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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.

who should take this course?

This online course is ideal for current or aspiring writers who want to establish a regular writing practice, learn strategies to improve your writing, and explore new genres. Students will also learn practical tips for applying creative writing skills to a career as a freelancer or professional writer.

Course pricing and details:

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

Course Outline

Week One

  • How to Begin
  • Developing a Personal Writing Practice
  • Ray Bradbury: Passion as Inspiration
  • Story Across Genre

Week Two

  • Setting and Sense of Place
  • Elements of Scene

Week Three

  • Exploring Character
  • Character Clusters
  • Working with Opposites
  • The Details of Character

Week Four

  • Structure and Conflict
  • Exploring Narrative Forms
  • Retellings, Parody, and Homage
  • Experimenting with Contemporary Forms

Week Five

  • The Experience of Poetry
  • The Lyricism of Poetry
  • Haiku
  • Dreams and Imagery

Week Six

  • Voice and Style
  • Theme
  • Creative Non-Fiction

Week Seven

  • The Art of Storytelling
  • Engaging the Audience
  • Connecting Instances

Week Eight

  • Next Steps: Aim High
  • Final Thoughts

Stack to Earn a Professional Certificate

Creative Writing and Storytelling Essentials can be applied to the following certificate programs:

Nonprofit Arts Management Professional Certificate
General Creative Studies Professional Certificate

Course Author

Course Author

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