Writing With Flannery O’Connor: An Online Creative Writing Course


Besides being a brilliant writer, Flannery O’Connor wrote quite a bit about the craft of writing. In this six-week online course, we will look at O’Connor’s essays about writing in Mystery and Manners, examine ways that she implemented her principles in her short stories, and implemented her principles in her short stories, and implement those principles ourselves in short writing exercises.

My goal as instructor will not be to get you to mimic O’Connor, but to help you find your own voice—to help you write in your native tongue, just as O’Connor wrote in hers. Though O’Connor wrote more or less exclusively about fiction, most of her principles are equally applicable to non-fiction narratives.

Below is a look at the introductory lecture of the course. Click here for full details. Class begins May 15.

Jonathan Rogers is the author of The Terrible Speed of Mercy, one of the finest biographies of Flannery O’Connor we've ever read. His other books include the Wilderking Trilogy–The Bark of the Bog Owl, The Secret of the Swamp King, and The Way of the Wilderking–as well as The World According to Narnia and a biography of Saint Patrick. He has spent most of his adult life in Nashville, Tennessee, where he and his wife Lou Alice are raising a houseful of robustious children.


  1. April Pickle


    All week I’ve been trying to decide if I’m going to take this course again. I’ve got plenty of reasons not to do it. The last two weeks of May are busy for my family — school ending, two birthdays to celebrate, yard work, house projects, appointments on the calendar. But deep down I know I can probably wing it the first two weeks and pour more time into the class the final four weeks.
    More likely, I’m wrestling with fear. I’m not new to JR’s wonderful and worth-every-penny writing courses (I’ve taken Writing Close to the Earth and Writing with Flannery O’Connor). I don’t have the same level of trepidation I had the first go-round. 
    But when it comes to reading and learning from O’Connor and from JR, who introduced me to FO (and is my hero for it), I know from painful and good experience that this course will change me, and that’s a bit scary. I know it will challenge me to stare, to pay attention, to love my reader, to keep my words close to the earth, the same earth, this very same earth that is full of the glory of God.
    Dare I sign up?
    How can I not!


  2. Gypsy Martin


    This course is so good! I’m not kidding, it felt like my birthday every week when we got the new lectures and assignments. It was good scary fun. If you are considering it at all, I encourage you to sign up.

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