Refine and inspire your creative abilities through one-on-one encounters with writers and artists featured in Image and at our Glen Workshops.

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Whatever your chosen genre, the classes offered through the Glen Online provide the opportunity to hone your craft with the personal guidance of one of the highly regarded writers featured in Image. You complete assignments at your own pace, over a maximum time period of six months, and discuss your writing with your mentor one-on-one over email. The private Glen Online forum on Image’s discussion board,, gives you easy access to readings and assignments and enables you to share your work with other students.

What to Expect in Your Class

• Six lectures containing genre-specific definitions, practical advice, and anecdotal material to help you get to the next level in your writing.

Six reading assignments—essays, stories, poems, or books— specific to the genre and formal aspects of the material you are exploring.

• Six writing assignments, which your instructor will respond to with detailed written critiques.

A one-time cost of $595, which provides all of the above. Lessons and assignments can be tackled at your own pace with one-on-one mentorship (maximum time 6 months).

Creative Nonfiction Classes

Creative Nonfiction I: Introduction to Creative Nonfiction with David Griffith

This is a course for those who desire a greater understanding of the concepts and skills necessary to write creative nonfiction. The reading list will ground you with foundational texts, but move quickly forward in time to study innovations in contemporary nonfiction through a sampling of work spanning the various sub-genres, including essay, memoir, and long-form reportage. The goal of the course is for you to explore the ways that the various nonfiction structures and genres can be used to engage a range of subject matter, experiences, issues, and moods. Special focus will be placed on learning to frame subjects, establish and control focus, create texture and mood, recognize and develop structure, and incorporate research. Register here.

Dave Griffith is the author of A Good War is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America (Soft Skull Press). His essays and reviews have appeared in the Utne Reader, Image, Creative Nonfiction, and The Normal School, among others. He directs the creative writing program at the Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, where he lives with his wife, the writer Jessica Mesman Griffith, and their two children. He blogs at


Fiction Classes

Introduction to Writing Stories with James Calvin Schaap

You’re gone for a long weekend.  You come home, finally, to your spouse, your friends, your parents, your children, and they ask you what went on—or maybe they tell you want happened when you were gone.  You explain and they explain, and, nine chances out of ten, you do so by telling stories.

Telling stories is as natural to us as breathing. It’s the way we order our lives. Stories help us see in the dark and entertain us joyfully along the way.

Even though we’re naturals, we’re not equally talented. In any crowd, everyone knows who we all want to hear tell our story.

So even though we all do it, we all can do it better.  In this introductory course, we’ll read and write and think our way through a series of assignments designed to make us all better story writers—and, for that matter, tellers.

Register here.


James Calvin Schaap recently retired after 37 years of teaching literature and writing at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa. He is the author of over twenty books, dozens and dozens of articles and stories, and several novels, among them Romey’s Place andTouches the Sky. His short stories have appeared in many magazines and journals, including several in Image. He is the author of several short story collections, including Paternity, Finding Christmas, and The Secrets of Barneveld Calvary, as well as collections of meditations like Honest to God and Sixty at Sixty.  He blogs at

Poetry Classes

Poetry I: Introduction to Poetry Writing with Nicholas Samaras

“Writing Poetry as an Expression of Heart and Soul”

In this introductory course, we take you seriously as a growing writer, and examine the individual breath of your poetry: in other words, we explore what it means to breathe in language as pnevma, or spirit. Each person’s breath and spirit has a measure and rhythm of its own. In this course, we will examine your current writing level, how you come to verbalize your self-expression, where you have come from in your writing and reading, and identify the stages and levels you need to next achieve in your journey. This course will honor and articulate both your spiritual and emotional growth markers. We will seek to give language and voice to the “icon” pictures within your personal experience. What we will end up with at the culmination of this study together will be the best-expressed reflection of your journey. Register here.


Nick Samaras is a poet and essayist, the son of Bishop Kallistos Samaras, a prominent Greek Orthodox Clergyman and theologian. He was born in Foxton, Cambridgeshire, England, living there and on the island of Patmos, Greece, later settling in Woburn, Massachusetts, his father's hometown. His first book of poetry, Hands of the Saddlemaker, received the Yale Series of Younger Poets Award in 1991. His individual poems have been featured in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Paris Review, Poetry, The New Republic, Kenyon Review, and many other publications. He earned his doctorate from the University of Denver. Currently, he lives in West Nyack, New York, teaching and editing The Adirondack Review.

Poetry II: Intermediate Poetry with Nicholas Samaras

“Preparing Poetry for Publication”

In this intermediate study, we will recognize, identify, and verbalize the higher goals of achieving fluency in your growing craft as a writer. In other words, once you have written your work, the “real writing” of your work can begin. We will explore the core “images” of your work as both shape and message. How does the “re-vision,” the “re-seeing” of your poem transform your work once you address the concept of your audience? How does the form of publication affect your consideration of the structure of your writing and the choices you have made in it? We've shored up the foundation of your writing, now we test how your work stands against public evaluation. You’ve given your poems DNA and bodies. You’ve dressed them and prepared them for the world. How tall may your “children” (poems) stand on their own, and can they fend for themselves? At this level of study, we work with how to trust, let go, and watch. Register here.

Poetry III: Advanced Poetry Tutorial with Nicholas Samaras

“Private Dancer”

This six-part course will not look at individual poems but will focus on the heart of your work--your collected poems as they dance with one another. Each session will examine your work as an interrelated, living organism. This study is geared to examining your work as a whole: an eventual book. Do your poems “play nice” with each other? Does the whole become greater than the sum of its parts? Do the individual “members” of the poems function as a unified “body”? How may you identify and verbalize their “dance”? This study will function by examining an approach to creating an entire manuscript of writing. The limitations of this course will not address any finalized version of a complete manuscript. This tutorial will be limited to establishing a poetry-manuscript outline, an approach, and twelve poems establishing a structural identity of the intended manuscript. Register here.

Special Topics

Poetry as a Spiritual Practice
with Peggy Rosenthal

In this course we’ll explore why and how great poetry can be a special entry to the spiritual core of our lives. Adapting the age-old practice of “lectio divina” (sacred reading), we will meditate on assigned contemporary poems, experiencing how they can engage, delight, and challenge our souls. Poets we’ll draw on include Denise Levertov, Richard Wilbur, Kathleen Norris, Edward Hirsch, Lucille Clifton, Scott Cairns, Jorie Graham, and Yehuda Amichai. Whatever your level of familiarity or comfort with poetry, and whatever your level of experience with writing, you can discover poetry’s gifts for spiritual opening and companionship. Your writing assignments, which will be reflections on a choice of assigned poems, can be in any form of prose or poetry or any format that you are moved to create. Register here.


Peggy Rosenthal is co-director of the nationwide arts ministry, Poetry Retreats, and a prolific poetry critic. Though Peggy began her career in academics with a doctorate in literature, after her baptism into the Roman Catholic church she became increasingly interested in fostering literature—and especially poetry—as a spiritual resource. Most recently she is the co-author of Reclaiming Beauty for the Good of the World: Muslim & Christian Creativity as Moral Power, written with her husband. Her reflection guide Praying the Gospels thorough Poetry: Lent to Easter meditates on ten contemporary poems that offer a fresh angle on several beloved Gospel passages. Its sequel, Praying through Poetry: Hope for Violent Times, draws on poems of all the major faith traditions. Previously she wrote The Poet’s Jesus, a survey of how Jesus has been treated in twentieth-century world poetry, and co-edited an anthology of poems keyed to Gospel passages, Divine Inspiration: The Life of Jesus in World Poetry. Peggy’s essays and spiritual reflections have also appeared in Image, Cross CurrentsCommonwealth, Christian Century, and America.

Spiritual Memoir/Autobiography with Dan Taylor

“Creating a Spiritual Legacy: Telling the Stories of Your Life”

A spiritual legacy, briefly stated, is passing on wisdom from one life to another. The single best vehicle for doing so is story.  By telling the stories from our own experience - both simple and profound - we better understand the significance of our own lives and we offer resources for living to another. As based on Dan Taylor's book Creating a Spiritual Legacy from Brazos Press, the course will explore the nature of spiritual legacy, direct students in writing a short spiritual will, and provide guidance in memoir writing that focuses on passing on values and insights from personal experience. It emphasizes the importance of this kind of work at any age, young or old. Register here.


Daniel Taylor is a professor of literature and writing at Bethel University and the author of six books, including The Myth of Certainty, Letters to My Children, Tell Me A Story: The Life-Shaping Power of Our Stories, and, most recently, In Search of Sacred Places: Looking for Wisdom on Celtic Holy Islands. He speaks frequently at conferences, colleges, retreats, and churches on a variety of topics. Dr. Taylor is also co-founder of The Legacy Center, an organization devoted to helping individuals and organizations identify and preserve the values and stories that have shaped their lives. He is a contributing editor of Books and Culture. Dr. Taylor is married and the father of four children.

Songwriting with Jan Krist

Detroit-born songwriter Harlon Howard, known as the Dean of Nashville, said, "The definition of a great country song is three chords and the truth." While arguments can easily be made for using a broader musical palette, Harlon was dead-on when it came to content. When we think of the songs we hear day-to-day on the radio, it would be easy to assume that songwriters have a very narrow range of topics to choose from. However, songs can be written from headline news,they can be wild stories and utter fabrications or confessions from a journal page-- they can be about almost anything. John Lennon said that when he wrote "In My Life" he was trying to write a song about Penny Lane. He said, "It was about places I remembered...(it) started out as a bus journey from my house at Menlove Avenue to town." But whether our lyrics happen to be poetry, memoir, or short story, they must be transcendent. Good humor and good art all have all contain an essence of truth the audience can accept or embrace. The primary emphasis of this course will be on lyric writing and and the structure of songs. You will build on your current writing skills through journaling, reading assigments, and a variety of writing exercises. I'll also send you listening links for weekly listening assignments. We will learn how to build melody, adding color to chords through harmonization, and explore rhythm and meter. Those who play guitar will be introduced to a variety of open tunings. All musicians will be encouraged to study their instruments and will be given assignments  tailored to expand their current musical vocabulary. Register here.


When Billboard Magazine critic Bob Darden first heard Jan Krist’s music, he was driving down one of those long Texas back roads. Within a minute, he had to pull over--he was that moved by her plangent, poignant “Someone”. Not surprising to those who know her music. Krist's artful, literate lyrics that seek out the sweet spot between emotion, honesty and humor have won her a devoted following. She has long been a sweetheart of the Midwest's singer-songwriter scene. She has released several albums, the latest of which is "Fallow Ground." For more information please visit


Manuscript Critique

The Manuscript Critique is the ideal option for those seeking editorial guidance on a book or another extended project. Your writing mentor provides both general analysis of your manuscript and focused revision suggestions, and then responds to your revised drafts in detail. The goal is simple: to connect you with the practical wisdom of an experienced writing mentor to get your writing project where it needs to be—and at $695 for up to six months of mentoring, for much less than the cost of a freelance editorial consultation.

What to Expect from Your Critique

Each manuscript critique covers a maximum of 30,000 words for prose pieces, and 30 pages for poetry. A single session cannot possibly cover a full-length book manuscript. However, we believe it makes sense to begin with a portion of your manuscript so you can get a good sense of what the editing process can do for your project. If you find that it has been beneficial and you would like to submit more of the book for critiquing, you may sign up for additional sessions at a reduced rate.

Creative Nonfiction Critique

In this course, author Lindsey Crittenden will provide you with an opportunity to revise and strengthen an existing work of up to 30,000 words, either memoir or other narrative nonfiction. She’ll start by reviewing your goals and questions as you come up with a plan to address the manuscript’s structure, overall focus and scope, and (if applicable) work with researched material. Her particular interests include narrative stance, manipulation of scene and summary, and development of character, so you’ll address those as relevant. You’ll also explore ways to refine the strengths of your particular style and voice, and together you’ll look at traditions and models from this exciting, enormous, and elastic genre. Register here.

Lindsey Crittenden is the author of The Water Will Hold You: A Skeptic Learns to Pray and The View From Below: Stories. Her personal essays and articles – on topics such as prayer, visiting a group of lifers at San Quentin, and bringing a man into your kitchen too soon-- have appeared in The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, Image, Real Simple, Bon Appétit, and Best American Spiritual Writing. Her fiction has been awarded national prizes and fellowships and appeared in literary magazines. Lindsey loves the elasticity of creative nonfiction as a genre and the opportunities it offers to writers developing memoir and other nonfiction narratives. She enjoys working closely with students both online and on-site, and has taught for more than 10 years at UC Berkeley Extension. She lives in San Francisco.

Fiction Critique

In this course, author David McGlynn offers you the opportunity to receive attentive written feedback on a work of fiction up to 30,000 words. Though his stories tend toward realism, all styles of fiction—from gritty naturalism to magical realism—are welcome. When you submit your work, he'll ask you to tell him a little about yourself and your goals as a writer in order to help focus your conversation in the most useful direction possible. Along the way, you'll address issues of plot, story structure, manipulating time, character development, and setting. He'll also suggest key texts that might be helpful models for your project and provide tips on tackling the revision process. Register here.

David McGlynn's story collection, The End of the Straight and Narrow, won the 2008 Utah Book Award for Fiction and was named an "Outstanding Achievement" by the Wisconsin Librarians' Association. His new book, A Door in the Ocean: A Memoir, is forthcoming from Counterpoint Press in 2012. His stories and creative essays have appeared in Men's Health,The Huffington Post, Best American Sports Writing, and numerous literary journals. He received his MFA and PhD from the University of Utah, where he also served as the managing editor of Western Humanities Review, and currently teaches at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Poetry Critique

This critique by Tania Runyan offers you the opportunity to receive attentive written feedback on up to 30 pages of poetry. All styles of poetry—from contemporary lyric and narrative poems to surreal dreamscapes to work in traditional forms—are welcome. Before spending time with your work, she’ll want to get to know you a little better by facilitating a discussion of your writing life and goals.

Once the critique is underway, you’ll examine what’s working well in your poems and where opportunities exist to strengthen them. Together you’ll address the hallmarks of poetic craft, such as the development of compelling imagery, the use of interesting and fresh language, vivid metaphors, line breaks, sound, and more. Runyan will also suggest key texts (both instructional texts and poetry) that should be helpful in terms of providing models for your work, expanding your writer’s toolkit, and stretching you as a poet. Register here.

Tania Runyan is the author of the poetry collections Second Sky, A Thousand Vessels, Simple Weight, and Delicious Air, which was awarded Book of the Year by the Conference on Christianity and Literature in 2007. Her book How to Read a Poem, an instructional guide based on Billy Collins’s “Introduction to Poetry,” was released in 2014. A companion volume, How to Write a Poem, is now available. Tania’s poems have appeared in many publications, including Poetry, Image, Harvard Divinity Bulletin, The Christian Century, Atlanta Review, Indiana Review, Willow Springs, Nimrod, and the anthology In a Fine Frenzy: Poets Respond to Shakespeare. Tania was awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship in 2011 and writes for Image journal’s blog, Good Letters. When not writing, Tania tutors high school students, plays fiddle and mandolin, and gets lost in her Midwestern garden.

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