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Announcing Writing 201: Finding Your Story

Learn how to shape and improve your writing in a new self-directed, four-week Blogging U. course on rewriting and editing, beginning July 21. Sign up and register!

I’m all for the scissors. I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.

— Truman Capote

Last month, we hosted Writing 101: Building a Blogging Habit, a write-every-day course over twenty days. Writing 101 focused on building a daily habit, experimenting with different kinds of writing, and engaging with others in the Commons. A finished product — a published post — wasn’t necessarily the ultimate goal, but more the result of working and thinking through the challenges we shared each day.

As we noticed in Writing 101, all of you have stories to tell. But sometimes it’s a challenge translating our life experiences into stories. We don’t spend enough time reflecting and rewriting, especially in our digital age where social media and other technologies push us daily to react, keep up, and keep moving.

A course on rewriting and editing

Roald Dahl once said that “good writing is essentially rewriting,” and here at The Daily Post, we agree. Writing 201: Finding Your Story is a self-directed course on the art of revision: four weeks dedicated to self-editing and rewriting, looking at our work with a magnifying glass, and improving it.

Are there prerequisites for Writing 201?

No, there are no official prerequisites, and you don’t have to be a previous Writing 101 participant to enroll. But if you have existing material you’d like to improve — drafts to free-writes to even published posts you’d like to revisit — you’ll get much more out of the experience. You should also be comfortable participating in a largely self-directed course in which you’ll move at your own pace each week.

Can you offer details about the course content?

Writing 201 is all about rewriting, (re)shaping a story, and focusing on the right details. In our workshops, we’ll explore how to find your unique angle on a topic you’re writing about, craft a more engaging introduction for a post, find the key moment or true heart of your story, and expand your material into scenes.

Ultimately, the goal of the course is to learn how to self-edit and read your writing with an editor’s eye, and to improve one or multiple posts in your archives.

What is the course structure of Writing 201?

The structure and pace of Writing 201 is much different from Writing 101. Over four weeks, we’ll present four different workshops, each published on a Monday. You’re free to read each workshop at your own pace — absorb it all in one day, or tackle parts of it throughout the week.

While there is no assignment at the end of each workshop, we’ll present a series of questions and discussions to reflect on. In your own time, you’ll experiment with these techniques in the specific pieces you’re working on. You’ll decide how much time and effort you’d like to spend each day.

Is there an emphasis on daily posting on our blogs?

Given the focus on revision, there are no daily assignments, and publishing is not the focus of the course. Each week, you’ll practice and rewrite on your own time. If you’d like to publish something on your own blog, we certainly won’t stop you! You could publish a work-in-progress in the middle of the week, a revised or new post on Friday, or even commentary on the rewriting process at any time. What you actually publish, and how much, is up to you.

Will there be a private Commons area?

Yes, you’ll be invited to join the Commons for Writing 201. Given the emphasis on editing, the Commons is a key component of this course: it will be the space to workshop your material. Workshopping is all about collaborative brainstorming: you’ll offer specific, constructive feedback to others, and they’ll do the same for you.

In Writing 201, we’ll encourage you to share short excerpts from pieces you’re working on, ask focused questions, and provide specific input to others. The writing workshop format might be new to some of you — the process involves much more than simply dropping a link to a post in the Commons — so we’ll be on hand to help.

Before the course starts, we’ll post a tutorial that models how to present your work for critique and how to give great feedback, too.

The nuts and bolts

  • Writing 201 begins on Monday, July 21, on The Daily Post.
  • Over four weeks, we’ll publish a new workshop at 12:00 AM GMT on Mondays (or 8:00 PM EST on Sundays). To convert this time for your location, use a tool like World Time Buddy. Type “GMT” in the search field and add it to the list, then add your current location, and you’ll be able to figure out the time from the list. You can also follow The Daily Post to receive notifications.
  • There are no publishing requirements; the emphasis is on rewriting and workshopping your material.
  • Participants will have a private community site, the Commons, for workshopping, chatting, and connecting with others. Daily Post staff and happiness engineers will be on hand to answer questions and offer guidance.

Want to join? Fill out the form below to register. You’ll receive an email before the course begins with instructions on how to access the Commons. Thanks for joining us!

 Registration for Writing 201 is now closed. We’ll run this and other Blogging U. courses again later in the fall!

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  1. YESSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    So I keep hitting submit, but it just refreshes the page. Am I spamming you or is it not going through at all?

  2. Since I’ve never been notified with writing 101 so I missed it I can’t miss this one! I am surprised that we should go through enrollment and stuff! now not being able to share in the commons of blogging 101 is justified!! I am so much looking forward for this!

  3. Sigh… after not quite making it in Blogging 101 (well, not within the month at least) and having to bail on Writing 101 (or… rather, write down all the prompts and manage to get to… a small few of them) I figured I wasn’t going to even try the next offering. But this… this sounds like exactly what I need to be working on right now!

      1. Yes… that’s going to be the case here… totally.
        And, at least I know that even when I had to bail out fairly early, I’ve still gotten plenty of good stuff –ideas and suggestions and a few connections — out of what little ai had been able to do.
        But, this time, determination and stubbornness will come together and I WILL succeed at completing all the workshops!

  4. Excellent! Can’t wait to learn how to be a serial word and phrase killer for the betterment of my work!

  5. I really enjoyed interacting with others during writing 101. I have made new friends during the course of writing 101 and picked up some great tips along the way, so i am looking forward to this!

  6. I’m looking forward to getting more ideas and feedback on my own writing, and seeing what and how others write. I’m sure the more you write, think about writing, and read other people’s writing, the more you improve your own writing.

  7. When I signed up for writing 101 I suddenly landed a new “writing 101″ blog I don’t want and apparently can’t delete. If I sign up for this one am I going to have two unwanted blogs?

      1. Thanks — it took me a bit to find the page with the right version of the blog title to mouse over (now I’m trying to figure out who to contact to suggest adding the menu trail to that info) but I got it done.

  8. Thank you so much for this. My greatest failure in achieving good grades is the lack of good writing skills. I am looking forward to this workshop and hopefully I will get some good writing skills.

  9. I’m excited for this next course! Writing 101 was definitely eye-opening and I bet 201 will be too. I’ll see all of you on July 21st!

  10. Absolutely hoping to gain self editing skills… to locate the ‘point’ of my writing, to weave stories into writing/topic / ideas and to create content that will interest and engage readers.
    I would love to focus on writing as much for a reader as I do for myself…

    1. Please register by filling out the form right in the post and clicking “submit” — thanks! You won’t get an auto-reply email, so don’t worry about that. In the meantime, I’ve edited your details out of this comment.

      1. For some reason it’s not allowing me to fill it out… I have tried to fill it out from my phone and ipad.. Does it need to be from a real computer

  11. Like Holdenlyric and others, I’m having trouble registering. I hope this issue will be rectified soon because I’m definitely looking forward to this course. Thanks WordPress for being so proactive. There’s always some course going on or new resources for bloggers to peruse. Thanks much :)

  12. Big thank you to the good people in the wordpress community for their never relenting attitude in bringing out the best of everyone on their platform. I believe God willing, couple of years ahead, one would be able to appreciate their effort more than today. wishes every writing 201 participants an exciting workshop.

  13. Eagerly awaiting July 21!!!
    Hope everyone benefits from this… Looking forward to great stories and reviews on my writing too… :)

  14. Just moved to WordPress and I just missed the Blogging 101! I’ll try this one. Looks really helpful. :)

  15. I’m assuming my form went through as there was a message saying “form sent.”
    Blogging 101 was a complete flop…not the course but me. Life got in the way–in a big way and i only managed one post :-(

    1. Life — it happens to the best of us! Welcome back :)

      (And Blogging 101 will run again in September, if you’d rather give that one a go.)