Notes from An Alien

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Tag Archives: International Writing Program

Free Online Poetry and Playwriting Course Begins July 17th !


This course runs from July 17, 2017 to September 5, 2017Power of the Pen

Here’s more from the Information Release I received:

“On July 17, 2017, the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa will open “Power of the Pen: Identities and Social Issues in Poetry and Plays”, a free massive open online course. This creative writing MOOC will focus on writing about identities, communities, and social issues in poetry and plays. There is no cost to enroll; registration is completely free for all participants. No writing experience is required. This MOOC welcomes writers of all communities and identities.”

You can Sign Up here

And, here’s a Course Overview:

This MOOC will:

  • Encourage you to experiment in both poetry writing and playwriting

  • Encourage you to explore the intersections between these two genres

  • Encourage you to explore the intersections of individual, community, and global identities

  • Encourage you to examine the effect of current social issues on individual, community, and global identities

  • Foreground the principles of writing poetry and plays

  • Support your experience of creative and cultural exchange with writers around the world!

For more detailed info and a Class Schedule Go Here

But, I should mention, there’s “…a way for you to earn formal recognition for your work.”

So, check out the folks conducting the course in this video:


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#MainStreetWriters & Virtual Worlds


19 days ago I published a post that detailed the goals of the Main Street Writers Movement:Two Author Friends in The State of Writing -- Kitely

  1. To encourage my neighbor writers in the creation of art.
  1. To attend local literary events, because gathering to discuss ideas and encourage creativity is an essential and radical act in these times.
  1. To support my independent bookstore or, if I don’t have one, order direct from the publisher.
  1. To foster a healthy small press and literary magazine climate by reading new work and submitting my own.
  1. To introduce new friends to my core community, allowing us to grow louder and stronger together.
  1. To credit writers and presses publicly for their ideas, photos, and efforts, and to be genuine with praise.
  1. To celebrate every success in my community as a shared success. This is Main Street. Parades welcome.

And, to address the import of the first image up there, it shows two of my author friends (Ali Noel Vyain and Jane Watson) in the virtual world, The State of Writing, on the virtual grid Kitely.

World Portals in Virtual World Kitely We recently, thanks to the owner, author, Jane Watson, began to discuss  Main Street Writers as it relates to her Worlds.

Even though the Movement stresses local engagement, my first awareness of it was from an author in London—it seems to be going global while it establishes itself in localities

And, as far as the virtual worlds I visit, there are writers from Ohio, Indiana, Maryland, California, Germany, Australia, and the Country of Georgia (among other locations on the Earth)

In Jane’s worlds, whether we’re sitting in a cafe, climbing a mountain, taking a boat ride, hang-gliding, or walking under water, we constantly come back to talking about reading, writing, editing, publishing, and other writerly topics… Marina in State of Writing - Kitely virtual world

So, you can join Main Street Writers as a person “…who wishes more people were reading and talking about literature.“

And, you can come join us writers and artists in Jane Watson’s virtual worlds.

Here are a few guidelines for entering Kitely and finding Jane’s worlds:

Go to Kitely.com and join up for free.

 Kitely works best with the Firestorm virtual world viewer—you definitely want the one that says “Opensim” in the description…

Most viewers have the Kitely grid predefined, so you can select it from a menu. For example, in Firestorm the Menu is labeled “Grid” and is located under where you enter your username and password.

When you first enter Kitely you will find yourself at the Welcome area, where can choose your first avatar.

Then, go to the Explore World Pages on the Kitely webpage and enter State of Writing in the Search Bar.

Though, you might want to visit another world of Jane’s called Avatari—you can find a bunch of different avatars there, grab as many as you want…

When you’ve logged in, find the avatar, Arton Tripsa, in search. To facilitate contact you may offer her Friendship and she’ll invite you to the Writers Island Group and, if necessary, send you some LandMarks to help you get around…

If you’re baffled by these instructions, send me an email, amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com, and I’ll have Jane contact you directly and help you enter her virtual worlds :-)

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13 to 19-Year-Olds Writing #Poetry !


Teen Poetry MOOC

Teen Poetry MOOC

Normally, I do a re-blog on Thursdays…

However, since yesterday I published a post about Emily Dickinson and also received an email from the International Writing Program at The University of Iowa about a free course in poetry writing, I must jump in and spread the word :-)

If you’re 13-19 years old… Well, I should let the IWP tell their own story:

#Flashwrite Teen Poetry MOOC

March 30-May 3, 2016: The IWP will offer its first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) designed exclusively for teenage students. Writers age 13-19 are invited to write new poems and to share and discuss their work with fellow writers around the world. No writing experience is necessary: this MOOC will welcome new writers and challenge experienced poets. This MOOC will be taught here on NovoEd, a website for creative collaborative learning. Registration is free!

And, there’s this:

Early College Credit Opportunity

Students who complete this #Flashwrite MOOC may continue on to take an optional #Flashwrite Workshop for University of Iowa undergraduate credit.

May 16-June 13, 2016: Students who complete the #Flashwrite MOOC may enroll in an optional University of Iowa #Flashwrite Teen Poetry Workshop for one university credit. Each online workshop will be taught by a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop with a substantial teaching and publication record and will be limited to 15 students. Enrollment requirements: completion of the #Flashwrite Teen Poetry MOOC and payment of a $398 USD tuition fee.

For more info, Go Here


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Not Much Time Left To Sign-Up for FREE Creative Writing Course !


I wish I’d heard about this sooner but I’m grateful my Best Friend’s Best Friend noticed this MOOC.

Don’t know what a MOOC is?

A Massive Open Online Course and here’s a link to Lots of MOOCs

The one I’m featuring today is at the University of Iowa, sponsored by their International Writing Program, and called How Writers Write Fiction.

Iowa City, Iowa

Image Courtesy of Google Earth

The course begins Friday, September 26th and runs through Friday, November 21st.

The instructors will contextualize the contributing authors’ video talks, encourage online discussion, and offer writing assignments. A team of fiction moderators will join the instructors in leading discussion and hosting live online fiction workshops.

You will be able to participate in How Writers Write Fiction 24 hours per day, seven days per week, as it suits your schedule. Our course moderators will be actively leading discussion in the forum almost around the clock. No matter where you live, you will be able to interact in real time with your fellow fiction writers.

Each week, we will post a new video class and a new writing assignment. You will be invited to post your writing exercise for discussion with your fellow fiction writers. We will select a small representative sample of the writing exercises for formal weekly workshops led by the moderators.

Here’s the link for yet more details and the place to sign-up

Don’t forget, it’s FREE and you can take part wearing whatever you wish… :-)

And, here’s a video of the professors in charge:


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