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Course Title: Writing for Fun and Profit
Instructor: Gloria Oren
Curriculum: 9 units, plus Syllabus and Final Exam
Time Required: 4-6 weeks
Textbooks: None
Prerequisites: None. All students may enroll in this class
CEU Eligibility: Students who pass an exam will earn 2 CEUs
Course Fee: $15.00
What This Course Will Do for You

In this in-depth writing course, you will learn how to come up with great story ideas, write material that editors will want to publish, polish your style, and move your writing career forward on a fast track to success – while having fun doing it! Discover why many aspiring writers will never break into print, and how you can gain a competitive advantage over others and seize on opportunities to get published quickly and with the least amount of effort.

By following the practical advice in this course, you will learn how to find writing assignments, decipher editorial guidelines, produce quality material efficiently, and know when a "final" draft is ready to send. You will also learn how to work with editors and turn these decision makers into allies and friends. Time-honored techniques used by practicing journalists will be examined, such as how to conduct an interview, write a news story, and write a review. The course explores how to cope with rejection slips — and better yet — how to avoid them. Useful books and tools that belong on every writer's desk will also be examined.

This course focuses on nonfiction writing, a huge market where good writers are in constant demand, the earnings are steady, and you can count on seeing your work published again and again. If you are ready to write your own recipe for success, this course is your first step!

When you have completed this course, you should be able to:

  • Know how professional writers get their nonfiction published
  • Discover a variety of useful writers' tools that you can add to your repertoire
  • Learn how to get automated and compete with other writers
  • Write a news story and submit it for publication.
  • Write an interview article and submit it for publication.
  • Write a product or entertainment review and submit it for publication.
  • Discover what editors are really looking for
  • Learn how to pace yourself, push yourself, and get feedback
  • Know how to earn money and build your resume writing nonfiction

Lesson Plan
Syllabus:  Getting Started (Course Syllabus)

Unit 1:       Writing and the Path to Success

Unit 2:       Writing Basics

Unit 3:       Interview Someone Special

Unit 4:       Write a Review for an Easy Credit

Unit 5:       Write A News Story

Unit 6:       Writing the Query Letter

Unit 7:       Rewriting and Polishing Your Final Draft

Unit 8:       Building Healthy Writing Habits

Unit 9:       Getting Automated, Coping with Rejection and More!

Unit 10:     Final Exam


About the Instructor

Gloria Oren is a published author, editor, book reviewer and proofreader. She is an active member of several online writing groups including the Muse it Up Club and the Redmond Association of SPokenword (RASP). She is moderator of the Alpha Musers critique group for writers. She has published book reviews in the Association of Jewish Librarians' Newsletter and posts many of her writings on her blog . Gloria won an honorable mention for her personal experience article submitted to a contest sponsored by Bylines Magazine and the same article was accepted for publication in the Thin Thread Stories anthology that is due out this fall.

Gloria is currently working on an autobiography about her life as an adoptee and the challenging, successful search that led to her reuniting with her birth mother and members of her paternal birth family. In her daily life, she wears many hats. She is a daughter, wife, mother of three, cancer survivor, reunited adoptee, baby boomer, oldest of ten birth siblings combined, raised as an only child, data entry clerk, avid reader and writer of nonfiction articles (personal experience, parenting, senior issues). Gloria currently resides with her family in Washington state.

About the Course Developers

This course is a "best of the best" anthology that includes lessons developed by past and present VU writing instructors Nancy Kobryn, Diana Barnum, and Richard De A'Morelli, with additional editing by author Gloria Oren.

  • Diana Barnum was working toward an MBA in eCommerce and Technical Communication at the time she developed the material for this course. She is bilingual and a former Spanish teacher at Ohio State University. She has taught classes on writing and public relations online and in traditional classroom settings at OSU and in Mexico.
  • Writer, publicist and creative writing instructor Nancy Kobryn provided patient guidance, advice and encouragement to more than 4,000 students at Virtual University over the years. Her "never give up!" message inspired countless writers to persevere, and many have gone on to publish books and become regular contributors to publications and websites. Nancy passed away Feb. 18, 2004 after a brief illness but her writings and spirit live on.
  • Richard De A'Morelli is a author, editor, and former reporter. His first magazine article appeared in print at age 16 and since then, he has published 13 books and hundreds of feature articles on a wide range of subjects. He served as editor of several national magazines and was a by-lined contributor and member of the late best-selling author Irving Wallace's editorial staff.
How to Participate in this Course

Enroll and start learning today! All course materials will be available when the class begins, so you don't have to wait for weekly lessons and you can truly learn at your own pace. You don't have to be online at any set time; study at your leisure from the comfort or your home or office.

The course curriculum will include tutorial lessons, suggested readings, and optional homework activities. If you are taking the class for enjoyment or self-enrichment, homework is optional but participation is encouraged. Students who approach online learning as an adventure and actively participate will derive the most benefit and enjoyment from online learning. Homework projects, if completed satisfactorily, will earn Extra Credit points which will be added to your Final Exam score and may increase the overall grade you earn in the course.

The Student Handbook provides useful information on how to make the most of your online learning experience at KSURF's Virtual University. Refer to this guide for helpful tips on how to access classrooms, post homework, and answers to most frequently asked questions.