Course Catalog

Taking the Leap into Writing

Instructor: Laura Vosika

This course will use the book Creative Writing: A Few Thoughts to take students from ideas on starting the creative process—where writers come up with ideas—through building character and location, methods of organizing and planning a novel, research, and editing.

The course will run eight weeks. Each class will be approximately two hours long, and include discussion on an aspect of writing, writing exercises, writing time, and critique sessions to help improve writing.

Laura Vosika, author of the acclaimed time travel series, The Blue Bells Chronicles, has appeared on WCCO, Channel 12, and in the Star Tribune, hosted Books and Brews with Laura Vosika on KTNF, and been a featured author at the Fox Cities Book Festival. She has worked extensively with the Night Writers critique group and taught writing classes at multiple locations.

Saturdays 315-515 PM from September 30 to December 2 (No class Oct 14 or Nov 25)    $275 regular, $245 members

Register for Taking the Leap Into Writing Here


Creative Nonfiction: The Art of the Lyric Essay

Instructor: Donna Isaac

This class will touch briefly on creative nonfiction and how a writer can focus in on this genre and its many manifestations with a particular emphasis on writing the lyric essay. Besides reading a few examples of experts in this model, including Annie Dillard and Mark Slouka, the instructor will provide helpful handouts and some time for small group work. The class is open to writers of all levels, although some knowledge of this craft is helpful.

Teacher and poet, Donna Isaac is now retired from full-time writing and English teaching after 40 years but continues to design classes, teaching through Cracked Walnut and at the Loft in Minneapolis. She loves the idea of a writing center in St. Paul, and Blue Harbor has fit the bill! Recent work has been published by The Saint Paul Almanac, Crosswinds Poetry Journal, and Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel. She has two published poetry chapbooks, Tommy (Red Dragonfly Press) and Holy Comforter (Red Bird Chapbooks) and has a full collection entitled Footfalls (Pocahontas Press) coming out this fall. She holds a B.A. in English from James Madison University, an M.A. in English from the University of Minnesota, and and M.F.A. in writing from Hamline University. (

Wednesday October 11 630-830 PM    $40 regular, $35 members

Also, please bring $2 fee for copy materials the instructor will provide.

Register for Creative Nonfiction: The Art of the Lyric Essay here

Intro to Self-Publishing

Instructor: Steve Bivans

Thinking about self publishing a book? Maybe you’ve already done it, but want to know how to actually SELL books to someone other than your mom? Steve Bivans will be holding a four part Intro to Self Publishing Seminar at Blue Harbor! Learn all the basics, from creating an account on Amazon, to the strategies Steve has used to sell his books.

Steve Bivans, three-time best selling author, will teach you the foundations to book marketing in this four part course!

What’s in the course?

Week One: Intro to Self-Publishing on Amazon

  • Why you want to self publish
  • Why Amazon?
  • How to set up your account
  • How to Sell Books, 101
    • Why do you want to write a book?
    • To Whom are you writing?

Week Two: How to Sell Books 102, The Essentials

  • How to write a book that sells. Topics, baby!
  • But I suck at writing titles! No you don’t.
  • Why you should judge your book by its cover.
  • Why book descriptions are matter of life and death (Slight exaggeration, but not by much)

Week Three: How to Sell Books 103, The Secret Keys to Selling More books

  • Why keywords are ‘key’
  • How to generate great keywords (Old School & Lightning Fast)
  • Basics of setting up Amazon book ads (they’re stupid cheap)

Week Four: How to Sell Books 104, Launching Your Book to Success

  • Finding rabid fans the simple way
  • Turning fans/friends into a dynamic Launch Team
  • Successful Book Launching Strategies
  • The power of peers: why you want a support group

Also included:

  • Steve’s two newest books, First Time Author, and How I Write: Haphazard Reflections on the Art & Chaos of Writing, FOR FREE.
  • A secret bonus savings on the most kick-ass self publishing tool ever designed. Seriously, it is. (Steve will show you how it works during the course. After that, you’ll want it.)

Steve Bivans is a three-time category best seller on Amazon. His latest book, Vikings War and the Fall of the Carolingians has sold over 2000 copies in its first three months on Amazon. He is a self-publishing coach, and the Dean of the College of FearLess Self-Publishing, which runs a mastermind group for both beginning and seasoned authors working to ramp up their writing and publishing game.

He lives in St. Paul, two blocks from Blue Harbor, with his partner, Patience (yeah, that’s really her name), her son, Duke, the Viking-Pirate kitties (Squish & Punkin’), and Bubble the dog.

Ready to write and sell some books?

Sign up now! Limited seats available, so don’t wait too long my friend.

Four Mondays October 2 thru October 23    630-830 PM

Each class: $40 regular, $35 members

All four classes: $135 regular, $115 members

Register for Intro to Self Publishing here

Writing the Future: Reading and writing the ideas that will shape the world to come

Instructor: Anthony Signorelli

How can your ideas help shape the future? How do you develop them and make sure they get traction? This class explores the metaphors that will shape postcapitalist society, and guides participants down a path of exploring—through writing and reading—their own notions of how digitalization will change the future. What are the metaphors and the ideas that will change our thinking, even our perception of reality? And how do we write and explore them to be part of the future-historical conversation? The class involves essay length readings, discussion, writing, and critical feedback for participants.

Anthony Signorelli is the author of Speculations on Postcapitalism, Call to Liberty, and What Is Liberalism? He is also the Executive Director of Blue Harbor former editor of Inroads: A Journal of the Male Soul, former poetry editor at Holy Cow! Press, and editor of Rooster Crows at Light from the Bombing, an anthology on the 1991 Gulf War.

Six Tuesdays October 3 through November 7   630-830 PM   $195 regular, $165 members

Register for Writing the Future here

Eloquence and the Discovery of One’s Voice

Instructor: Anthony Signorelli

Where does inspiration come from? How can you develop your muse? How do we find the courage to be eloquent? We will explore the great poets, discuss why they are so inspiring, learn from them, and eventually emulate them—all on the road to your own authentic voice. Six weeks covers six key subjects in which eloquence deepens experience: grief, love, longing, soaring, the deep image, and joy.

Anthony Signorelli is the author of Speculations on Postcapitalism, Call to Liberty, and What Is Liberalism? He is also the Executive Director of Blue Harbor former editor of Inroads: A Journal of the Male Soul, former poetry editor at Holy Cow! Press, and editor of Rooster Crows at Light from the Bombing, an anthology on the 1991 Gulf War.

Six Thursdays October 5 through November 9   630-830 PM  $195 regular, $165 members

Register for Eloquence and the Discovery of One’s Voice here