This year, we embark on the third annual Cyberhouse: An Online Open House. This groundbreaking event was the first of its kind for UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and the writing world at large. Join us now (register by clicking on the link above) for our dynamic, interactive, and free exploration of the online format.

Enrolling in our online open house gives you the chance to receive a 10% discount on most online Writers’ Program courses offered this summer. Not only that, but this award-winning four-day virtual open house allows you to interact with 35 summer quarter writer/teachers, chat with advisors who can guide you to choose the best courses to meet your writing goals, test out the Blackboard format, participate in three live chats with instructors Caroline Leavitt, Scott Myers and Gordon Grice, participate in our Cyberhouse writing contests, and mingle with fellow aspiring writers around the world.

Director Linda Venis traces the Cyberhouse development: “Not only at UCLA Extension but around the country, open houses are classic brick and mortar events: an opening talk by the program director, maybe one or two instructors discussing the curriculum, and staff advisors on hand to talk to prospective students. Writers’ Program’s own version of this event always attracted several hundred attendees to the UCLA campus and was quite successful, but could not match the access to writers, advisement, and exposure to other aspiring writers that Cyberhouse provides.”

What goes on during the Cyberhouse? Questions posted to the discussion boards of the Cyberhouse spark communication. Questions to teachers range from ‘How many assignments do you give?’ to ‘How do you break through writer’s block?’; from ‘I’m stuck in the second act of my screenplay’ to ‘Do you have any tips for digging into my hero’s psyche?’

And how did the students like it? Just ask writer Viva Barkowski, who participated in the inaugural Cyberhouse in 2007: “As an online distance [learning] student, without Cyberhouse I’d have only a cursory catalog description on which to base my class choice. The opportunity to ‘meet’ the instructors, find out a little about them, their philosophy of teaching, and their classroom goals, has been invaluable. Cyberhouse is great!”

And did we mention that Cyberhouse is free? It’s a no-risk way to test out the online learning format. See if online courses are right for you—you may just be surprised, like Liza Olson, writer and screenwriting student was. She recently told us, “I was apprehensive at first about taking classes online. I was concerned I’d be missing out on that sense of community you get in a physical classroom. Was I ever wrong! Online classes are just as collaborative and communal as on-site classes, with students feeling a real sense of freedom to speak their mind. Plus, you can do it in your pajamas!”

Last year’s Cyberhouse drew 332 writers from all over the globe and we’re on track to beat the record! You can join in the discussion. And the community. Call the UCLA Extension Registration Office at (310) 825-9971 or click here to enroll online. For more details, email writers@uclaextension.edu.

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Gabrielle Stephens is the Program Representative in Screenwriting (Onsite) and Website Maintenance.

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