As you may have heard, the coronavirus pandemic has caused a significant dip in advertising for digital publications. The Chicago Review of Books has not been immune to this trend. So the last month we’ve been using our advertising slot to promote ourselves. Or more specifically — we’ve been pushing a two-hour Story Studio class I’m teaching June 3rd to raise a bit of money for CHIRB operations.
Given the short length of the class, I decided to focus on actionable tools and recommendations students can use as soon as the course ends. I’ll talk about a range of “tools” from AI writing aids to magical, indestructible ZZ plants.
This class will also include a Q&A where students can ask about the tools, the Chicago Review of Books, my experience with digital media, or whatever else is on the mind. Honestly, you can get in touch with me whenever you want to ask about these things at — todd.vanluling [at] gmail.com. But this way you’ll also contribute some money to CHIRB operations and more easily put a face to the name.
Here’s the official description of the two-hour, $60 course:
“Writing isn’t a solo effort. Tools help you harness your creative energy and channel that power. If you’re reading this, you’re already aware of the keyboard, a ubiquitous writing tool. But how many writing tools do you use? Do you only need one hand to count them? Two? It’s probably time you considered adding a few more to the toolbox.
In this single-session, the Chicago Review of Books Executive Editor, Todd Van Luling, will highlight unexpected physical and digital tools to enhance the quality of your writing. A few of these tools will make your actual writing better in seconds, like magic (think spell-check, but on steroids). Others will help you keep on keeping on as a writer in this strange time (a cheap, near indestructible plant on your desk can do wonders).
Attendees will come away with actual tools to incorporate into their daily writing routine, as well as more conceptual lessons to adopt and make their own.
The class will include a discussion of the tools as well as a Q&A about the session and the CHIRB in general. Fiction and nonfiction writers at any level are welcome.
Proceeds from this class will go to support the Chicago Review of Books contributors.”
And here’s my bio to help explain the “why me” of this:
“Todd Van Luling is a Senior Culture Reporter at HuffPost and based in Chicago. He volunteers as the Executive Editor of the Chicago Review of Books. He has completed the certificate in Writing for Print and Digital Media at Northwestern University and a certificate in editing from Poynter. He currently studies journalism at Harvard Extension School and will be a 2020 Kiplinger Fellow in Public Affairs Journalism.”
Feel free to reach out if you have any lingering questions about the course. I love talking about writing tools, digital media and the Chicago Review of Books. If you’re enthused about any of that, I promise starting a conversation will be far from a burden on my end.
Hope to talk or meet soon.
And here again, is the link to sign-up.