Personal Enrichment

Offered through Continuing Education

@ Florissant Valley | Meramec

The Writing Program is designed for the beginning or experienced writer. We have classes that give you the opportunity to develop your writing voice, build expertise in the art and craft of writing, and gain insight into today’s publishing environment.

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Continuing Education



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Please call 314-984-7777 to register for classes by phone, or click the button above to register and pay online.

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The Craft of Writing

Unleashing the Writer Within

Every one of us has a special story to tell, but it can be hard in this busy, modern world to access that creativity. In this class, we’ll peel away the familiar outer layers of doubt, distraction and writer’s block. We’ll get to the core of what we’re actually trying to say, and learn to say it with language that is irreplaceably unique to each of us. When the writer within is unleashed, the words will come freely and the stories we need to tell will finally occur to us. While not a class requirement, those interested in sharing their work will receive the benefit of a thorough, productive critique from the instructor and fellow students. You’ll need to make copies of your work to share.
WRIT:701 | 4 sessions | $49.50 AGE 60+ | $79 REG

The Art of Setting

Stories don’t exist in a vacuum. They have to take place somewhere, and the choice of where and when your story happens often determines what your characters do, where they live, how the pace of their lives plays out, and ultimately what kind of story you’re telling. Through examples and exercises, we’ll discuss the level of specificity necessary to create a setting your characters can fully inhabit, how much detail to put in and what to leave out. Bring the writing tool(s) of your choice to class along with a sack lunch, as well as any examples from your own work or the work of your favorite writer to examine and discuss.
WRIT:719 | 1 session | $44 AGE 60+ | $59 REG

Grammar You Should Know

After graduating from high school and even college, many of us still have gaps and lapses in our grammar and spelling. For example, when to use “who” and when to use “whom,” and what’s the difference between “effect” and ‘affect’. The years may have chipped away at your knowledge of English, but this class will apply a fresh coat of literacy to your writing no matter what kind you do. This class was formerly called ‘Writing Basics Brush-Up (What You Should Have Learned in High School!).
WRIT:704 | 4 sessions | $49.50 AGE 60+ | $79 REG

Developing Your Dialogue

Does your dialogue sound stiff? Would a real person say that? Participate in writing activities designed to develop your use of dialogue. Enjoy learning and practicing the essential elements of dialogue through concise presentations and enjoyable activities. Have fun examining what people say, why they say it and how to fictionalize their conversation. Bring your fears, wants and good humor to this interactive workshop.
WRIT:724 | 1 session | $29 AGE 60+ | $39 REG

We have more!

Interested in learning more about St. Louis’ rich history of female writers? You may enjoy our new course, “Women’s Literary History of St. Louis.”

Exploring the Creative Process

NEW! Bullet Journals for Writers

The website bulletjournal.com describes a bullet journal as “The Analog System for the Digital Age.” These blank notebooks, which may or may not consist of pages with dot grids, can contain to-do lists, diary entries and much more. For writers, that more often means a section devoted to ideas and inspiration. A writer’s bullet journal might also contain a plan to transform their plans into concrete projects. Whatever your goals as a writer, this course will show you how a bullet journal can kick start your creativity, your career or both. All you need to get started is any blank notebook, your favorite writing implements, and an open mind. Please note that any notebook would work for this class.
WRIT:710 | 1 session | $44 AGE 60+ | $59 REG

Finding Your Niche

Who are you as a writer? What are your goals, dreams, expectations, whims, tastes, desires and peculiarities? What is your style? Style can be an excuse for lazy writing or it can be an incandescent artistic expression. More likely, yours falls somewhere in between. Discover who you are by comparing your style to successful literary and commercial authors. Enjoy an evening of concise presentation and well-designed activity facilitated by an experience writer.
WRIT:765 | 1 session | $29 AGE 60+ | $39 REG 

The Healing Power of the Pen: Writing Through Trauma

Science has proven that keeping unprocessed emotions bottled up can lead to health problems. Writing provides a way to process events and struggles. In this class, learn creative writing exercises to craft a story and create characters and metaphors that allow self-exploration in a safe environment. This will not be therapy. It is more an honest evaluation of self that will result in writing an in depth personal essay.
WRIT:765 | 2 sessions | $44 AGE 60+ | $59 REG 

Creative Writing for New Writers: A One Day Workshop

Are you just getting started with writing? Do you want to discover your strengths as a writer? Would you like positive feedback on your writing in a supportive environment? This workshop will help you create a short story, essay or poem to share in a group workshop. Bring writing tools of your choice (pen/paper or laptop/tablet).
WRIT:701 | 1 session | $44 AGE 60+ | $59 REG 

Writer’s Workshop: Revising and Editing

One thing most writers can do even better than writing is procrastinate. Completing your short story, poem, chapter or essay is usually a matter of revising and editing and usually involves several drafts to polish your project enough to consider it finished. This class guides you through three drafts of your short story, poem or essay. If you’re writing a book, receive guidance through revising one chapter, be it the first or final. We will workshop each draft, which entails sharing your work-in-progress with fellow students and the instructor. Our purpose will be to encourage one another, clarify to the writing and, most of all, to help bring your project to a polished conclusion. This course is designed for those already working on a novel, short story, poetry or essay. Please bring at least five copies to the first session.
WRIT:706 | 4 sessions | $49.50 AGE 60+ | $79 REG 

Calling All Writers: A Write-In

Are you looking for writing inspiration and practice? A place where you could hang out with other writers without needing to make a long-term commitment or spend a lot of money? Join us at Schlafly Tap Room to eat, drink, and find inspiration to write! At our write-ins, prompts and brief instruction helps motivate everyone into a freewheeling writing session. After the initial burst of writing, those who want to can read their work to the group. Then we take a break and socialize. The process is repeated one more time, followed by drinks, snacks and more socializing. Comments about your work during the social time are geared toward motivating you to write more. There is no pressure, no angst—just freewheeling creativity! Bring your sense of humor along and join us for an inspirational write-in. BYO pen and paper. Beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase along with a menu of delectable foods! Seats are limited, register early!
WRIT:765 | 1 session | $29 AGE 60+ | $39 REG 

Mining Your Soul Story

Our minds record the sum of our experiences. Writing extracts the event and allows us to see the situation and our reaction as two separate things. Using various prompts, reflective journaling time and shared conversation receive tools for mining and writing your own soul story. This workshop is intended for everyone, whether you are new to writing or a long-time journal writer.
WRIT:710 | 2 sessions | $44 AGE 60+ | $59 REG 

Boot Camp for Writers

Do you have an idea for a fiction or nonfiction story or a memoir, but are struggling to get started? Are you working on a project, but need feedback as you go? With weekly assignments and guided in-class critiques, this four-session class will help you get writing, stay writing or improve the writing you already do. All genres welcome. If you have a work-in-progress, bring copies to share for peer review.
WRIT:704 | 4 sessions | $49.50 AGE 60+ | $79 REG 


Looking to get your creative brain moving? Need a refreshing way to mix-up your writing? Then push away from your keyboard, get ready to put pen to paper and come mingle with other writers. Join us at Sasha’s on Shaw to write-n-wine! Sip-n-Scribe is a fun evening of creative writing prompts, idea swapping and drink-sipping. The goal is to experiment with something new on the page in an informal, relaxed way, all while enjoying time with your friends and making new ones. Writing prompts are presented, then you give it a fun twist and let your words flow! No one is here to write the next Great American novel. But if that happens, please include us in the special thanks. BYO pen and paper. Beer, wine, and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase along with a menu of delectable foods!
WRIT:765 | 1 session | $29 AGE 60+ | $39 REG


Writing Short Fiction for Publication

Share your work with others who are actively seeking publication. This instructor-facilitated discussion fosters learning of how to assimilate constructive criticism and enjoy the process. Expect others to give you encouragement but not false praise. While writers often wear their hearts on their shirtsleeves, they must also develop a thick skin. A sense of humor helps. Bring copies of no more than five pages for everyone to the first session. This four-session course for intermediate writers is limited to ten participants.
WRIT:704 | 4 sessions | $49.50 AGE 60+ | $79 REG

So You Think You Want to Write for TV and Film?

Do you have a great idea for a TV show or a feature film, but you don’t know what to do with it? In this three-hour class, learn how to expand your initial idea into a complete, three-act story with interesting characters and a compelling plot. Also, receive insights on basic screenplay formatting standards to help your script look professional.
WRIT:728 | 1 session | $29 AGE 60+ | $39 REG

NEW! Developing Diverse Fictional Characters

Do you want to create engaging characters from different backgrounds and different cultures, but you aren’t sure where to start? This workshop introduces you to the basic components to consider while developing realistic and diverse characters for your novel or short story.
WRIT:719 | 1 session | $29 AGE 60+ | $39 REG 

Writing Scenes for the Screen

Every time you sit down to write a script, you are faced with the challenge of creating a great scene: Where to begin? How long should it be? How to make the dialogue and narrative descriptions snap, crackle and pop? In this class, learn the essential keys for creating dynamic scenes full of conflict, subtext, characterization, and imagery. This course is designed for screenwriters, but writers of all genres are welcome.
WRIT:728 | 6 sessions | $52.50 AGE 60+ | $89 REG


Self-Publishing for Writers

If you’re writing a book and have been contemplating the daunting task of getting it published, come learn about the process involved in self-publishing your work. Discover important tactics to save yourself a lot of time and money and ways to better understand all the decisions required to make self-publishing a successful venture. We’ll cover everything from getting copyright registered, applying for an ISBN, good cover design, manuscript editing, print, eBooks and marketing.
WRIT:704 | 1 session | $24 AGE 60+ | $29 REG

How to Publish Your Own Book: What You Need to Know

Have you been thinking about writing a book (or perhaps you have written one) and are curious about how to publish it yourself? In this four-hour workshop, explore the realities of independent publishing, how editing and design can make your book look great, options for getting your book into print, sales channels, eBook production and tips for book marketing.
WRIT:704 | 1 session | $39 AGE 60+ | $39 REG


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