A Course is a Course (of course, of course)

Computer Cat Night low resby Mike O’Mary

I just learned about an interesting writing course that is reasonably priced, completed in four weeks, and taught by somebody who looks like she knows what she’s doing.

The course is called the Memoir and Personal Essay Four By Four (4×4 for short), and it’s taught by Lisa Romeo, who also teaches in the Rutgers Writing Program.

I mention this course because there are a lot of writing courses, programs and seminars being offered over the Internet now.  I get little ads about them all the time when checking my gmail or when on Facebook. I bet there are some in the sidebar of this page right now. It’s almost as if they’re following me. I don’t know if I get them because they are tracking my interests, or if it’s because they are actually reading what I write and think I need help.

In any case, it kind of goes without saying that some online courses are very good, but they can be expensive. Some are cheap and you don’t get much. So buyer beware. But if you look around, you’ll find some great deals. Lisa Romeo’s 4×4 class is a deal at $165, and places like The Writers Studio  and Gotham Writers’ Workshop offer ten-week online courses for $350 to $450. There are even a number of free online writing courses from MIT, the University of Utah, Purdue, and UCLA.

Of course, if you are fortunate enough to be close to a place where you can take a class in person, I think it’s worth it to be able to talk with other writers. But if online is your only choice, there are definitely some good teachers out there.

If you have an online (or brick-and-mortar) writing course, tell us about it. Maybe we can get Joe and Catherine to add a list of recommended writing programs to the site.

Mike O’Mary is founder of Dream of Things, publisher of MFA in a Box by John Rember.