff it into the holes and get a little warmer. my christmas gift.
    i notice the words because they’re fancy; “For today, in the city of David, there is born a King. You will know Him by this sign: The child will be in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes”.
    Sounds like someplace I’d look for to sleep. Found a doughnut shop with great radiating walls. Even the hole in my shoe feels warm.
    Gonna be a good day.

    Oh, I like that. Conjured pure placement…. I was there! Very nice, and the message was relevent and significant. Thanks.

    • It looks like the reply is suggesting your did a fine job on the setting, pulling the reader into the events as well. They also liked the idea of including a Bible story.

  88. Ann, I am interested in having a friend take your business writing course. I know from experience though that my friend does not do well in remote education environments and a she needs a classroom environment where she can directly interact with the teacher face to face. She is in the West Los Angeles / Santa Monica Area. Do you ever do courses or workshops in the Los Angeles Area? If you do, could you let me know when the next one is scheduled and where it will be conducted? If you do not, could you recommend an alternative course where the teaching is done face to face in a classroom environment in Los Angeles (preferably on the west side)?

    Thank you in advance,

    • I no longer do workshops. I also live far from L.A. so I don’t know what writing classes are available there. Sorry I can’t be of more help. –Ann

  89. Hi Ann. My name is David and back in February I took your online writing course at ed2go. Very much enjoyed it and your teachings! I was the one who wrote the final piece on the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul (or Constantinople !) — “A picture is worth a 1,000 words. ” You even had a fun lesson in which we made up a story that we were to bring a famous friend to a roller skating party. My guest was Bruce Wayne who had to “disappear when he saw the Bat-signal! Hmm.

    Anyway hope you’re doing well. Sorry that I lost touch after the class. I’ll be getting married in September and I’ve been busy with other things as well. Hopefully the rest of the class is doing good too!

    Good to speak with you again and take care – David

    • Hi David,
      I remember that roller skating party. We had fun in your session, didn’t we. Hope the wedding is delightful and memorable. Drop by here if you want some writing challenges! Take care, Ann

  90. Thanks Ann! Yes the roller skate party was tons of fun! I will indeed drop in from time to time. Say I remember that several of my online classmates started a FACEBOOK group together. Do you know what their facebook group name
    is ? How to find them ? Thanks and see you around ! – David

  91. Hi Ann,
    I took your Business Writing Class with bmcc and it was great.Thank you.
    Now I’m applying to a senior college and would like your view on admissions papers, my draft is ready. Would you be interested in giving me a few tips on it. And tell me your rate, so that I can see if I can afford it. Have a great day! hope to hear from you.

    • I won’t have time to review your application piece, but even so it would likely be cheaper to take the course over and use it as your personal writing project. Some tips: Do use the Four Basic Questions. Think about what a college really wants from their students, especially ones who graduate. You will need to talk about yourself, but use specific examples of past successes and accomplishments to illustrate who you are and why you are a good bet for admission. Check for cliches so you can make sure your piece sounds like you are a real person and not a bunch of jargon. Make the words your own! Good luck to you. –Ann

  92. I’m interested in the Creative Writing Value Suite Maryvale Community Education offers online.I wonder if I could talk about it with an instructor before deciding.
    In the past I’ve written in an academic style; bios of jazz bass players for The New Groves Dictionary of Jazz 1988 & 2000 editions and a masters thesis with a similar focus. Pretty limited.
    Presently I’m retired/disabled and I’d like to fill in as many of the holes in my knowledge as I can. Many of the basics of grammar, sentence and paragraph structure and so on are a mystery to me. I read quite a lot, always have and I’m as awed by great writing in both content and technique as I am by the music that I love.
    I have no idea what I want to write or if I would be able to earn money in any way from writing. I just want to do it.
    The details of this course seem right for me but they are sort of vague. I understand their purpose and here I am!! but I’d like to talk (or correspond) more about it. The price seems more than fair but I don’t have much income at all, mainly SSI/SSD and a few off the books gigs so it’s a large expense for me.
    Thanks for your time and consideration…John H Curry

    • Hello John Curry,
      I teach Beginning Writers Workshop and Writing Essentials online. My advice for you would be to begin with Beginning Writers Workshop as a way to do some exploring. I’ve set up the course as a series of steps and experiences where you can practice using your creativity, seeing how it works for you, and trying out ways to transform it into words. You will write quite a bit (small pieces) and be able to post your work so your classmates and I can respond. By the end of the course you will also have developed a short creative piece that you can post for review and feedback. You’ll find that the online setting works amazingly well for a creative writing course since the discussion area will be populated with supportive and anonymous classmates from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and other global spots. All exploration and risk taking is encouraged since the course is not for a grade. I do not address getting published (big topic!) but rather focus on starting to write creatively and gaining momentum so you will keep going after the course is over.

      Writing Essentials is a “back to basics” course I wrote to give students a quick review of language skills. You may not need this, and we can evaluate that as you go through Beginning Writers Workshop.

      I’ve taught writing courses online for over 13 years. Your posting above suggests to me that you would find Beginning Writers Workshop a good experience. I’ve taught students from all walks of life and all levels of skill, including doctors, attorneys, grocery clerks, military, musicians, stay-at-home moms, and so on. I’ve had students as young as eight and as old as 96. It looks to me like you’d find Beginning Writers Workshop a good step forward in your writing life. Hope to see you there! –Ann

  93. Hi Ann:

    I took your courses couple of years ago. I loved your writing and recommended you to others! I am working on a mission statement. I got keywords and phrases but I have a hard time to organize them in a well-written statement. Would you be willing to help me write it at an affordable charge? You can reach me at 571.882.1515. Thank you very much!

  94. Lawrence Arthur Kosowan

    Fun? Wow!

  95. Hi Ann – I have just finished your Effective Business Writing class and really enjoyed it. Found your site here (obviously) and plan to visit it often. Thank you for providing prompts here as I find that is my problem at times, thinking up what to write about. I need to write more even if no one else sees it, so your information is extremely helpful.

  96. Erin,
    This is a safe place to practice writing and share your work. We’re all “on our way” as writers, so feel free!

  97. I had trouble using an Android tablet trying to open a link from the home page to the poetry page. Wrote a line in a comment box found searching, “poetry”
    Clicked Post button but it’s floated away xomewhere.
    “Poetry is easy, said the author to the scribe,
    Unless you have decided that you want the words to rhyme.”

  98. Hello! Jen S. from the current session of Beginning Writers Workshop, here. I just finished _The Glory Rites_ and my jaw is still on the floor. I reviewed the book on Amazon, but now I wish I’d said more. Obsessive, post (as in “after”)-submission regret, I curse you! Anyway, I look forward to trying some of the writing exercises here! 🙂

  99. Phalange Brutus

    Hello Ann
    I am interested in taking one of your writing classes. I’m not sure which class to take. I would like to know which class would you recommend. My goal is to improve my overall writing, I also have to write for work. While I was reading over and trying to make a decision with was Effective Business Writing, Beginning Writer’s Workshop, Writing Essentials. I am not sure which class would best suite my needs. Thank you

  100. Can the admin delete my two posts (from 2/7/18 and 2/23/18)? Thanks!

  101. Hi Ann, are you available to come into a small office to provide a condensed version of effective business writing? Would be 2-4 hours in length ideally and we are based in Downtown SF.

  102. Hi Ezra.
    Actually, no. I only teach online these days. I’m also way over in the wilds of Wisconsin. Often these online course are offered at local libraries for a very low fee. Try it!
    Thanks for asking. –Ann

  103. Hi Ann,
    I just completed my 90K words manuscript for YA, and I am looking for a trusted, realiable and capable hand to assist with reviewing and critiquing it when I stumbled into your name.
    My enquiry led me to believe those are not what you do at this time due to your commitment. Would you also refer me to Susanne as well?


  104. Katherine Mertz

    Hello Ann – I’m sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this. I was a student in your Beginning Writing workshop through Ed2go which ended on July 6th. I have been in Europe for the past 3 weeks and wasn’t able to get back into the webpage to see your comments about my final writing project. Can you email your comments to me at kamertz4@gmail.com? Thank you so much!

    Katherine Mertz

  105. I learned to keep it simple; short and sweet.

  106. I’ve been trying to re-enroll in the Beginning Writer’s Workshop, as I was enrolled in the course at the beginning of this year through my local library, but had to quit due to life issues taking up my time. However I haven’t been able to find the course to re-enroll – the link on ed2go is redirecting on the main page (https://www.ed2go.com/online-courses/beginning-writers-workshop), although I can still pull up the writing essentials or business writing course. I’m assuming the course may have been taken down for some revision, updates, etc, but would love to know when it might be available again. This course was fantastically structured and I felt encouraged and excited to write! Until I can hopefully re-enroll, I’ll look taking at the writing essentials course for now. I’d appreciate any info on when the Beginning Writer’s Workshop may become available again 🙂

  107. I had to discontinue Beginning Writers Workshop due to work overload. However, I am hoping to turn it into a workbook with similar content, exercises, etc. that I will offer through Amazon. I miss the course myself, but it became just too much work for me. Thanks for you vote of confidence. I hope to see you in Writing Essentials, a course that will give you a strong foundation. Best, Ann

    • Thanks for the speedy reply, Ann! That’s understandable. I can imagine the amount of time managing large moocs like that can take up. I look forward to buying your workbook and taking the Essentials Course!

  108. I have noticed you don’t monetize your blog,
    don’t waste your traffic, you can earn additional bucks every month.
    You can use the best adsense alternative for any type of website (they approve all websites), for more details
    simply search in gooogle: boorfe’s tips monetize your

  109. Hello Ms. Linquist – I would like some information about individual sessions for one of the business leaders that I help to support within my organization. This leader would like to have business writing coaching to help improve his communication with other leaders and his team. Thank you.

  110. I would encourage him to take the online course, Effective Business Writing, that I teach for Ed2go. The virtue of this learning experience is that I will be working with him one-on-one, since his posted work on the assignments will always get my feedback. In this way, he not only reads about the writing strategies, but gets to practice them as well. This is individualized learning plus. I hope to work with him. –Ann

  111. Can your class help with memo and report writing for government work?

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