A Poetry Workshop MOOC – Week 4

I still have fun with the course (see first post on the topic), but this week has been a bit less enjoyable for me. The feedback for the first assignment was underwhelming, to put it mildly. While one of the reviewers was OK and made an effort, the other one graded complete nonsense and neither read nor understood the instructions nor the questions. Now, if I’d be a paying customer who wants a certificate, I’d make a fuss. As it is: water off a duck’s back. I was a bit miffed though, since I put a lot of thought and effort into my own reviews and grading.

I should have remembered, it’s not untypical for MOOCs to get such wildly varying reviews.

Anyway, this week the topic was rhyme. We learned about true rhymes and slant rhymes, about lipograms and alliterations and the strength that restraint can give to a piece of writing. Now, that’s something flash fiction writers know very well.

The prompts were: write a lipogram (only use words with the same vowel, no other vowels allowed, like hat, cat, sat, fat…) and pick a poem or song, take the end rhymes from this and make your own poem out of them.

Continue reading “A Poetry Workshop MOOC – Week 4”

A Poetry Workshop MOOC – Week 3

The course is fun (see previous post on the topic), I’m sailing through the theoretical part and learn a lot. I’m seeing poetry with different eyes and my admiration for poets has grown immensely.

The practical aspect of the course, however, leaves me in despair. All too often, I hardly unerstand what the prompt is. The forums do help, but not much since there is little feedback. I’m not going to post my offerings there. I’m torturing you, my friends, you’re kind.

This weeks topic was metaphors and similes. The prompts were to write a conceit and to develop a focused image system. Oh my…

Continue reading “A Poetry Workshop MOOC – Week 3”

A Poetry Workshop MOOC – Week 2

There I was, thinking that writing prose in another language was difficult. Hah, little did I know. In this loveley course I’m taking to learn more about poetry (see previous post on the topic) I’ve now tried my hand at actually, deliberately writing a poem. This. Is. So. Difficult.

And I’m still having fun with it. For those of you who write poetry regularly and know your way around things like imagery and abstractions, it may be old news, but for me this is a great challenge.

Continue reading “A Poetry Workshop MOOC – Week 2”

A Poetry Workshop MOOC – Back To The Roots

In 2014 I started this blog because I wanted to improve my writing. I didn’t exactly know what to write about, but since I was taking a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at the time, I wrote about those a bit. I registered with coursera and loved it.
I also posted a few pieces of creative writing, but there never was much feedback (me being painfully introvert and this not being such a popular blog) until I found Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers.

Continue reading “A Poetry Workshop MOOC – Back To The Roots”

MOOC on Coursera: Creative Writing

moocIn the beginning of my blogging life, I tried to find out what to write about and mainly focussed on Massive Open Online Courses, MOOCs. I took several courses on several platforms and loved them all. It really is a great opportunity to either advance your career, or, if you’re old like me, learn about topics that always interested you but were somewhat out of reach. Not any more: MOOCs make it possible to study almost every topic online, very often for free.

As my writerly friends may have noticed over time, I’m not the most confident writer and always want to improve and learn. At some time I read so many books about writing that I didn’t have time for writing… err… I’m still short on time, which seems just the right time to look into MOOCs again. So I was browsing  Coursera and found the specialization for Creative Writing. This consists of several courses about writing. It also offers the opportunity to interact with other learners or contact the instructors. While the specialization itself isn’t cheap, it’s possible to audit the course (click on ‘Enroll’ and then on ‘audit’ at the bottom of the window). You can see the lectures, participate in the assignments, and more. Needless to say that I’ve been jumping on it. Maybe some of you are interested, too. Check it out: Specialization: Creative Writing

Edit: Joy Pixley kindly looked up the price for the subscription: it’s 41$ per month (or 49? or maybe different for different courses…)?As I understand it, you pay as long as you take the courses thus the faster you are the cheaper it gets. However, the audits are free (not all specializations offer free audits, that’s why I’m so pleased about this one). I’m planning to audit these courses and will write a bit more about it. I can see the assignments, I’m not sure though if I can participate in them, or in the discussion forums. This isn’t something that bothers me too much, but it might be interesting to know, so I’ll keep you posted.


MOOCy Monday: My Write101 online course

1A few weeks ago I wrote about an online course, Write101 on EdX, from the University of Queensland. It focuses on grammar and style. I announced that I’d audit it actively (this means no pay, but participating in the assignments), but I’ve since changed my mind.

I’ll continue auditing the course, but I’m not going to submit the assignments. This is not an easy course. There are grammar MOOCs out there where you can simply rush through with a minimum of work, and the quizzes are simple enough. Not so this one. Continue reading “MOOCy Monday: My Write101 online course”

Look, a Moocy Monday – Write101

1One of the reasons for starting this blog was my obsession with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Imagine, courses about anything and everything online and free for everyone! Not just quick tutorials, but professional, usually university-based courses. When I discovered these, I felt as if I’d discovered heaven. To finally get an idea about things that interested me, but for which I never got the opportunity to learn about–here was the chance to do just that.

I took many courses, learned a lot. But eventually I wanted to get back into fiction writing again, and I don’t have enough time to do both seriously. So I cut back on the MOOCs and focussed on writing. But now a course has started (again, it runs regularly) that has interested me for some time, and I thought, now or never. It’s about grammar and style, and as a non-native English writer, I really need it…

The course is Write101 from the University of Queensland. If you’re interested, check it out. It is available as a verified course (for a fee), and also as a free course without certificate. I will probably post the assignments for this course here. These are peer-reviewed and don’t need to go on a blog, but I would appreciate your feedback, too.

I could just audit, but I want to go through the assignments, that forces me to keep at it. As does posting about it here.


Moocy Monday: What’s going on?

1I haven’t written about MOOCs in a while, and feel slightly guilty. The reason for not writing is that I’m not participating, or even auditing any MOOCs at the moment. I’m just not in the mood. There are so many interesting courses, and one of my problems certainly is, that instead of focussing on one thing, I have to have them all, hopping around, and then not doing anything. That’s how I function, sorry about that. Jack of all trades and master of nothing, that’s about it.

I’ve been thinking about adding a ‘Meandering Monday’ to my posting schedule, in order to be more flexible. Maybe later, maybe not, I’m not sure yet. Despite all the whining, there is a bit I can share: Continue reading “Moocy Monday: What’s going on?”

MOOCy Monday: This and That

1What is going on in the world of learning for me?

A lot, and not so much. 🙂

I’ve signed up to a lot of astronomy courses, but didn’t follow up. I download the videos to watch them later, always in fear that the courses won’t be repeated and if I don’t sign up now, I won’t get another chance.


This is silly, I know, because by now there are a lot of courses about so many topics on so many platforms.

Continue reading “MOOCy Monday: This and That”

MOOCy Monday: Still learning design

Introduction to graphic design is still far too much fun. I talked about this last week already. I’ll probably talk about it next week, too.

I’ve done my homework and designed away. I also made images for my four themes. Feedback of peers is good, there’s a friendly sharing and learning atmosphere. And, since there isn’t much else to say, I’ll just show what I did.  Here are the four theme designs. I’m certain there’ll be changes over time, but for now, I like them.

Continue reading “MOOCy Monday: Still learning design”