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Like a story with a lot of blood and guts? No? Well, hardly anyone does! Good horror is all in the suspense, not the gore: the suspense of not knowing, of suggestion.  The writer wants to creep you out, not gross you out. The longer the suspense can last, of not knowing what lurks behind the closed door, or when the killer will strike, the more horrific the story.

In this class, learn techniques of drawing out suspense, finding the horror in the mundane, and building to a horrifying but satisfying climax.

The class will be structured around studying classic and contemporary horror stories and working toward the completion of one story. Join us in Nov. 6, 2017 at!

Taught by published writer Stacia Levy.

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Writing Classes

Hi, all! Just checking in about which writing classes you might be interested in at Some possibilities:
Writing the Short Story
Writing Short Nonfiction
Novel Beginnings, Middles, and Ends
The Plot
The Scene
Showing vs. Telling
These are all possibilities for classes in which we read, write, and chat about our work.
Post or PM me about your interests.



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Course on Plot at Starts July 10.


Often novice writers feel comfortable with developing three-dimensional, believable characters. But what good are these characters if we don’t see them in action? Action is a matter of plot, which many writers feel less comfortable with. We’ll develop our plots and understanding of plot in this class to write one story. We’ll focus on such issues as inciting event, complications, and climax, and learning how to connect the plot to character, making character and plot inextricably related. Class starts July 10.


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Advanced Fiction Classes

Tired of the same old short story classes that focus on character, plot, setting, and theme? If you are ready to go beyond these basics to study more advanced issues of fiction writing, take Advanced Short Stories with award-winning fiction writer Stacia Levy. The class will explore such advanced fiction issues as unconventional point of view, unreliable narrator, nonlinear plots, and the story universe through studying noted short fiction and completing at least one short story. Classes begins June 12 and August 7.
See the writer’s website for more details or message me.
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The Future of Online Education

What do you think Sierra College will look like ten years from now and what will be the role of the online program?  

To answer this question, I’d like to start by referring to the case of National University, a private university that serves mostly graduate students. I’ve taught there for about fifteen years, in the teacher education program. Over the past five years, I’ve watched the onsite classes shrink as well as the building itself–the university recently moved to a smaller facility. Almost all of the classes are being held online now. This saves the students, many of whom work and have families, the difficulty of commuting to classes, and it saves the institution the considerable costs of renting/buying and maintaining the facility.

Is this Sierra College’s destiny? Somehow I doubt it. Sierra tends to serve a younger or less experienced student population. It is a public college with a campus that has a long history. The school, unlike most community colleges, even has dorms. I don’t believe in the foreseeable future the campus will go all or mostly online.

That said, I see online instruction playing a larger and larger role in the future, not just at Sierra, but throughout education in general, and globally. Online classes are no longer the “ugly stepsister” of education but fully and legitimately part of the educational experience. Some students take online classes simply because it’s their preferred learning mode, and they find interacting online easier than face-to-face. Online classes may not replace the traditional classroom at Sierra, but they will take on an equal role, serving those students who either prefer the online experience or find attending a traditional class impractical or difficult, whether it is due to schedule or location.