We continue our conversation with Stephen Morrill, Director of Writer’s College. Morrill has some recommendations for potential students alike at Writer’s College; be sure and drop by the site to learn more about teaching and learning opportunities there. If you missed part one of the discussion, have a look to learn about the types of classes offered and the qualifications of WC instructors.
Freelance-Zone.com: What are some of the most popular classes at WC?
Any new course usually gets some action. There are regulars who may have already taken all the courses we have that fit their needs but they stay in touch via our newsletter and then sign up for new courses. Among those most popular at the moment: Article Writing and Magazine Articles (two somewhat overlapping courses), Editing For Writers and the Grammar for Writers and Editors are valuable tools for any writer. The Essays and Personal Stories, Mystery Novel and Novel Writing courses have a big audience. Publish Your Writing, Stop Talking About It; Just Write, and Seniors Do Write are good motivational courses. And the Greeting Cards course is a perennial favorite.
Is there a class that you could recommend specifically for freelance writers who want to break into the field?
My own Nonfiction Freelance Writing Business course is a must-take. Article Writing and Magazine Article Writing, of course. How-To Articles, Newspaper Feature Articles, Promotional Writing, Speech Writing, and Technical Writing are all good ways to earn money in the nonfiction trade. Relatively few writers go the nonfiction route as it is less glamorous and you have to write to certain rules. But, if you know what you are doing, it can pay the bills. It’s been paying my bills for 25 years now.
How would an experienced writer go about applying for a position teaching at WC?
Ask. We have a web page “Teach for Us” at our web site that explains the requirements. Essentially, we look for writers with experience in doing the thing they plan to teach and with published credentials in that. Academic background is secondary to in-the-trenches battle scars.
What is it that you get out of running WC and how does it impact your career?
Good question. I think the school actually earned a profit for several months once. But for the most part it barely pays for itself, if that. The prices are ‘way too low for the courses and I know that. But the thing I love as much as writing itself is talking about writing! Writing has been a great outlet for me over the years and I love to see others getting
that same satisfaction that I get out of it. And the school is merely an extension of that desire to communicate to others my own love of this wonderful job I have.
Are there any upcoming plans for WC that you can share with Freelance-Zone readers?
If the economy were any better I would double the course prices. But for now all I am doing is working on some new courses – stay in touch with our newsletter for news there. And it is time for a revise of the web site, not that it’s bad or anything, but I get bored with it every few years and make changes. But WritersCollege.com has been ticking along nicely since 1998 and I see no reason to do anything drastic to it.