OUR COURSE

Since 1986 the School of Writing has trained more than 700 writers and has seen hundreds of books published in multiple languages. In 2015 the ministry moved from Texas to Hawaii and in 2019 we planted the first school for Latinamerica, in Ywam San José, Costa Rica. Our goal is to bring the course to as many countries as possible to make it accessible to people in their own languages.

Our vision is to help you develop the character and skills to fulfill God's call on your life. It doesn't matter if you are a beginner or are already published. If you have a story on your heart, need fresh inspiration, or are wanting to effectively communicate God's truth, then our course is for you. 

 

SO WHAT IS IT ABOUT?

Imagine an all-you-can-eat buffet with different types of writing in an environment where God is the center and everyone speaks the same creative language. That's what our course is like. 

 

We get students that have different levels of expertise—from those that enjoy just reading to the ones that have a book already on their mind—and we teach them how to write from scratch. The demographics are always spread with DTS graduates that bring passion, older Ywamers that add wisdom, and everyone's culture that blesses our classroom.

 

The twelve teaching weeks are divided between core and supplementary. The first ones are those essential for the development of our students and we offer them in every school. On the other hand, supplementary weeks are not always offered as they depend on the availability of our speakers. The full list is released right before the course starts. 

We also include several practicum weeks where you will be given larger writing projects. During those weeks you will also get feedback, but the schedule is designed to allow you to concentrate on practicing your writing.

You will receive writing assignments daily and meet in critique groups three times a week to share openly in a creative environment and improve your work before turning in a final draft.

 

In order to dedicate enough time to each person and keep the quality of the teaching up to the UofN standards, we only have six spots available for each school. 

COURSE CONTENT

CORE WEEKS

Creative Non-fiction

Learn how to write stories that grab your reader from the first sentence and keep them wanting more, how you can give your target audience what they're looking for, and how to avoid writer's block while handling the basics of plot, characterization, and dialogue.

 

Self-editing

What's the point of fixing all the misspellings in a paragraph if the whole chapter doesn't belong to a book? Leave the little mistakes to a program and focus on the things computers cannot do. During this week you'll learn the logic of editing a manuscript, how editors in the publishing world work, and some techniques to condense your ideas to cause the maximum impact on your audience. 

Thematic

Devotionals, self-help, how-to, and essays are a few examples of thematic books. Learning this style enables you to present your viewpoint on various issues in a clear and forceful way. We will teach you how to organize your content for the strongest reader impact so you can speak directly to their hearts.

 

Fiction 

It's easier for a non-Christian to open a fiction book than a non-fiction. Using this advantage, we'll dive even deeper into the world of character development, constructing settings, and genres. You’ll learn how to build a strong story structure, develop book ideas, and how to find markets for adult fiction.

Industry and Submissions

Learn what's the process from writing a book to publishing it and what you can do to get ahead of the game. We'll show you how to develop a book proposal, look for an agent, and what writing conferences are.

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SUPPLEMENTARY WEEKS

 

Screenwriting 

When we watch a movie, the details of what happens inside the characters' hearts are minimum; we can only know what the camera is showing us. With that in mind, you will learn to craft scripts with a strong emphasis on dialogue, description, and character arcs while following the appropriate format. 

 

Internet and Social Media

People scroll down and skip newsletters, websites, and blog posts because they are not written well. This week you will learn how to fill the insatiable need for new content on the internet and how to write for online publications.  

Commercial Articles

Online and printed magazines need thousands of articles each month. Learn how you can break in as a writer, how to structure your article, and how you can develop a good research method to add credibility to your writing.

Journalism

Learn how to write for newspapers and online publications while bringing truth to your audience. We'll teach you how to structure your writing, hook your reader, and bring change by advocating with your words.

Children's Literature

C.S. Lewis once said that saying something complicated was easy but explaining something complex in simple words was the real challenge. This week you'll learn how to write for each age demographic, what publishers expect from children's books, how to market to parents, and most importantly how to convey truth and deep concepts in a way that everyone can understand. 

 

Branding and Marketing

Now that you have a project in the works, learn what are your next steps to break into the publishing world and the strategies you can use to build your platform as a writer. Develop a marketing strategy and understand what the publishing houses are looking for before signing a book contract.

PRACTICUM

After finishing the course you have the opportunity to stay on and complete a three-month practicum on your own project. 

 

Whether you want to develop your skill in editing, publish a few articles, or work on your novel, we will help you to accomplish your goal while fostering your talent in a creative environment.

 

If you did your School of Writing in the past years and haven't done a practicum yet, you can still join us and dedicate this time to your project.

FAQ

Are there any requirements to attend the School of Writing?

Yes. You must complete a Discipleship Training School (DTS) with Ywam before attending this course.

Do I need to have a published book in order to attend this course?

No, it's not a requirement. We will teach you how to communicate from scratch, all you need is a passion for writing.

What do I need to bring to the school?

You'll need a laptop. Although you can take notes in whatever way you prefer, all assignments are submitted and graded online.

Should I have a writing project on the works in order to be accepted into the school?

No, it is not a requirement. Most students discover a project they would like to work on during the lecture phase.

Will I be able to work on my own writing project during the course?

The course is very intense and you'll have a lot of writing assignments, nevertheless, you can use your free time to apply the concepts you've learned in your own writing projects.

Is there any outreach after the lecture phase?

We don't have an outreach but we do have a practicum in which you stay for three months working on a project that you'll have to pitch to the staff team.

I can't set aside three months of my life. Is it possible to take just one week of this school?

Yes, you can take up to three individual weeks before having to take the whole course. Check with us for spots available and the calendar of teaching weeks.

Can I get UofN credits by graduating from this school?

Yes, you get 12 UofN credits if you graduate from this course.

Can this school replace a Communications Core Course?

No, it can't. Nevertheless, this school can work either as an elective or as a communication course toward a UofN degree.

Are the schools hosted in different locations exactly the same?

They have the same core weeks but the supplementary weeks may differ, depending on the availability of our speakers. Yet, we work hard as a staff team to keep the quality of the schools the same, no matter the location where they are hosted.