Class Title: Writing Your Hero's Journey
Instructor: Teresa Cutler-Broyles
Class Term: January 28-March 4, 2019
enroll in this class
Are you the hero of your own story? What paths are you on, and what signposts are you following. And how do you tell your own tale?
This 6-week writing class will focus on a form of personal essay writing modeled after Joseph Campbell's vision of myth and purpose, and based on his archetypal Hero's Journey. Used by storytellers throughout time to craft stories that resonate with the heart, Campbell's concepts will lead you through each of the stages of your own Hero's Journey, and you'll learn to recognize the path you are on, the signs along the way, and the desires and goals that are leading you forward.
Each week we'll embrace two of the twelve stages of Campbell's Hero's Journey, and you will examine how it is reflected in your life. At the beginning of every class you will receive an explanation of the two stages of the journey we are focusing on that week, and you will be asked to explore them using one of two or three provided writing prompts. Essays will be shared and responded to at the end of every week, and feedback provided to help with clarity, tone, point of view, and so on.
At the end of this class, students will have learned about this time-tested and truly inspirational concept of the Hero's Journey, and have learned to use it and Campbell's concepts to better understand you own forward motion. You might set new goals or finally toward those you've held close for a long time; you might realize you're on the wrong path, or that you've been on the right one all along.
And you'll do all this, and more, while learning valuable new writing and interpretive skills. Essays are powerful means of communication, and you'll learn to use them to speak to others and to yourself.
Instruction/Communication Method: I will be communicating with everyone through email in a group mailing that includes all class members. At the beginning of each week I will send out a brief synopsis of that week's concept, and a writing prompt to get you started, and an optional reading. Your writing will be shared via email with each other for feedback.
The final product will be a finished collection of twelve essays, and these can be shared with the class on the last day.
- Unit 1: I will provide description of the first two stages of the journey, 1) The Ordinary World and 2) The Call to Adventure. I will provide a writing prompt and a link to an online essay. You will write your essay and send it to the class. When you receive other's essays you will choose (at least) two to provide feedback on.
- Unit 2: Description of stages 3) Refusal of the Call and 4) Meeting with the Mentor. I will provide a writing prompt and a link to an online essay. You will write your essay and send it to the class. When you receive other's essays you will choose (at least) two to provide feedback on.
- Unit 3: Description of stages 5) Crossing the First Threshold and 6) Tests, Allies, Enemies. I will provide a writing prompt and a link to an online essay. You will write your essay and send it to the class. When you receive other's essays you will choose (at least) two to provide feedback on.
- Unit 4: Description of stages 7) Approach to the Inmost Cave and 8) Ordeal. I will provide a writing prompt and a link to an online essay. You will write your essay and send it to the class. When you receive other's essays you will choose (at least) two to provide feedback on.
- Unit 5: Description of stages 9) Reward and 10) The Road Back. I will provide a writing prompt and a link to an online essay. You will write your essay and send it to the class. When you receive other's essays you will choose (at least) two to provide feedback on.
- Unit 6: 11) Description of stages 11) Resurrection and 12) Return with the Elixer/Prize. I will provide a writing prompt and a link to an online essay. You will write your essay and send it to the class. When you receive other's essays you will choose (at least) two to provide feedback on.
Student Skills, Equipment, and Time Required
You will need access to a computer in order to submit work, and will need to be able to use Word or a compatible word processing program. Work will be submitted via email so can be pasted into the body of the messages if Word is not an option.
Time Commitment: Time commitment varies depending on student input and desire; roughly, a student can expect to spend two-four hours doing the reading, writing, and feedback components of the class.
Tuition/Fees for this course
SCN members: $192. Non-SCN members: $240.
Teresa Cutler-Broyles spends her time writing novels, travel essays, academic chapters, and creative non-fiction. When she isn't writing she teaches at the University of New Mexico, USA, at the Umbra Institute in Perugia, Italy, and online at Southern New Hampshire University and Story Circle Network.
Her passions include story-telling and myth, travel, the history of printing, historical research & preservation, ancient architecture, teratology, gardens, circuses, Italy, and writing about all of the above. Visit her websites (TLC Travels & TLC Writing Coach) and her blog.
Praise for Teresa's Classes
- The Love of Everyday Things: Telling the Story of our Lives exceeded my expectations. Teresa Cutler-Broyles was able to inspire and encourage me along the way. Who knew everyday things had so much to say? —Sandra W., Valley City OH
- Teresa Cutler-Broyles is an excellent mentor. She gives encouragement, helpful comments, and adds her enthusiasm. —Anne W., West Chester PA
- Teresa Cutler-Broyles offered a helpful balance of challenge and support with the nuts-and-bolts of writing and the emotions that go along with it. While the journey can be daunting to put on paper, Teresa was expert at addressing the triggers and triumphs of putting words to one's story. I found the act of writing in the frame of the hero's/heroine's journey to be cathartic, challenging, and fun. I was inspired by putting my characters through the paces of the hero's adventure. —Laura H., Weaverville NC
- Great class and vehicle to cover deep emotional territory / subjects. I highly recommend this class and Teresa Cutler-Broyles as an instructor. —Veronica S., Cincinnati OH
- Teresa Cutler-Broyles' comments about my writing not only felt to me like she 'got' me, but were also highly motivating to further explore my thoughts and feelings. I truly felt on a hero's journey. Thanks you with all my heart, Teresa. —Anne W., West Chester PA
- Teresa Cutler-Broyles is very insightful and encouraging. The class helped me better understand my personal life and how to improve my writing life. —Patricia L., Niwot CO
- I enjoyed the class and thought that the concept add an interesting framework. Both Teresa Cutler-Broyles and members of the group were nice to work with. —Ariela Z., Ellsworth ME
- Teresa's class was powerful and insightful as it offered a safe environment to express our life experiences in various stages. I felt she offered us free range to express ourselves no matter what journey popped into our space at the time of writing. I thoroughly enjoyed both the lessons and the members of this class. Excellent - and I would take it again for additional exploration. —Deb D., Port St. Lucie FL
- This class opened many avenues for me to continue following in writing. Each week gave me new ideas for further exploration. One of the best classes I have taken here. —Lucy P., Williamsburg VA
- I enjoyed the course, not only because of the teacher, but because the other participants were interesting and responsive to one another. I think we all grew and had a good experience together. Our teacher seemed most delighted with our writing and the group dynamic. —Carol I., Santa Fe NM
- Teresa Cutler-Broyles was a wonderful, supportive instructor. She helped you find your true voice and sentiments behind your travel essay. She gave us wonderful resources such as readings and written suggestions, as well as line by line critiques. She also supported us to include photos to enhance our works. She will frankly let you know when you are on the right track, or if you need to modify your writing in order to make it a successful piece. I would definitely take another course with her. She gave us 100% of her expertise and caring. —Sharon B., Munster IN
- This was my first online writing course ever and now the "bar is high" for other classes I hope to take. I felt the gentle critiquing was amazingly accurate and as the course progressed the critiquing became more in depth. Teresa Cutler-Broyles emanated a spirit of understanding as she wrapped her valuable comments into my elementary efforts. She accepted rewrites which is a wonderful learning strategy in itself. Thanks, Teresa. —Joan C., Bellville TX
- Teresa Cutler-Broyles' comments and techniques were very valuable. I am glad I took the course and hope to do more travel essay writing. —Sally Jean B., Atherton CA
- I enjoyed working with Teresa Cutler-Broyles in the online Travel Essay class. The assignments were interesting and her feedback respectful and on target. I found it fascinating, getting to know my classmates through the writing we did. —Ann L., Chanhassen MN