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Creative Writing

From: $82.00 / month for 8 months

Grades: 9th–12th (Application is required: LILIANNA SERBICKI CREATIVE WRITING APPLICATION)

Live class: Every other Thursday 3:00–4:00 p.m. EST

Course dates: August 28th–May 6th

Price: $575

Instructor: Lili Serbicki

Instructor email: lserbickiap@gmail.com

Note: Prerecorded audio lectures are provided on the off weeks.

 

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Course Description

This online creative writing class can be viewed as either an Intermediate or pre-AP level English class. This course could even be taken concurrently with AP English Language or Literature.

This course is intended to be an intense series of readings and writing exercises that explore many aspects of the writing craft. All of the genres and forms included are categories featured in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards (CLICK HERE to find out more about Scholastic!). By the end of the course, students will have worked towards building a vibrant and varied writing portfolio they can submit to Scholastic and/or other contests. Submitting work to Scholastic is optional, but highly suggested; I will guide students closely in this process!

This class will also give students the opportunity to develop textual analysis and reading comprehension skills that will help them succeed in both AP English Language and AP English Literature.

The first section of the class will focus on the five most fundamental elements of storytelling: plot, characterization, conflict, narrative perspective, and dialogue. Reading assignments will focus on specific elements which the students will explore in the accompanying writing assignments. Students will complete a short story for each module that focuses on the specific element highlighted in each module.

Students will have the opportunity to work through at least 2 drafts of each major project. They will receive teacher critiques and peer feedback for each draft. I typically post student work “anonymously” to make peer critiques as stress-free and helpful as possible! Receiving and giving peer critiques is one of the most valuable ways to grow as a writer.

In addition to these major assignments, students will be able to complete short exercises that practice such skills as: employing imagery and figurative language, using correct dialogue punctuation, controlling tone, practicing grammar skills, etc.

The second section of the class will focus on genre and form. Reading assignments will focus on specific genres and/or forms of writing, such as realism, fantasy, poetry, and drama. Written assignments will help students develop versatility as well as a portfolio with a wide breadth. Special attention will be paid to the reasons why an author may choose to write in a specific genre AND the tools and formatting skills necessary for each form.

Each week may include: 

  • A reading assignment (short fiction, poetry, or drama).
  • A writing assignment (or a section of a larger project).
  • In-depth website discussion questions.
  • Active live discussion OR a prerecorded lecture.
  • Conceptual handouts with important information about the elements of fiction and course terminology.

Live Class Meetings: Live meetings are held EVERY OTHER THURSDAY at 3:00PM EST beginning WEEK 1 of class. I will provide a pre-recorded lecture on weeks we do not feature live meetings. All lectures will be recorded for your listening convenience. Flexibility is the goal of this course! Attending live course meetings is always optional; listening to the recordings will be mandatory. Typically about 70% of students attend live meetings and 30% of students choose to listen asynchronously.

Course Length: 32 weeks (not including Thanksgiving and Holiday Break). Class work begins Tuesday, August 28, 2018. This means that the first week’s homework is posted that day; in this course homework is always posted Tuesday mornings and due the following Monday evening. Live meetings occur every other THURSDAY afternoon at 3PM EST beginning Week 1.

Authors studied include:

DRAMA:
Tennessee Williams

SHORT FICTION:
Ray Bradbury
Stephen Crane
Flannery O’Connor
Willa Cather
James Joyce
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Amy Tan
Edgar Allan Poe
James Thurber
Harlan Ellison
Ursula K. LeGuin
William Faulkner
Martin Shoemaker
Ambrose Bierce
Katherine Mansfield

POETRY:
William Butler Yeats
Wilfred Owen
Walt Whitman
Emily Dickinson
Billy Collins
Jane Kenyon

Technical needs: High speed Internet and an e-mail account that accepts large files. The student MUST be able to submit work in Word Document format OR PDF format (your choice). All homework will be submitted and critiqued through the course website. Student must be able to check their email and the course website several times a week. Student must be able to read Word Documents and PDFs. Microphone or headset are highly suggested but not required.

Time Commitment: Students should expect to spend 6-8 hours per week on this class.

 

Required Texts

Required Texts:
– The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction, Seventh Edition (ISBN: 978-0393926118 ) NOTE: AMAZON.COM and other sellers offer a convenient “rent” option for this text!
– The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams (ISBN: 978-0811214049). If you do not want to purchase a print copy, please note that I will – be providing an ONLINE version of this text as well!
Various online texts that I will provide (most poetry will be found online)

OPTIONAL REFERENCE:
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation (ISBN: 978-1118785560)

Reviews

  1. Debra Bell

    Parent and Student Reviews: “Covering both the elements and forms of fiction made it unique and well-rounded among the other online creative writing classes that I’ve seen… under [Mrs. Serbicki’s] guidance I actually finished stories – and fine-tuned my narration and plot development, steering me away from melodrama into honest, engaging tales.” (Student, PA) “We wish we were closer so we could thank you in person… please know how impressed we are with your class. Thank you for all the constructive feedback and coaching you have given [my daughter] throughout this semester. She is LOVING your class and it has been such a wonderful experience for her.” (Parent, MI) “Mrs. Serbicki’s Creative Writing Class was the highlight of my school year. The assignments were varied, providing a thorough grounding in many different genres and aspects of writing, and were challenging but not overwhelming. Mrs. Serbicki is very kind and easy to work with, and does a great job of keeping class time and assignments interesting and fun. She is flexible and understanding when schedules clash, and is always happy to lend a helping hand, however big or small the difficulty. I think the most unique aspect of Creative Writing was getting to read and critique my classmates’ writing, and in return getting reviews from them on my own works. Exchanging opinions and hints with your peers and pointing out and helping remedy each others’ weaknesses like that is something few writing classes seem to offer, though I find it very useful – even crucial – to improving my writing.” (Student, PA)

  2. Gorilla Web

    “Covering both the elements and forms of fiction made it unique and well-rounded among the other online creative writing classes that I’ve seen… under [Mrs. Serbicki’s] guidance I actually finished stories – and fine-tuned my narration and plot development, steering me away from melodrama into honest, engaging tales.” (Student, PA)

  3. Gorilla Web

    “We wish we were closer so we could thank you in person… please know how impressed we are with your class. Thank you for all the constructive feedback and coaching you have given [my daughter] throughout this semester. She is LOVING your class and it has been such a wonderful experience for her.” (Parent, MI)

  4. Gorilla Web

    “Mrs. Serbicki’s Creative Writing Class was the highlight of my school year. The assignments were varied, providing a thorough grounding in many different genres and aspects of writing, and were challenging but not overwhelming. Mrs. Serbicki is very kind and easy to work with, and does a great job of keeping class time and assignments interesting and fun. She is flexible and understanding when schedules clash, and is always happy to lend a helping hand, however big or small the difficulty. I think the most unique aspect of Creative Writing was getting to read and critique my classmates’ writing, and in return getting reviews from them on my own works. Exchanging opinions and hints with your peers and pointing out and helping remedy each others’ weaknesses like that is something few writing classes seem to offer, though I find it very useful – even crucial – to improving my writing.” (Student, PA)

  5. Gorilla Web

    “I won a scholarship recently with an essay/speech that I submitted for the VFW´s Voice of Democracy contest. I actually used a lot of creative writing elements in mine, and I really feel like I owe it to your course for sharpening those aspects of my writing and really my writing as a whole. So I did just want to let you know and thank you for the great feedback on my work so far…The scholarship was worth $20,000 to Springhill College.” (Ginny S., student)

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Instructor Bio

Lili Serbicki, Aim Academy English Teacher

Lili Serbicki

Mrs. Serbicki is an experienced Creative Writing and Advanced Placement English instructor with a background in writing, media, and editing. She has been an online English instructor for Aim Academy since 2011. Over the past few years, Mrs. Serbicki’s students have won over 15 Silver Keys and 11 Gold Keys in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. Mrs. Serbicki is a 2009 graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville with a BA in Communication Arts and a Minor in Philosophy. From 2009-2011 she served as the Web/Sales Coordinator for WTOV9, the NBC affiliate in Steubenville, OH.  Her work included managing web traffic, designing and writing copy for web ads and creating effective commercial scripts. She has many years of experience providing student tutoring in areas of writing and mechanics as well as experience in small print publication and editing.

Classes:
Creative Writing
AP English Literature
AP English Language

Email: lserbickiap@gmail.com

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All classes taught by Lili Serbicki