2024 Winter Term Classes as Taylor Swift Songs

This is how Taylor Swift holds her pen… not sure why, but she’s produced Grammy-winning lyrics with this method so I’m not one to judge.

What I Mean to Say: Honest Monologues Under Pressure: “Speak Now”
You’ve got something to say, so say it! If you were to stand up at a wedding and speak, you better have a really good monologue to convince your lover not to marry the wrong person. Or, you know, wherever you’re looking to perform your sizzling prose.

Reimagining Environmental Writing: “Snow on the Beach”
This class isn’t just about writing about climate change and weird nature effects, but it’s not NOT about those things.

Six-Month Spark: “Sparks Fly”
Come on, this one was easy. Drop everything now and sign up for this novel class.

Navigating the Artists Statement: “exile”
Listen, the lyrics, “You didn’t even hear me out (you didn’t even hear me out) / You never gave a warning sign (I gave so many signs)” feel personal when it comes to rejections. So let’s find ways to avoid the feeling of being locked out!

Novel Foundations: “…Ready For It?”
Baby, let the games of novel writing begin.

Memoir Foundations: “The Story of Us”
Comedy, tragedy, truth and lies — writing a memoir should incorporate all the best elements of storytelling.

Fundamentals of Flash: “Death by a Thousand Cuts”
Don’t worry, cutting your piece into flash-length will not kill it. Sometimes the story’s over, so why are you still writing pages?

Our Creative Groove: Forging a Writing Habit That Actually Feels Like You: “I’m Only Me When I’m With You”
You can only write when you’re not feeling down. There’s no one right way to form a writing habit, so find the one that makes you fly.

Short Story Intensive Workshop: “long story short”
Except this will NOT be a “bad time.” You picked the right guy with Steve Trumpeter.

Creative Writing Essentials (online): “A Place in This World”
Still trying to figure out your genre, lane, storytelling style? CWE can help you find a place in this literary world.

How to Be Your Own Best Reader: “Dear Reader”
Another easy one, though it’s true that you don’t have to answer just ’cause they asked you in workshop.

Writing About Sex: “Dress”
Your characters have sex, just like real people/pop stars. Maybe you can write some sentences like the lyrics Taylor writes that are subtle and yet totally steamy.

Image! Image! Image!: “Timeless”
Taylor finds old pictures in an antique shop and boom, a story emerges. That’s what C. Russell will help you do in this class, too.

How to Work Deep Material: Strategies for Ongoing Projects: “The Moment I Knew”
Easter eggs are Taylor Swift’s calling card, and the way we pay attention to the “object world” and our intuition matters.

Live Lit 101: “Fearless”
I don’t know how it gets better than live lit in Chicago. Jeremy Owens will drag you headfirst, fearless, into your own storytelling prowess.

Manuscript CPR: Reviving Dead Work: “Begin Again”
Just when you thought that story was broken, and burnt, and ended, on a [Tuesday], in a [classroom], watch it begin again!

Creative Writing Essentials (in person): “Don’t Blame Me”
You love writing, if you don’t, you’re not doing it right. Start with the essentials and trust us, afterward, you’ll be writing for the rest of your life.

Dialogue Workout: “Say Don’t Go” or “Now That We Don’t Talk”
Both of these 1989 (TV) Vault Tracks seem like a good pairing for a class that’ll help your characters communicate in gripping dialogue. (Don’t blame me for being a 1989 girlie.)

Picture Book Bootcamp: “Never Grow Up”
Tugging at the heartstrings, both with this song and the little story idea you have in your heart for a child’s picture book.

Basic Reporting Tools for Creative Writers: “the last great american dynasty”
This song is about the previous owners of one of Taylor’s homes in Rhode Island, and how they dyed a dog key-lime green. You know that took some great research skills to find those facts and make them story-worthy.

Literary Letters: Essay in Epistle: “Dear John”
Blistering accusations, raw confessions, connecting themes together –– all in a contained essay (or song).


And just for some extra fun, I made a playlist of all of these songs for you to listen to!

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