Write powerfully. Tell sticky stories. Build content that converts. Create messages that inspire action. Writing well unlocks your ability to describe (and get) more of what you want.
“Beyond writers, this is a powerful class for any communicator, storyteller, or business person. Language is how we share our ideas and inspire action. Everyone should take this course.” – Amber Rae, The Bold Academy.
“Ready to become a better writer? Sarah is my go-to gal. Check out her Writer’s Workshop!”
– Tara Gentile, Business Strategist, Kickstart Labs.
“Sarah is one of the most brilliant writers that I know, so I jumped at the chance to take her writing class. I am so glad that I did. She brought my writing into uncharted territory while consistently providing unwavering inspiration and support.” – Suzannah Scully, Executive Coach, Speaker and Blogger.
Writing is everywhere.
Email is our number one form of communication, which means that everyone is now a writer. In today’s digital age, blogging and email are the primary modes of communication in business and in personal life—making writing and communication skills even more important than ever.
The most powerful thing you can do in both your personal life and your business life is hone your ability to write well and tell great stories. Messages that persuade, content that converts, and language that influences others is the key to making change and articulating (and getting) what you want.
The idea that writing is a separate tool or skill from other skills is a myth that needs to be debunked. We should all be excellent communicators—because the more powerfully we can convey our ideas, the more we can achieve.
Improving your writing means you can improve your relationships (through better inter-personal communication), improve your work (by better describing what you do), and get what you want (by better articulating what you want).
Writing well changes everything.
The Writer’s Workshop:
Say What You Mean, Get What You Want.
You can’t afford to write poorly.
Writing well is the key to unlocking your ideas, to creating a business of your dreams, and to starting powerful relationships.
Beyond writing for pleasure and for creative outlets, writing well is a necessity.
This four-week course will teach you about writing, storytelling, creating compelling copy, and how to write persuasively. You’ll get to practice your craft, learn new writing tips and tactics, get direct feedback on your writing, and connect with other talented creatives within a private workshop format.
In this four week digital course, you’ll learn:
- What common mistakes most writers make and how to fix them;
- How to craft great stories–and the hidden frameworks behind great stories;
- How to cultivate your imagination and vision and unlock your inner creative;
- The art of persuasion and how to write copy that converts;
- Key templates for how to improve your copywriting in blogs, email, and other everyday communication–tools that you can use thousands of times.
“The act of starting something is powerful.” - (Tweet this)
Over the past three years, I’ve been researching the latest tips and tools in storytelling–and have currently amassed a library of over 85 books (and counting). I’ve taught in-person workshops at General Assembly, the World Domination Summit, and The Bold Academy. As a communications specialist and communications consultant, my projects have included building communications infrastructure, creating internal communications initiatives, launching magazines, launching multiple blogs, taking on editorial roles, engaging in international journalism projects, and creating press campaigns for new companies. Two of the workshops I teach on storytelling have consistently been sold-out classes at General Assembly and folks have asked me to expand the workshop to a longer format.
Now, the course is available online in a private, community-based workshop that you can join from anywhere. I’ve developed a course just for writers: a 4-week digital writing workshop with daily exercises and a private, shared community of colleagues to converse with and learn from. It’s consistently sold out to rave reviews and is limited to a small group format each time.
This four-week program has four modules:
Week 1: Tap Into Your Inner Muse.
- Unlock your creative potential through key exercises in visualization, imagination, and association.
- Learn how to get un-stuck, how to start writing, and how to tap into your inner creative.
- From details to introspective to understanding alternative perspectives, learning how to add imagery and color to posts will improve your writing quickly and immediately.
Week 2: Tell Sticky Stories.
- Human memory relies on stories–we remember messages that we can easily carry and share.
- Learn three frameworks for great storytelling from the experts–from Joseph Campbell’s Heroes Journey to Nancy Duartes’ structures on resonance.
- Use each of these frameworks to create messaging that’s relatable, sticky, and moving.
Week 3: Create Content That Converts.
- Learn how to create story frameworks for blogging, how to write a killer introduction (and thank-you note!), and the art of asking for what you want.
- Get four customizable templates for everyday communication–never have to build an email from scratch again.
Week 4: Language That Inspires Action.
- Discover influential strategies that inspire others;
- Learn how to use language to persuade, influence, and inspire others.
This course includes:
- Three lessons each week with readings, writing prompts, and engaging material;
- 4 video lectures delivered each Wednesday with 30 minutes of live Q/A.
- A private online forum to meet other writers and learn from each other;
- Customizable templates to use in email introductions and correspondence;
- Bonus strategies and ideas for what to do when you’re stuck and how to create great writing habits;
- Bonus essay prompts for after the course to continue your writing work;
- A lifetime membership to the class to continue to meet and interact with new members;
You’ll also receive:
A free copy of Sarah’s book, “Do Something: A Manifesto Towards Action,” at the close of the course.
“Writing is essential to our creative self, our soul: write to learn and to live.” - (Tweet this)
- Twelve lessons, introductory essay prompts and thoughtful phrases sent three times each week, plus a reading/thought reflection question. Each question will be a short exercise to stimulate your thinking, teach you a new writing skill, and (optionally) extend into a longer essay, if you’d like to build the prompt into an essay.
- Live Q/A group calls every week (and recorded so you can watch later) with a short lecture segment to and a Q/A session to ask any questions you have about developing your writing, to ask questions and share experiences, and to talk about all things writing, blogging, brainstorming, storytelling and internet.
- Weekend optional/alternative assignments to “catch up” on missed weekdays or do bonus writing (not required). Take the time to expand, re-write, edit, and hone in on one of your favorite ideas from the week.
- A private, closed Facebook page for the group to talk to each other, share tips and ideas, and form connections with other writers looking to expand their practice.
- A chance to submit your writing for review or feedback through a weekly “featured essay” where I’ll be available to give feedback directly to one of your essays or a particular question you have about the writing process.
- A “behind the scenes” look at my writing process and the skills, tips and tricks I use to “make it work” in my writing; how to get over the fear of publishing and how to learn habits that foster a great writing practice.
- The choice to go at your pace: while prompts will be delivered three times weekly, you have the option to select the right pace for you (although I encourage at least once per week to help set the habit). Pick what feels right for you and select your personal writing habit.
- At the end of the course: a bonus book of essays prompts and ideas: an extra set of self-guided writing prompts in a customized PDF book after the four-week course. Would I send you off into the woods alone? Nope! I’ll give you more exercises for you to do at your own pace.
- If you complete all the prompts and ideas (including the bonus pack) you’ll finish the workshop with at least 20 essays—enough for a year’s worth of blogging!
- An enthusiastic and zany instructor whose love of writing is obvious, and who finds nothing better than creating things within the world and space we are given–from art, projects, businesses, ideas, relationships and more.
- All of this, crafted with love, design chops, and a desire to make an impact on your writing. Let me help you get started writing in this Spring Writers’ Workshop.
You’ll Learn About:
- The power of great storytelling, and how to improve your storytelling.
- Narrative Arc, storytelling formation, and writing structures including Joseph Campbell’s “The Hero’s Journey.”
- How to add color, texture and detail to your writing;
- Finding your own voice and story.
- What to do when you get stuck and how to develop great habits for great writing
We Will Explore:
- New topics to write about and prompts for you to pursue
- Thoughts and ideas from writers across multiple centuries.
- Resources and tools to teach you more about storytelling, writing, and communications.
- The psychology behind habit formation and building a writing practice.
- The brilliance of your brain–you are already a wonderful thinker!–explore ways to let your voice come out on the page.
- Engage in feedback and conversation with other writers, and get direct feedback on your questions, ideas and concerns.
Read what other people are saying:
“Sarah was great. Very engaging, very practical. I left with pages of notes and a lot of homework, but most importantly I left inspired with new ideas that kept me up late.”
“Sarah was exceptionally well-prepared and engaged our class from the start. The material was presented clearly and creatively.”
“I learned far more than I ever expected—it was a personal journey, an incredible ride, and an amazing content. Working with Sarah was wonderful.”
“I didn’t realize how much I could improve my writing until I took Sarah’s class—I could take this class over and over again. I can’t wait until she teaches another course!”
“Her content is always thought-provoking and will force you to confront the challenge of executing your best ideas. She studies where great ideas come from and helps individuals and businesses do great work.”
Upcoming Courses + Registration Details
Fall 2013 Course Dates: Monday, September 16th — Friday, October 11th — SOLD OUT.
Winter 2014 Course Dates: January 13th, 2014 — February 7th.
Spring 2014 Course Dates: March (To be determined.)
This course is perfect for:
- People with aspiring creative writing dreams;
- Professionals looking at improving communication skills for day job;
- Bloggers who want to improve their craft;
- New writers who want to get started on a writing project;
- People with a writing practice who want to meet other like-minded people.
What you’ll need:
- An inquisitive mind and a curiosity about how to improve your writing ability.
- An open-minded countenance and the ability to be kind and gentle to your peers, creating a collaborative, safe space.
- A desire to improve your craft of writing and a passion for writing, reading, or creating–and the desire to get started!
- At least 3 hours per week for coursework and one hour for the lecture component; plan also to allow a comfortable amount of time to write a few times per week;
- A quiet, easy place to work or a place that you feel good about writing (this is not required–but helpful!) If you don’t have this yet, consider finding a coffee shop or going to a library (or setting up a sign next to your computer that says “writing time” when you’re writing.
- Technical details: you’ll need to be able to write easily (a computer or word processor, or a notebook and pen), have access to email and Facebook, and be able to view PDFs.
FAQ: All The Nitty-Gritty
I love the idea of a Writing Course! But who is it for? How do I know if it’s the right fit for me? This course is designed for people who want to get better at writing but aren’t ready to commit to a full-time program at a University, or want to increase their writing habits by doing a 4-week course. If you’re a professional, creative, or have a personal writing hobby and want to step up your game, this course will help you improve your writing and teach you fundamental skills and lessons in storytelling and narrative. Anyone who wants to improve their skill at their job can do so by improving their writing skills. #writersworkshop
How does it work? What does the class consist of?
The class is broken down into three sections:
- Section One looks at Visualization and Imagination – we’ll talk about crafting our ideas, shaping them, using different methods for imagination, and exploring each of our writing dreams.
- Section Two is on Storytelling, where we get to dive into specific frameworks and structures for creating stories, and practice writing many of our own.
- Section Three focuses on Persuasion and using writing to get more clarity in what we want and communicating with others.
During the course, there are twelve lessons sent via email, consisting of a core lesson followed by a writing prompt for you to start your creative writing. The core lesson is a teaching example or a short story to get you thinking and learning about new ways to consider your writing and narrative–on average, it’s about 1-2 pages of reading with examples and links to further resources for you to dig into. At the end of the lesson, there’s a prompt for your daily creative writing exercise–a series of thoughts for you to respond to. The prompts will get you into the habit of writing each day and putting words onto paper.
It sounds like a lot of content. I work during the day — how will I get it all done?
It is a lot of content! I cover a lot quickly, but I don’t want you to get overwhelmed. In the beginning we’ll work on framing your personal writing goals, and you can pick how many days you’d like to practice. For some people, just writing 1 day per week is an ideal goal, so they can read the extra lessons and save the writing prompts for later. Each lesson is designed as a complete package, and the more lessons you do, the more you’ll learn.
Do I get to keep the course materials?
Yes! Each day you’ll get a PDF of the course lesson for you to keep. At the end of the course I’ll send you the complete digital document (it’s nearly a book!) for you to keep as well.
What if I while I’m taking the course I come up with a great idea and I want to take my writing in this new direction — what should I do?
The biggest goal of this class is to help you get started with your writing craft and to unlock your creative vision. If you get a great idea, run with it! The people I work with all have lots and lots of creative ideas–but haven’t found a consistent way to get their ideas on paper, and tend to feel “stuck” in some way or another. To that end, I encourage everyone to follow your instinct and intuition. You can save the lessons for future prompts and days when you’re looking for a way to start. The most important thing is that you take the time to write and explore your ideas. Everyone has a story to tell–scratch that, everyone has lots of stories to tell, and this course is about exploring your narratives and stories and putting your ideas into words.
How big is the class?
The target size is a group of 20-30 people so you can find and meet great peers and start to connect with your classmates, but we’re still an intimate group so that I can interact with each of you. Depending on how many people sign up, we may stay small or flux to as many as ~35 people.
“My core teaching philosophy focuses on getting started, being part of a community, being kind to yourself, and honing your intuition–the skill and art of listening to yourself.”
What’s your teaching style? Do you have a teaching philosophy?
Absolutely. I work under several premises that create the foundation for the work I do with my clients, on this blog, and in my life.
- Get Started. I believe that one of the most difficult things for each of us is the “getting started” part of any habit. We spend so much time locked in our heads and minds and not enough time actually doing the things that need to get done. By setting up a three-week course with daily prompts, the goal of this course is to get you started on a writing habit, and build up a positive association with opening your writing document and letting your heart out on the paper.
- You Need A Team. If we could each simply “motivate” or “do” everything we wanted to, life would be great–but it doesn’t work like that. We need community, coaches, friends, mentors, teachers, and a whole crew of people to help us walk (or run!) towards our dreams. This class is designed to help you unlock your creativity by adding structure, mentorship, teaching and accountability to your wonderful burgeoning creative talents.
- Positivity. The next premise is one of positivity. I believe we need to be very kind to ourselves about our progress. In my experience, a lot of folks engage in a dialogue about why they’re not accomplishing or achieving what they meant to do yet. I like to re-frame this, and instead talk about all the good things you’re capable of doing, and be positive about whatever level you can achieve. Signing up for the course and taking the steps towards being a more prolific writer is huge! Congratulations to you on that! And once you’re in the course, –the course can be taken at different paces, so that if you want to write only 2 or 3 times a week, that’s just fine. Everyone’s definition of success is different, and the most important thing is creating space and time and a community for writers to connect and create.
- Intuition. I believe in honing your relationship with your intuition–your instinct, your gut. If you’ve spent years in academic or work environments with a particular rigor or structure, it’s highly likely that you’ve lost touch with your base creative intuition. The good news is that each of us can build and strengthen our relationship with our instincts by getting out our tools and “exercising” our intuitive muscles daily.
Are you giving feedback to everyone on their essays?
While I won’t be reading everyone’s essays every day — that’s far too much to take on (30 essays every day for 15 days is a LOT of essays), but I will be reading at least one essay by each person and giving thoughtful suggestions and feedback and answering your questions each evening in our online community. We will use the Facebook group as a place to have conversations and talk about common threads, themes, and questions. I’ll be online a couple of times per day (usually in the evenings) to go through and answer each of your questions and add thoughts and resources for your consideration.
Is this a technical class?
This is not a technical class. I’m less concerned with a typo or proper sentence construction, and much more excited about getting your ideas out onto paper, quickly. You can always polish something later (and I recommend Strunk & White’s Elements of Style if you’re interested in this). This course is focused on dreaming, scheming, imagination, and building your writing practice and craft.
I can’t make this session–I’m so bummed! Will you be offering this course again?
Yes. I’ll be offering a similar course either this Summer or Fall.
I don’t have a Facebook account. Will that affect my ability to take the class?
One of the ways we will interact with each other is a small, closed Facebook group that lets us meet and discuss on a forum page. I’ve looked through several alternatives and this is the best one to date. If you don’t have an account, you can still do the prompts and learn from each daily lesson and get a great class out of it. You might also consider creating a temporary account for the duration of the course if you’d like to be a part of the community conversations.
Are there any surprises?
Of course there are surprises! :) I have a couple of additional tricks up my sleeve that I’m working on and can’t wait to share with you. Sign up and you’ll see!