Offers Free Fiction Writing Course

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Aspiring authors can now enroll for free in the new online fiction writing course from

If you want to write fiction, there are certain basic concepts that you really should understand. is currently accepting free registration at for an eight-week online writing course called Essentials of Fiction Writing.

The course covers various aspects of fiction writing such as character and scene development, plot structure, dialogue, and narrative viewpoint. Students receive weekly lectures by e-mail, along with short writing assignments. The students can share their writing and discuss the lessons in the "Fiction Writers' Salon," a forum area for course participants on the website.

The course is designed to help new fiction writers take their writing to the next level, explains Nancy Strauss, who directs's online study program.

"We try to give students the tools they need," Ms. Strauss says. "We also offer ideas and support for writers who are feeling stuck at some stage in the process."

"If you want to write fiction, there are certain basic concepts that you really should understand -- for example, narrative point of view," says Ms. Strauss, who previously taught creative writing at the University of Michigan. "One of the challenges in developing this course was to communicate these concepts in a very clear and simple way that would work with the e-mail format. People are used to reading e-mails very quickly. We had to distill the information into a form that would be easy to absorb even for someone reading it on a Blackberry."

Ms. Strauss says the course's online format is convenient for people with busy schedules. "The timing is flexible, so you can learn in your free time. If you want, you can post your writing or your questions on the Salon page at night and then check back the next day to read people's comments and continue the discussion."

The free registration offer on will only be available for the launch phase of the course, after which plans to charge a fee at sign-up. "Right now, you can take the whole course for free," Ms. Strauss says. "If you've been thinking about writing fiction, this would be a good time to do something about it."

About is an online resource providing creative writing ideas, support, training, and inspiration to writers and poets at all stages in their writing lives. In addition to one of the largest collections of writing prompts on the Internet, offers online writing courses and step-by-step guides to fiction and poetry writing. is owned by William Victor SL, a content and translation services company based in Madrid, Spain.


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Nancy Strauss

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