Welcome to SPACE, our adult continuing education program which offers interactive monthly courses for personal enrichment! Learn more here.

New to the Directory

Courses added in the last 30 days (newest first)

Creative Writing: Anatomy of a Scene (Novel in a Year) Continuing Series

Added Sept. 20, 2023
A scene is arguably the most fundamental building block of a story, but is often overlooked in creative writing courses. In this craft-focused module, you will dissect the structure of a great scene, building on what you previously learned about character, setting and structure. Considering short examples from classic books, films and TV shows, you will discover the key questions to enhance your scenes and explore different types of narrative conflict on the scene level. In a supportive, kindness-first workshop, you will have the opportunity to share and develop individual scenes. As you continue your journey with your novel and reflect upon it in your journal, this module will help you craft scenes with intentionality and precision.

Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time.* Each module is designed to stand alone without strict prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. Whether you are looking to publish commercially or simply writing for yourself, our program is designed to nurture your individual writing journey. Our workshops place kindness first, lifting up excellence and encouraging you to tell your story in your own voice. For more information about our Collaborative Feedback model, check out our video.

•••The only exception is Novel in a Year 11: Workshop, which is designed specifically for the cohort.•••

Collaborative Feedback: A method of supportive feedback which lifts up excellence and encourages your own story in your own voice. You will read and comment kindly on others’ work as well as having the option to share your own writing (which we very much hope you will do). For more information, check out our video.
Precepted by Julian Barr.

Creative Writing: Character & Voice (Novel in a Year) Continuing Series

Added Sept. 20, 2023
In this craft-focused module, you will discover techniques of characterization and voice, two of the biggest things readers are looking for. You will see how a character’s verbal and non-verbal communication reveals who they are, while also developing your own individual narrative voice. In class, you will analyze film clips and excerpts from published authors to unpack their techniques, before applying them in short writing exercises. In workshops, you will have the opportunity to share your novel-in-progress and receive feedback in a kindness-first, supportive environment. In your journal, you will track your progress and moments of unexpected, joyful discovery as you continue your novel. The module aims to hone your skills in creating organic dialogue, and boost your confidence in your own voice.

Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time.* Each module is designed to stand alone without strict prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. Whether you are looking to publish commercially or simply writing for yourself, our program is designed to nurture your individual writing journey. Our workshops place kindness first, lifting up excellence and encouraging you to tell your story in your own voice. For more information about our Collaborative Feedback model, check out our video.

•••The only exception is Novel in a Year 11: Workshop, which is designed specifically for the cohort.•••

Collaborative Feedback: A method of supportive feedback which lifts up excellence and encourages your own story in your own voice. You will read and comment kindly on others’ work as well as having the option to share your own writing (which we very much hope you will do). For more information, check out our video.

Creative Writing: Emotional Stakes (Novel in a Year) Continuing Series

Added Sept. 20, 2023
What’s at stake? What’s the motive? What’s the value behind it all? What are the deeply held beliefs which drive our characters’ ethical choices? What makes our heroes admirable and our villains reprehensible and our fools silly? How can their personalities develop over time? You will write — and we hope you will share! — scenes, backstory, character interviews and more, exploring different theories of adult development to find the right fit for your character and your story; you’ll support your fellow authors’ efforts, too. Your simple writing journal will capture your insights as you follow your characters around to see what they get up to next. This class will help you understand why on earth they did that, and what they might do next.

Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time.* Each module is designed to stand alone without strict prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. Whether you are looking to publish commercially or simply writing for yourself, our program is designed to nurture your individual writing journey. Our workshops place kindness first, lifting up excellence and encouraging you to tell your story in your own voice. For more information about our Collaborative Feedback model, check out our video.

•••The only exception is Novel in a Year 11: Workshop, which is designed specifically for the cohort.•••

Collaborative Feedback: A method of supportive feedback which lifts up excellence and encourages your own story in your own voice. You will read and comment kindly on others’ work as well as having the option to share your own writing (which we very much hope you will do). For more information, check out our video.
Precepted by Sparrow Alden and Carol Oliver.

Creative Writing: Late-Stage Revisions (Novel in a Year) Continuing Series

Added Sept. 20, 2023
(description forthcoming)

Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time.* Each module is designed to stand alone without strict prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. Whether you are looking to publish commercially or simply writing for yourself, our program is designed to nurture your individual writing journey. Our workshops place kindness first, lifting up excellence and encouraging you to tell your story in your own voice. For more information about our Collaborative Feedback model, check out our video.

•••The only exception is Novel in a Year 11: Workshop, which is designed specifically for the cohort.•••

Collaborative Feedback: A method of supportive feedback which lifts up excellence and encourages your own story in your own voice. You will read and comment kindly on others’ work as well as having the option to share your own writing (which we very much hope you will do). For more information, check out our video.
Precepted by Carol Oliver and Will Estes.

Creative Writing: Pitching Your Story (Novel in a Year) Continuing Series

Added Sept. 20, 2023
Congratulations! You've written an epic manuscript. What comes next? In this module, it’s time to celebrate with your peers, discover how to make your story irresistible to potential buyers and entice readers to pick up your book! In class, you will analyze examples of successful pitches before developing your own in fun, engaging exercises. In a kindness-first workshop, you will have the opportunity to develop your query letter, synopsis and blurb, before finessing your verbal pitch. Whether you seek a traditional publishing deal, indie publishing, or are writing for yourself, this module will help you sell the sizzle in your narrative and appreciate your work for the gem that it is.

Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time.* Each module is designed to stand alone without strict prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. Whether you are looking to publish commercially or simply writing for yourself, our program is designed to nurture your individual writing journey. Our workshops place kindness first, lifting up excellence and encouraging you to tell your story in your own voice. For more information about our Collaborative Feedback model, check out our video.

•••The only exception is Novel in a Year 11: Workshop, which is designed specifically for the cohort.•••

Collaborative Feedback: A method of supportive feedback which lifts up excellence and encourages your own story in your own voice. You will read and comment kindly on others’ work as well as having the option to share your own writing (which we very much hope you will do). For more information, check out our video.
Precepted by Julian Barr.

Creative Writing: Plot & Structure (Novel in a Year) First in the Series

Added Sept. 20, 2023
Are you up for an adventure? Whether you plan ahead or improvise, begin right here with as little as blank page and a vague idea. You will learn about two characteristics of a story this month: developing your plot threads and designing a story structure that will serve your unique tale. We’ll examine how plot threads can influence each other to amplify your story’s impact. By studying different story structure methods, you’ll discover or possibly invent the right structure to carry your tale. Using a very simple writing journal, you’ll identify your strengths as an author and techniques for your toolbox. Every session will feature discussion, writing exercises, and — best of all — Collaborative Feedback on our stories.

Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time.* Each module is designed to stand alone without strict prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. Whether you are looking to publish commercially or simply writing for yourself, our program is designed to nurture your individual writing journey. Our workshops place kindness first, lifting up excellence and encouraging you to tell your story in your own voice. For more information about our Collaborative Feedback model, check out our video.

•••The only exception is Novel in a Year 11: Workshop, which is designed specifically for the cohort.•••

Collaborative Feedback: A method of supportive feedback which lifts up excellence and encourages your own story in your own voice. You will read and comment kindly on others’ work as well as having the option to share your own writing (which we very much hope you will do). For more information, check out our video.
Precepted by Sparrow Alden and Catherine Conners.

Creative Writing: Revising the Muddy Middle (Novel in a Year) Continuing Series

Added Sept. 20, 2023
So you’ve started drafting your novel - now what? In this module, you will learn strategies for working through the muddy middle part of a draft and approaching your first revision. As your project reaches its midpoint, you will learn how to approach the entire draft with fresh eyes, how to do large-scale developmental edits for plot, character arcs, and stakes. We will continue using your writing journal as a tool to explore your own revision process, and have opportunities for collaborative feedback and discussion during class.

Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time.* Each module is designed to stand alone without strict prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. Whether you are looking to publish commercially or simply writing for yourself, our program is designed to nurture your individual writing journey. Our workshops place kindness first, lifting up excellence and encouraging you to tell your story in your own voice. For more information about our Collaborative Feedback model, check out our video.

•••The only exception is Novel in a Year 11: Workshop, which is designed specifically for the cohort.•••

Collaborative Feedback: A method of supportive feedback which lifts up excellence and encourages your own story in your own voice. You will read and comment kindly on others’ work as well as having the option to share your own writing (which we very much hope you will do). For more information, check out our video.
Precepted by Catherine Conners.

Creative Writing: Setting & Worldbuilding (Novel in a Year) Continuing Series

Added Sept. 20, 2023
In this module, you will discover how to make your story's setting a vivid and fully-realized character in its own right! Through fun and engaging writing exercises, you will learn techniques to create immersive environments that grow and change along with your characters. Find out how to use sensory details to create a feeling of place in your story. In workshops, you will have the opportunity to share your novel-in-progress and receive feedback in a kindness-first, supportive environment. In your journal, you will continue to document the process of writing your novel as your story unfolds.

Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time.* Each module is designed to stand alone without strict prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. Whether you are looking to publish commercially or simply writing for yourself, our program is designed to nurture your individual writing journey. Our workshops place kindness first, lifting up excellence and encouraging you to tell your story in your own voice. For more information about our Collaborative Feedback model, check out our video.

•••The only exception is Novel in a Year 11: Workshop, which is designed specifically for the cohort.•••

Collaborative Feedback: A method of supportive feedback which lifts up excellence and encourages your own story in your own voice. You will read and comment kindly on others’ work as well as having the option to share your own writing (which we very much hope you will do). For more information, check out our video.
Precepted by Julian Barr.

Creative Writing: The Different Body Problem (Novel in a Year) Continuing Series

Added Sept. 20, 2023


It's a sometimes inconvenient fact that characters have bodies, and sometimes, those bodies directly affect the stories we write about them. Writing characters who live in bodies that do not perform according to the cultural standard is a skill like any other part of the writer's craft.

In this course, we will look at examples from literature of how authors have dealt with what we usually call disabilities. Some have done well, others have materially harmed people with their writing.

We will also work with one another to hone our craft as writers who are telling stories so that we can find the new and inspirational, while leaving behind the worn-out clichés that make the lives of people like your preceptor materially harder.

Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time.* Each module is designed to stand alone without strict prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. Whether you are looking to publish commercially or simply writing for yourself, our program is designed to nurture your individual writing journey. Our workshops place kindness first, lifting up excellence and encouraging you to tell your story in your own voice. For more information about our Collaborative Feedback model, check out our video.

•••The only exception is Novel in a Year 11: Workshop, which is designed specifically for the cohort.•••

Collaborative Feedback: A method of supportive feedback which lifts up excellence and encourages your own story in your own voice. You will read and comment kindly on others’ work as well as having the option to share your own writing (which we very much hope you will do). For more information, check out our video.
Precepted by Christopher Bartlett.

Creative Writing: Tree Workshop (Novel in a Year) Continuing Series

Added Sept. 20, 2023
(description forthcoming)

Note: Whilst all other Novel in a Year modules are intended to be welcome for anyone to join in any month, this iteration of Creative Writing: Workshop is designed specifically for the cohort.

Collaborative Feedback: A method of supportive feedback which lifts up excellence and encourages your own story in your own voice. You will read and comment kindly on others’ work as well as having the option to share your own writing (which we very much hope you will do). For more information, check out our video.
Precepted by Sparrow Alden.

Creative Writing: Worskshop (Novel in a Year) Continuing Series

Added Sept. 20, 2023
We will meet to blend learning, discussion, and playing games with reading, appreciating, and commenting on one another’s work as it is submitted for peer review. You are encouraged — but never required — to submit new pieces in any state of draftiness or readiness for peer reading and feedback. Our Collaborative Feedback method, developed here at Signum University, asks you to comment at the author's comfort level through a structured reader (not editor) response. We gather to encourage the story that you want to tell. Our philosophy of kindness first might just turn around your previous experience of writing groups.

Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time.* Each module is designed to stand alone without strict prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. Whether you are looking to publish commercially or simply writing for yourself, our program is designed to nurture your individual writing journey. Our workshops place kindness first, lifting up excellence and encouraging you to tell your story in your own voice. For more information about our Collaborative Feedback model, check out our video.

•••The only exception is Novel in a Year 11: Workshop, which is designed specifically for the cohort.•••

Collaborative Feedback: A method of supportive feedback which lifts up excellence and encourages your own story in your own voice. You will read and comment kindly on others’ work as well as having the option to share your own writing (which we very much hope you will do). For more information, check out our video.
Precepted by Sparrow Alden and Will Estes.

Creative Writing: Worskshop (Novel in a Year) Continuing Series

Added Sept. 20, 2023
We will meet to blend learning, discussion, and playing games with reading, appreciating, and commenting on one another’s work as it is submitted for peer review. You are encouraged — but never required — to submit new pieces in any state of draftiness or readiness for peer reading and feedback. Our Collaborative Feedback method, developed here at Signum University, asks you to comment at the author's comfort level through a structured reader (not editor) response. We gather to encourage the story that you want to tell. Our philosophy of kindness first might just turn around your previous experience of writing groups.

Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time.* Each module is designed to stand alone without strict prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. Whether you are looking to publish commercially or simply writing for yourself, our program is designed to nurture your individual writing journey. Our workshops place kindness first, lifting up excellence and encouraging you to tell your story in your own voice. For more information about our Collaborative Feedback model, check out our video.

•••The only exception is Novel in a Year 11: Workshop, which is designed specifically for the cohort.•••

Collaborative Feedback: A method of supportive feedback which lifts up excellence and encourages your own story in your own voice. You will read and comment kindly on others’ work as well as having the option to share your own writing (which we very much hope you will do). For more information, check out our video.
Precepted by Sparrow Alden.

Stump the Swain: Easy Classical Greek Readings

Added Aug. 31, 2023
Greek....a language with a long history and so much wonderful literature to read!!

Had some Greek but need an excuse to brush up? Hone skills? Join this module!

The main text we will be using is designed for those beyond introductory Greek but not yet ready for picking up Pindar or Polybius. We will be using selections ranging in time and difficulty from Homer's Odyssey to the New Testament, with vocabulary and grammatical helps for each selection. Most importantly....come and have some fun!

Precepted by Larry Swain.

Japanese for Advanced Beginners 5 Continuing Series

Added Aug. 28, 2023
The fifth in a series of modules in which we continue to explore the beauty of the Japanese language and culture. We will read tales, learn more complex structures, widen general vocabulary, and we will also start reading and writing kanji. みなさん、これからも一緒に日本語を勉強したい!楽しみにしています!

Precepted by Pilar Barrera.

Japanese: From Zero - 6 Continuing Series

Added Aug. 28, 2023


This course is for those who have an interest in Japanese culture and wish to continue our study of Japanese. We will continue using Hiragana and Katakana and will cover basic grammatical structures. Through use of conversational Japanese, we will continue to explore how the language is used in anime, manga, and music.

Japanese is a language of great nuance and depth. This module will open the door to that world and build a foundation for greater insight into Japan's culture and its people.
Precepted by Sam Roche.

The Anime of Everyday Life: Hobbies, Romance, Sports, Slice-of-Life, Iyashikei, Educational Anime, and More

Added Aug. 28, 2023
Anime as a medium can create worlds of all kinds, including those that feel familiar, quiet, or even mundane. In this module, we will consider what I am calling the anime of everyday life — anime that tells smaller, more personal stories about life. What makes these sorts of shows and movies so appealing, and what can they do for their audiences? In this module, we will consider several major genres usually grouped under “slice-of-life anime,” but we will also look at the intersection between everyday life and the fantastic. Each class will include a discussion of the history and elements of the anime of everyday life, with examples. Participants are encouraged to bring their own examples, as well!

Precepted by Nancy "Anni" Foasberg.

J.R.R. Tolkien: A Life in Letters

Added Aug. 25, 2023
How do you pick up the threads of an old life?

Come and take a deep dive, attempting to do just that, as we look into the life of the maker of Middle-earth! This series will take a leisurely (but thorough) adventure through the life of Tolkien over the course of a year through the lens of the newly revised and expanded Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. As the module follows the narrative presented in Tolkien's own words in his letters, preceptor sessions will allow for discussions of Tolkien's thoughts and problems as he raises them --- as well as the chance to read and discuss selections of his creative works along the way. Weekly lectures will also supplement the course, taking a thorough and methodical look at the life of Tolkien in tandem with the letters and filling out a more complete picture of the man and his life through his work, his personal life, and his creative endeavors. Names, places, and stages of history can all too easily become abstractions on a page, but in this course we will see the way in which Tolkien's personal environment was intimately connected to his works, and shaped the life of the man behind the legendarium.

Whether you have read them before, dipped in from time to time, or have never read them at all, Tolkien's letters provide a font of fascinating material fleshing out the development of his literary work and the complexities of his personal life. The approximately 150 new letters in the new edition will also provide an enthralling and more incisive look into the man behind the myths that readers have never seen before. Join for the whole series, or just dip in for a deeper look into your favorite era of his life and work!

January: 1892 -1938: The War, The Early Silmarillion, and The Hobbit (Letters 1-33)
February: 1938 -1944: WWII and The Lord of the Rings (Letters 34-64)
March: 1944 - 1945: The End of the War and the End of the Tale (Letters 65-97)
April: 1945 - 1950: Creative Work and Publishing Problems (Letters 98-130)
May: 1950 - 1954: Milton Waldman and The Silmarillion (Letters 131-144)
June: 1954 - 1955: Publishing, Auden, and the Creative Process (Letters 145-163)
July: 1955 - 1956: Allegory and Interpretation (Letters 164-182)
August: 1956 - 1958: The Idea of Film Adaptation (Letters 183-210)
September: 1958 - 1961: Popularity and Fandom (Letters 211-234)
October: 1961 - 1964: Creativity and Family (Letters 234-257)
November: 1964 - 1967: Interviews and Popularity Problems (Letters 258-294)
December: 1967 - 1973: Poetry, Language, and Reminiscence (Letters 295-354)
Precepted by Patrick Lyon and Sara Brown.

Book Club: Dune Messiah

Added Aug. 24, 2023
By Shai-Hulud, let’s read Dune Messiah!

In this one-month module, we will read and discuss the second Dune novel, Dune Messiah. Paul Atreides has avenged his father and created a new interstellar empire—but at what cost?

Though considerably shorter, the follow-up to Dune is even more intricate and complex. We will explore themes like hero cults, history, politics and religious violence, as Paul’s vision leads him into a trap of his own making.

Whether you are a new or continuing student in our Dune book club, all are welcome to join this class. Connect with book lovers, compare to the adaptations, and share your insights.

Let the spice flow!
Precepted by Julian Barr.

Adaptations of Middle-earth: From Deitch and Bakshi to Jackson

Added Aug. 23, 2023
The long and tangled history of cinematic attempts to bring the world of Middle-earth to the big screen is full of fascinating what-ifs, insurmountable setbacks, and ultimately a slew of good, bad, and utterly bizarre movies as a result. In this module we will dive deep into the cinematic adaptations of Middle-earth and watch our way through the Gene Deitch Hobbit (1966), the Rankin/Bass Hobbit (1977), the Bakshi Lord of the Rings (1978), the Rankin/Bass Return of the King (1980), and the Peter Jackson Trilogies over the course of a month, meeting for discussion of each film's cinematic and adaptational merits (or lack thereof). We will also cover some of the film versions that almost happened (such as John Boorman's completed script) and the complicated history behind the production of the films that did come to light. There is a lot of material to cover, but where there's a whip, there's a way.
Precepted by Patrick Lyon.

Chrétien de Troyes: "Lancelot, Knight of the Cart" and "Erec & Enide"

Added Aug. 23, 2023
This course explores two works by Arthurian legend-maker, Chrétien de Troyes. In the first-ever tale of Sir Lancelot, "The Knight of the Cart," Chretien invents the hero who loves Queen Guinevere beyond all bounds of reason—so much that he will face deadly and (even worse) socially humiliating perils to prove his devotion. In the early work, "Erec and Enide," Chretien perhaps invents the tradition of Arthurian courtly romance itself. With Camelot as its background, the knight Erec and maiden Enide pass through a series of trials testing their bravery and love for each other. Told with a mixture of heroic panache, comic irony, and relish for entertaining detail, these foundational works of Arthurian romance show the genius of master story-teller of the high Middle Ages.

Precepted by Liam Daley.

Japanese Through Lyrics

Added Aug. 23, 2023
The goal of this course is to study Japanese by analyzing song lyrics. While there will be an initial list of songs, students will be invited to either choose or vote on songs they would like to analyze (depending on number of students), and then we will spend each class studying the vocabulary and grammar contained in those songs.
Precepted by Sam Roche.
If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].