Writing and Publishing

You will find courses and workshops for creative writing, publishing and multi-media available year-round. Check our current schedule for upcoming sections.

Creative Writing

Creative Writing - All Levels

Explore the possibilities of writing for fun and publication. Practice specific writing skills that enhance descriptive language usage, storytelling and exposition. Classroom activities include discussion of styles, grammar usage, and imagery as well as the art of writing for fun. This is an individualized course designed to meet the needs of the beginning or advanced writer. Expect weekly assignments for critique.

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Creative Writing: Memoirs

There often comes a time in our life when we feel compelled to tell our stories. The catalysts for this are many: chronicling family history, healing old wounds, discovering our voice, understanding our lives, or just a desire to write. The objective of this course is to explore the genre of memoir through in-class writing exercises, take home writing assignments, the workshopping of student work, as well as reading established memoirists in order to learn about craft and technique.

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Creative Writing: Film & Screenwriting

This course focuses on understanding the medium of film regarding mise-en-scène, character dialogue, and the story arc. Significant emphasis is placed on character development, film treatments, the use of conflict, multiple storylines, high concept vs. low concept storytelling, and "the pitch."

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Poetry Writing for Everyone

Whether you've been writing poems for a while or are new to the art, this class is for you. In a supportive environment, we'll explore poetry in many of its forms--from the traditional to the surprising--with lots of hands-on activities, in-class writing opportunities and vibrant discussions. Writing poetry can help writers of all genres become more creative, concise and in touch with language. Dust off your notebook and join in the fun and adventure of writing poetry.

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Picture Books for Children

In this class, we will look at the history of children's literature and discuss strategies and approaches used in making narrative, conceptual and wordless books. We will examine traditional and digital techniques and discuss how technology is changing the children's book market. Through lectures, slideshows and demonstrations, students will learn how a book is produced from start to finish. During studio time students will take their stories or concepts from thumbnails to dummy book form and produce two finished illustrations in their choice of medium.

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Publishing a Novel

Are you thinking about writing a book? Have you written a book that you want to publish? In this course, students will learn how to format a manuscript to meet specifications for publishing a book in print or as an ebook, and in particular, how to format interior and exterior files using Microsoft Word. Students will learn some marketing tips while exploring the pros and cons of self-publishing a book and learn how to avoid some of the pitfalls of the publishing world.

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WordPress: Intro

The class will explore the features and benefits of both WordPress.com and WordPress.org. While creating a blog from WordPress.com, the class will explore how to create engaging written and visual content and how to manage blogs by exploring tools offered by the WordPress content management system. Students will apply advanced procedures for self-hosted bloggers, including buying a domain, getting a web host, and installing WordPress.org software. The class will investigate the benefits of self-hosting by customizing sites through use of plug-ins and themes and custom site editing.

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Other Courses

Basic Writing Refresher Course

Through hands-on, practical exercises, this course will explore essential grammar and usage rules. Learn about sentence structure, punctuation and writing techniques. Confusing grammar issues will also be examined. Learn to increase specifics (and avoid vagueness) to increase reader comprehension. This course is ideal for anyone who needs a "brush-up" for work, school or test preparation.

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The Writer’s Life Lecture Series

You want to be a writer but you don’t know where to start. What kind of writer can you be and what skills do you need? What is it like to be a successful professional writer? This series addresses these issues and more. Contact jgalligan@madisoncollege.edu (link sends e-mail)

Modern Messaging

Today we communicate with texts, blogs, social media and email in addition to telephone and face-to-face interactions. While casual communication can take place with abbreviations, misspellings, or emojis, you still need to utilize effective methods to make sure your messages are understood as intended. Basic grammar, spelling, and appropriate word usage are perhaps more vital than ever.

Our online Modern Messaging Certificate is designed to get your message across in the age of digital communication. Focused on the basics, everyone from Baby Boomers to Gen X, and Millennials to Gen Z will benefit from understanding how today's messages are created, sent, and perceived by others. Required courses are not all available every semester.

Grammar Boot Camp

An understanding of basic grammar is important to any writer. Common grammar mistakes reflect poorly on the writer, and an important message can easily be dismissed by a reader who judges the writer as careless or even uneducated. This course will focus on avoiding common grammar errors and on how to proofread effectively. Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to compose grammatically correct sentences and will be able to proofread and edit their own work. This class is a prerequisite for all subsequent courses.

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Modern Messaging Basics

No matter how eloquent or grammatically correct a piece of writing may be, it runs the risk of being ineffective if it does not effectively target its audience, clearly reveal its purpose, and reflect a favorable writing persona. This course will give an overview of the concept of rhetorical analysis and provide practice in recognizing and developing effective messaging skills. Upon successful completion of the module, participants will be able to effectively identify and establish appropriate messaging for writing tasks, using classical rhetorical analysis.

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To register, use the course links above to locate an upcoming section and login to add to cart, or note the 5-digit class number and phone (608) 258-2301, ext 2, for registration assistance.

No application is needed. If you have never taken a class here before, you can facilitate enrollment by creating a student account.