Learn From Experts and Enhance Your Skills With UMSL's Write Stuff Certificate Program.
Complete two core courses (one fiction and one nonfiction) and choose from a selection of seminars on a wide variety of topics that will improve your writing skills as well as your knowledge of the business of writing. When you’ve completed a total of 50 contact hours, you’ll be awarded a Chancellor’s Certificate in Writing. If you aren’t interested in earning a certificate, that’s okay! Simply pick and choose the classes or seminars that interest you. All of them will take you closer to realizing your dream.
Feel confident in learning from the best at UMSL. All seminars are taught by published authors, and core courses are taught by top students in UMSL's distinguished Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing Program.
For more information on The Write Stuff Certificate Program or to register, please call (314) 516-7454.
Core courses will provide specialized instruction and opportunities to write, discuss and analyze participants' work.
Fiction Writing Workshop (8 weeks)
- Tuesdays, January 27–March 17, 2015 | 6:00–8:00 PM
This class provides an in-depth look at fiction writing: building characters, plot-driven vs. character-driven stories, development of dialogue and plot, the function of theme and how theme shapes the evolution of a story, and the use of imagery, emotion and insight. Participants will have ample opportunity to brainstorm, write and revise.
Nonfiction: Personal Narratives (8 weeks)
- Wednesdays, January 28–March 18, 2015 | 6:00–8:00 PM
Writing a personal narrative essay is like telling a story. This kind of essay writing is often experiential – allowing for expression to take form in a creative way. In this class, students will read a number of professional personal essays to better understand how to write them themselves. This class will also study the elements of narration: introduction, plot, character, setting, climax and conclusion. The class will conclude with students writing and workshopping their own personal narratives.
Writing for Dollars: Earn Income as a Freelancer
Saturday, September 20, 2014 • 1–4 PM • Instructor: Dianna Graveman | Register Online
You've written a short story or have a great idea for a magazine article or personal essay. Now what? Where and how can you get it published and earn money for your work? Find places to publish, choose a market for your story, pitch an article, and more. Come away from this class with a wealth of information about how to start writing for dollars.
Copyright, Permissions & Ethics of Creative Writing
Saturday, October 18, 2014 • 9 AM–Noon • Instructor: Catherine Rankovic | Register Online
After the writing is finished, the next step is protecting your rights to your work and protecting yourself from legal challenges. This seminar answers questions such as: Should I use people’s real names in my memoirs? How do I legally copyright a work? How can I make sure my online poem or article won’t be plagiarized or stolen? Whom do I call if I want to use song lyrics in my memoir or short story?
Writing a Novel for Teens and College Students: Exploring the Young Adult/New Adult Novel
Saturday, November 15, 2014 9 AM–noon • Instructor: Margo Dill | Register Online
In this class, published young adult novelist Margo L. Dill will explain the differences between young adult and new adult novels and novels for adults. She will discuss popular YA/NA novels today, such as Divergent and Beautiful Disaster, and what makes them that way, as well as giving tips for writing for these age groups. Time will be given for writing exercises and discussion of students’ current projects.
50 Ways to Kill Your Lover
Saturday, February 21, 2015 • 9 AM–4 PM • Instructor: Claire Applewhite
Regardless of genre or theme, all memorable stories possess the elements of conflict, crisis and resolution. This interactive workshop is designed to expand and develop a writer‘s ability to “set up the paybacks and pay back the setups,” through the use of elements such as taut pacing and dialogue. Presentation by instructor and “setup” are provided for student participation. Substantial in-class writing is involved. Laptop computer recommended. | Registration Fee: $99
Think Outside the Book: Publishing Personal Essays and Short Stories
Saturday, March 14, 2015 • 9 AM–Noon • Instructor: Donna Volkenannt
You have a passion for writing and a desire for publication, but you’re not ready to tackle a full-length book. In this seminar, writers will learn how writing personal essays and short stories can lead to publication, and they will be given resources to get them started. Taught by essayist and short-story writer Donna Volkenannt, this workshop will inspire, educate and inform.
A Practical Guide to the Writer's Universe
Saturday, April 18, 2015 • 9 AM–Noon • Instructor: Angela Mitchell-Phillips
Are you ready to submit your work for publication but don’t know where to start? Want to find a writers’ conference or critique group that fits your style, life and pocketbook? Curious about writing contests or simply wondering how to be more involved in your local writing community? These questions and more will be discussed in this half-day seminar designed to explore the writing life “off” the page and will focus on helping the new (or not so new) writer become more industry-savvy.
Crafting Characters: Understanding How to Write Well-Developed Characters in Your Fiction
Saturday, May 2, 2015 • 1–4 PM • Instructor: Jarrett Kaufman
Characters are the lifeblood of literary fiction. Characters can either make or break a story. This seminar will explore the different kinds of character types and how they function with plot. But most importantly, this seminar will discuss a number of steps that will ensure you write well-developed and believable characters.
Business Writing Seminars will count toward the contact hours needed for the Write Stuff Certificate. Pricing: Seminars are $65 each, or you may register for both on the same day for $100 each. Onsite training is available for a group of 10 or more participants. Please call for special pricing and scheduling options.
Grammar and Punctuation for the Business Professional
Creativity and industry knowledge are building blocks for effective business writing, but common errors in grammar and punctuation can undermine the best efforts. Join this collaborative workshop to refresh your knowledge or to continue to build stronger skills.
Telling the Story: Narrative Writing for Business Professionals
Storytelling skills aren’t just for novelists; business professionals use narrative writing, too – to weave scenarios, present case studies, develop compelling training modules, craft great blog posts, compose winning press releases, and more. Learn how to craft a piece that will hook your audience, engage them, and send them off with a memorable message.
Persuasive Writing: Make Yourself Heard and Motivate Others
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 • 9 AM–Noon
How can you persuade your audience to appreciate and accept your message? As a collaborative team member or manager, how can you use words to persuade others to follow your call-to-action? In this interactive workshop on persuasive writing, we’ll discuss ways to express your ideas convincingly and motivate others to follow your lead.
Guiding Your Writing Professionals
Wednesday, March 4, 2015 • 1–4 PM
If you manage a team of communications professionals – or any team for which solid writing skills are essential – you may feel responsible for the quality of writing your team produces. This interactive seminar will help you hone your skills as a writing coach and learn to build the confidence of your team by providing constructive criticism in a positive, collaborative environment.
- Core Courses: $299
- Seminars: $65
- February 21 Seminar: $99
- Business Seminars: $65 each, or 2 same-day seminars for $100
Fees are payable by cash, check, or charge. (Make checks payable to the University of Missouri–St. Louis.)
- Online – Click here to search the online catalog, or click the registration links by each specific course/seminar (coming soon!)
- By Phone: Call (314) 516-7454
- In Person: Bev Wolfinbarger, 302 J.C. Penney
The University reserves the right to modify by increase or decrease the fees charged for attendance and other services at the University, including but not limited to educational fees, at any time when in the discretion of the governing board the same is in the best interest of the University, provided that no increases can or will be effective unless approved by the governing board not less than thirty (30) days prior to the beginning of the academic term (semester, etc.) to which the fees are applicable, with all modification of fees to be effective irrespective as to whether fees have or have not been paid by or on behalf of a student prior to the effective date of the modification. In the event of cancellation, you will be notified immediately, and all program fees will be refunded or applied to a future program at your request. If you must cancel a registration, you are entitled to a full refund only if you cancel prior to the first class meeting. After a course begins, refunds are made on a prorated basis in accordance with campus policy. Call (314) 516-7454 for information on canceling a registration once a course has begun.
Margo L. Dill writes for kids and teenagers. She has three books published: Caught Between Two Curses (contemporary YA), Finding My Place (historical fiction middle-grade) and Maggie Mae, Detective Extraordinaire, and the Case of the Missing Cookies (humorous picture book). Besides writing books, Margo also teaches writing classes for WOW! Women On Writing, St. Charles School District and UMSL Write Stuff program. You can read her blog posts at http://www.thelitladies.com and http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com. Finally, she is a freelance editor and an editor for High Hill Press, a publishing house in St. Charles, Mo. To find out more about Margo, please visit http://margodill.com/blog/ or http://www.editor-and-writingcoach.com.
Dianna Graveman has worked as a teacher, manuscript editor, college instructor and corporate training designer. She is co-author of four regional histories, co-creator of an anthology of short essays, and author of over 200 published articles for companies and publications that include The American Surveyor magazine, Teachers of Vision magazine, and Writer’s Digest Books. A graduate of the University of Missouri–St. Louis, Dianna also earned a MFA in writing from Lindenwood University, where she later taught in the program. She is owner, writer and editor at 2 Rivers Communications, LLC, and a partner at Treehouse Author Services.
Catherine Rankovic’s books include Meet Me: Writers in St. Louis (Penultimate, 2010), Island Universe: Essays and Entertainments (WingSpan, 2007); Fierce Consent and Other Poems (WingSpan, 2005) and Guilty Pleasures: Indulgences, Addictions, and Obsessions (Andrews McMeel, 2003). She received her MFA from Washington University, where she taught for 21 years; she now teaches poetry and creative nonfiction in the online MFA program at Lindenwood University. Her essays and poems have appeared in The Missouri Review, St. Louis Magazine, The Iowa Review, Boulevard, River Styx, Umbrella, Garbanzo, Bad Shoe, The Progressive, Natural Bridge, Gulf Coast, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and other journals and anthologies. Her awards include the Missouri Biennial Award for essay writing, and an Academy of American Poets award. She is a professional book editor and her website is www.BookEval.com.
Donna is a former UMSL student whose essays, short stories, book reviews, interviews, and articles have appeared in numerous commercial and literary publications.
Winner of almost 100 writing awards, her works have also been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Spur Award. She received honorable mention in the Fourth Annual National Steinbeck Short Story Competition. In 2012 she won first place in the Erma Bombeck Global Humor Writing Contest.
Donna has edited several literary anthologies and has served as a judge in local, state, regional, and national writing competitions.
A past president of the Missouri Writers’ Guild and founding president of Saturday Writers, when Donna's not reading, writing, or talking about writing, she blogs about the sweet mysteries of life at http://donnasbookpub.blogspot.com.