Delve Into Performance Art as Social Practice

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Express Yourself

How can you use art to explore your own identity and social issues?

That’s what instructor Alex Berry focuses on in her Performance Art and Social Practice class. We asked her to share more about what inspired her to teach it and what you’ll learn when you join her.

How long have you been teaching Performance Art and Social Practice?

This is my first time teaching this class for Seattle Central College.

I previously taught this course for the Experimental College at UW in 2015.

What inspired you to teach it?

After finishing my MFA, I had a desire to continue practicing performance art but I also wanted to expose its relatively unknown platform to the general public.

Performance art, as a multidisciplinary medium, allows artists and students to focus on social issues and concepts as the driving force of the work, and present these ideas through the use of the human body.

Who would benefit from taking this class?

Performance art can benefit anyone, whether they are artists or medical practitioners or engineers.

This class is about taking risks outside of your ordinary practice or daily life in order to examine personal interests and pressing social issues.

What has been an inspirational moment that has occurred during this class?

Collaboration between students is always dependent on the individual students of each class.

It’s interesting to see how ideas, communication, and bodies differ, interact, affect and — at times — challenge one another.

Key Takeaways

  1. Gain knowledge of a generally unknown way of communicating ideas and creative pursuits
  2. Learn to collaborate with others using various disciplines such as writing, video art, and installation
  3. Gain an opportunity to explore their own body as a medium for expressing their ideas, without limiting it to strictly dance, movement, or acting

Learn the Language of the Web in Coding Dojo Bootcamps

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The New Language of Business

Coding may seem like a little bit of science and a little bit of magic, but it’s actually more similar to learning how to write a recipe in a foreign language. And, instead of you or someone you know making that recipe, your robot friend comes along and does all the work for you.

While the demand for developers is currently outpacing supply and getting into the field is a great career move, even having a basic understanding of different programming languages is fast becoming an essential skill for a wide array of jobs. The more you know about how software is created, the better you’ll be at requesting — and getting! — what you need from your tech team. Even small business owners will be better prepared to consult with tech consultants, and be confident that they’re communicating their ideas effectively,

Coding Dojo has been offering bootcamps in a variety of popular languages since 2012, and they recently partnered with Seattle Central’s Continuing Education program to offer a part-time format for their LAMP and Python bootcamps. These classes are offered at nights and on weekends in order to provide an avenue for professionals to gain these important skills while also working full time.

We asked Coding Dojo’s Kevin Saito to provide us with more insight into the program, who would benefit from taking it, and what kind of experiences other students have had.

How long have you been teaching these classes?

Coding Dojo has been teaching these classes in a full time format for a few years.

LAMP was first taught in 2013 and Python was introduced in 2015.

What inspired you to teach these bootcamps?

LAMP is essentially the language that most of the early web was built on, so its a great foundational language for students.

Python, on the other hand, has been embraced by a number of very prominent tech companies which makes it a compelling addition to our curriculum.

How are these bootcamps different from others that you teach?

The main difference will be the format of the classes.

We normally teach these in a full time program and this will be the first time we offer both of these courses in a part time format.

Who would benefit from taking this class?

Anyone who is interested in getting into web development or works with developers and would benefit from an increased understanding of web development or web technologies.

As many companies require their program and project managers to be more technically fluent, this is a great tool to have.

What has been an inspirational moment that has occurred during this class?

The biggest thing we see is once the light goes on for students they really become a different person.

They talk differently, they carry themselves different, and they tend to be a lot more confident with themselves because they can now do something that they previously couldn’t and, in many cases, actually wondered if they would be able to ever do.

Key Takeaways

  1. A solid understanding of full stack web development
  2. A very solid understanding of web development
  3. The ability to build some pretty compelling web apps by the end of the course

Recommended Resources

Explore the History of Propaganda in Film

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Is It Fake News or Is It Propaganda?

…and is there really a difference?

Since its invention, the film medium has been used by different societies to promote cultural ideas, inspire national solidarity, educate about its goals, and more.

In a new partnership with SIFF and Scarecrow Video, Seattle Central is excited to offer you the opportunity to delve into the history of propaganda in film, as demonstrated by four historical films designed specifically to influence the societies in which they were created.

Filmmaker and instructor Richie Meyer shared with us more about his inspiration for this class, why you’ll want to take it, and what you’ll walk away with.

What is your background?

I have been making films and teaching about films for 40 years.

My degrees are from Stanford University and NYU.

How long have you been teaching this class?

This is a new class at Seattle Central but I have taught similar courses at other universities.

What inspired you to teach this class?

The recent presidential election had many elements of propaganda in its use of the media.

How is this class different from others that you teach?

I will use real life situations — not theories — about the way different nations used film to influence people.

Who would benefit from taking this class?

Anyone who has an interest in the present political situation, and film in general.

What has been an inspirational moment that has occurred during this class?

After the courses were over, I have met former students who told me that the way they look at movies changed because of my classes.

Recommended Resources

In addition to the films that will be screened as part of this program, we recommend watching the following complementary films (all of which will be on hold and available for students at Scarecrow Video):

Week One

  • The Axe of Wandsbek
  • Bismarck
  • The Rothschild’s Shares in Waterloo
  • Hitler Youth Quex

Week Two

  • Battleship Potemkin
  • Ten Days that Shook the World
  • Strike

Week Three

  • Beast of Berlin
  • God is My Co-Pilot
  • 30 Seconds Over Tokyo

Week Four

  • Siberian Express
  • Attack at Dawn
  • Army

Key Takeaways

  1. An appreciation of the ways film and media propaganda manipulate facts
  2. Understand the film medium and its power
  3. Screen the great films of propaganda and learning how they were used
  4. Understand how the modern uses of propaganda in film build on those of the past

Learn From the Entrepreneurial Experts

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Is Starting Your Own Business Right for You?

Owning a successful business is a big dream — one that can easily turn into a nightmare if you’re not fully prepared to be an entrepreneur.

Even if you’re great at what you do, actually running a business requires a lot of hard work, a variety of skills unrelated to your core service or offering, and being financially savvy enough to give your business the time and space it needs to grow.

A few years ago, Jeff Leavy created The Entrepreneurship Toolkit for Seattle Central College’s Business and Technology department, largely in response to the community’s need for more training and guidance in the world of small business. This year, he passed the reigns to one of the classes’ long-time expert lecturers, Michael Coffey, so we asked both Jeff and Michael to share more about their backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives on this class.

We’ll be offering this course again during Spring 2017, so read on to learn whether or not this class is the right fit for you.

How long have you been teaching these workshops?

Jeff: Three years, then I handed it off to the very capable Michael Coffey.

Michael: I’m brand new and an old hand at this. I first got involved with the Entrepreneurship Toolkit class as a guest speaker a few years ago.

I met Jeff Levy, who created this class, when I was a Business Assistance Officer at the Washington Women’s Business Center. When I left to launch my own business as a digital strategist for small business, he asked me to come in and present some key ideas of marketing online. This also led to my designing and teaching the Marketing Fundamentals class.

I’ve been coming in as a guest speaker almost every quarter since then, but Fall 2016 was my first time as the instructor for the full course.

What inspired you to teach this class?

Jeff: The dean at the time felt that Seattle Central College had an opportunity to be a center of excellence in entrepreneurship. I am a subject matter expert in that field and also a community college graduate. It was time to give back and provide some inspiration.

Michael: Aside from simply the necessity (Jeff Levy had conflicts that prevented him from teaching), the importance of this class is twofold.

First, I think it’s important for everyone to view starting a business as a possibility for them to consider. Not every business idea is great. Not every person is ready to start a business. But there is still a lot of inequality in who starts a business, and I think our economy would be more vibrant and diverse if more people considered business ownership. And the first step toward that is helping people see that starting their own business is a possible option for them.

Second, on the flip side, it’s also very important that those who do start a business are well informed about the process when they do so. Being a hard worker is not enough. Being good at what you do is not enough. Being passionate is not enough. Jumping in without having a good picture of what the experience of entrepreneurship is leads to a huge percentage of business failures. The misconceptions about entrepreneurship can be deadly to a business venture.

How is this class different from others that you teach?

Jeff: Most of my other work are two hour seminars, and this is more hands-on and discussion-based.

Michael: Much of what I teach, both as a digital strategist and at Seattle Central, is about technical skills.

The Marketing Fundamentals class is an overview of marketing skills and concepts. I’ve taught classes about how to set up your own business website, or use Google+ as both a social media channel and to improve search engine optimization. But Entrepreneurship Toolkit is more about the entrepreneurs themselves. It’s about the bigger picture of both designing your ideal life, and based on that personal vision, thinking about business ownership as a potential way of realizing that vision. That’s very different than how most people think of starting a business.

Of course, there are also skills involved, and evaluating whether you’re ready now or if you have more work to do, and so forth, but the core of the class is the idea of whether a particular business idea will serve your life.

Who would benefit from taking this class?

Jeff: Anyone entering the work force or needing to work their way through the “New Career Economy.”

Today, 31% of the work force is 1099, contract employees and that is projected to grow to 50% over the next 15-20 years. New workers need survival skills, both intrapreneurial and entrepreneurial. This class provides that.

Michael: Anyone who wonders about starting their own independent business, or buying a franchise.

This class is a great way to “try on” what it might be like to own a business, and what it would take to be successful — without the substantial costs in money and time of really starting one.

I’d love it if all the students were successful in business, it’s also sometimes a success if a student realizes, “I was about to start, but I know now that I need to learn more about how accounting (or whatever) works first.” Or that their personal goals are better achieved through traditional employment. Or that they need to prioritize building savings first before financing a startup.

Anyone who’s not sure about those kinds of priorities would get a lot out of this class.

What has been an inspirational moment that has occurred during this class?

Jeff: When a student that was also taking a class called Art and Anarchy told me he loved my class when he realized there was no financial security in anarchy. Wow!

Michael: We recently were visited by a librarian from the Seattle Public Library, Jay Lyman.

Many of the students were stunned (in a good way!) by how much detail could be gleaned about their potential customers, competitors, and industry, using free library resources. The “aha” was not just what data was in which database, but that it was even possible to find these things out.

I could almost see thoughts like “Wait, if you can see that, I bet you could also figure out…” cross many faces.

Key Takeaways

  1. Learn goal setting
  2. Meet community resources
  3. Assess your communications style & strengths
A business should be designed to support your life goals; otherwise, you’re just in a job where you have to be both boss and employee.
There are lots of risks in business, but there are healthy ways to address those risks.
Business ownership may be right for you, but maybe not right now.
Strategy and planning are two of the biggest keys to success.

Hands-On Guidance in Caring for Your Home

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The Home Should be the Treasure Chest of Living — Le Corbusier

How are you treating your treasure? Do you need some guidance on caring for your home?

The dream of home ownership can quickly become a nightmare if you’re not prepared in the basics of home repair and maintenance.

Knowing simple things like repairing a damaged wall, replacing a leaking pipe under the sink, and preparing for cold weather are key in keeping your home safe and comfortable.

Expert contractor Peter Marx has been guiding folks in his Basic Hands-On Home Repair and Maintenance workshops over the past two decades.

“I don’t know everything — and I don’t pretend to,” he laughs. “But what I can do is offer my opinion and experience, and show them where they can find more resources.”

We asked him to share with us more about his class, why he teaches it, and why you should join him for his next series of hands-on workshops.

How long have you been teaching these workshops?

I’ve been teaching this class for the last 23 years, and about 12 of those have been at Seattle Central.

What inspired you to teach this class?

I was a self-employed contractor and cabinet maker since college, eventually becoming a vendor and installer for Corel solid surface coutertops. One of my largest vendors was a local home improvement chain called Ernst Hardware, and when they went out of business, my business took a huge hit.

So I went to a vocational counselor, who advised me that I had a lot of great experience in building and construction, and that I should find a way to share that with others. And I love doing that — I have decades of knowledge and experience, and it’s great to give that back to my community.

How is this class different from others that you teach?

Like all of my workshops, this is a hands-on class, and I’ve developed the curriculum so that students can actually do things in the class versus a discussion of theory and simply watching a demonstration.

That’s actually quite unusual for a home repair class; usually it’s a demo and discussion, and students go home to try things out on their own. I’ve set up an environment that gives folks the opportunity to actually do the work, versus just watching or talking about it.

This means they’ll retain more of the information, and feel more confident when they’re working on these repairs at home by themselves.

Who would benefit from taking this class?

I’ve had a wide variety of students throughout the history of these classes, but here are a few of the most common:

  • new homeowners
  • older homeowners who lost their repairing or maintenance partner
  • apartment managers
  • those interested in buying a home

But everyone is welcome, regardless of their backgrounds, and it’s a fun and supportive environment.

What has been an inspirational moment that has occurred during this class?

One of the projects that we work on is how to do basic electrical work. It involves wiring a light bulb, and when they complete the project — and the bulb lights up — they’re eyes often do, too!

It’s a great metaphor for their own learning, and teaching them how capable they really are. Electrical work can seem daunting, and learning the basics can be truly empowering.

Key Takeaways

  1. Gain a basic understanding of your house as a system
  2. Improve your understanding of plumbing and electrical
  3. Learn how to do calking and plasterboard projects
  4. Get guidance on how to work smart and safely
  5. Learn how to communicate effectively with professionals

Recommended Resources

I provide my students with a resource sheet so they’ll know who is reputable to work with in the area, but here are a few tips to consider when you’re looking for guidance online or from a book:

  • If you’re watching a project on TV or YouTube, realize that the time is condensed and your project will actually take a lot longer than how it’s presented
  • Check who is producing a home improvement show, book, or guide to ensure that they’re a reputable source of information
  • Large home improvement stores often have great how-to guides for projects
  • Your home’s design or materials may differ from what is presented in the show, book, or guide, so be certain to review it thoroughly before you start

Most importantly, don’t take on any projects that you don’t feel you have the skills to complete! But if you do, and you need to work with a pro to finish it, you can learn great skills in communicating with them in my class.

Organizing Workshops Help You Get It Together

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Simplify Your Surroundings

Organizing Workshops Help You Get It Together | Seattle Central College - Continuing Education
Do you have a room in your house that looks like this? Then these workshops are for you!
Do you have a hall closet that could double as a Tetris board? Are you using your garage less for car storage, and more for miscellaneous stuff storage? Is there a seemingly-bottomless junk drawer in your kitchen that needs taming?

If you answered yes to any — or all! — of these questions, then it’s time to take yourself by the lapel and deliver yourself to our Get it Together series of organizing workshops.

For the past five years, expert consultant Lauren Williams has been helping her clients get their homes and offices under control.

“While this is a home improvement class, it could also be considered personal improvement — and even a health & wellness class!” She laughs. “I can’t tell you the number of clients I’ve had who have had their asthma disappear after decluttering and organizing their homes.”

The series is comprised of three workshops that you can take together or independently:

How long have you been teaching these workshops?

I gave my first version of these classes on June 18, 2012.

What inspired you to teach these classes?

Too many reasons!

It’s another way for me to share my skills, it keeps me fresh, and I learn from my students just as much as they learn from me.

How is this class different from others that you teach?

One-on-one sessions with clients are far more intimate, and can be much more intensive.

These workshops are designed to arm you with tips and strategies that you can apply immediately at home or work.

Who would benefit from taking this class?

Anyone who wants to learn techniques to become more structured in their day-to-day home or work lives, or anyone who wants to declutter.

What has been an inspirational moment that has occurred during this class?

It can be hard for people to let items go, even when they need to for any of number of reasons.

One of my students developed a wonderful method she shared with me: she holds up something she is considering letting go and says to herself, “I like this” or “I liked this. Now someone else can.”

Key Takeaways

  1. Techniques to help you focus on the task of organizing
  2. Skills to keep yourself from feeling overwhelmed by organizing
  3. Methods to help you assess the value of your items

Guide Your Career with Project Management Fundamentals

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You'll Love It When a Plan Comes Together

Many large organizations have positions and even entire departments devoted to planning and managing projects, but possessing these skills is actually quite beneficial for any professional.

This is particularly true if you’re in a small business or start-up environment where you’re wearing many hats; the ability to skillfully manage projects is often essential to building a successful business.

It can also help you develop your career, and prepare you to take on jobs with higher levels of responsibility.

Expert instructor Zahid Kahn recently shared his insight into some great methods and tools that you can help organize and manage projects.

When we say, ‘Your Business is Our Business’ we mean it: We’re here to help you establish or grow the company of your dreams.

Learn more about what you’ll gain by joining us for our Fundamentals of Project Management course this Winter.

How long have you been teaching this class?

I have been teaching project management for the last eight years.

What inspired you to teach this class?

I am passionate about project management and developing people; as a PMO Manager, I am continuously developing my team, and I started teaching in 2008 in order to advance my team’s project management skills.

Since then I have seen measurable improvement in project management skill.

People from other departments of my organization and outside organizations wanted me to help them with advancing their project management skills, so I started teaching various levels of project management courses.

I feel inspired when I make a difference by improving the skill and knowledge of my students.

How is this class different from others that you teach?

This class is designed to help students understand the global standards of project management and also learn how to apply tools and techniques to manage their projects.

Some of the classes I teach help student prepare to take the test to get certified as Project Management Professional (PMP®) through the Project Management Institute (PMI).

Most of the classes I teach are large in class size (between 50 to 100 students); this class size will be small and will allow for more one-on-one interaction.

Who would benefit from taking this class?

Anyone who is interested in learning the global standards of project management to advance their career in managing projects, working in teams, supervising work, and working with stakeholders.

This class will also be a good refresher for project managers.

Key Takeaways

  1. Understand the value and importance of project management
  2. Learn how to develop a project scope that meets your customers’ requirements
  3. Learn how to identify and manage uncertainties to achieve project success
  4. Learn how to measure project success
  5. Understand what it take to be a good project manager

What has been an inspirational moment that has occurred during this class?

Many of my students have had great outcomes as a direct result of learning the basics of project management.

Here are a few of them:

  • Some of the students were able to apply project management tools such as the project charter to start managing their projects immediately after the class
  • Many students recognized the importance of risk management after listening to case studies I discussed in the class
  • More than 90% of my students passed the test to get certified as PMP®
  • Several of my students got promoted within six months after completing my five day training

Professional Boot Camp Will Get Your Career in Shape

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Amp up Your Career

Yvonne Freitas McGookin - Professional Development Instructor | Seattle Central College - Continuing EducationThe majority of us have to work for a living — and if we’re lucky enough to choose our work, we should definitely make the most of it.

So: Do you love the work you do? Is it meaningful to you? Are you achieving your goals in life, and is your work supporting that? If your answers to these questions are anything but a resounding “Yes!” then it’s time for a little bit of a tune-up.

Check out our Professional Boot Camp, a series of five workshops designed to help you actively manage your career. You can sign up for the whole series, or choose to come to any of the following workshops individually:

  1. Setting clear career goals and making them known
  2. Cultivating your networks
  3. Quantifying your accomplishments
  4. Expanding your skill set
  5. Knowing what you’re worth

Instructor Yvonne Freitas McGookin shared more about her background with this Boot Camp, what inspired her to teach it, and why someone would want to attend.

And despite the class name, we promise that she will not make you sweat.

How long have you been teaching this class?

I’ve been teaching career development classes and workshops for about 10 years.

What inspired you to teach this Boot Camp?

My own experience of exploring meaningful work and career is what inspired me to teach folks how to develop and manage their careers.

The idea of work and career has changed dramatically over the past 25 years: There’s more freelancing, part-time and remote work opportunities.

Also, the way we work is more focused on gaining, sharing and leveraging knowledge, which has led to developing strong relationships and networks.

How is this class different from others that you teach?

In this class, we focus on the idea of career management — owning, enhancing and advancing your career.

Just as we care for anything we consider valuable, we need to pay attention to our career goals and manage them.

By doing so, we determine what we need to focus on or make adjustments to so that we can achieve our goals.

Think about it like an investment in your future.

Who would benefit from participating in the Professional Boot Camp?

This class is for anyone who needs to get their career “in shape.”

Maybe they’ve been feeling a bit sluggish, or discouraged by their current job or promotional prospects.

Or maybe they’re feeling a lack of direction towards their career goals.

By getting clear on their goals and identifying opportunities to support them, they’ll gain a sense of “career fitness.”

Strengthen Your Bookkeeping Skills With a Certificate in Small Business Accounting

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Small Business Accounting Certificate | Seattle Central College - Continuing Education

Learn the Basics of Applied Accounting

Susanne Elliott - Small Business Accounting Instructor | Seattle Central College - Continuing EducationBeginning in the Fall of 2016, Seattle Central College is offering a completely revamped approach to training professionals in Business Technology Management.

This multi-track program allows students to customize their degree and certifications by choosing their area of focus — from business process to office management to user support and more.

One of these focuses is Applied Accounting, and we’ve collaborated to offer these credit-level classes as a non-credit professional certificate program to the community.

Comprised of three classes — Level 1, Level 2 and Level 3 — this certificate program starts Fall Quarter and continues through Spring Quarter.

Upon completion, you can choose to sit for a national bookkeeping certification exam. You’ll be prepared to start a new career in accounting or to handle your business’ finances on your own.

We asked veteran instructor Susanne Elliott to share more about what you can expect from this program.

How long have you been teaching this class?

This particular course is a new addition to Seattle Central’s Business Technology Management program.

I have taught and created similar courses for other colleges, but I am especially excited for our college to offer these courses to our community.

What inspired you to teach Small Business Accounting classes?

Being able to teach a student a new skill, one that can translate into a lifelong career, and to help change or shape another person’s future is inspiring.

Perhaps it’s cliche, but there have been many teachers and mentors in my past that have changed and shaped my life, and I aspire to do the same.

How is this class different from others that you teach?

Most college accounting courses are geared toward the traditional student, those in their late teens and early twenties, most of which will transfer to universities to pursue bachelor degrees in accounting, finance or business.

This certificate program is designed with the adult learning in mind, someone who isn’t interested in transferring to another college, and who needs real-world skills today.

Who would benefit from getting this certificate?

The Small Business Accounting Certificate is a great fit for:

  • Individuals that are seeking a new career in accounting
  • Small business owners that wish to do their bookkeeping themselves
  • Anyone who is curious about the ins and outs of accounting

Upon completion of all three Applied Accounting classes, you’ll be prepared to take a national bookkeeping certification exam, and ready to seek employment as either an entry level bookkeeper or accounting clerk — or even to start a new career as an independent bookkeeper.

Describe an inspirational moment you've had while teaching.

What inspires me and keeps me motivated to continue teaching are the many successes and achievements of my students, many with whom I stay in touch via Linkedin.

Tell Your Story in a Brand New Way

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Creative Writing Workshop | Seattle Central College - Continuing Education

Learn to Capture Your Readers' Attention in Our Creative Writing Workshop

Do you have a story in you, just waiting to get out? We’re pretty sure the answer to that question is a resounding YES!

But all the drive and ideas and passion in the world won’t magically turn into a finished manuscript — that’s where some serious structure and expert guidance comes in.

Our Creative Writing Workshop is designed to give you just that: Tailored to meet the needs of each student, award-winning writer EC Murray will lead you through the process.

Budding writer? Great! She’ll show you the ropes.

Seasoned novelist in the midst of a challenging revision? She’s here to provide you just the constructive feedback you need.

Read on to learn more about EC’s approach to the class, and why you’ll benefit from joining her this Fall.

How long have you been teaching this class?

The Creative Writing Workshop is actually a new class, but it’s an amalgamation of several classes I’ve taught at Seattle Central and Tacoma Community College over the years.

Some of my other classes include More Writing, Please; So You Want to be a Writer?; and Intermediate Creative Writing.

What inspired you to teach the Creative Writing Workshop?

I once knew a brilliant man who’d always dreamed of being a writer. Whether due to fear, pride or distraction — I don’t know — he died without ever writing a story or book. But, he did inspire me to pursue my writing, no matter how hard or scary it was. And indeed, my first pieces should never have seen the light of day!

One can only write better if they learn the skills necessary to structure their talent, and that is where I, as a teacher, come in. It took six years for me to become an award-winning author, and I never would have succeeded if it weren’t for the inspiration, encouragement and often tough love of my teachers and editors.

So, what inspired me to teach? The desire to pass it forward. My goal is to offer a sanctuary where students can have fun, learn, share and grow in creativity.

Two quotes come to mind:

  • “Compare writing to playing the piano. People think they can start off playing Bach, but they need to begin with Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”
  • “Sometimes your first book isn’t publishable. But, you can’t write your second book until you’ve written your first.”

How is this class different from others that you teach?

The unique approach I’ve developed is dividing story writing, whether fiction or non-fiction, into three components:

  1. Plot
  2. Character development
  3. Prose

Through lecture, writing in class, review and modest critique, I will help students strengthen their writing to create a solid foundation for their story.

In order to individualize the class as much as possible, I will tweak the syllabus to meet each students’ needs.

It’s important for students to feel the freedom to “just it let flow” and get the words on paper, but then they must begin to master skills to shape those words into a piece, which cause their readers to keep turning the page.

Who would benefit from participating in this workshop?

This is a great class for anyone who ever felt a little tickle, telling them to write.

We’ll work on fiction, non-fiction, short stories and full-length books, so all styles are welcome.

Some of the types of writers that would find this experience valuable include:

  • Those who’d love to write but either know where to start, or haven’t been able to finish their first work
  • Writers that have written a great deal, but don’t have the tools to capture their readers’ attention
  • First time writers, as well as those working on revisions to existing pieces

This workshop will give students the structure and guidance to start, work on and/or finish their work!

Student Testimonial

I consider workshops a success if I can take away one good idea.

Taking Ms. Murray’s class was a breath of professional air, as every single one of her class sessions yielded notes and notes of new ideas.

I can’t believe how much I learned in a short period of time.

Ms. Murray covered topics from achieving emotional depth, to narrative coherency in ‘maintaining the dream,’ to practical advice on publishing.

I am thankful for the opportunity to learn from her, and I highly recommend Ms. Murray.

— Michelle Marshman, former student, Intermediate Creative Writing

Describe an inspirational moment you've had while teaching.

One student came to class saying she didn’t like to read, but had a story to tell.

I funneled books to her that she loved reading, and eventually, her drafts became better and better. She could see the flaws in her own writing, and recognized how other authors overcame similar kinks.

I also love when a student understands which details enhance a story, and which aren’t important to convey their intention.

It’s most inspiring when a student takes feedback to heart, revises until it becomes a strong piece; when they understand the power of motivation, intricacy of plot, or a more rhythmic pattern in prose.

Publication is not always the end goal, but I was thrilled when one student won Honorable Mention from Glimmer Train and another self-published her book.

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