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This Six Week Workshop Starts Monday, October 28th

The Modes of Writing is a weekly online writing course with me, Nick Jaina.

This is a six-week program designed to help you build an idea into a piece of writing with its own gravity and momentum. The classes are video conferences Monday evenings for one hour each night. I present a theme with inspiration for how to move forward. I talk with each student individually about their work, answer questions, and make suggestions.

This time I will have a theme for the whole course and that theme is TENSION. Yikes! I’m speaking about DRAMATIC TENSION, of course, which is such an important aspect to all types of writing, and yet its invisibility makes it hard to explain. We’ll take six weeks to work on building up dramatic tension in our writing, whether it’s essay, memoir, or fiction.

Reserve your spot

Video conferences are recorded and posted that same night for easy reference
We use Zoom for the conferences, which is free to use.


This class costs $175 per person for new students.
If you have taken any version of this online class before, or you are a Patreon subscriber, it costs only $100 for you. Write to me if you’re not sure if you qualify.

Payment plan options are available. If you have any questions about the nature of the class or payment options, write to

“Normally I have an idea and I write linearly, so this approach of working separately on different modes was a big change for me. The cool thing was, by the end of this class, Nick said to put everything in one document and weave it together and I thought it would never work. And then I remembered he said that story doesn't have to be what you think it is. And I put it all together and I was amazed with what I came up with. With my writing, I didn't have a good style of play before. This class gave me a structure for that playfulness, that discovery.”

– Ralph


Class description:

In this six week class we will go through a process of writing a complete piece of your choosing, whether a short story, personal essay, or whatever you think is possible given the time period.

Together as a class we will move through step by step generating ideas, writing rough drafts, finding the intriguing parts and expanding on them, and fleshing them out into a finished product. I will give a theme for each week of what to focus on and how I approach it. I will share my pieces with you as I work on them so that you can see an example of the process, and I invite you to share with the rest of the class as well.

My main goal is to be an ally for you and offer structured approaches to the creative side of writing in order to gain momentum and have writing be a solid part of your life.


The Modes of Writing Course Includes:

• A live one-hour video conference Monday evening at 6pm PST where Nick discusses the theme and takes questions or comments. This video will be recorded and posted for everyone to watch the same night. If you are shy or retiring, you are welcome to watch it with your camera off or just watch the recorded version.

• Email correspondence with Nick and the rest of the group where you can share examples of what you've written, and learn from other people's take on the assignments. This is a great way to meet diverse writers from around the world and get peer-to-peer encouragement. In my recent class I had writers from Montreal, Austin, San Francisco, Portland, Tampa, London, and other places.

Why I Write

I get up every day and write because I believe that it is important to the world.

Writers can create and manifest new ideas, articulate them to a larger audience, and help relieve suffering of others. I truly believe this.

That is also why I teach writing. I have seen it help people process pain, make sense of the confusing threads of their past, coalesce the voices in their head into a strong statement. It is a way to make your life be about something.

Writing has helped me believe that I have the tools inside me to answer a lot of questions that at first seemed unanswerable.

If you are a writer and need any help, join me for this class and we can go through the process together.

Your friendly teacher

Your friendly teacher


Some Questions You Might Have:


Q. Do I need to come to class with an idea for a piece? Do I need to have something already in progress?

A. No, you don’t have to. You can come to class with absolutely no ideas and we’ll start from there. But if you have something bouncing around in your head that you want to work on, we can use that too. The main goal is to move forward and build something to completion.

Q. Why online?

A. I teach a lot of classes in person around the country, but I can't get everywhere. I try to make this class as personal and collaborative as possible, given the technological divide. I am always looking for ways to be of service to writers who earnestly want to do the work and get lost in the sea of self-doubt and moving targets. So, let's do this. I am here at your service.

Q. What platform do you use for the video conferences?

A. I use Zoom, which is free to download and easy to use. I record each class and post them on Vimeo the same night.

More questions? Write to