Midwest Writers is a nonprofit and officially Midwest Writers Workshop INC. and we have expanded our programs to offer more than our annual summer workshop.
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>> Check out our Online Courses <<

NEW Course:

The Building Blocks of a Great Novel is a 6-unit course taught by Dianne Drake (includes manuscript evaluation!). The goal of this course is not to teach you HOW to write your novel, but to help you discover all the key elements common to every great novel – elements that will make your novel great, too!

  • Choosing Your Genre
  • Goal, Motivation & Conflict
  • Defining Your Point of View
  • Finding Your Voice
  • Creating Your Characters
  • Dialogue, Narrative & Exposition

What the Course Includes:

  • Instructional sections that you can read on your own time, at your own convenience. This Prezi format is not a live presentation, and new lessons will not “drip” at various intervals during the course. Once you have registered, the entire course will be available to you, to access at any time you wish.
  • Assignments for completion at your own pace—designed to help you put what you learn into action.
  • Q&A time through a private Facebook forum designed especially for this course, plus discussions and handouts
  • AND each student will receive A FREE MANUSCRIPT EVALUATION AT THE END OF THE COURSE. Translated to mean 10 pages of a manuscript critique along with one deep editing pass.

Courses still available:

[1] The Brainmap: A way to create intricate plots and compelling, unforgettable characters ~ 4-week course taught by Shirley JumpAvailable through Oct 31.

Who This Course Will Help:

This course is for people who are looking for a way to plot a unique, character-driven novel. This course will cover all the pre-work needed to develop a compelling, layered character with a full history. From that, the plot will develop, thus building an intriguing, novel with a strong emotional hook for the reader.

What You Will Learn:

  • How to develop a character’s past, family relationships and motivations
  • Use this to develop a character-based plot
  • An in-depth analysis of your character’s behavior and choices
  • A richer, more emotionally based book


[2] Word Play ~ a 4-unit course taught by Liz Whiteacre, presents focused writing exercises that explore diction and figurative language choices, which help us develop voice in our stories, essays, and poems. Always available!

Who this Course Will Help:

Word Play is a short, low-stakes course designed to help you take a break from bigger projects and take some time to play with language. It presents focused writing exercises that explore diction and figurative language choices, which help us develop voice in our stories, essays, and poems.

Writers of all levels and intentions are encouraged to join these focused word-based exercises, honing language skills and developing new ones that will support the writing they do in any genre. Many prompts may become prewriting for new projects or help you revise projects already in the works.

What this Course Includes:

You will receive weekly video lectures, writing exercises and recommended readings, and access to the Word Play Facebook community where you might share questions, excerpts of your writing, your responses to reflection questions, etc.

The four units offer three language-based exercises each week, so you may tailor your experience to your needs and schedule. Each lesson also offers suggestions for further reading on related topics, which you can chose to do while you work on exercises during the class or chose to save for the future.

Course material is presented English, but writers are encouraged to experiment with other languages they know as they compose.


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