Affiliate Program

Writing the Personal Column

Lynn Ruth Miller

Current Openings: Yes

Ever read an opinion column and think to yourself, "I can do better than that?" Newspapers are filled with columns about kids, food, trivia, and humor that ordinary people have convinced an editor is worth sharing with others. These topics are drawn from their own personal experience and can be philosophical food for thought, advice on coping with the challenges of life, or a humorous take on the world today. They can discuss dogs, children, food, or astrology: anything you want to share with others. In this class you will take pen in hand and write those thoughts out for others to read. You will have an opportunity to see if you can evoke a smile, a nod, or a yawn.

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Course Type:

Private Mentoring


To write a series of columns that strike a universal chord in your readers.

Learner Prerequisites

Someone who loves to tell stories.

Start Date On-going, open enrollment.
Duration 8 lessons at your pace.
Limit N/A
Class Materials

A computer that uses Microsoft Word™ and e-mail capacity.

Cost $240
Tutorial Option Additional mentoring and critiquing is available from the instructor. The fee is $45 per hour. Please contact [email protected] to register.

Course Outline

Lesson 1: Discussion of topics or theme for the column & the basic components of good writing.

Lesson 2: Writing the first column - 750 words

Lesson 3: Rework this column and discuss the topic for the next essay.

Lesson 4: Write the next column.

Lesson 5: Rework and tighten this column.

Lesson 6: Do another column on a different theme.

Lesson 7: Rework that column.

Lesson 8: Proper formatting for submission to newspapers, newsletters and magazines.

Instructor Bio

Lynn Ruth Miller has two Masters Degrees, one in Education & Creative Arts and the other in Communication. She has taught several years at both the elementary and university level and has been doing freelance writing for magazines and newspapers for over thirty-five years. Her features have been published in over one hundred periodicals and she occasionally writes a humor column for the Pacifica Tribune called THOUGHTS WHILE WALKING THE DOG. Her published books are STARVING HEARTS, an autobiographical novel about growing up in the fifties and a selection of those columns, THOUGHTS WHILE WALKING THE DOG, MORE THOUGHTS WHILE WALKING THE DOG and a CD of her readings, THOUGHTS AND MORE THOUGHTS. She is a contributor to the A CUP OF COMFORT series, including the cookbook that was released October 14, 2001 and THE ROCKING CHAIR READER series published by Adams Publications, and CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE GRANDMOTHER'S SOUL.