The Glen Online

Special Topics at the Glen Online

The ever-changing array of Special Topics courses available through the Glen Online are classes you’ll find nowhere else, whether they feature rich thematic material or focus on some fascinating aspect of craft. You complete assignments at your own pace and discuss your writing with your mentor one-on-one.  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 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 material you are exploring.
• Six writing assignments, which your instructor will respond to with detailed written critiques.
A one-time cost of $595 that provides up to six months to engage in dialogue with your writing mentor.

“The class was an incredible experience for me personally. And I was rewarded by the effort I put into it.”

Questions? Call Taylor Olsen at 206.281.2988, or email her at

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.

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 assignments, 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.

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!


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