Creative Writing

Time to follow your creative writing dream.   


Online Class:  Beginning Writers Workshop

If you’ve always wanted to write but have no idea where to start, this course will demystify the process for you. You’ll get a taste of the writing life, improve your writing skills, and develop new ways to stretch your creative muscles.


This exciting, hands-on course for the creative writing novice is filled with challenging exercises, expert advice, and plenty of direct support and encouragement. As you work your way through the lessons, you’ll develop your own short, creative fiction or nonfiction piece.


The emphasis in this online course is on developing your skills through practice, so you’ll spend more time writing than reading. You’ll master important concepts by completing enjoyable writing exercises and assignments.  You’ll discover a variety of strategies and techniques to develop characters, create a compelling point of view, build interest through dialogue, and add meaning to your stories. 


The class is six weeks long, with twelve lessons, quizzes, exercises, and assignments.   In each class you can participate in a discussion area that allows for us to have a one-on-one relationship. 


Sign up at or your local college.     


In the Beginning Writers Workshop, we all practice thinking of ourselves as writers.  We write so much in the class that pretty soon, we realize we ARE writers.  Many students have worked to compile the following list.  I’d give them credit, but I only know their nicknames (you know who you are!).  Forgive me for sharing work that is not my own without attribution, but these are too good not to share. 
You Know You’re a Writer When…

1. You edit and revise your grocery list.
2. You stop in the middle of an argument with your spouse to jot down a great piece of dialogue.
3. You cross out the new watch on your Christmas Wish List and replace it with new ink cartridges.
4. Strangers ask you why you are staring at them in coffee shops and want to know what the heck you’re writing in that little notebook.
5. You’ve replaced all your magazine subscriptions with “Writers’ Digest.”
6 You tell your friends that your favorite way to relax is galumphing. The men look at you with a new respect and your women friends check it out on Google.
7. People that once annoyed you have now become characters in your stories, especially the more sinister ones.
8. Your spouse reports that on more than one occasion, you sat bolt upright in bed and shouted, "I know what I need to change!"
9.  Your friends are starting to whisper about your thousand-yard stare.
10.  You decline social invitations because you have a date…with your muse.
11.  You’re getting a nice tan from the glow of your computer screen.
12.  You drop dead of a heart attack and while looking for identification, all the paramedics can find are little slips of paper in your pockets with words like: Beef…Lavender…Fragrant Peaches…Parades…Turbulent…Canoe….


There’s room for more if you’ll use the Comments section.  Feel free!

 *     *     *     *     *

When you consider this class, it may help to read the reactions of past students.  Here is a sample of class evaluations.


"Ann, this course has been a revelation. I’ve attended many writers workshops over the past quarter century (including a 2-week Elderhostel experience in Iowa City and a 1-week Highlights for Children workshop at Chautauqua), and none of them equaled your course. I thought I had a solid grasp on writing techniques and the basics, but you presented solid, step-by-step information that was not only helpful but stimulating and exciting. Concurrently, your comments and encouragement were right on target, as was the support of the classmates. Well done and thorough, and the exercises were superb. Thank you very much."


"This is a terrific course. Ann is an exceptional teacher. Her lessons were interesting, well described, and challenging. Ann’s responses to assignments were individualized and thoughtful. She had a great balance of being encouraging while also challenging students to improve. She gave an amazing degree of personalized attention. I strongly recommend this course to anyone who would like to develop their writing. You can trust Ann to respect you and nurture the writer who is pining to emerge."


"This class was enormously helpful to me. Ann’s lessons offered a wonderful balance between the mechanics of writing and the mindset necessary to pick up the pen and keep it moving. Her expertise showed in all her comments, which were both to the point and yet sensitive and encouraging. I know I will refer to the lesson material over and over again as I continue my writing efforts. Thank you, Ann, it was a pleasure."


"This class was the perfect introduction to creative writing. The anonymity of the online environment is a wonderful way for students to take those first tentative steps in sharing creative pieces without feeling vulnerable or too exposed. I learned to take some risks with my writing, received encouragement along with constructive criticism that made my creative pieces better, and thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience. It has made me want to take more online classes. Many thanks Ann. I may actually realize my dreams because of this class. "

* * * * *

John and Martha:  A Reunion.


“Did you bring your weapon?” Martha asked, waving her crossbow in John’s face for emphasis.


“Does a pea shooter count?” John was reassured to see that Martha’s one plastic arrow was tipped with a rubber suction cup. 


“Wimp.”  Martha sniffed and pulled John down behind a l958 GMC truck with green curved side windows.  “I guess it has a certain annoyance value.  I can’t wait to get her after all she’s done to us.  I’ve had it with being a character in a silly point of view exercise.”


John wiped snow off the truck hood so he could get a better view of the bus stop.  “Are you sure Ann is going to be on the 9:15 bus?”


“Yep.  She never misses a Friday visit to the chili parlor.  Did you know it only takes 15 minutes to heat up chili?”    Martha saw John’s quizzical look.  “Oh, never mind.  Get ready!  Here comes the bus.”


Sure enough, it was the 9:15 from City Center.  It pulled up with a spurt of slush, and Ann stepped down into the snowy footprints of the other bus riders.


Whap!  A suction cupped arrow hit her smack in the forehead and stuck.  Hard pellets of dried peas pinged off her leather jacket.  “What the…?”  Her eyes narrowed; her head swiveled, searching.  “I know you’re out there!”


But John and Martha were gone, running off, giggling madly into the night.

92 responses to “Creative Writing

  1. Well, well, well. Imagine running into old friends here. Hi Ann, from your former student at ed2g0,


  2. I hoped I’d snag you out of cyberspace someday, Gullie. How’s the writing coming?

  3. The writing? What writing?

    I can hear you laughing. You know I can’t stop, don’t you?

    Let’s see…couple honorable mentions at ByLine before it went belly up. Three pieces in the summer edition of Alaska Women Speak, and probably something in the upcoming editions because they asked about using a picture that’s on my blog.

    Oh. Blog. I took your suggestion and started a blog so I’d have a place for all these words.

    I’m still working on the Alzheimer’s manuscript, but have to put it aside for mental health reasons every so often. I’m sure I have enough material for Gullible’s Travels, but I have a tendency to barf when I read some of my stuff that’s more than a few days old. I miss your mentoring.

    And, I just finished Steve Alcorn’s Mystery Writing course, and am enthused about a fiction “memoir” set during the Klondike gold rush.

    Other than that, what writing?


  4. Sounds like you’ve been busy, Gully. I enjoyed looking at your site. Great camel picture! Saw a comment from Walk. It’s so good to know folks are out there writing. Your comment above inspired me to write about time. Thanks!

  5. Ann, if you have time, please go thru the archives at my site and read the Aussie Journals, chapter eight–the one about Uluru. That, and chapter seven, are my two favorites. Okay, nine and ten, also. Look in the July archives–by that time I’d figured out how to add photos to the blog.

  6. Hi Ann,

    You may not remember me but I was in the infamous September 2006 BWW. You gave me the green light to do the thing I needed to be doing all my life. I will always be grateful.


  7. Hi Ann, I just wanted to say thanks for getting me started on this adventure called writing. Although I haven’t submitted, I am working on a couple of projects. Thanks for this blog, I’ll be checking in often.


  8. Ann,
    It’s me again. I meant to say famous not infamous. Guess I should proof my comments better before hitting the submit! Good grief!


  9. Hi Ann!

    I was in your recent class and I am still writing. My final piece for your class, “Remembering Who You Are” was chosen for the Elderstory Place on line, and I received some very heartfelt comments in response. I, too, just finished the Mystery Writing course. I have too many people in my head talking and talking, and I can’t stop “writing” stories silently all day long. It’s driving my husband nuts since I go about muttering all the time. I hold you personally responsible for my mania. Thanks!

  10. Kathy H, Walk, and Karen–
    What a surprise to hear from you all. I remember that infamous (good word!) September class. I still remember it well. If I’m not mistaken, Kathy spent some time under the kitchen table, and Walk was our steady hand. Karen is from a more recent class, another good fall session. How great to meet again out here in the ozone.

  11. I’m grateful to Gully and Walk for letting me know about your blog. I’ll add it to my blog roll and visit often. (Your former students have been talking about you. . . . all good, all good.)

  12. Hi Beth! It’s good to hear from you and know you’re still out there writing. I’ll check out your site soon and leave a comment. This is quite a reunion!

  13. I don’t remember now who started the kitchen table thing, but when a bunch of us gathered at Yahoo, Aloma bolted it to the ceiling so there would be room for all. Alas, we have lost touch with Orlando (his e-mail started “bouncing” and eventually he was denied access), and Aloma said she’d be back eventually. I’m still in touch with Shaddy and Sandra Dee (in her several incarnations) and I hope they’ll show up here. Preacher and Ken (of those fabulous grandfather’s clock and Amish school stories) were with us for a bit. What a kick that class was!

  14. EmmaJean AKA Boni

    Hi Ann, Gullible sent me here for a class reunion. I’m so glad to have a picture with a name. I really enjoyed our class and still tell people about it. No book yet, but my husband keeps encouraging me. Take care and talk to you soon, EmmaJean

  15. Hi EmmaJean! If John and Martha can have a reunion (see posting above), we can too. I finally peeled Martha’s suction cup arrow off my forehead with reluctance (unique fashion statement!) and have saved it in a special place along with a candy wrapper, a spoon, and a plastic bag.

  16. …and I suppose a piece of ghravel to hold down the bag?

  17. gravel. gravel. gravel. Post haste again.

  18. Three gravels and a ghravel. Yes, Gullie. Again you are right on target. I hear tell that a ghravel is a French version of a mountain climbling tool that adventurers on their way up El Capitan whip out from their acrylic waist packs (plastic bags to us) and use to pry loose small stones from their special rock gripper shoes. Of course, they cannot drop these stones, small though they are, on observers below. This would cause instant death, as proven by the experiments untaken from the observation deck of the Sears Tower in Chicago when sixteen dimes were cast to the winds, only to cause three inch holes in the heads of four unsuspecting passersby below. Instant death, indeed, and not a pretty sight. Martha, in her day job as a part-time journalists recorded these events, and has passed the facts onto me. One must be quite careful with one’s ghravels.

    There are stories to write in the “goofing around” page. Please let me know what Doris is going to do next! Or perhaps you hate tomato soup. Understandable. I believe it was store-bought.

  19. Hi Ann~

    Just wanted to say hello. I was in the same class as Gully….I haven’t written a lick of anything other than my personal journal, but what a Godsend that has been for a very difficult time in my life. I hope that some time soon I can start writing for my enjoyment versus cathartic reasons. I just wanted you to know that I enjoyed that class immensly.

  20. Sandra Dee (Jenny)

    Hi Ann! It’s Sandra Dee, from the infamous September BWW class. I am currently getting an M.A. in Creative Writing (nonfiction) from the Johns Hopkins university, thanks to you. I used a lot of the writing I did in BWW for my admission portfolio. (They let me in anyway!) Thanks for giving me the confidence and courage to pursue my writing dreams.

  21. Carolyn! Sandra Dee! Welcome.
    What was it about that session? I’ve taught a couple dozen sessions since then, but you guys were so memorable. I still remember everyone, so pat yourselves on the back. You made quite an impression with your words.

    Sandra Dee–great news on the Masters. What gumption and energy you have. They’re lucky to have you!

    Carolyn–journals are the heart of our connection to words as a way to grow. Hold tight to yours and see where those words lead.

    How great to hear from you both! Keep in touch!

  22. Hee hee hee. All my buds except Shaddy, Orlando, Summer Goose, Aloma, etc. are here.

  23. I will never forget my first writing class, BWW. Just thinking about the emotional high that I sustained for six weeks and beyond gets me excited.

    I’ve gotten away from regular writing, unfortunately, but I’m hoping to rekindle my love for expressing myself in words.

    My niece threw me off track when she invited me in January of 2008 to participate in the Chicagoland Danskin Triathlon to be held in six months later in July. My focus immediately turned to training for that event. The extensive training and the actual event proved to be euphoric undertakings, comparable to my writing experiences.

    So with 2009 quickly approaching, I’ve got a clean slate which I intend to fill with more adventures, hopefully, a mixture of all the things I love.

    Oh yes, I must mention that I reconnected with a childhood friend this past September/October thanks to her invitation to spend time with her at her home near Boston. We traveled from there to northern New Hampshire (the foliage was at its peak color) where we spent three evenings at a memorable resort. Whirlwind days in Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island rounded out my fabulous New England vacation.

    I’ll never forget Ann and all the wonderful friends I made in BWW. I met Sarah Owens in the class and discovered that she grew up very near where I live and now resides in a nearby city. We’ve met for dinner with our husbands on several occasions. We’re kindred spirits through and through.

    It’s great seeing familiar names on this website and I wish all of you the Happiest of New Years.

  24. Anyone who is interested in joining one of Ann’s writing classes but is hesitant must JUST DO IT. When you do, the support that flows from Ann and your fellow classmates and the lessons Ann provides will easily prove to a priceless gift to yourself.

    Give yourself permission to write; you’ll never be the same.

    I know. It worked for me.

    Thanks, Ann.

  25. I found out about Ann because I saw the listing for the BWW class when I was looking for online writing classes through a local college. I decided that I would research each of the instructors of the classes I was interested in before I decided if I would take any. I googled Ann Linquist and here I am.

    I’m 25 and never finished college, and although I want to finish school very badly, I have experienced set-back after set-back these past few years. Moving out on my own for the first time, the end of a 5 year relationship ( 6 months after we were engaged on top of it all), not being able to afford to pay the bills much less go to school, being laid off from work, not being able to figure out what it is I want to do with my life. I’ve dealt with the drama my family creates while trying to do my best to stay out of it at the same time, and felt the grief of losing a loved one time and time again. But it’s writing and reading that has helped me through it all.

    Honestly, I’m terrified. I’m so used to being criticized and judged by those around me that I was really hesitant to really jump in and take a few writing courses to see what I could come up with. I’ve been writing since I was 11 but a lot of it I would post online anonymously in an attempt to hide myself. This was after I read a poem I wrote to my mom when I was 14 and she had said “your writing is so DESPERATE, Sabrina.” I still remember that day, and after that I never showed any of my writing to my family until my nephews came along.

    My boyfriend now ( who is wonderful and I’m lucky to have found him) is constantly encouraging me to write and is throwing ideas in my general direction whenever he thinks of them. Up until today, I was still unsure as to whether I would be signing up for any classes at all, but after reading all of your responses, and having Ann respond to one of my posts ( which was totally unexpected but delightful,) my sparking desire to take the class is quickly becoming a ferocious need.

    I’m going to sign up. I’ve made up my mind and I have a really good feeling about it….

  26. Sabrina, if you need encouragement on what kind of teacher Ann is, read “What Does It All Mean…” on the front page. You will see that Beginning Writers Workshop (BWW) literally changed our lives.

    With this group you will find a on-line family. The more you contribute, the more you will learn, both about writing and about each one of us. We are a diverse group of Ann’s students who love her and have grown to love each other. We don’t criticize but we do critique, that’s how we grow as writer’s.

    I’m sorry for that your mother’s words stopped you from writing. I’m glad your boyfriend encouraged you to pursue your talent. As a writer you’re not going to please everyone as everyone’s buttons are pushed differently. So my advice is to write what’s in your heart. Write and write some more. As you’ll learn in Ann’s class, it’s OK to write badly. So don’t worry about it, just write and learn as you do.

    Good luck in your class, I hope it’s the beginning of good things happening to you. Welcome to our writing family.

  27. Hi, Sabrina.
    You may feel you have been through a lot, but really, you are a very young woman. So many years ahead! NOW is the time to try everything you are interested in! NOW! NOW! Jump in with both feet and have fun!
    Just reading your post I can see that you have a pretty good handle on words already. You will love the exercises in Ann’s class. They are torturous and fun!
    …Okay, you might hate some of them!
    But now you know about this *secret* website where you can drop in and complain to folks who understand! Hee hee hee!
    Oh, I almost forgot. Ann dislikes the overuse of exclamation points!!!!!
    Enjoy the class.


  28. Barbara Burris

    Welcome Sabrina,

    I’m fairly new to this site, also, but everyone here is open and generous, so I believe you’ll find it easy to write here.

    Ann’s was the first class of any sort I’d taken in about twenty-five years – and I’d never taken a writing class. Terrified doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt when I signed up. I nearly backed out before I even posted my first assignment. Her kindness and sincerity along with her very accurate critiques kept me going and growing. I’ve had a number of on-line instructors in the past couple of years now and she is by far the best. Ann is one of the very few teachers who will take the time to read every word you write and help you with every aspect of your assignment. I was really lucky to have stumbled upon her class to be my first. Believe me when I say you won’t find a better one.

    Best of luck to you,

  29. Sabrina

    I looked up the word “desperate” in the dictionary. It said: being beyond or almost beyond hope: causing despair. Rash. Extremely intense.

    So you write when you are almost beyond hope? You write with extreme intensity and filled with despair? My goodness, sounds like we have another writer in our midst.

    My advice? Sign up for Ann’s class. Even if you are shaking in your boots. Even if you have to pretend you are someone else, someone who takes risks, even small ones. Someone who steps forward because they are tired of hiding on the sidelines. Just get in there and write. We all are here, cheering for you. And, speaking for myself, am a little bit envious. Okay, alot envious. When I signed up for BWW, I had no idea what was ahead of me. How is was going to change the rest of my life. And how I would look at past life experiences in a whole different way. And how it opened up my eyes. And my heart. How I love these writers, how I’ve allowed myself to become close to them. I had no idea the levels of emotion that would come to the surface and spill out onto the paper. I wouldn’t trade BWW for anything in this world.

    I hope you will check back here and let us know how you’re doing. Jump out there and have fun.

  30. Sabrina,

    You’ve heard from the others that Ann’s BWW is extraordinary and you’re seriously considering signing up so I won’t go on and on about the virtues of the class and how you should register. Instead, I am going to assume the role of that little angel on your shoulder who encourages you to follow through with your passion.

    *Small Zelda perches on Sabrina’s right shoulder and whispers*

    Did you sign up yet?
    Did you sign up yet?

  31. Sabrina,

    Add my ditto marks to all of the above. Do it, and do it now. Then come play with us in Goofing Around. And, welcome to the fold.

    By the way, one of the understandings that will come your way is this: the small and large disasters in life are fodder to the writer.


  32. Dear Sabrina,

    When does the session of BWW start for you? If I remember correctly, sessions start around the 20th of each month.

    I’m so happy that you have learned to use writing as a means for coping with life. You can learn so much about yourself and how you fit into life by expressing yourself with written words. You can make sense out of things that appear to have no rhyme or reason to them.

    Writing is a non-confrontational act and yet totally confrontation for the author. It allows you to circle, poke at, stalk and view from any angle all the subjects that draw you in or shake your world.

    I read what you posted above. You can write. You’ve already got the equipment you’ll need to go forward into the learning experience of a lifetime–BWW.

    If we could, we’d all go with you into the classroom. But it’s your time. Your time to shine. Your time to rise up and fly.

    We’ll be here, cheering you on from the back row. Listen to your heart and listen to Ann. That’s the perfect combination for your own ultimate success.

    Go girl!

  33. I don’t know what words I could sit here and type that could do any justice to the gratitude that I feel towards all of you. I feel like the sun has set on a dark part of my life that I’m leaving behind and I’m walking towards the sunrise. I can see you all waiting for me on the horizon and the warmth I feel is indescribable.

    But anyhow…
    THANK YOU!!!
    THANK YOU!!!
    THANK YOU!!!

    I start class on the 20th. =)

  34. Hello Ann,

    I recently finished up the BWW online course. Just wanted to let you know that I’m still TRYING to write and wanted to know if you offer any intermediate or advanced writing courses. Basically, where do I go from here? I am taking your technical writing class as well as a grammar refresher. So I think I have my hands full at the moment, but I’ll looking ahead. I started writing a book (yikes!) and I need all the help I can get.

    Thanks again for sharing your wonderful talent with the rest of us.

  35. Hi tmso and welcome here! I do not teach a second creative writing class–my apologies. There are many good ones at Another suggestion I have is for you to post on the main page of this blog and ask the other people there (all alumni of BWW!) what they suggest. They’ve taken many of the ed2go classes and they are very helpful people–who you will come to value highly if you hang out here.

    Other than classes, I suggest joining a writing group locally (ask your librarian), reading and reading a ton of writing books and write your fingers off!

    I’m glad you found us! Keep in touch.

  36. Hello Ann, I was one of your students at to learn creative writing….one of the best courses I have ever taken on-line. I just want to thank you again for all the wonderful education you provided. My self-published book is now in my hands and boy does it feel good! There is no way I could have accomplished this without your teachings. Have a look at ….Thank you again and all the best, Peter

  37. Hi there Thanks to you my blog is going well and I am still hoping to write my memoir. I love writing and hope you would get a minute or two and read a blog or two and a little critique. I still chat with Gully and Walk and they are my best buddies and support. Have a great Holiday……….Millie

  38. Good to hear from you, Millie. I’ll try to drop by!

  39. Hi Ann,

    Former student of yours. Back in the spring/summer 2009. Since have taken Alcorn trio of courses. Among the best. Still writing. Am in a local writers’ group for about a year, but want to track down the yahoo one Alcorn recommended. Could dig through all that paper, but hoping someone can post it here. Thanks.

  40. Dear Ann, I am recently retired from UPS and have found myself taking many different types of jobs in order to stay busy. Different experiences can have profound effects and I have been recording some of these experiences. I didn’t pay much attention in high school english class, preferring to daydream looking west out of the window. I am not a writer but was wondering what you would charge to read my crap (approx.700 words) and offer suggestions on how to make it a little less crappy.

    Yours in Hope, Paul

    • Paul,
      I’d love to help, but I’m slammed with work at this point with two (soon to be three) online classes to work on daily. Did you take my Beginning Writers Workshop online? That’s a great place to get my feedback at a very low cost. Check

      Good luck with your writing! –Ann

  41. Meagan Greene Friberg

    Hi Ann!
    I attempted your Beginning Writer’s Workshop in 2008, didn’t complete it, & finally signed up & completed the course at the end of 2009. All I can say is – wow! Your teaching style, encouragement, & support (as well as the encouragement of the other workshop students) helped to refuel & energize my writing. I am thrilled to let you know that my final writing submission – the short creative piece – was recently published in Chicken Soup for the Soul – Devotionals for Mothers. (Oct 2010) The title is “Love in a JC Penney Catalog”, & your kind words helped me to finally put down on paper the words that I have held in my heart for so long. Thank you so much for your encouragement, Ann – it really made a difference for me. Looking forward to sharing my future writing thrills!

  42. Three gravels and a ghravel. Yes, Gullie. Again you are right on target. I hear tell that a ghravel is a French version of a mountain climbling tool that adventurers on their way up El Capitan whip out from their acrylic waist packs (plastic bags to us) and use to pry loose small stones from their special rock gripper shoes. Of course, they cannot drop these stones, small though they are, on observers below. This would cause instant death, as proven by the experiments untaken from the observation deck of the Sears Tower in Chicago when sixteen dimes were cast to the winds, only to cause three inch holes in the heads of four unsuspecting passersby below. Instant death, indeed, and not a pretty sight. Martha, in her day job as a part-time journalists recorded these events, and has passed the facts onto me. One must be quite careful with one’s ghravels.

  43. Three gravels and a ghravel. Yes, Gullie. Again you are right on target. I hear tell that a ghravel is a French version of a mountain climbling tool that adventurers on their way up El Capitan whip out from their acrylic waist packs (plastic bags to us) and use to pry loose small stones from their special rock gripper shoes. Of course, they cannot drop these stones, small though they are, on observers below. This would cause instant death, as proven by the experiments untaken from the observation deck of the Sears Tower in Chicago when sixteen dimes were cast to the winds, only to cause three inch holes in the heads of four unsuspecting passersby below. Instant death, indeed, and not a pretty sight. Martha, in her day job as a part-time journalists recorded these events, and has passed the facts onto me. One must be quite careful with one’s ghravels.+1

  44. Ann

    I am finishing the last lessons in BWW and am not quite sure where to go next. The class on getting published sounds like it should be the next step for me. I had worked for two years as a proofreader for a state teachers’ union as well as my ex for 30 years. I proofed his master’s thesis and all his papers. For four years we wrote articles for special interest publications but I only got two bylines and that was so many years ago. I really need up to date information on getting published. I never had the courage to try this until your class but since I did BWW I have been writing every day. No small miracle here.

  45. Do you have a copy of “The Writers Market”? It comes out in a new version each year and details publishers, magazines, and agents who work with writers. Yes, take the class on getting published. I haven’t taken it, but I do know that the whole issue of publication is something you need to read up on, in a variety of sources.

    I’m glad to hear you’re writing for yourself now. It sounds like you’re enjoying it. Wonderful news.

  46. I really liked the article, and the very cool blog

  47. Thanks, Rtyecript

  48. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ~ Lao Tzu

  49. Do you offer the Intermediate / Advanced Writers Workshop? (I didn’t find any information about it but still decided to ask, just in case 🙂 Thank you.

  50. that weird old lady in the house over there

    got an idea for a new story-whatever. do i post around here somewhere for critique…?

    • You can post it, especially if it relates to any of the challenges here. The newest ones tend to get the most responses. No one is going to do a critique, but you might get some comments.

  51. Hi Ann:
    I thought I would join this blog. I like what I am reading.

  52. Hi Ann,

    Do you offer private lessons?


    • No, but if you want someone to read a chapter or a story, I can offer a recommendation. She charges $50/hour, so that’s something to take into consideration. She’s good, though. I have her read my stuff, and I always profit from her comments.

  53. This was my response to exercise 7, in Ann’s BWW class. We were suppposed to fix 4 sentences. I show them below. I started having fun and supplied multiple different sentences for each, instead of the requested one sentence. Of course, because of class rules, she could not comment. So, I thought I would post it here to see if anyone liked them.

    Ann: 1. There were so many winding curves as I drove in the blazingly bright orange sunlit glare of the everlasting road that I was utterly exhausted by the endless ordeal and thought I might faint if given half the chance. (What’s wrong: Overdone adjectives and adverbs. Cliches. Sentence goes on too long.)

    1a. Driving into the sun on this never-ending road with its endless curves was bound to kill me.

    1b. I needed to pull over and sleep, too many curves, too much sun, too much road needed to travel.

    1c. The sun’s glare just added to the headache caused by driving this endless winding road.

    1d. His eyes ached from the sun’s glare, adding to the headache caused by endlessly driving this winding road.

    1e. He drove, he turned, he drove, he squinted into the glare, he drove, he turned, he passed out and drove off the cliff.

    Ann: 2. The leaves were red. (What’s wrong: Too general. Hard to picture this. Very blah.)

    2a. Autumn was beautiful at home here in Washington; one tree had leaves that were all red, while the slow learners followed with jumbles of oranges and yellows.

    2b. The trees had shed their leaves and the body had shed its blood; the leaves were red.

    2c. Fall is a time of change, a purgatory of sorts; the leaves transformed from the green of life to the red of death, before floating down to their final reward and rebirth.

    2d. The leaves were red, the sky was blue, I shook with dread, I had no clue.

    Ann: 3. That horrible tornado was like a raging bull charging a red cape so it could blast everything we owned to smithereens once and for all. (What’s wrong: Silly and mixed metaphor. Vague adjective. Cliches.)

    3a. Whirling away, the tornado skipped across the countryside, searching for its favorite dessert, trailer parks.

    3b. Like a Bass-o-matic, the tornado shattered what was whole and left the jumbled remains.

    3c. Afterwards this tornado was always called the Devils Claw, it destroyed what it touched.

    3d. It spun, it ate, it danced, it spit; it was a tornado.

    Ann: 4. John thought again how Martha was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, and he knew he would love her forever. (What’s wrong: Powerful thought but weak delivery. Telling instead of showing. Dull verbs. No picture evoked.)

    4a. Like always, when John watched her sleeping, he ached at her beauty, her sweetness, her innocence, and he cherished the thought of eternity with her.

    4b. Did she know how beautiful she was, how he worshiped the ground she walked on, how he treasured her every move, how he had been stalking her for months?

    4c. Her beauty still stunned him; he could lose himself in just watching her face, her lips parting, her nose with its little twitch and the smile in her eyes that made his spine tingle.

    4d. John knew how lucky he was to have a hot babe like Martha, he didn’t mind that she referred to him as her drooling little puppy dog.

    Thanks! This is my first post here, I hope it’s okay.


  54. I found your website when I was looking through the online writing courses at For years now I have wanted to write a mystery. After reading the comments above, I will definitely sign up for the course. I am excited! Thanks!

  55. Pingback: Sunshine Award | Jessica P. West

  56. I’ve nominated you for the Sunshine Award! This award is given to bloggers who “positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere.” For more info, check out this page on my blog:

    Whether or not you choose to display the award, I’d like to thank you again for being a top notch source of inspiration.

  57. Orlando Llerandi

    My name is Orlando and I was part of the group that initiated the 920 writers, around 200 years ago. Being year’s end, I was trying to get rid of old papers that multiply in drawers and shelves when I came across a file containing copies of the goofy stories I wrote when we were taken classes with Ann in ’07.
    Then, I had the urge to connect with your w-site where, to my surprise and delight, I saw familiar names still exchanging ideas, comments and stories.
    Wishing you all the best for the New Year/

  58. Orlando,
    It is delightful to hear from you! Yes, there are some old friends here and some terrific new ones. I hope you’ll check back often since I will be posting writing challenges often. Yes, you are still free to goof around, and this is the place to do so. Welcome! –Ann

  59. Hi Ann,

    I would like to introduce you and your students to the Alameda Writers Group and ask that you consider us as a local resource. We are a non-profit organization of writers helping writers and meet monthly at the Glendale Central Library. There is no cost to attend our meetings.

    The Alameda Writers Group (AWG) was founded in 1992 at NBC studios in Burbank, CA. AWG is on a mission to inspire and encourage the creative process of writing among our members. Our goal is to further the writing abilities of all members, uphold the dignity of writers, and promote the importance of their craft.

    We seek to achieve this by offering our members and guests a monthly meeting centered around time for people to share successes, network, and participate in contests. Each General Membership Meeting is anchored by a different keynote speaker, an industry professional, expounding on topics of interest to the diverse types of writers within AWG.

    When: First Saturdays of every month 10:00 a.m. to noon.

    Where: Glendale Central Library 222 E. Harvard St. Glendale AWG members and guests receive 3 hours FREE parking across Harvard at the Marketplace parking structure with validation at the first floor library checkout desk.

    Please check us out at


    Willow Healy

    Promotion Coordinator

    • Willow,
      I appreciate your kind posting and offer. I teach creative writing online through My students come from all over the U.S., Canada, Australia, and other parts of the world. I don’t know their location, and my home base is no where near California. For that reason, while I’d love to help, I don’t see how my sharing your mission and location can reach my students. Thanks for thinking of me! –Ann

  60. Hi Ann:
    I just signed into your blog page and will hopefully stay connected to you and your craft. I am one of your current students and have so enjoyed taking this class. You have certainly given me inspiration to continue to write and have demonstrated how much you care about what you are doing. I have a blog page of which I have dabbled with for a few years now. I invite you to visit and thanks again for a great course. I call it The Coriolis Effect
    Kindest Regards Yawlsail …

    • Good to see you here! I hope you will try some of the challenges I post. It’s a great way to keep going! –Ann

  61. Hello Ann. I recently completed your beginners course on creative writing. You obviously know your craft and I am very pleased with what I learned.
    I have investigated Amazon and Smashwords regarding first time submissions. I am asking if you have any thoughts on this or if you have found other e-book opportunities that you feel are better. I believe you have extensive experience in this arena. If you have the time or the inclination to respond to this it would be most appreciated. I do understand how busy you must be and the constraints on your time.
    Roger Wilcox

    • I’m actually not a good person to respond to this question since I am only just exploring e-books myself. However, there is an excellent online course offered by ed2go that addresses these opportunities. I’d check that out. The instructor has extensive experience in self-publishing through a variety of channels, especially e-books. Try it and good luck to you! –Ann

  62. Help Help….i know this is not the time or place …please forgive me i am Pam Black and i just finished your wonderful enlightening creative writers workshop i am waiting for my certificate but it says i did not finish my final exam? i did or have i been mislead? the library told me to look for your help here? i apologize for the interruption on this site

    • You were in the October session, right? It’s closed now, but I will contact the technicians and get them to help you. I have your name. Tell me the name of your library and town. I am hoping they can email the certificate to you there, so also include the library’s email address and a contact person’s name. I don’t know if this will work, but let’s give it a try.

      I will wait to hear from you here with that information. –Ann

  63. Aaqila Abdulnur

    Hi Ann,
    I was interested in taking your writing course! Is it only offered online or do you teach in person at a local school? I somehow feel a classroom setting would work better for me.

    • I only teach the Beginning Writers Workshop online. While I understand your urge for a classroom setting, you might find that the involvement of a group of international (U.S., Canadian, Australian, and others) students all supporting each other’s efforts is also a meaningful learning experience. I’m there to guide and share feedback too. Your choice! Thanks for the question. –Ann

  64. I belong to a friend’s 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.

  65. without much context, I’m afraid I don’t know either. Feel free to respond to challenge here and see what your fellow blogees have to say.

  66. Hi Ann

    I recently took your class and loved it. I have a question I can’t seem to find the answer too. I am currently writing a story that involves many different characters. When you are writing when you change to new characters in a new setting do you have to start a new chapter or can you keep it in the same chapter?

    KC Vaillancourt

    • I think you’re talking about a point of view shift or at least changing the focus from Character A to Character B. I don’t see any problem with doing this within a chapter. You might want to drop down a double/double space or perhaps put in a line of five asterisks. This signals your reader that you’re making a major shift. Your goal is to make sure your readers can follow what’s happening, so some sort of signal (or new chapter, if that works) helps.

      Good to hear from you! Drop by for a challenge from time to time. –Ann

  67. Hi Ann
    Hobiedude was my alias in the recent Creative Writing class. That was a terrific experience and I wanted you to know that the first chapter of a novel has grown out of the final piece. My story premise has readable interest and social significance and I am putting together a team to develop it.

    Do you offer coaching and consultation on book projects for a fee?

    Please let me know your thoughts.

    George Burchfiel
    Orange, CA

    • As of now, I do not. My three online courses keep me inundated with satisfying work. I wish I could point you in a good direction, but book consultations, editing, and coaching outside the online courses are not in the cards right now. I appreciate the compliment and did enjoy working with you in the course. Keep writing, Hobiedude! –Ann

  68. Laura Alexander

    Do you help with writing edits? I took your class online writing essentials, but need help with writing, business writing, not creative. Laura @

    • Laura,
      You might look into my online course, Effective Business Writing. I think you’ll find it very helpful! Go to and check it out. –Ann

  69. Pingback: Lit Candle -

  70. I am enjoying this class very much. It is not “easy” by any means but the coursework is laid out well and I find the discussion to be very encouraging. I am finding myself thinking of topics, characters, re-writes while running, driving, cooking. I have even started a script with my daughter so we can use it during doll play. I only wish I had taken this years ago… Thank you!

  71. Josie Peitzsche

    Good Morning Ann,
    Would your “Beginning Writer’s Workshop” be appropriate for a keen 14 year old to partake in?

  72. Sashka Macievich

    Hello Anne
    I am taking your Beginner writing course now and I am learning a lot! Thank you so much. I am so happy to find your site – I will try the practice exercises. Is there a way to subscribe to the site?


  73. Hello Ann and former classmates. I took this workshop four years ago (under a different name) and presented my idea for a book. I appreciate all the training and sincere encouragement your class provided to get my ducks in a row and to finish what I started in the class. The book is “Fourteen and a Quarter” – a collection of short stories with a spiritual angle. The first story was written for an assignment for the last 800 word final exam in the class. I’m nervous about sharing this news to the world, but your students know how hard and risky it is to put ourselves out there in writing (and will be merciful to me, right? haha). The book is self-published on Kindle and am moving to paperback next month. Thank you, Ann, and thank you to my classmates!

  74. Oh, wow. I didnt think that the book would appear on the page. SO Sorry. Please delete.


    Trying to sign up for your online beginning writer course at TCC. I have sent an email to get registration support. I graduated over a decade ago and I’m not sure the protocol to enroll here. Hoping I get to join you April 11th. 🙂

  76. You can also go to to sign up. I’ll look forward to working with you! –Ann

  77. Gwynne Falder Schnick

    Hi Ann. This is your cousin Gwynne (Falder) Schnick. My sister Dianne (Falder) Lewandowski and I would love to get in touch with you. Can you contact me please at:

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