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Go Beyond the Blog with Our New Writing 201 Course

Sometimes, saying what you want to say takes more than a few hundred words. Explore longform writing in Writing 201: Beyond the Blog Post, starting December 1.

We often think of blog posts as being just a few paragraphs long, or being a “less serious” kind of writing. Not so! In this challenge, we’ll focus on writing longform pieces that are equally at home on your blog or in a magazine. Whether you have trouble organizing your thoughts in longer pieces of writing or simply want to challenge yourself as a blogger, Writing 201: Beyond the Blog Post can help.

What is Writing 201: Beyond the Blog Post?

What does “longform” mean? That depends on what you think it is, but we generally use it to refer to writing that’s 1500 words or more.

Writing 201: Beyond the Blog Post is a four-week course to help those beginning to explore longer-form writing (or who are frustrated with their past attempts). Each week, we’ll focus on a different kind of piece, working our way from interviews — one of the easiest ways to get started with longer pieces — through instructional pieces and opinion pieces, ending with a personal essay. It’s the product of a range of writers and editors, including the founders and editors at Longreads — folks who know a thing or two about high word counts.

The course doesn’t have “assignments.” Publish a draft on Monday, a work-in-progress on Thursday, a new post on Saturday, or even commentary on the writing process. Don’t publish at all, or submit your piece to an online magazine. What you publish and how is up to you.

For those who’ve never worked with other writers before or are scared to open your work up for feedback, don’t worry! We’re a friendly bunch, and we’ll offer tips on workshopping before getting started.

The most important part isn’t our advice, but the feedback you offer one another. As with all Blogging U. courses, you’ll have a private community space, the Commons, where we encourage you to workshop your writing. Workshopping is all about collaborative brainstorming: share excerpts from pieces you’re working on or links to your published pieces, ask focused questions, and provide critique. You offer specific, constructive feedback to others, and they do the same for you.

The nuts and bolts

  • Writing 201: Beyond the Blog Post begins on Monday, December 1.
  • New workshops are published at 12:00 AM GMT on Mondays. Each one helps you create a new longform piece of writing — interview, instructional, opinion, and personal essay/memoir. (And since you’ll get your final workshop on December 22, you can wrap up in time for the year-end holidays.)
  • There are no posting requirements; the emphasis is on exploring new forms and workshopping your material. Publish your work when and where you’d like.
  • Participants will have a private community site, the Commons, for workshopping, chatting, and connecting with others. Daily Post and Longreads staff and happiness engineers will be on hand to answer questions and offer guidance.
  • This course is completely free and open to bloggers and writers from any platform.

Note: this is not a course about blogging, it’s a focused writing workshop. If you’re interested in learning to blog or developing your existing blog, you’ll want to try our Blogging 101 and 201 courses — Blogging 101 will be back in January.

How to register

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 this course is now closed. To learn about future Blogging U. courses, just follow The Daily Post!

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  1. I’ve been blogging a year, and have picked up a few followers, but I tend to want to talk about everything, so I might be a bit hard to follow, without categories. This class will fit in great, right before I start a history course at Oklahoma University on January 12th.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I noted to a few others, this is really a writing workshop — it’s not going to teach you about blogging, organizing your blog, or attracting followers. For that, be on the look out for our Blogging 101 and 201 challenges.

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      1. I couldn’t figure out what it was! I clicked on the link at the bottom, but a “security clearance failure sign popped up?

        I’ll check again!

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    1. As I just noted to someone else, this course won’t really teach you about blogging — it’s focused on writing. If you want something blogging-focused, Blogging 101 will be back in January.

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  2. michelle,
    are there any basics people should refresh if they weren’t in writing 201?
    also, caught a typo from the 3rd paragraph – “a work-in-progress ion Thursday”

    thanks
    -i.m.

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    1. You’re more than welcome to join, but you might also want to wait for our next Writing 101 course — this challenge is focused specifically on longform writing. Writing 101 has a much stronger focus on exploring and developing your voice.

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  3. Dear Michelle,

    It’s a really nice idea and I am pretty interested to join. Would you tell in specific how to join the course? i just don’t get the way to be in.

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    1. You’re more than welcome to join, but be aware that this is a writing-focused workshop that won’t necessarily teach you much about blogging. Another Blogging 101 course will begin in January, though.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s no minimum — we’re not going to count your words — but as noted in the post, we usually take a longform piece to be at least 1500 words. We’ll work through four different pieces, and there are no publishing deadlines. This is more of a workshop than a course with specific assignments.

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