Review: Writer’s Digest University Courses with Philip Athans

Hi everyone. I’m G.A. Miller, and instead of a story to offer today, I’m here to discuss a resource I’ve used myself and found to be very helpful in my own work.

Although I’d toyed with the idea many times, I didn’t decide to start writing fiction until late in life, when I found myself on the final approach of a four-decade career.

I’d been a voracious reader all my life, and a horror fan even before I could read, courtesy of “Shock Theater” in the late 1950’s, hosted by Zacherley, the Cool Ghoul on a small black and white TV. 

I’d somehow managed to hang onto my vivid imagination from those early days, despite the ensuing journey into responsibility we all must take. I joined the ranks of Stephen King’s Constant Readers in 1976, upon the first publication of “‘Salem’s Lot” in paperback, so I had the ideal background, right?

But… how do you actually write?

I started looking for learning resources and came across the Writer’s Digest University. As I browsed their courses, I came upon one called “Analyzing the work of Stephen King”, offered by Philip Athans. Phil is both a New York Times bestselling author and has a consulting business where he provides both editing and consulting services to authors, many of whom have enjoyed notable success.

I signed up for the course, and found it to be more than helpful. Using Stephen King’s “On Writing” as the primary text, Phil discusses his work, and offers thoughts on why it resonates so well with his readers. He uses some of King’s short stories as practical examples of the ideas discussed in “On Writing” to illustrate his lectures.