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WHAT my former students SAY

“Having two of your students place as finalists in the Norman Mailer Awards is not chance or luck.  You were one of the first instructors I've had that not only encouraged me to give writing a shot, but gave me permission to experiment and permission to fail. I think that freedom is the reason I'm still at this. Thank you.”

This site will soon be replaced. Please visit my new site at for current courses and tuition. Thank you!


Prompt Sundays!


Workshops are hosted on a professional course platform with integrated video,  annotations function, discussion boards, and more!

Creative Work

Next Session:



Shopping list as essay or short story. Death certificate as personal narrative. Map as manifesto. We don't have to adhere to traditional presentation of our words. This workshop will challenge rigid notions of form, encouraging thoughtful exploration of a subject through the use of complementary forms to add additional layers of meaning. We will read contemporary essays and stories that demonstrate the appropriation of other forms. Then we will creatively dive in and enthusiastically experiment with form in our own work. Expect to break all your own rules, hit upon brilliant ideas, and have a lot of fun taking your writing into new territories! 


Signing Contract

Next Session:



Many nonfiction book projects are sold on proposal. But even seasoned writers are often unclear about what an effective book proposal actually includes. Book proposals are not short pitches. They are detailed and thorough, with many pages of information to help a prospective publisher see the vision for a book, from the writing itself to the marketing plan. In this three week workshop, you'll learn from an author who successfully sold her book on proposal to a major publisher and craft your own nonfiction book proposal to maximize your chance of landing a book deal! 

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Every individual has a unique and valid story to tell. People write personal narratives for a number of different reasons: as a form of creative expression, to create a permanent record for others, to examine emotions, to find communities of shared experience, and more. In this creative nonfiction course, we will examine and record our unique life experiences through writing. Whatever our own personal motivation, this supportive class will provide us with a constructive environment to creatively explore our lives on the page while giving it cohesion and form. 

Graduation Caps

Next Sessions: 

October 10 - 30
November 2 - 23

The competition to get into a good college is stronger than ever these days. Students work hard at getting good grades and cramming for the SAT, ACT, and AP exams. But they often overlook one of the most important elements of a college application: The personal essay or personal statement. This element of an application can make or break a student’s chances of admission, and often is the weak point in an application package. In this workshop, students will build an admission essay from the ground up over the course of 4 weeks, emerging from the process with a polished essay to maximize their potential of gaining admission to the college of their choice. 


Next Session:

April 10 - May 14

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About The Instructor

Mieke Eerkens has over a decade of experience teaching writing workshops in multiple genres to students of all ages and skill levels. With an MFA degree in writing from the top-ranked University of Iowa, her work has appeared in various respected outlets and she has published a book with Macmillan/Picador. 

She has taught writing for: 
* The University of Iowa
* Amsterdam University College
* The Iowa Summer Writing Festival
* UCLA Extension Writers' Program
* Iowa Youth Writing Program
* Osher Lifelong Learning Program
* Iowa Veterans Writing Program
* Southern New Hampshire University
* Creative Nonfiction Magazine Seminars


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“This class shifted what I thought my career goals were. Mieke really lets us express ourselves without judgement. It made it easy to be creative.”


Featured Craft Essay 

On Revision


A craft essay in Brevity Magazine

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