Important Dates
Fall term 2 begins
Oct 21


There is a story inside you waiting to be told. In this introductory creative writing and storytelling course, explore new skills to craft your story and find a receptive audience. You’ll cultivate a personal writing style as you close-read work from multiple genres and share constructive feedback with fellow writers. You’ll work directly with Sam Weller, Columbia Chicago professor, award-winning author and public speaker.

What you’ll walk away with:

  • Writing samples in fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry to build your portfolio
  • Individualized feedback in a relaxed online classroom setting
  • Enhanced writing skills and practical tips for translating them into career opportunities

Course pricing and details:

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  • 3-Credit Tuition: $897
  • Non-Credit Tuition: $705
  • Fees: $40 Registration Fee
  • Duration: 8 Weeks

Earn a Professional Certificate:

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Strong writing skills are essential for any career. Our flexible, online courses are 8-weeks long and asynchronous to accommodate your busy schedule.

What will you learn in Creative Writing and Storytelling Essentials?

Week One:
-How To Begin
-Story Across Genre
-Ray Bradbury: Passion as Inspiration

Week Two:
-Developing a Personal Writing Brand
-Setting and Sense of Place
-Elements of Scene
-Assignment: Scene Writing
-Quiz: The Red Convertible

Week Three:
-Exploring Character
-Character Clusters
-Working with Opposites
-The Details of Character
-Assignment: Opposite Character Writing Exercise

Week Four:
-Structure and Conflict
-Exploring Narrative Forms
-Retellings, Parody and Homage
-Experimenting with Contemporary Forms
-Quiz: Epistolary Story

Week Five:
-Experience of Poetry
-Contemporary Poets and Their Work
-Dreams and Writing
-Assignments: Free Verse Poetry and Dream Poetry
-Quiz: Poetry Readings

Week Six:
-Voice and Style
-Creative Non-Fiction
-Assignment: Personal Essay Reflection
-Quiz: Kurt Vonnegut Reading

Week Seven:
-Story Reserves and the Campfire
-Engaging the Audience
-Connecting Instances
-Quiz: Virginia Wolfe—Death of a Moth

Week Eight:
-Next Steps: Aim High
-Final Thoughts
-Assignment: Final Project

Sam Weller Photo

Sam Weller

Sam Weller is a fiction and nonfiction writer. Weller is an award-winning author and writer of the national bestseller, The Bradbury Chronicles: The Life of Ray Bradbury. He co-edited the short fiction anthology Shadow Show: All-New Stories in Celebration of Ray Bradbury, and in 2014, the graphic novel adaptation of Shadow Show was published. Weller is a frequent lecturer on the life and legacy of Ray Bradbury and has given more than 350 talks worldwide.

Courses: Creative Writing and Storytelling Essentials, Creative Storytelling Featuring Ray Bradbury

Each lesson reveals the endless possibilities our writings can accomplish. Through this, I believe it will further our expectations and ambitions as we delve deeper into the world of writing. It opens worlds, such as the lesson revolving around forms of narrative that could really be useful in times of struggle.

— Cristian R., Columbia Online Student