The Phantom Prof Offers a Free Writing Class

Lots of people offer free congealed work product online, be it articles or software. But how many people offer free personalized classes? The Phantom Professor is thinking of doing it:

Here's the offer: The Phantom Professor's Online Writing Workshop. Open admission. Free tuition.

Using all the exercises, reading lists, quizzes and other tricks I have developed during 15 years of teaching, I will offer you, the blogistas, the benefit of my experience and expertise. I will also incorporate new things I learned at the University of Iowa Summer Writing Workshop, the most creative and inspiring haven for writers in America. You can find most of what we'll read on the Internet or in a library, so you don't even have to buy books. (Though some of them you will want to own.)

If you need help getting that novel or screenplay started, this four-month workshop will kickstart you into a creative mode that will get that sucker under way. If you're interested in journalism, here's where you can start. If you have just never felt confident putting words on paper, step right up. You don't have to be college age. My techniques work whether you're 12 or 92.

I will post short exercises to help you improve grammar, punctuation, spelling and style. You will do them at your own pace and grade them yourself.

Every couple of weeks, you'll have a short assignment (no more than 300 to 500 words) due. You can email them to me or post them in the comments section for everyone to read. We can “workshop” your output together. With positive but honest critiques to work from, you will rewrite these assignments until they are polished. You can even drop in and out as your schedule permits or your interest waxes and wanes.

Why am I doing this? Why not? As I watched my professor friends head back to classes, I just thought, “Why waste all the good stuff I've accumulated? Why not make it available for anyone who wants to do it?”

Even my agent likes the idea. Even though I'm doing it gratis.

So let me know what you think. Would you join this “class”? If enough of you do, we'll start a week from today. I always did like the Tuesday-Thursday schedule best.

I imagine there will be a stampede.

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7 Responses to The Phantom Prof Offers a Free Writing Class

  1. doran says:

    Yes! Sign me up. I have been practicing law since 1966, longer than I ever thought I would. Probably should have retired or changed careers before now. I have my sites set on retirement from the legal biz by mid ’06, with a novel, a family history, and maybe some short stories in mind to write. (Practicing law for 40 years is a good way to gather a whole lot of material.) I have a need for some instruction in creative writing. Your offer is one I can’t refuse.

  2. doran says:

    Hey, this is going to be neat. I’ve never been the only student in a class taught by a Full Law Prof. When do we start?

  3. Michael says:

    Um, guys, the class is being taught by the Phantom Professor, not by me. And s/he’s not a law prof. See for details….

  4. JOE says:

    Do not rely on thid dite’s spelling. “Lead” is spelled “lede” and makes me wonder if this is not an adware threat.

  5. michael says:

    According to Fundamentals of Journalism, “Lede is often spelled lead. The odd spelling was adopted when newspaper type was set in lead. To keep from confusing the word for the metal with the word for the beginning sentence, the spelling “lede” was used.”

  6. LeAlan says:

    I would like to particpate in this if it is not to late.

  7. Betty says:

    I am interested. When, where, how?



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