FAQ for IMPROVE YOUR WRITING: Ten Essential Tools for Streamlining Your Sentences, a self-paced online course.
When do the courses begin?
Each course begins whenever it's convenient for you after you've completed your enrollment. New content – text, audio, video, downloadable documents and discussions – will be available each week. I’ll notify you by e-mail when new lessons are ready, and you can follow the links directly into our online space.
Do I have to participate at specifically scheduled times?
No, you don't! The course is completely asynchronous, which means you can participate at any time you wish, when it's convenient for you! No worries about scheduling, or living in different time zones.
How long do I have to complete the course?
As long as you'd like. Work whenever you wish, whether two in the morning or one in the afternoon. It's entirely up to you. You'll have lifetime access to the course, so you can revisit the content at any time.
Do I have to complete the assignments?
It's entirely up to you. The proven way to truly master learn, however, is for you to apply what you're learning by completing the assignments. If you don't, you're short-changing yourself. The assignments have been specifically designed with your learning in mind - complete them and you'll master new skills, leave them out and you won't. It's that simple.
Can't I learn all this material on my own?
Sure you can. That's what the internet, craft books and MFA programs are for. The difference is I've already done all the heavy lifting for you:
- I've curated all the best resources out there so you don't have to waste valuable time sorting through vast quantities of information;
- I've designed the curriculum to ensure you enjoy every simple, yet rigorous, lesson;
- I've studied countless craft books and reviewed hundreds of manuscripts over many years, and have selected only the most critical lessons you need to learn to vastly improve your writing; and
- I've made sure that within each course you get to apply the lessons to your own work, so what you learn will benefit you not only now, but will also stick with you for the rest of your writing life.
Who facilitates the course?
I, Joan Dempsey, am your guide. I’m a published writer and teacher of writing with advanced degrees in both from Antioch University Los Angeles. I love working with writers and I'll be with you every step of the way during your course.
When can I interact with Joan?
I will always be monitoring your progress, commenting on your work in the comments section, and be available via e-mail to respond your questions, comments, or suggestions ([email protected]). I'm on US Eastern Standard time and will be checking in numerous times a day, Monday through Thursday, to see what you're up to. (Friday I focus entirely on my own writing.)
Will I interact with other participants?
You bet! Learning from each other is as important a part of your learning experience as working with me. There are a variety of settings for getting notified about activity in the course so you won't miss a thing.
That said, some of the courses end up with hundreds of participants, and in that case I deliberately design the curriculum so that you can participate without getting overwhelmed by overcrowded discussions. I will read every comment, but you can choose how or if you want to participate in discussions. Nothing worse that feeling deluged, so I make sure you don't have to experience that.
You have control over how you get notified about new activity in the course, too, so you can control how much e-mail you receive. No sense crashing your in-box!
I'm not that computer savvy - is the course hard to navigate?
No. Ruzuku has designed an online learning environment that's streamlined and simple to navigate. Ruzuku has helpful and friendly online support, and I can also help if you run into trouble. Complicated tech stuff can be frustrating, so the course design is deliberately simple. So far all participants have easily managed.
Is the course accessible to people of all abilities?
Mostly, yes. I do my best to make sure there are both audible and visual options available for every lesson. Videos have closed captions, text has audio download options. If you are visually challenged, you'll need to use your own methods for accessing my emails and the comments within the Ruzuku system, since I have no way to provide audio versions for those things, much as I'd like to. I'm always open to suggestions about how to improve accessibility, too.
I'm having trouble with registration. Help!
If you've already paid and haven't yet gotten the link to finish registration and enter the course, do let me know right away and I'll get back to you as soon as I possibly can. Thanks in advance for your patience - I work alone and have to sleep (and write) but I promise I want to address your difficulties as quickly as I can. In the meantime, check your spam folder, too, in case my welcome email got trapped in there.
I'm on a limited income - do you have scholarships or discounts?
I don't. The price of each course has been set to be as reasonable for you as possible while still allowing me fair compensation (I'm a sole proprietor and a working writer). Compared to similar online courses, my prices are fair. Each course includes a payment plan option, which allows you to pay reasonable installments over time (great for cash flow issues).
I'm looking for one-on-one help with my work - can Joan help?
Yes, depending on availability - I'm often pretty booked up. But I love working with writers, and would love to explore the possibility of working with you! You can learn more here.