People are often curious how I got my start teaching several online writing classes a year on various subjects, so I thought it would be a good subject for a blog.
Several years ago when I was a newbie writer I took some online classes taught by a lady who was in my local Romance Writers of America Chapter, Laurie Schnebly Campbell. As I started to learn and became published myself I began to be asked more and more to speak by my local chapters and then by chapters farther away from home, and even for writing conventions and college classes. So having a teaching background myself, over time I became interested in trying my hand at teaching online classes. One of the great things about this business is that if you build a network of friends and acquaintances within all areas of the business you can find more information on almost anything. So I talked to Laurie and asked for some advice. As always, she was gracious, open and encouraging. She pointed me in the right direction to look for places where I could apply to teach online classes and she even gave me one of her lesson plans so I could base mine off of her format.
Basically my lesson plans are divided by each day of the class, so I can just cut and paste each day and then field questions and give feedback to the students as they post. So it’s not very labor intensive for me, besides working up the lesson plans, and I really enjoy it. I know the next question will be – “How much does it pay?”
Well, it varies. Most places split what they take in with me. So they advertise on their sites, they provide the loop or forum to give the class along with a moderator who can kill spam, answer questions and help everyone work through any technical issues etc.
I’ve made anywhere from $40 to $320 for a 1 or 2 week class. There are places who have offered me one month classes, but on the topics I teach it would be tough to give a month long class. Two weeks is about perfect for me and I think most of the students prefer that length. But then again, some subjects just won’t stretch to two weeks unless I add LOTS of fluff and I don’t like to cheat my students that way. Every class I teach is pretty packed with information.
I include both posted lessons and homework and I always give feedback on homework and encourage any questions, even if they don’t always stay on topic for the class. After all, they have me there for two weeks and I’m multi published in both New York and small presses under two pen names in two genres. I’ve learned a few things about this business, and have quite a wide network of people I can ask if I don’t know the answers. So I’m perfectly open to answering pretty much anything except my weight 🙂
I currently teach for Savvy Authors, Colorado Romance Writers, Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Romance Writers, and I’m doing my first class for Heart of Carolina Romance Writers in May.
I’m also very willing to work up new classes. I’ve had groups approach me with a topic and I’ll work something up if I think I can do justice to it, or I’ll find a topic I feel I have enough working knowledge about and I’ll work up a lesson and then pitch it to the places I’m currently teaching for.
It’s very rewarding if you are interested in trying your hand at it, and the extra money doesn’t hurt either.
Here’s a list of my upcoming online classes that I have on the calendar so far:
January 27 – February 9, 2014: POV in Dialogue at Savvy Authors: Savvy Authors
May 4 – May 18, 2014: Writing Love Scenes for Heart of Carolina Romance Writers: I don’t have a link yet, but here’s the link to where it will be: Heart of Carolina
November 17 – November 29, 2014: Writing Love Scenes for Savvy Authors: Savvy Authors Online Workshops
I’m always adding new ones so check my site periodically for updates on my site: Tina Gerow
I also promote all of them on Facebook and Twitter (@tinagerow)
And here’s a list of other online classes that I have taught. And I also do talks on these topics. In fact a lot of my talks turn into Online Classes. Some are two weeks, some are one and some can be either depending on the scheduling needs of the group.
Living the Life of a Writer: Is it All Really Glamour & Bon Bons?
Gargoyles, Shifters, Succubus & More: Writing Believable Non Humans
Sex! On Writing Hot!
Settings For Paranormal Stories:
Plotting: The Right Way: The Wrong Way & What Works For You
I’m Back From Writing Conference: What Do I do now?
How to Promote Yourself & Not Just Your Book
Using Corporate America Know How & Goal Setting To Reach Your Dreams
Submitting: How to Use the Rule of 10 to Maximize Your Chance of Getting to YES!
Writing Love Scenes
POV in Dialogue