Christopher DeWan is one of the best writing instructors I've ever had. His "30 Stories in 30 Days" workshop emphasized the imagination and magic of storytelling, with wildly creative prompts that inspired some of my best pieces. More importantly, Christopher taught me how to develop a consistent writing practice—his method focuses on how to tap into story ideas at any time, and not just when inspiration strikes. Months later, I am still benefiting from his class.
I can't recommend Christopher highly enough. His teaching brings out the writer you have always wanted to be.
I have had the pleasure of being a student in several of Christopher's creative writing courses. His teaching style is engaging, approachable, and rewarding. Rarely is an expert of their craft also an expert at sharing their craft, but Christopher taught me how to think about writing, how to explore my voice, and how to think about storytelling as a business. Professional, empathic, and inspiring, his courses have changed the way I write.
I took Chris's workshop and learned so, so many useful things about structuring and organizing my story: his workshop completely changed how I outline, where I place key moments in my narrative, and even what I think of painter's tape. (Ask him!)
Every week, Chris achieved what seemed the perfect balance of structured writing exercises/planned lessons and more open-ended conversation about each of our projects. He was always prepared, organized, super insightful, and so humble (!). I always wanted him to talk more, which I've taken to mean that I just need to sign up for another one of his workshops next year.
"Chris DeWan's workshop is fantastic. He's so kind, knowledgable, smart, and really focuses on challenging us to write in new, innovative ways. He doesn't have an overly lectured style, and I appreciate his own desire to really have us talk through things and write as opposed to tell us what is/isn't writing. The prompts have been very diverse and challenging. And he is excellent at getting even the most quiet members of the group to tell their stories, all while pointing out what's good and different about them. He's created a safe, experimental space for me to write and so is meeting all my expectations and more."
"I'm immensely pleased with Chris DeWan's teaching. I love the short stories he has selected for our study. The assignments (both reading and writing) are helpful. Chris's demeanor with the students is confident, nurturing, and positive."
I had the pleasure of taking Chris's screenwriting workshop in April 2015—four Sunday afternoons where he helps both aspiring and longtime writers wrap their heads around their projects by focusing on four key elements: conflict, character, structure, and theme.
The rhythm of the workshop is a lot of hands-on writing, where Chris offers prompts that cut to the heart of story, helping the participants ask and answer the critical questions one needs to move ahead in the writing process. Chris has a sharp mind and a thorough understanding of story mechanics, so not only is he able to lead the class in these guided explorations, but he's also able to offer impressive off-the-cuff analyses of your story direction, helping to straighten the course and clarify the direction. Everything that comes out of his mouth seems to be useful and full of wisdom for the writer, and he's also just a really nice mellow guy who is genuinely interested in helping people to reach their goals.