Free online course from the grandmother of all creative writing courses – the University of Iowa

Free online course from the grandmother of all creative writing courses – the University of Iowa

Bridget Whelan writer, posts about a free online writing course run by Iowa University.


The very first creative writing workshops were pioneered at the University of Iowa in the 1930s and they still have a mighty reputation today.

They are now offering a free open online course to explore Walt Whitman’s writings on the American Civil War,  looking at how writing and image can be used to examine war, conflict, trauma, and reconciliation – in Whitman’s time and today.

American civil war-80541_640

Whitman’s Civil War: Writing and Imaging Loss, Death, and Disaster is open to everyone and they mean everyone. Erxperienced writers and absolute beginners can apply, people who are already experts in Walt Whitman and those who have never heard of the 19th century American poet are welcome.

That’s not all, the International Department at Iowa promise:

Participants who are nonnative speakers of English, new to online learning, and/or new to writing are encouraged to join this new international community. Our community moderators will actively support…

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A Woman’s Intuition



Learn to trust your intuition, because that very first instinctive feeling is usually correct. 

It’s when we over-analyse and question, that the the truth evades us.  Emotions begin to take over and blur our judgement.  If you instinctively feel something, don’t try to second guess it or you will try to find a logical reason to why it can’t be true.

And don’t act on it straight away.  Sit calm.  Truth has a way of presenting itself when it is least expected.  And don’t look for clues or evidence to back you up, as things have a way of looking like what we think they are.  

Don’t be anyone’s fool either.

If that very first gut-feeling is right, all will come to light eventually.  Men are not all as smart as they like to portray themselves and they 
will  try to make it into something else, or worst still, deny, deny, deny.

But when the truth comes out, don’t be afraid to demand that respect of yourself.  Don’t be afraid to walk away from that person who does not fit your standards.  You have the right to demand it because you deserve it.  Don’t let him convince otherwise.

He will lie to you.  He will deny everything.  He will give you a story that sounds like the truth.  He will do all this because he doesn’t want to be seen for who he really is and because he doesn’t want to lose you.  But, don’t let him fool you.  He didn’t ‘make a mistake’, he did it out of selfishness.  Out of the inability to control himself.  A man who has no control cannot be trusted.  And if he does have control over his actions and still does it, then he is no man worthy of you.

Here it comes…

Here’s an old exerpt from my journal back in 2014.  It’s strange reading it now, as though it were written by someone else.


“I can feel it’s going to be one of those days.

I tell it to piss off, but it never takes any notice of me.  Just keeps sitting there, laughing at me, telling me to shut my mouth.  You shut your mouth!

It wants to see me crumble, destroyed and devastated.  They don’t understand.  They don’t hear me.  They just say, it’s fine, don’t worry.  It’s not what it is.  But, what do they know?  Are they here, listening to its incessant shit? No.  They’re never here, not when I need them to be.  So, how the hell they can tell me anything? 

They bore of me, hearing the same thing over and over again.  I can see it in their eyes and by the curl of their lips.  They don’t think I can, but I see it.  I know.

It said they’re laughing behind my back.  They think I’m stupid and on another planet.  A looney tune.  Maddy maddy.

I tried really hard this time though and I think I held it down.  I don’t think anyone’s noticed.  I spent time in my room, but I made sure I came out and did normal things.  So, they have no reason to suspect.”

At the end there, I thought I was fooling the ward staff by acting ‘normal’.  But, I was fooling no one, apparently.