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

Skills Portal

Creative Writing: Long Project Preparation

Well-prepared writers enjoy more completion success! We will build worlds, plan character arcs, and try to define the bones of our stories during a month of glorious sub-creation! When you declare your intentions to the group, that act of bravery alone adds momentum to your writing efforts after the month is over. (This Module is great preparation before National Novel Writing Month)
Precepted by Sparrow Alden.

Creative Writing: One Month Story

We will walk through a complete project from pre-writing through writing, revising, editing, (revising, revising, revising), proofreading, and talking about publication options. Are you interested in finally getting down that memoir of your childhood? making a storybook for your grands? turning that daydream into a novelette? This adventure is for you! Whether your story is a draft, an outline, or a daydream, your project is welcome here in a place where we are aiming to finish it!
Precepted by Sparrow Alden.

Creative Writing: Stories in the Darkness

Join the amazing Jennie Starstuff: NASA Solar System Ambassador with Sparrow F. Alden to talk about the coolest, trippiest space physics to inspire our fiction! We’ll learn stuff on one day to use as writing prompts for peer-review on the second day. The plan is to explore star lore and archaeoastronomy; gravity and relativity (things get really weird); stars and cosmic life cycles; and life in the cosmos (alien contact? Heck, yes!). What about the amazing spaces between? We will have wonderful sonifications (sound pictures) of some of the most wonder-filled, hard to believe astro science out there—just imagine the stories we’ll create!
Precepted by Jennie Starstuff and Sparrow Alden.

Creative Writing: Weekend Intensive Series

Write in the New Year!

On December 30th and 31st and January 1st, we're going to celebrate creativity by attempting a complete short story! Our format will include nine SPACE class sessions, WriterSpace focus time in excellent company, Bandersnatch Breakout room for talking about our craft, peer feedback through google doc commenting and breakout room conversations, and an enthusiastic ringing in of the new year. So sharpen your quills, line up the inkpots, make a BIG casserole to last the weekend.

Here's the plan:
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Friday the 30th from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Eastern
6p - class session
7p - WriterSpace
8p - class session
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Saturday the 31st from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Eastern
9a - class session
10a - WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
11a - WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
12noon - class session
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Saturday the 31st from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern:
Nap time.
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Saturday the 31st from 3:00 PM to 9:05 PM Eastern:
3p - class session
4p - WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
5p - WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
6p - class session
7p - WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
8p - class session
9p - ringing in the new year in Grytviken, King Edward Point, Sandwich Island (time zone UTC-2)
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Sunday, the 1st from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Eastern
1p - class session
2p - WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
3p - class session & wrap up at 4p.
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Our goal is to create a completed short work in one weekend! Prompts, planning, focus methods, peer encouragement, machete editing, character crucibles — we’ll do it all. Writers will write between sessions as well as during.

You are going to end this amazing experience with a complete first draft of your story. What a way to begin 2023!
Precepted by Sparrow Alden.

Creative Writing: Weekend Intensive (Dec 2022) First in the Series

Write in the New Year!

On December 30th and 31st and January 1st, we're going to celebrate creativity by attempting a complete short story! Our format will include nine SPACE class sessions, WriterSpace focus time in excellent company, Bandersnatch Breakout room for talking about our craft, peer feedback through google doc commenting and breakout room conversations, and an enthusiastic ringing in of the new year. So sharpen your quills, line up the inkpots, make a BIG casserole to last the weekend.

Here's the plan:
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Friday the 30th from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Eastern
6p - class session
7p - WriterSpace
8p - class session
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Saturday the 31st from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM Eastern
9a - class session
10a - WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
11a - WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
12noon - class session
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Saturday the 31st from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM Eastern:
Nap time.
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Saturday the 31st from 3:00 PM to 9:05 PM Eastern:
3p - class session
4p - WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
5p - WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
6p - class session
7p - WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
8p - class session
9p - ringing in the new year in Grytviken, King Edward Point, Sandwich Island (time zone UTC-2)
•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
Sunday, the 1st from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Eastern
1p - class session
2p - WriterSpace, Bandersnatch, & peer review
3p - class session & wrap up at 4p.
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Our goal is to create a completed short work in one weekend! Prompts, planning, focus methods, peer encouragement, machete editing, character crucibles — we’ll do it all. Writers will write between sessions as well as during.

You are going to end this amazing experience with a complete first draft of your story. What a way to begin 2023!
Precepted by Sparrow Alden.

Creative Writing: Workshop

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. Writers are encouraged—but never required—to submit new pieces in any state of draftiness or readiness up to 2,000 words each week for peer reading and feedback. Our Collaborative Feedback method, developed here at Signum University, asks us comment at the author's comfort level through a structured reader (not editor) response. We gather to encourage the story that the author wants to tell. Our philosophy of kindness first might just turn around your previous experience of writing groups.

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Note: A seat has been reserved in this module for a writer of traditionally marginalized identity. There is no form; simply write to [email protected] to identify yourself as someone who qualifies for and wishes to use this space in the writing group.
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Precepted by Sparrow Alden.

Creative Writing: Writing the Hero

We need good tales of good people making heroic choices. Whether we write memoir, pure fiction, or a what-if-it-had-ended-well personal speculations, this module is about creating the characters whom we can admire, trust, emulate, and become. Writing these short scenes during difficult times balances our minds and hearts, and can be part of a personal path to hope. This module specifically allows us to write our inner heroes within a place of safety. When believing in heroes is hard, we need to write them anyway. Explore your own traumas, toils, and fears even if your bad situation is right now, and write your own next chapter, your terrified heroic first step.
Precepted by Sparrow Alden.

Fairy Tales: An Adventure from the Writer's Perspective

Come explore Fairy Tales from the inside! In the first meeting each week Pilar Barrera will lift up a Fairy Tale technique, character archetype, or trope. We'll discuss the story at hand and how that story technique makes meaning. Then, students try their own hands at that technique! What do we learn when we push these ideas to their logical extremes? In the second meeting, Sparrow Alden will facilitate a workshop-style discussion of our original tale-telling work; we'll encourage one another as writers and appreciate one another as readers! Our goal is to complete the month with a deeper appreciation for the tales we all love and a folder with one to four good drafts of original tales.
Precepted by Pilar Barrera and Sparrow Alden.

Introduction to Binding Books by Hand

Do you love the physical object of a book just as much as the information it contains? Do you smell your books when you get home from the library or the bookstore? Do you like working with your hands to make things? Then this module is for you!

This class is an introduction to the materials, tools, and methods of making books by hand. Whether you're looking to make "junk journals" on a tight budget or want to rebind your favorite tome in leather, you'll find the information you need in this module!

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Course Outline:

• Class 1: Brief History of Book Binding and Tools Overview
• Class 2: Materials and Terms - The Anatomy of a Book
• Class 3: Text Block Assembly 1 - Glued Binding Options - Perfect Binding and Double Fan Binding
• Class 4: Text Block Assembly 2 - Sewn Binding Options - Kettle Stitch, Coptic Binding, and Japanese Stab Binding
• Class 5: Cover Assembly 1 - How To Make a Softcover - Paperback and Wrap Covers
• Class 6: Cover Assembly 2 - How To Make a Hardback - Classic/English Binding and Hollow Back Case Binding
• Class 7: Cover Decoration and Finishing - Traditional and Modern Methods
• Class 8: Overflow, Resources for Further Research, and Final Q & A
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Precepted by Praise Moyer.

Level Up Your Term Paper(s): Preparing for Conferences

Do you have a general idea or old class paper that you’d like to refresh for an academic conference? This module is for individuals who are interested in turning a past or current research project into an abstract (proposal) and script or outline for a 20-minute conference paper. Bring some past writing (or a bunch of notes) to our first meeting, and we will brainstorm possible venues; wrangle past writing into conference-accessible outlines; draft and peer review abstracts; and write or outline some paragraphs or sections for oral delivery. Everyone is welcome, but this class is specifically designed for novice conference presenters who have a specific topic (or past paper) in mind and would like directed guidance and weekly accountability during the revision and preparation process.
Precepted by Faith Acker.

The Science of Reading: Teaching Your Kids How to Read

Is your child struggling to learn how to read? Do they have trouble sounding out words, or understanding the meaning of new words? Do you struggle to explain why "one" begins with an o, and not a w? Then come learn more about the Science of Reading!

This introductory module will show you all about the Science of Reading, and why everyone should understand these fundamental linguistic principles throughout their reading journeys (not just kids!). We will discuss the history of the American Reading Wars and how they have impacted reading instruction, what happens in your brain as you learn to read, and how to use systematic, "building-block" approaches in your own home when reading with your little ones. If you're interested in the "why" and "how" of reading, then this module is for you!
Precepted by Elise Trudel Cedeño.

Writing for Children

What makes a good children’s story? We’re going to address chapter books, cultural stories, and learning tales all through a lens of moral, cultural, and spiritual human development. Trying our hands at these forms should lead us to a nice folder full of works-in-progress at the end of the month. The December iteration of this module is designed to complete one treasured story gift for the holidays.
Precepted by Sparrow Alden.

Writing Your Memoir

Your story is unique. Do you want to set it down on paper for yourself? For your family? No other person has accumulated your experiences; no other person has had your potential, learning, drive, disappointments, challenges, triumphs, and quiet joys. We'll explore a variety of media and forms for memoir writing, from picture books to blogs. We'll interview one another with kindness and encouragement and draw amazing stories out of each other—and ourselves.
Precepted by Sparrow Alden.
If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].