Having trouble deciding which class is right for you?
Fear not. Here’s the skinny on how we structure our classes at the Pad, and how to choose the perfect class for your writing goals.
Classes To Get You (Back) On The Writing Horse
If you haven’t taken a writing class before or it’s been a long time since you’ve taken a class, we would recommend Storytelling 1, Blog 1 or Memoir 1 to start. Here are more details about the differences between each class.
The five minute story structure techniques you will learn in Storytelling 1 will help you with all kinds of writing (personal essays, blogs, memoir, novels, scripts) and help you get started on crafting stories in their shortest form. You just have to be willing to verbally tell a story that is true and about yourself in front of others to take this class.
Blogs can take so many forms–short nonfiction posts, op-eds, journal entries, restaurant reviews, personal essays. You can write about what you are interested in and you will also be working on stories in a short form (around 600-800 words). There are a lot of in class writing exercises as well as opportunities for getting feedback on blog posts you worked on in between classes.
The true story techniques you will learn in Memoir 1 will help you with all kinds of writing (personal essays, blogs, memoir, novels, scripts) and help you get started on crafting stories about yourself (you have unlimited material). You just have to be willing to write about yourself. There are a lot of in class writing exercises as well as opportunities for getting feedback on 1200 word stories you worked on in between classes.
If you do not want to write about yourself or take a blog class, please check out our Genre related suggestions below. Screenwriting 1, Novel 1, Short Story 1, TV 101 are all good options for fiction or screenwriters.
Choosing a Genre
What kind of writer do you want to be?
You can usually answer this question by asking yourself what type of media you consume. If you never let a week go by without catching up on your favorite television series, and you thrive in a collaborative environment, we recommend a TV Writing Class. If you’re always the first of your friends to catch that new release, or if Rotten Tomatoes is bookmarked on your computer, then you might want to consider a Screenwriting class where you’ll learn to write a feature film. If you’re a voracious reader of books or articles, if you’re the last person you know still subscribed to a print magazine, if books accumulate on your shelf faster than you can read them, consider a Fiction or Nonfiction class. And if you’ve always envied the storyteller who seems to attract the admiration of the crowd, or if you love (or fear) performing, a Storytelling class is probably for you.
Choosing a Class Level
Level 101 – One-Day Fundamentals
This class series is designed for the beginner. If you want to learn more about your genre of interest before diving into a multi-week class, this is a great option for you. It’ll help you get your bearings, give you a sense of the Writing Pad teaching methodology, and by the end of the class you’ll know the next steps for succeeding as a writer in your chosen genre.
Maybe you’ve taken a few classes before but haven’t gotten as much traction as you want. Or maybe this is your very first class, but you know you’re ready to commit to a multi-week program that will take your writing to the next level. In Level 1, your teacher will use a combination of homework assignments and in-class workshopping to build a solid foundation for writing in your chosen genre.
Once you’ve taken a Level 1 class, ask your teacher if they think you’re ready for Level 2. Usually there’ll be some pre-homework for this level — you should have a piece you’re already working on that you want to bring into this class. It may be a beat sheet for your TV pilot, an outline of your novel, or the beginnings of a personal essay. Be sure to check the prerequisites on the class page to make sure you’re ready for Level 2, and check your confirmation email for any pre-homework requirements so you show up prepared on the first day of class.
On occasion, we offer Level 3 classes for those who have completed Levels 1 and 2, and would like to further revise their work.