WORKSHOP: Writing with Authority - How Does It Work?


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I've had some recent questions about how our Pennwriters Online course will be conducted. See if this helps to explain it a bit better:

1. When you sign up for the class, you'll receive access to a Yahoo group. Follow this link to an example of one:

2. Once you sign up and are invited (by the Pennwriters moderator) to our Yahoo group, you'll be able to see an area for MESSAGES and FILES.

3. On Friday, April 1, 2011, we'll post a welcome and introduction in the MESSAGES. This will include details on how to select your writing project (novel beginning, short story, article) for the course.

4. Every Sunday, you can email your revised project (revised based on information from the new lesson) to so we know you're on the right track and to see if there's any individualized help we can offer. If you can't get your assignments to us right away, no problem. This is at your pace over the five weeks.

5. Every Monday, we'll post a little lesson in the MESSAGES section. You don't have to be online when we post it, check it at your convenience that day or any time before the next one goes up.

6. After completing the evaluation at the end of the course, you'll receive the free pdf articles from the MANY GENRES writing guide and any other pertinent information, so you can download those to your computer and keep them.

7. You can also post messages for us in the MESSAGES section any time during the course or just email me directly.

8. The last day of class is Monday, May 2, 2011.

Online Course

INSTRUCTORS: Jason Jack Miller and Heidi Ruby Miller

DATE: April 1 – May 2, 2011


COURSE DESCRIPTION: The easiest way to engage your reader is by using concrete nouns and action verbs. In this one-month online course, Seton Hill University creative writing faculty Jason Jack Miller and Heidi Ruby Miller will show you how to analyze your writing and use easy techniques that will increase the authority of your voice.

Participants will:
* Discover how to spot passive voice
* Scrutinize their writing for generic nouns and indefinite pronouns
* Learn to avoid weak verbs and overuse of “be” in all its forms
* Practice using strong synonyms to find the best action verb
* Apply word cloud research to make their plot come alive

FREE BONUS: Course participants will receive a free excerpt (.pdf) from the new writing guide, MANY GENRES, ONE CRAFT: LESSONS IN WRITING POPULAR FICTION (Headline Books, Inc.) edited by Heidi Ruby Miller and Michael A. Arnzen with contributions from Jason Jack Miller et al.

TUITION: $79 ($89 non-Pennwriters members) $89 ($99 non-Pennwriters members)

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS: Heidi Ruby Miller is the co-editor of the writing guide, Many Genres, One Craft: Lessons in Writing Popular Fiction. A graduate from Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction Program, she has authored dozens of publications. Before becoming a full-time writer and adjunct faculty at Seton Hill University, Heidi worked as a contract archaeologist, an educational marketing coordinator, a foreign currency exchanger, and a world language teacher. To learn more about Heidi Ruby Miller, visit or email her at

Jason Jack Miller is a writer, photographer and musician whose work has appeared online and in print in newspapers, magazines and literary journals, and as a smart phone travel app. He has co-authored a travel guide with his wife Heidi and served as a photographer-in-residence. Jason is an Authors Guild member who received a Master’s in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University where he is adjunct creative writing faculty. To learn more about Jason Jack Miller, visit or email him at

* Subscribe to the Pennwriters Online Courses announcement list for email on our latest workshops:


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