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May 5th, 2011

I'm sending a handful of you who said you were interested (and whose email I already have) the official PDF flyer of the course. You can email me to get a .pdf copy of your own, read this same stuff on my website, or simply continue reading below.

Current Session: June 15-August 10, 2011
Cost: $50 (USD) plus materials
Size Limit: 15 Students

Class is open to all countries and time zones. Payment must be made by Paypal or money order. Your space is reserved with full payment. Contact Heidi Cullinan at heidi.cullinan@mac.com for more information.

  • To gain/review/enhance basic, working understanding of Shakespeare’s contribution to story
  • To identify use of fiction elements in Shakespeare’s theatrical works such as plot development, character, archetypes, genre, and comic relief
  • To identify, analyze, and play with patterns in Shakespeare’s theatrical works
  • To discuss elements of fiction elements in Shakespeare’s theatrical work with instructor and peers in online forum to further explore concepts and discover new avenues of analysis
  • To not offer a “how-to” writing course but rather an academic exploration to enrich general understanding of story construction and function using Shakespeare’s theatrical works as the medium of study

  • Writers with little or no Shakespeare knowledge, writers with some knowledge, writers who used to know this stuff but forgot, and writers with in-depth Shakespeare knowledge
  • Writers who enjoy examining concepts and constructions of fiction, especially in group discussion
  • Writers who wish to further or enrich their craft through study of fictional elements
  • Anyone who reads the “goals of the course” and this syllabus and finds the topic interesting

Shakespeare for Writers will take place on a private blog hosted by Wordpress. Upon payment, class participants will be given the url and password for the blog as well as class syllabus.

The instructor shall give weekly lessons presented on Mondays and Wednesdays. Plays used in each week’s lecture will be listed on the syllabus. Discussion questions will be posted on Thursdays, and there will be discussion in the comment section of all lectures. Suggestions for further exploration/study will be offered on Saturdays and will also be open to comments by students.

One assignment will be near the end of the course. Since this course is not for any kind of credit, the assignment is of course optional, but students are encouraged to complete the assignment so that they might gain as much as possible from the class. Several options for the assignment will be given, varying in focus and depth, and students will also have the option to create individual assignments. Students will have the option to share assignments with the instructor and/or peers. Late assignments will not be accepted for public posting but will be considered for submission to instructor, depending on the instructor’s personal workload.


Discussion participation is not required but is strongly encouraged. The course will be altered and expanded based on the instructor’s sense of the class’s needs and desires, which can only be ascertained through student participation.

The instructor’s vision of this class is casual enlightening, and fun, but she also sees potential for a student to become quite aggressive in his/her pursuit of this subject and will happily encourage such an endeavor. No student should feel pressured to do so, however.



Instructor will be working from Shakesepeare: The Complete Works, edited by G.B. Harrison. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, publishers. Students may purchase own copy, any edition, use a different collection of plays, or find each play as it is assigned. Students may also use online editions of plays, such as http://shakespeare.mit.edu/)

The course blog will remain open to participants until one month before a new session of the course is slated to begin or one year from course start passes, whichever comes first. Students may continue discussions for up to one month past the end of the course, after which time all comment sections will be closed. The instructor is not guaranteed to participate in comments past the end date listed for the course.

All course lectures will be provided to students at the end of the course in .pdf form within one month of class ending.


No class comments may be saved without permission from thread participants, though students may make personal, summarized notes from comments (omitting names).

No part of this course may be reproduced in any form without express permission of the instructor, including the .pdf copy of the lecture series. This information sheet and any information regarding the course, however, may be reproduced in any form and is encouraged to be copied, reposted, and forwarded to all potentially interested parties.


Should an interested student contact the instructor after the course is full, his or her name and email will be saved for a future course and will be placed on a waiting list for the same.


For further information please contact Heidi Cullinan at heidi.cullinan@mac.com.