Don Webb

Instructor Biography:

Author of 24 books including a St. Martin’s Press mystery series, five nonfiction books on the occult, a volume of poetry, and collections of horror, western, and science fiction stories. Mr. Webb is the winner of both the Fiction Collective and Death Equinox Awards, and has been nominated for the International Horror Critics Award, the Shirley Jackson Award, and the Rhysling Award.

Instructor Statement:

As an instructor, I am as interested in literary values as commercial salability. I think first time writers should have books that have a great shot both at getting published and beginning a reputation for the writer. I’ve been teaching writers since 1999 and started teaching for UCLA in 2002. My teaching roots come from three very different places. The first root comes from being a member of the Turkey City Critique Group for 36 years. I think it’s important to share works-in-progress and receive peer-to-peer critiques in the process. The second root is academic – I studied creative writing with Zulfikar Ghose and Dr. Don Graham. The third root lies in my day job where I’ve been a Special Education teacher for the last 17 years, which has taught me that every student has very different needs and has their own path. My teaching style is a threefold blend. I will present suggestive readings from classic stories that show certain strengths, I will help students access their life experience as a source of authentic writing and lastly, I use the peer-to-peer critique method that we use in Turkey City. Great writing has two sources – the best of the past and the secrets in your heart. It has two processes – knowing what to change and persistence. It has two final gates – knowing how to present it and knowing how to use and transcend publishing trends.

Our Students Say it Best!

“Excellent communication skills. Don is engaging. He communicated more frequently and sent more interesting emails with links than any other instructor I’ve had. Helpful, tough, but fair. Pushed me to new levels as a writer.” —Writers’ Program student

“I LOVED the instructor! He was inspirational, very involved, easy to get ahold of, and answered all questions addressed to him. He went above and beyond the call of duty by sending almost nightly emails full of interesting links and areas to explore in our writing. His comments were effective, and his assignments imaginative.” —Writers’ Program student

“Don is incredibly knowledgeable in the field. He communicated with us constantly and gave personal insights which added a lot to the material. He was also very honest, yet fair, with his critiques. I would definitely take another course with him!” —Writers’ Program student

“Don is positive and encouraging; his feedback never demeans. He manages to praise while still getting across the things that need to be changed or improved. He is willing to share himself which makes it easy for us to do likewise. UCLA Extension has one great instructor in Don Webb.” —Writers’ Program student

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