Course Offerings! Spring 2015

Sherry ComanWell, it is now spring! Hooray! Time to dust off the cobwebs of winter and find ways to revitalize and renew your writing life. And more good news: I have updated my Spring-Summer line-up of online courses. 

Whether you are a brand new writer or a seasoned professional, these courses offer ways to enrich the development of your writing craft.  As many of you know by now, my philosophy is to meet the writer on the path they are currently traveling, listening to how they are working and helping them recognize their own strengths and gifts. Within this understanding, it then becomes easier to strategize methods for improvement in the areas that need work. Writing should be joyful much of the time, even while it is also challenging. The myth that writing must be excruciating, soul-draining work in order to be good, is one I seek to dispel at every turn!

As we head into spring and summer, I am expanding my repertory of courses in a desire to address some of the requests and realities that have surfaced in my private consultations. Browse through these offerings and write me at to find out more. In the meantime, happy writing!

*Also! I am hanging out at the Ontario Writers Conference on April 25th. If you want to find me there and chat further about working together and finding the best fit for you, please do. 

Writing Emotion: Overturning the story-first method of project development
Dates: May 11 – August 24, 2015 (8 bi-weekly sessions)
Elements: 8 half-hour videos; 8 resource packages; 8 personal skype sessions
Cost: $500 plus HST ($565)
Registration deadline: May 4, 2015 ($100 deposit)
Overview: This course was first piloted in the Spring/Summer of 2014 and is based on the project development method I have been using with private clients and in my teaching for years. Many writers do not generate projects from a clear sense of story but from a moment, image, memory or idea clearly imagined. Participants will learn how to find and trust their intuitive sensibilities in the early phases of project development, including learning how to work from the emotional centre of the project outward into story.
Limited to six students.

Writing Emotion: The Sequel!
Dates: May 11 – July 6, 2015 (6 bi-weekly sessions)
Elements: 4 half hour videos; 4 resource packages; 4 personal skype sessions
Cost: $225 plus HST ($254.25)
Registration deadline: May 4, 2015 ($50 deposit)
Overview: For those who have done the first course, a chance to return and continue development work, with a focus on negotiating the transition from the nodal “pods” stage into story structure. Students learn how to find the narrative threads while maintaining the work done so far on emotional line and pacing. If you have not done the first course but feel this would suit you, be in touch.
Limited to six students. Five places remaining.

Learning Effective Show Don’t Tell! – NEW!!
Dates: May 25 – June 22, 2015 (3 bi-weekly sessions)
Elements: 3 half hour videos; 3 resource packages; 3 personal Skype sessions
Cost: $175.00 plus HST ($197.75)
Registration deadline: May 15, 2015 ($50 deposit)
Overview: We all know that famous maxim that we should do more “show” in our writing than “tell”. But sometimes it can seem very hard to know what is good “show” and what is too much detail. The problem is the same in fiction, plays or screenplays. Figuring out how to use your writing skills to make a more harmonious balance in your writing projects  will help you refine your craft and your current projects.
Limited to six students.

Preventing Writers Group Wreckage:
Learning how to offer life-giving feedback in group settings – NEW!
Dates: May 18 – June 29 (6 weekly sessions) *NEW DATES
Elements: 6 half hour videos; 6 resource packages; 6 personal skype sessions
Cost: $300 plus HST ($339.00)
Registration deadline: May 4, 2015 ($75 deposit)
Overview: Writers groups made up of colleagues and friends can be productive places of mutual support and encouragement. On the other hand, sometimes critical feedback is given in a way that leaves writers feeling lost. Students will learn how to communicate supportive constructive encouragement without damaging ongoing work-in-progress, by learning how to effectively listen and affirm what is working, ask non-rhetorical questions and offer realistic suggestions. Includes both student-written material, and work not previously seen that is then reviewed in sample feedback sessions. *Note: this course will include some of the material used in my previous Becoming a Story Editor course, not on offer at this time.

Private Client Sessions
Start Dates: May 1
Elements: Weekly or Bi-Weekly private client sessions
Cost: $35 per consultation hour; $25 per review hour of material.
*Note: retainer required in advance of an amount mutually agreed upon. Work is then deducted from the retainer.
Overview: For those who would like personal writing mentorship not associated with a course. Writers can be at any stage of development of an existing or new project.
Writers can reserve spots in future block sessions.
Four spaces open starting in May.

Non-Writing Courses

Faith and Film 101:
Learning how to set up and guide film discussion in church settings – NEW!
Dates: July 6 – July 27 (4 weekly sessions)
Elements: 1 introductory one-hour video; 4 weekly viewing assignments and exercises;
1 practice group discussion by skype in the last week of the course.
Cost: $150 plus HST ($169.50)
Overview: For pastors, priests, lay leaders or anyone interested! A chance to take a revised / condensed version of the course I teach at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary and Trinity College, University of Toronto. Learn “how to watch a film” (by learning film language), how to select film lists and how to create meaningful discussions with any age group. Film suggestion list included!
Limited to six students.

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Sherry ComanI’m very excited to have created my own domain – finally! Soon I plan to start filling up this site with…. words and images. I’m not quite ready yet – but check back soon. Or go over to the About page to find out more about me. Happy writing!

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