Class Title: Writing Alchemy: Quick-Start Method
Instructors: Matilda Butler & Kendra Bonnett
Class Term:
We are not accepting any more enrollments for Matilda & Kendra's class; the class has started.


Looking for new ways to dramatically improve your writing? Didn't get a chance to take our sold-out Writing Alchemy workshop at SCN's Stories from the Heart Conference? Took our workshop but not sure how to quickly apply our Writing Alchemy approach in your writing? Then this is the course for you. In just three classes, how you write may be changed forever.

Class Description

Writing Alchemy: Quick-Start Method begins with the five key elements of writing and learning to use them effectively. Our Quick-Start Deconstruction Exercise helps you peel away the individual story elements and begin using the Writing Alchemy technique immediately. Then, with all the elements standing ready, we'll show you how to construct an authentic story—more intimate, more compelling and better able to engage your readers. Your instructors will use conference calls, writing exercises, and feedback to help you build a powerful vignette.


  • Unit 1: The Quick Start Method of Writing Alchemy (April 1)
  • Unit 2: A Quick Start Deconstruction of a memoir story (April 8)
  • Unit 3: A 1000 word memoir vignette that is developed using the deconstruction exercise (April 22)

Student Skills, Equipment, and Time Required

We are pleased to have students at all writing levels. It is important to be open to learning a new approach to writing and to be respectful of the writing of others. All participants need to be able to create an email and attach a .doc file. Everyone must have an Internet connection to read the assignments of other students. Time commitment: 1-1½ hours per week for conference call. 1-2 hours per week for written assignments. ½ to 1 hour to read other students' assignments.

Tuition/Fees for this course

SCN members: $96. Non-SCN members: $120.

Instructor Bio

Matilda Butler Matilda Butler teaches women's memoir writing classes with the goal of helping women tell their life stories whether for personal understanding, family and friends, business marketing, or commercial publication. Her collective memoir, Rosie's Daughters: The "First Woman To" Generation Tells Its Story, has just been awarded the 2008 IPPY National Book Award, women's issues category.

Butler taught and conducted research at Stanford University, created the nationwide Women's Educational Equity Communication Network, and co-founded Knowledge Access International, a software company specializing in CD-ROM information products. She has published more than 50 articles about women, contributed chapters to published books about women in education and work, co-authored the award-winning book Women and the Mass Media and co-edited the book Knowledge Utilization Systems in Education.

Kendra Bonnett Kendra Bonnett uses her extensive marketing experience, writing talent and Internet know-how to help women, whether authors or entrepreneurs (there really isn't much difference), utilize 21st century technology to increase book sales and expand their businesses. She is the co-author of Rosie's Daughters: The "First Woman To" Generation Tells Its Story, has written more than 200 magazine articles, authored four books (The Everyone Can Build a Robot Book; ACT IT: Using Your Computer in School; The Creative Printmaster; an IBM Guide to Doing Business on the Internet), and ghostwritten five books for prominent business executives.

As a business executive, Bonnett has 20 years experience in direct marketing, public relations, and marketing communications for both international corporations and smaller, entrepreneurial firms. She co-founded Digit, one of the first computer magazines for children, and Profit: Information Technology for Entrepreneurs and Beyond Computing, a joint magazine publishing venture between IBM and The New York Times.

Praise for Matilda's & Kendra's Classes

  • "I have been teaching writing for twenty-four years, have taken Writer's Digest workshops, have attended DFW Writer's and SCBWI Conventions, have written two novels and read countless books on writing by such authors as Margaret Atwood and Noah Luke. My point is, Matilda and Kendra have taught me things about imagery and voice I never knew and that I am excited to apply to my writing right away. These ladies are encouraging, intelligent, and must themselves be tremendously excellent writers. I would take any workshop they offered and am motivated to read their published work. Thank you for giving me real tools to assist me in building my memoir into a stronger more marketable piece of work." —Amanda G., McKinney TX

  • These classes were the best among the classes so far I had attended. I learned a lot and teaching was concise and informative. —Jamuna A., San Ramon CA

  • This was my first online class, so I didn't know what to expect. I enjoyed it and found it helpful for future writing. —Mary P., Lafayette IN

  • It was informative. Both Matilda and Kendra were very helpful, friendly. I really enjoyed the class and I learned a lot. —Jamuna A., San Ramon CA

  • This was my first online writing course—it exceeded my expectations. I was concerned that feedback from instructors would be vague or so encouraging as to miss the point of critical commentary. That was not the case. Matilda and Kendra were respectful of our various skill levels, balancing positive reinforcement with saying the "hard stuff" we needed to hear so that we could improve upon a sentence, paragraph, or concept. —Judith G., Somersworth NH

  • Matilda and Kendra are both attentive and insightful teachers, readers and listeners. The class was well organized, fun and inspiring. —Tracy W., Ardmore PA

  • Matilda and Kendra are professionals in every sense of the word. I enjoyed "Start Small, finish Big" tremendously. Most importantly, I I have grown as a writer and have a greater command of the memoir genre. —Michelle S., Park City UT

  • Kendra and Matilda made this class fun, as well as stimulating. I felt stretched as I learned more about my own writing techniques. I had never written dialogue until I took this class. Now I find that my writing of dialogue flows easier than descriptive writing with no dialogue. Great class; well organized. Matilda and Kendra make a great team to work with. —Judy W., Spring Branch TX