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

Will Estes

SPACE Preceptor

Brewer of coffee, one of the dialogue brethren

Will Estes inhabits the liminal space between country music and Greek tragedy. [see full bio...]

All Modules

Creative Writing: Introduction To Writing In Community

Discussion-based
Have you wanted to write a story but didn't know how to get words onto a blank page? Once the words were there, did you wonder how to find out if those words affected your reader the way you meant them to?

In this SPACE module, we will look at where ideas for stories come from. We will take our ideas from our thoughts to the page. Then we will learn, in a supportive community using the Collaborative Feedback method, how to ask for and receive the feedback our stories need to thrive.

Note: For more information about the Collaborative Feedback Method in SPACE, please check out our video here.

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

Discussion-based •
Have you finished (or nearly finished) a whole story draft? In this module, you will learn how to craft an ending that makes your entire story shine. You will also learn techniques for ensuring readers are immersed in your story and experiencing the emotional journey you intended. We will use collaborative feedback and discussion during class to help you refine your skills as a storyteller.

Novel in a Year Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time (the only exception is Tree Workshop (Novel in a Year 11) which, while open to all who have a mature writing project ready for close scrutiny, is designed specifically for students who have completed at least 4 previous modules in the Novel in a Year sequence). Each module is designed to stand alone without prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. In a writing journal, you will track your progress and moments of unexpected, joyful discovery as you continue 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 here.

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

Discussion-based •
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.

Novel in a Year Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time (the only exception is Tree Workshop (Novel in a Year 11) which, while open to all who have a mature writing project ready for close scrutiny, is designed specifically for students who have completed at least 4 previous modules in the Novel in a Year sequence). Each module is designed to stand alone without prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. In a writing journal, you will track your progress and moments of unexpected, joyful discovery as you continue 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 here.

Creative Writing: Start Writing Mysteries!

Mixed Lecture/Discussion • Medium intensity
So you think you'd like to write a mystery, but it seems overwhelming? Join us to examine the essential elements of a murder mystery: a setting, a sleuth, a murder victim, the murder method, a cast of suspects, the cast who assist the sleuth in investigating and solving the murder, as well as lists of actual clues and red herrings to plant in the story. We'll also discuss how the genre conventions affect your development of general fiction elements (e.g., plot, character, pacing). Brainstorm, refine rough ideas into workable ones, and get help starting on your story-specific research. Leave class with a semi-plan: not an outline, but a collection of notes you can use to write a complete first draft in whatever writing style you prefer.

Creative Writing: Workshop

Discussion-based •
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 to 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.





A seat has been reserved in this module for any writer (especially a beginner) of marginalized identity to support them finding their voice. Please simply write to [email protected] to identify yourself if you wish to join the class.





Note: For more information about the Collaborative Feedback Method in SPACE, please check out our video here.

Creative Writing: Workshop (Novel in a Year)

Discussion-based •
Using a kindness-first approach, we will read, appreciate, and comment on each other’s work as we deepen our understanding of writing craft. You will be encouraged to submit new works in progress at any level of development for peer reading and feedback. Our Collaborative Feedback method guides you to comment at the author's comfort level through a structured reader response. This workshop will foster a positive and encouraging environment to support our growth both as individuals and as a writing community. We gather to encourage the story that you want to tell.

Novel in a Year Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time (the only exception is Tree Workshop (Novel in a Year 11) which, while open to all who have a mature writing project ready for close scrutiny, is designed specifically for students who have completed at least 4 previous modules in the Novel in a Year sequence). Each module is designed to stand alone without prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. In a writing journal, you will track your progress and moments of unexpected, joyful discovery as you continue 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 here.

Novel in a Year: Creative Writing Series

Discussion-based •
Are you ready for an adventure in writing? Over the course of twelve months, you and your story will go from the beginnings of planning, through the stages of creating your first draft, and revising that draft, all the way to emerging with a novel that is finished and ready to submit for publication or personal accomplishment or family enjoyment. Each class in the series will draw upon lessons from the previous classes. In addition, we will build a community of writers who go through the experience together, encouraging each other and being sounding boards for each other.

Note: Anyone is welcome to join our Novel in a Year modules at any time (the only exception is Novel in a Year 11: Tree Workshop, which is designed specifically for the cohort). Each module is designed to stand alone without prerequisites. However, for the richest experience, the full twelve-month sequence of modules will carry you from blank page through to completing your novel. In a writing journal, you will track your progress and moments of unexpected, joyful discovery as you continue 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 here.

All Modules as Support Preceptor

If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].