The Melic Poetry Tutorial

Six weeks of “lectures” (syllabus modules) plus assignments, with personal reviews of course work and six individual one-hour chats with the tutor, presently our editor, C. E. Chaffin. By course’s end a thorough evaluation of one's best work with recommendations for publication venues, if applicable, is given. Although six weeks is optimum for the experience, adjustments can be made for students’ schedules.

Cost is $300, payable through PayPal. The fee helps support our non-profit magazine.

Each student’s needs are addressed individually while the syllabus forms a knowledge base. We ask that the syllabus be for personal use only, not to be reprinted without permission.


Course Outline 

I Introduction: Suggested readings and list of terms to master.

II Imitating the Greats

III Form

IV Sound and Sense

V Substance:

A) Mind
B) Heart
C) Inspiration

VI Notes On Cliché and Line Breaks

VII Final Evaluation with Recommendations


The course, including chats, can be scheduled at any convenient time agreed upon between tutor and student. ICQ is preferred for online chats as it allows longer poems to be pasted in for discussion. It can be downloaded for free. For disabled students extensive e-mails can be substituted for chats.

Former students include Julie Dammerell, Jerry Jenkins, Shann Palmer, Dave Ruslander, Lindsay Schuler and Teresa White, among others. References on request.

Many poets have been published for the first time after completing the course. However, the emphasis is not on publication but discovering one’s own voice and learning the discipline of self-editing.

Note: We do not accept all poets who apply. After an initial query we ask for a sample of five poems to determine if the applicant’s needs can be met by the course.

Queries may be addressed to with the subject title, “Melic Poetry Tutorial.”